The college basketball season continues on Monday with a small slate of games. Four games are currently listed as postponed because of Covid-19. At the moment, there are nine games scheduled to be played on Monday. There are no marquee games on the schedule, but there should be some fun games on Tuesday.
The No. 10 Wisconsin Badgers and No. 8 Michigan Wolverines is a highly anticipated matchup in Ann Arbor. There isn’t a game this week that I have more interest in than that contest. People keep questioning how good Michigan really is, and I think a win over a top-10 Wisconsin team will finally get the Wolverines some attention.
A team that used to be a powerhouse, most recently winning the National Championship in 2011, the Connecticut Huskies have been making some quiet noise this season. That 2011 team went on a monster run behind Kemba Walker’s memorable effort that season. UConn went into the tournament as the No. 3 seed and caught fire at the perfect time after winning the Big East Championship.
It feels so long ago now, maybe because the Huskies haven’t been in the national discussion much since then. UConn is doing their best to get into the hunt with James Bouknight leading the way. At the very least, the Huskies look like they belong in the NCAA Tournament. The Huskies may not have the necessary firepower to consistently beat ranked teams, but as we found out in 2011, all it takes is the perfect moment to get hot.
For that to occur, Bouknight will have to pull a Kemba and mature really fast. It’s hard to see that happening, but we’ll see how things progress in 2021. The Huskies head into Monday evening with a record of 6-1. They are coming off a 72-60 win over Butler on the road Saturday. Bouknight did not play after being ruled a gametime decision. Expect Bouknight to be a gametime decision today as well.
DePaul would love to see Bouknight sitting this one out, but they are going to have to show up and put forth a solid effort even if he doesn’t play. DePaul hasn’t been doing much of that in the 2020-21 campaign. They’ve played four games, with their only win against Western Illinois, 91-72, in the season opener. Head below for our free UConn vs. DePaul pick on January 11, 2021.
UConn Huskies vs. DePaul Blue Demons NCAA Betting Odds:
UConn vs. DePaul Prediction:
DePaul could get a big lift if they can pull off a win over the Huskies on Monday. It would be a much needed win for the Blue Demons. Following a 91-72 win over Western Illinois, DePaul has been losers in three straight, with losses against Providence, 95-90, UConn, 82-61, and Seton Hall, 76-68. In their first meeting against the Huskies this season, they were beaten soundly on the road. Tyrese Martin and James Bouknight combined for 42 points against the Blue Demons.
The game seemed to be over in the first-half, as UConn built up a 41-27 lead going into halftime. UConn kept pouring it on to extend their lead. DePaul was unable to bounce back in their next outing, as the Blue Demons were dispatched by a score of 76-68 against DePaul on Saturday.
Their defense has been atrocious for the Blue Demons. They rank near the back of the NCAA with 81.3 points against per game for 328th in the NCAA. There isn’t much worse than DePaul defensively, and it isn’t because their numbers are skewed from playing really good offenses.
Conversely, the Huskies have conceded 63 points per game, which ranks 35th in the NCAA. Their most impressive win had to be on the road at Marquette on January 5. The Huskies were in good form to beat the Golden Eagles by a score of 65-54 on the road. They had a big second-half to erase a 31-23 deficit at the break. Instead of a letdown spot, UConn defeated Butler by a score of 72-60.
Give UConn credit for hanging around with a very good No. 7 Creighton team on December 20. They nearly pulled off the upset, but had to settle for a 76-74 loss. Bouknight went off for 40 points to just about beat the Bluejays on his shoulders alone. Along with that solid performance, UConn beat USC on the road, 61-58, on December 3.
In other words, their only loss this season was a 76-74 decision against a quality Creighton squad. I feel more confident in the Huskies if Bouknight is healthy enough to go, but UConn should still have enough to win and cover. They handled Butler pretty well without Bouknight recently. Against a good team, it would likely hurt significantly, but DePaul isn’t that opponent.