The North Texas Mean Green travels West to the Marriott Center where it will play its third true road game of the season Tuesday. The Cougars of Brigham Young University await North Texas as huge favorites. The Mean Green will try and stay competitive as they enter the clash as 18.5 point underdogs in one of the tougher atmospheres for road teams in college basketball.
North Texas comes into this game winners of three consecutive after beating Portland, Incarnate Word and Southeastern Louisiana. BYU will pose as a much different opponent in terms of quality and will be North Texas’ biggest challenge since falling by 13 points to Oklahoma on the road earlier this season. The Mean Green lost its star Tony Mitchell to the NBA from last season but have re-tooled with some decent talent in its first season as a member of Conference USA. Senior guard, Alzee Williams leads this team in scoring and has been in double-figures in every game this season. Williams has improved his scoring in each and every one of his seasons at North Texas and figures to be the guy against an upper echelon opponent – he paced North Texas with 24 in their earlier loss at Oklahoma. Aside from Williams, North Texas has some athletes on the perimeter that are big, physical and cut hard to the basket, which could prove tough for BYU’s smaller, weaker guards to handle. Defensively, North Texas will struggle to stop BYU’s great offensive attack but the Mean Green should be able to find some options to put the ball in the basket.
BYU enters this game in a relatively tough spot. The Cougars are coming off of a great win against in-state foe, Utah State, who is having an excellent season in its own right. BYU also has a matchup with a top-25 opponent in the University of Massachusetts Minutemen lurking just four days in the future. Many times, teams either fall a little flat after a nice win or struggle looking ahead to a big matchup. BYU has both working against its favor on Tuesday. Everybody knows Tyler Haws – the Cougar guard is a national name for his prolific scoring and is averaging nearly 24 points per game in the early going this season. But BYU has many more offensive weapons than just Haws. Matt Carlino is averaging 19 points per game and would have been the hero if the Cougars were able to pull out their great game with Wichita State last week. Erik Mika and Kyle Collinsworth also average double-figure scoring this season.
This is a tough spot for BYU as a huge favorite against a fairly capable team. The Cougars aren’t necessarily on upset alert but 18.5 is too many points.
Free Pick: North Texas +18.5