★★★NEW YORK 104 - Atlanta 89—It will be interesting to see how the new
mix created by insertion of PG Jeremy Lin will blend with the reintroduction of
star Knick F Carmelo Anthony (scheduled to return Monday vs. the Nets). Word
is that Anthony, who will likely be eased into action after groin injury, was a big
proponent of using Lin as an option, as he reportedly urged Mike D’Antoni to
give the youngster a chance after seeing him in practice. Knicks executed a
coup when they signed J.R. Smith, as he proved an instant contributor with 15
points against Dallas. Conversely, Atlanta, which didn’t have F Marvin Williams
in Monday’s loss to Chicago, had yesterday off, but that hasn’t been a plus for
the Hawks, who are just 8-15 vs. the points this season when rested (vs. 7-1 in
2nd of back-to-backs). Atlanta is just 1-6 against the number this season
getting from 1 to 9 points, which is the likely price range in this one. Anthony &
Smith likely to make a good team better, especially if Lin really was ‘Melo’s idea.
10-Atl +1' 99-90 (210), ATL -7 111-102 (206), NY -2' 102-90 (205), Ny +4 92-79

★★★Hofstra 69 - WILLIAM & MARY 59—Lots of losses between these
two disappointed sides. But CAA sources have noted how Hofstra was at least
within earshot in most of its defeats, and the Pride continuing to compete hard
for HC Mo Cassara, evidenced by their BracketBuster romp past Siena.
Hofstra’s potent Mike-Moore-Nathaniel Lester backcourt pair (combining for 34
ppg) gives the Pride an edge over W&M outfit that has a SU win vs. only
Northeastern since early January and prompted a frustrated HC Tony Shaver
into various lineup switches (second-leading scorer G Marcus Thornton now
operating in 6th-man role). 10-Hof -3' 67-64, HOF -9' 81-78 (OT), Hof -5 72-56

★★★Delaware 71 - TOWSON 51—Flying way under the radar and missing
out on much attention outside of the immediate area extending to the Christiana
Mall, U-Dee has nonetheless turned into quite a nice story for HC Monte Ross,
who has rebuilt the Fightin’ Blue Hens (six straight wins; 8-2 SU and vs. line last
ten) into a postseason-caliber (well, at least CBI or CIT) squad. Star G Devon
Saddler (18.6 ppg) now getting consistent backcourt scoring help from frosh G
Jarvis Threatt (18 ppg last three!). It’s also a short trip for U-Dee over the mighty
Susquehanna and south on I-95 to the Baltimore suburbs, and we never need
too much of a reason to look against lowly Towson (worst scoring differential in
the country at -19.4 ppg). 11-DEL -13' 62-43; 10-Del P 66-63, DEL -8 80-70

★★★Ucf 77 - RICE 66.Unquestionably, gbubblyh UCF (RPI in the mid 50s)
needs an eye-catching finish to stay above the cut line of the NCAA Selection
Committee. Believe the Knights can keep those dreams alive, as well as remain
among the top four in the C-USA (earning a first-round bye in the conference
tourney) vs. gbackwardsh Rice, which is 4-5 vs. the spread as a visitor and only
2-5 vs. the spread at home. UCFfs athletic 6-5 soph F Isaiah Sykes (two doubledoubles
and flirted with three more) has been on a tear lately, while 6-5 sr. G
Marcus Jordan is making his iconic dad, Michael, proud by busting out of a
shooting slump last the few games. UCF is out for some retribution after it was
in the midst of a prolonged losing streak in its 57-50 home upset loss vs. the
Owls LY, when it failed to score a FG in the second half until 9:50 was left in the
game. 10-Rice +11 57-50