NCAA Hoops: Best Matchup of the Week & Betting Pick

NCAA Hoops: Best Matchup of the Week & Betting Pick

With conference season tipping off around the college basketball world there are several terrific games each week to take a look at. The most intriguing matchup this week features a non conference matchup between the Texas Longhorns and the VCU Rams. Texas coach Shaka Smart had great success while at VCU, and these two teams play the same type of style and system.

Texas climbed up to number 17 in the most recent AP poll, but the Longhorns have been struggling of late. Texas has lost two straight games to Michigan State and Radford, and come into this game with an overall record of 5-2. VCU comes into this game with a record of 6-2, but the Rams have not played a team as tough as Texas. The Longhorns should be the favorites in this matchup at home.

VCU Can Defend

The VCU Rams are continuing the tradition of playing great defense and making it hard on opponents to score. VCU is giving up just 62.6 points per game this season, which has them in the top-40 in scoring defense. The Rams are averaging more than 8.5 steals per game this season, and they will put a ton of pressure on the Longhorns in this matchup. Shaka Smart established this style at VCU, and will now have to face it.

The Rams will need to play a great offensive game against Texas if they are going to pull off the upset. VCU has just two players averaging double figures in Marcus Evans and Isaac Vann, but their defense could lead to some easy buckets. Evans leads the team with 14.1 points per game and has made 11 threes this season. If VCU can find more scoring threats, they could be a dangerous team this season.

Texas Offense Has Been Missing

The Texas Longhorns have a ton of offensive talent, but that talent has been missing the last two games. Texas managed just 68 points in the loss to Michigan State, but then were completely shut down by Radford, scoring just 59 points in that loss. The Longhorns are averaging 75 points per game this season, while giving up just 69 points a game. They should have a size and athleticism edge in this game.

Senior Kerwin Roach II is the star for Texas this season, and he leads the team in several offensive categories. Roach is averaging a team high 16.7 points and 4.3 assists per game, but he struggled against Radford. He was able to score just seven points on 2-12 shooting, and none of his teammates stepped up. Texas needs a monster game from center Dylan Osetkowski in this game.

Smart, Longhorns Beat VCU

This game will likely be extremely fast-paced with both teams trying to speed the other team up. VCU has not really been tested so far this season, yet still has a pair of losses. Texas has a monster win over North Carolina under their belt, but they also got upset in a bad loss to Radford. Shaka Smart will want to beat his former team, and his players will respond. Bet the Texas Longhorns to beat the VCU Rams rather convincingly in this game.