NCAA Picks and Tips: Yale Bulldogs vs Dartmouth Big Green
Friday, February 17, 2012
by Mike Stewart
This will be the 200th game played between Dartmouth and Yale, with the Bulldogs holding a slight 104-95 advantage. Yale has won the last six encounters and 20 of the previous 23 overall. After its 62-52 victory over the Big Green on January 28, Yale will be trying to sweep the season series for the third straight year. The Bulldogs shot 45.5 percent from the floor in that initial bout, while the Big Green managed to make only 34.4 percent of their field goal attempts.
Head coach James Jones has guided Yale to a 16-6 overall record this season. The Bulldogs are just one game out of first place in the Ivy League standings after they topped the Columbia Lions in a 59-58 final to raise their conference mark to 6-2. Yale overcame a 21-point, second-half deficit to beat Columbia, which was its largest comeback win of the season. Yale averages 71.1 ppg while holding its opponents to 65.6 ppg this year.
Yale is paced by star forward Greg Mangano, as he carries league-leading averages of 18.4 points and 9.6 rebounds per game into tonight's clash. Mangano was held to 11 points and six rebounds in 27 minutes of action by Columbia last Saturday. Reggie Willhite (12.7 ppg) and Austin Morgan (12.2 ppg) are both proficient scorers for the Bulldogs as well.
Head coach Paul Cormier has had a frustrating year as his Big Green is 4-20 overall and 0-8 in Ivy League action. Dartmouth came close to recording its first win in league action last Saturday, but came up just short in dropping a 58-55 decision to the Penn Quakers. The defeat was the seventh in a row for the reeling Big Green. Dartmouth has been outscored by a surprisingly-low average of 5.3 ppg considering its 20 losses.
Dartmouth is one of the few teams in the country without a single player averaging double digits in the scoring column. Jvonte Brooks might be progressing towards a leadership role, as he notched his second straight double-double with a solid 18-point and 10-rebound effort in the loss to Penn last weekend. Greg Maldunas tallies 8.5 points and a team-best 7.0 rebounds per game. R.J. Griffin, David Rufful and Jabari Trotter will all need to up their level of play in to attempt the Big Green upset Yale tonight.
Although Yale struggled its last time out, it should fare much better against the Big Green. Mangano should be able to score at ease as no Dartmouth player has the tools to match up with the league's top scorer. If Mangano is contained, it will take a group effort which will free up his teammates for open looks.
USA Sports Betting Lines Prediction: Yale 63, Dartmouth 57
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