Cal State Bakersfield Roadrunners (6-19) 0-0 ATS, 0-0 O/U at No. 23 Utah State Aggies (24-2) 13-8 ATS, 5-16 O/U Wednesday, February 18, 2009, Logan, Utah Dee Glen Smith Spectrum 9:00 p.m. EST
By Wilson of Predictem.com
Utah State is the only team in the country to win 23 games in each of the last ten seasons. Gonzaga and Kansas enter this year with nine consecutive 23-game winning seasons. The Aggies are ranked, ironically, 23rd in this weeks ESPN/Coaches Poll. Tonights nonconference matchup may appear to be a late season tune-up for the Aggies but anything can happen on the hardwood.
The Aggies are no doubt heavily favored as they are the more athletic team. Cal State has struggled lately by losing four straight and currently their offense is ranked No. 244 in the country while Utah States defense is ranked No. 23. This statistic is overwhelming, and it will be incredibly difficult for the Roadrunners of Cal State to hang with the Aggies in this game.
Cal State is averaging just 65 points per game and yielding 73.1 ppg to their opponents. This may be the reason why they have only won six games this season. Ok, Im certain this is the reason they only have six Ws!
The Roadrunners are shooting 39 percent from the field which is not an impressive number considering Utah State is near 50 percent at 49.7 from the field. We all know that defense wins games, but you have to be able to fill it up a little bit as well. Cal State is suffering in two major areas, defense (points against- 73 ppg) and shooting percentage (39 percent). Without solid numbers in these two areas any team will have trouble winning games. Cal State is just 1-13 on the road this season and after tonights game they will more than likely be 1-14!
It will be interesting to see how the bookies pad this line; it might be a good bet to take the points assuming the Aggies get a generous line and cross your fingers for the Roadrunners to cover. Utah is 5-2 ATS at home this year in their last seven games. The Aggies have gone under the total in 7 of their last 8 games. Utah is simply playing great basketball as they are 9-1 in their last 10 games. The Aggies are averaging 71.2 points per contest and only giving up 59 to the competition.
Utah State is coming off of a recent loss at the Boise State Broncos 66-56. It was only their second defeat of the season with the other loss at the hands of the BYU Cougars. The Aggies are 19-1 SU in their last 20 games. Check this out- the Aggies are 156-12 (.929) in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum under head coach Stew Morrill! Good luck Roadrunners, you will definitely need the basketball Gods to light the path in this building.
The last time these two teams hooked up was in 2007 in Bakersfield when Utah State won 88-66. Cal State returns four starters from last years team that went 8-21, but despite the experience they still struggle on both ends of the floor. This time of year is extremely tough to win on the road against really good teams, especially when you are facing the No. 23 ranked team in the country on their home court where they rarely lose a game. Cal State has nothing to lose and everything to gain if they can manage pull of a miracle upset in Logan. On the other hand, Utah State must play their game, and not misfire heading into the post season. The Aggies will also be tested this weekend as they will play in a bracket-buster game at Saint Marys (20-5) of the West Coast Conference.
Wilsons Pick: Utah State wins big! Luck to ya.