Camp Humphreys Army Base in South Korea will provide a unique setting for the season opener between the Georgetown Hoyas and the No.18 Oregon Ducks in the Armed Forces Classic. The game has a start time of 8:00 pm (Eastern) and will be televised on ESPN. Vegas odds have Oregon listed as 4 point favorites, while the total sits at 131.
Analysis: An early exit from last season's NCAA tournament still doesn't sit well with the Hoyas, who as a No.2 seed lost their opening game to upstart Florida Gulf Coast. The loss of All-American forward Otto Porter will not help matters as this team looks to get back to the postseason. Josh Smith, a 6-10, 350-pound transfer from UCLA, should help to offset the loss of Porter, who led the Hoyas in scoring, rebounding and steals.The Hoyas may have lost an All-American in Porter, but all the dependable role players that surrounded him return along with the wildcard Joshua Smith inside. Guards Markel Starks and D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera will likely provide the bulk of the scoring for the Hoyas.
Oregon losses 3 front court starters from last year and coach Dana Altman will once again rely on transfers to carry the Ducks back into the NCAA tournament. Mike Moser is with his third program and is expected to start at forward, while Jason Calliste and Joseph Young will vie for a spot a shooting guard. Moser started his collegiate career at UCLA, but later transferred to UNLV where he broke out and put together a monster 2011-12 season for the Rebels averaging 14.0 points and 10.5 rebounds per game. Dominic Artis, Damyeon Dotson and Ben Carter will also play a pivotal role if the Ducks can equal or surpass last season's run to the Sweet 16.
Pick: Last year in many games I got caught up with thinking OU lines are too low and it cost me. That's odd cause I am normally an Under player. Well I will go with the Under in this one. The Hoyas were a pretty weak offensive team last year, even with Porter in there. Now they don't have him and have a few new pieces that will take some time to gel, especially on the offensive end of the floor. The Hoyas will have to rely on their tough defense and slow down game to win some games early in the year. the Ducks have some new faces as well and were a very good defensive squad last year and that should continue here. Both teams will play good defense in this game and the offenses should struggle. I look for a game in the low 120's.
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