College Hoops Picks: #3 Miami Hurricanes at Clemson Tigers

#3 Miami Hurricanes at Clemson Tigers
Sunday, February 17, 2013, 6:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPNU
Littlejohn Coliseum – Clemson, South Carolina
Opening Line: Miami -6 1/2
Current Line: Miami -6 1/2
Opening Total: 120
Current Total: 120 1/2
Opening Money Line: Miami -260 / Clemson +220
Current Money Line: Miami -260 / Clemson +220

Miami looks to remain undefeated in the ACC as they travel to Clemson. The Hurricanes are 6.5 point favorites.
Miami looks to remain undefeated in the ACC as they travel to Clemson. The Hurricanes are 6.5 point favorites.

The 20-3 Miami Hurricanes might be the hottest team in the country. They have won 12 straight games, including an 11-0 record in the ACC. The Hurricanes haven’t lost since Christmas Day, and are now #3 in the country. It is the highest ranking ever for Miami who is much more known for their championship winning football and baseball programs.  Miami has a 2.5 game lead over Duke in the ACC. The Hurricanes are one of six schools that are still undefeated in conference play, along with Akron (MAC), Memphis (C-USA), Gonzaga (WCC), Louisiana Tech (WAC), and Norfolk St (MEAC). Miami travels to the 13-11 Clemson Tigers Sunday. Clemson is 5-7 in the ACC. The Tigers are 8th in the conference.

Clemson leads the series 11-7 against Miami, including 5-1 in Clemson. Miami won the last meeting 76-73 at home last season. The two teams will play again in Coral Gables March 9 to close out the regular season.

Miami is coached by Jim Larranaga. The Hurricanes have losses at Florida Gulf Coast, and to Arizona and Indiana St in tournament in Hawaii. Miami has key wins over Detroit, Michigan St, at UMass, Charlotte, at Central Florida, at Hawaii, LaSalle, at Georgia Tech, North Carolina twice,   Maryland, Boston College twice, Duke, Florida St twice, including 74-68 Wednesday in Tallahassee, at Virginia Tech, and at NC State. Miami is 15-4-1 ATS and the total is 5-12-1 this season.

Miami is outscoring teams 71-59 this season. The Hurricanes are #31 in points allowed nationally. Miami is shooting 46.5% from the field and 36.4% from 3 point range. The hurricanes make 65.8% of their free throws. Miami averages 36.1 rebounds per game, and give up 30.2. Hurricane opponents are shooting 38.2% from the field and 30.3% from 3 point range. Miami is #17 in opponents’ field goal percentage and #40 in 3 point defense. The Hurricanes average 12 assists, 7 steals, 5 blocks, and 11 turnovers.

Guard Durand Scott averages 14 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1.8 steals per game. Guard Shane Larkin averages 13.4 points, 4.1 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 2.1 steals per game. Forward/center Kenny Kadji averages 13.1 points, 6.6 rebounds, an assist, and 1.4 blocks per game. Center Reggie Johnson averages 10 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks per game. Guard Trey McKinney-Jones averages 9.3 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game. Julian Gamble and Rion Brown each average around6.6 points per game. Garrius Adams has missed the whole season with a knee injury and is out indefinitely. Guard Bishop Daniels left the team in December.

Clemson is coached by Brad Brownell. Clemson has losses to Gonzaga in a tournament in Orlando, at home against Purdue, Arizona, Florida St twice, and North Carolina St twice, and road losses at Coastal Carolina, Duke, Boston College, and Virginia. The Tigers have key wins at Furman, UTEP & Marist in Orlando, at South Carolina, Virginia, Wake Forest,  Virginia Tech, and Georgia Tech twice (including 56-53 Thursday in Atlanta). Thursday’s win snapped a 3 game losing streak for Clemson. The Tigers are 12-8 ATS and the total is 8-11 this season.

Clemson is outscoring teams 63-59 this season. The Tigers are #22 in points allowed, but #278 out of 347 teams in scoring. Clemson is shooting 43.1% from the field and 32.6% from 3 point range. The Tigers are shooting 66.5% from the free throw line. Clemson averages 34.3 rebounds per game, and gives up 29.5 per game. Clemson opponents are shooting 40.3% from the field and 34.7% from 3 point range. Clemson averages 11 assists, 7 steals, 5 blocks, and 12 turnovers per game.

Forward/center Devin Booker averages 12.3 points, 7.9 rebounds, an assist, and 1.2 blocks per game. Forward K.J. McDaniels averages 11.2 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.2 steals, and 2.1 blocks per game. Forward Milton Jennings averages 10.1 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.9 assists, and 1.1 blocks per game. Jordan Roper, Adonis Filer, and Rod Hall all average over 6 points a game. Hall leads the team in assists with 3.5. Damarcus Harrison and Bernard Sullivan also get significant minutes. T.J. Sapp left the program and transferred to Murray State. Jason Blossomgame and Devin Coleman are both out for the season, but neither has played this season.

Miami is 5-1 ATS in Sunday games, 19-6-2 overall, 6-2-1 in road games, 18-6-2 after a straight up win, 15-5-2 in ACC games, 15-5-1 against teams with winning records, and 5-2-1 against teams with winning home records. The road team is 4-1 ATS in this series recently.

Clemson is 4-1 ATS is Sunday games and after a cover. The over is 5-1 ATS overall in this series, and 5-0 in Clemson recently. The underdog is 4-1 ATS in this series recently. Clemson is 5-1 ATS in the last 6 against Miami.

Miami should roll, but after an emotional win over rival Florida St this week, the Hurricanes could be in for a letdown. Also, Miami has a huge lead in the ACC. Clemson isn’t very good, but Littlejohn Coliseum is a tough place to play. I give Clemson a shot at pulling off the upset, but I like them to get inside the 6.5 point number.

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