Virginia Cavaliers vs. James Madison Dukes Pick-Odds-Prediction - 11/8/13
James Madison Dukes (21-15) at Virginia Cavaliers (23-12)
College Basketball: Friday, November 8, 2013 at 7:00 pm (John Paul Jones Arena)
The Line: Virginia Cavaliers -18 -- Over/Under: 129 See the Latest Odds
The James Madison Dukes open 2013-14 on the road against the #25 Virginia Cavaliers.
James Madison enjoyed one of the most successful campaigns in school history when they won the CAA title with 21-15 record to get in to the NCAA Tournament. The defensive minded Dukes were one of the best in the conference but looking to this season JMU will be hard pressed to duplicate last year's success with four starters graduating. All four player were major contributors so this is considered to be a rebuilding year with only fifth year senior Andrey Semenov back after an injury plagued 2013-14. The 6-7 forward only played 138 minutes a year ago with ten points and three rebounds and will be asked to increase these numbers significantly with guard Ron Curry a potential DD threat in the scoring department.
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Many consider Virginia capable of winning the ACC withfour starters back from a squad that went 23-11 a year ago. The Cavaliers enjoyed their moments offensively but were about as tough as it gets defensively and that doesn't seem likely to change. Hopefully an NCAA invite will be their after baffling losses to both Delaware and Old Dominion (gulp) denied them last season. With a roster mixed with experience and youth the Cavaliers look like they will be a handful to every team on the schedule especially if star Joe Harris continues to lead by example. The UVA guard averaged a team high 16 points and pulled down four boards while dishing out over two helpers per game. Akil Mitchell gives the Cavs some star power at forward with 13 points and nine pulls so this team has ammunition from all over the court.
James Madison does not have an easy opener especially with all the new starters. I would say Virginia can name their score but I can see them letting up off the gas late here...