Princeton Faces Must Win Game at Penn Tonight

Princeton Tigers at Pennsylvania Quakers, The Palestra, Philadelphia, PA
Tuesday, March 8, 2011, 7:00 pm Eastern,  No TV, ESPN3.com (web)
Opening Line: Princeton -2
Current Line: Princeton -3
Opening Total: 126 1/2
Current Total: 126 1/2
Money Line: Princeton -155 / Penn +135

St. John's DePaul Big East Preview
Princeton takes on Pennsylvania in Philadelphia in amust win game for the Tigers. Princeton is a 3 point road favorite.

It is all-or nothing for Princeton tonight as they travel to the historic Palestra to take on arch-rival Penn. If Princeton wins they will play Harvard on Saturday in a play-off to determine the Ivy League champion. However if the Tigers lose tonight, then Harvard clinches their first ever Ivy League title. Princeton is 23-6 overall and 11-2 in the Ivy League. Penn is 13-14 overall and 7-6 in conference. These two teams played at Princeton  February 8 and the Tigers escaped with a 62-59 overtime victory. Princeton has struggled a little down the stretch going 3-2 in their last 5 games. Before that stretch Princeton had won 10 games in a row. Princeton lost at Harvard Saturday 79-67 in their last game. Penn has won 4 of their last 6 games including a 70-58 win at Dartmouth Saturday.

Penn leads the overall series 122-101 against Princeton. Princeton has won 4 in a row in the series. From 1963-2007, either Penn or Princeton won or shared the Ivy League title every year except one. Brown won the title in 1986.  Penn has gone 3-2 ATS in the series in the last 5 meetings, and 4 of those 5 have gone under the total. Princeton is 31-19 ATS in all games the last 2 seasons, including 19-8 ATS on the road. Princeton is 10-1 ATS in road games where the total is between 120 and 130 points the last 3 seasons. The Tigers are 15-6 ATS in conference road games the last 3 seasons.

Princeton has won or shared the Ivy League Title 25 times but hasn’t won it since 2004. The Tigers are pretty healthy as well right now. Four Tigers are averaging double digit figure scoring. Princeton is led by forward Ian Hummer who is averaging 13.9 points to lead the team, 6.7 rebounds, 2 assists, 1.1 steals and 1.1 blocks a game.  Forward Kareem Maddox is averaging 13.7 points, 7 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1.8 blocks a game. He leads the team in rebounds and blocks. Dan Mavraides averages 12.8 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 1.1 steals a game. He leads the team in assists.
Guard Douglas Davis averages 11.9 points, 1.8 rebounds, 1.6 assists,  and 1.2 steals a game to lead the team.  Princeton is outscoring opponents 70-63 on the season. The Tigers are shooting 46.6% from the field and 36.5% from 3-point range. Tiger opponents are shooting 41.9% from the field. Princeton is shooting 72.5% from the free throw line. Princeton is averaging 34.8 rebounds and has a rebounding margin of +3.8. Princeton is averaging 13.6 assists and 12.4 turnovers a game. The Tigers force 12.3 turnovers a game on defense. They average 5.9 steals and 4.3 blocks a game.

Penn has no significant injuries right now.  Penn has 4 players averaging  double digit scoring. Guard Zach Rosen averages 14.6 points, 3.5 rebounds, 5.5 assists, and 1.3 steals a game. He leads the team in scoring and assists and is tied for the team lead in steals. Forward Jack Eggleston  averages 13.3 points, 8.1 rebounds to lead the team, 2.2 assists, and 0.8 blocks a game to lead the team. Guard Tyler Bernardini averages 12.7 points, 3.9 rebounds, 1.3 assists, and 1.3 steals a game. Guard Miles Cartwright averages 11.7 points, 2.1 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 1.2 steals a game.  Penn is being outscored 68-67 on the season. The Quakers are shooting 45.5% from the field and 37.3% from 3-point range. Quaker opponents are shooting 46% from the field. Penn makes 73.4% from the free throw line. Penn averages 29.9 rebounds a game and has a rebounding margin of -1.3. Penn averages 13.8 assists and 13.9 turnovers a game. The Quakers are forcing 13.8 turnovers a game on defense. Penn averages 6.1 steals and 2.4 blocks a game.

Neither of these teams rebound very well, but Penn is 329th nationally which is near the bottom. Penn would love to play spoiler and upset their rivals preventing them from winning the Ivy League. I think Princeton just has too much to play for and wins a close game.

Our college basketball handicappers are red hot this season. Don’t miss out more winners in 2011.

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