Time: 7:15 P.M. EST/6:15 CST
Spread: Nebraska -1.5
When the ACC/Big Ten Challenge decided to pair up Nebraska and Georgia Tech, everyone knew these two were paired up because of their predicted finishes in their conferences, last season. Georgia Tech has lost to Mercer and Georgia State, yet beat Kentucky Sunday. Nebraska has shown flashes of dominance, yet continue their woes with offensive scoring droughts.
Will the Georgia Tech team that took Georgia State to quadruple OT and still lost show up, or the yellow jackets that beat John Calipari show up? Which Nebraska team will show up? The one that can finish in the top ten of the Big Ten, or the one that failed to secure a double digit lead late in the game against Nevada?
Both teams come into this game with balanced offensive attacks led by one dominant scorer. For Nebraska, shooting guard Teddy Allen averages 19.0 points per game and 3.5 steals per game. Forward Moses Wright leads Georgia Tech at a 6’9” stature while averaging a double-double with 24.0 points per game and 10.7 rebounds per game.
Expect forward Lat Mayen to handle Wright in the beginning, followed by Yvan Ouedraogo off the bench. The rest of the Georgia Tech offense revolves around guards, so expect Mayen and Banton to dominate using a pick and roll offense. Banton will have a huge height advantage handling the ball, and will force Georgia Tech to move their guard out on Mayen if he can get to the paint.
On the backcourt side of things, Nebraska’s point guard Trey McGowens will likely go head-to-head against Georgia Tech’s Jose Alvarado. Alvarado averages 42.7 minutes per game, more than Wright, while scoring at a 15.6 points per game clip and passing at a 4.3 assists per game rate. Alvarado struggles from deep, but averages 86.7% at the line so look for McGowens to use his aggressive perimeter defense to his advantage.
With a long rest and improved defense with length, look for Nebraska to jump out to an early lead. If Nebraska can keep Georgia Tech out of the paint, they should win this game with ease, as they are a far better defensive team than the yellow jackets. If I was a gambling man, I would be hammering this spread.