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As conference tournament play picks up, expert handicapper Stephen Rodriguez gives us his top bets for an action-packed Wednesday in college hoops

BET OF THE DAY: (**2u) Clemson Tigers -3 @ -110**

Miami Hurricanes @ Clemson Tigers, 12:00 PM:

  •  The home team has won eight of the last 10 meetings (Stats courtesy of Statschecker).

The reason we’re backing Clemson

Clemson (15-15) battled back but ended the season on a down note, losing a second game in a row after falling to Georgia Tech 65-62.

Tevin Mack led the team in scoring and was one of only three players to score in double figures, shooting 6-of-18 for 19 points.

Miami (15-15) got back on track and snapped a three-game losing streak in the regular-season finale, edging out Syracuse 69-65 in overtime.

Isaiah Wong was the thriving force of the Hurricanes’ offense, totaling a team-high 18 points with nine rebounds, four assists and three steals.

These teams met only once this season back in late December and Miami won 73-68 in overtime.

Although these teams both finished at .500 on the season, the biggest difference is the Tigers muscled out three wins against the AP Top 25 while the Hurricanes went a poor 0-for-7 against the top competition.

Another difference is the Tigers’ defense which has been top-notch this season, allowing 64.1 ppg which ranks within the top 40 of the nation.

My expectation is Clemson’s defense will be the difference, as well as the slight home court advantage of playing in North Carolina.

Take the Tigers to cover.

(1u) St. John’s Red Storm -2 @ -110

St. John’s Red Storm @ Georgetown Hoyas, 7:00 PM:

  •  The away team has won four of the last five meetings between these teams.

The reason we’re backing St. John’s

The St John’s Red Storm (16-15) ended the season with a win after holding off the Marquette Golden Eagles 88-86.

Julian Champagnie did most of the heavy lifting, putting together a double-double with 21 points and 12 rebounds. Nick Rutherford added 19 points and Greg Williams Jr. followed with 17 points.

Georgetown (15-16) finished the season on a downward spiral, losing six consecutive games and lost at home to #14 Villanova 70-69.

The Hoyas had a three-headed offensive attack led by Jamorko Pickett, who knocked down four three-pointers for a game-high 20 points. Terrell Allen added 17 points and Jagan Mosely had 13 points with eight rebounds.

The Hoyas won both meetings between these teams this season - at home 87-66 and on the road 73-72. 

With that said, the Big East Tournament is being played on St. John’s home court at Madison Square Garden.

In their one-point road victory, Georgetown had to outscore St. John’s by 10 in the second half to pull out the win.

My expectation is this matchup will be very similar, and played tightly throughout, so I’m rolling with the Red Storm to cover with the fortunate home field advantage.

(1u) Notre Dame Fighting Irish -9 @ -110

Boston College Eagles @ Notre Dame Fighting Irish, 7:00 PM:

  •  Notre Dame has won 13 of the last 14 meetings with Boston College.

The reason we’re backing Notre Dame

Notre Dame (19-12) snapped a two-game losing streak at home by defeating Virginia Tech 64-56.

TJ Gibbs knocked down five three-pointers and led the way with a game-high 22 points.

The nation’s second-best rebounder John Mooney crashed the boards as usual with a game-high 13 rebounds and seven rebounds.

For Boston College (13-18), the losses continued to pile up as they dropped a fifth straight game after losing to #7 Florida State 80-62.

The Eagles were ice cold, shooting 33 percent from the field and under 30 percent from three-point range.

Derryck Thornton led the team with 13 points while Jay Heath and Steffon Mitchell each contributed 12 points.

These teams met twice this season with both games being decided by one point. Although those matchups were close, the history between these teams haven’t been.

Notre Dame has owned this series over the last decade and I expect that to continue.

Take the Fighting Irish to cover the spread.

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