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by - 12/18/2008 5:21 PM Share

"1 UNIT" COLLEGE BASKETBALL SYSTEM (Florida Atlantic +1' at Troy State in a 8:05 eastern tipoff): Florida Atlantic certainly knows how to hire veteran head coaches, as Howard Schnellenberger in the past couple of years has revived the Owls football program which has suddenly become a postseason regular. The basketball team during the offseason hired Mike Jarvis who most recently left St. Johns due to a scandal. Jarvis has won 363 games in his coaching career which included a very successful stop at George Washington.

Even though the Owls (4-6) limp into this game with a negative record, it should be noted that they got out of the gate 3-1 which marked the first time in the 15 years since joining Division I that this program has enjoyed such great prosperity. I have found out that Jarvis has recruited 3 of the best high school seniors in the state of Florida who will be on the Owls roster next season, so this program has nowhere to go but up. Florida Atlantic has been able to handle Troy State WINNING 4 of the past 5 meetings. Dating all the way back to the 2005 season, Florida Atlantic has averaged just FOUR wins per season on the road, so I find it interesting that the oddsmakers have priced this game at a virtual pick-em. I can tell you the last Owls road victory was at Troy last February when now SENIOR guard Paul Graham pumped in 27 points. Graham just happens to be FAU's leading scorer this campaign so I expect him to have another big game this evening. Just this week Florida Atlantic got back the the services of preseason All-America forward Carlos Monroe who led the Sun Belt Conference a year ago with an average of 9' rebounds per game.

Due to academic eligibility problems, Monroe had to sit out the initial 9 games, but he certainly makes the Owls a better team. Florida Atlantic has had a killer schedule as they are in the midst of playing 12 ROAD contests in a 15-game span. Following tonight's tilt, they face 4 high profile opponents (Alabama-Birmingham, Kentucky, South Alabama, Middle Tennessee State), so it is almost imperative that Jarvis and company find a way to get a victory this evening against a beatable opponent. Troy State (3-6) is coming off an ugly 81-53 road loss where they failed to cover the spread getting 15 points from the oddsmakers. Florida Atlantic is also shaking off a road loss where the offense was held to just 55 total points. Those two results set up a 77-PERCENT SYSTEM (33-10 past five years) that goes AGAINST home teams like Troy off a blowout conference loss of 20+ points in margin, facing an opponent also off a road setback where the offense scored less than 60 total points. One could argue that Florida Atlantic has the better head coach as Mike Jarvis in his career has gone an excellent 15-5 ATS/ROAD when facing an opponent with a losing record.

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