Wednesday, December 31, 2014

College Basketball Picks - December 31, 2014

Minnesota PK @ Purdue.  I think the Gophers are more than a 3 point favorite on a neutral floor.

Penn State +19 @ Wisconsin.  This line's a bit insulting to a 12-1 team.

Princeton +5 @ Wake Forest.  Not my most objective pick ever but Wake is bad enough to justify it.

Temple +7 @ Connecticut.  Not sure 7 points is justifiable between these two teams based on their bodies of work so far.

Memphis -11.5 v. Houston.  Tigers have gotten it together after the embarrassing Oklahoma State performance at home.

Vanderbilt -4 @ Saint Louis.  You know that Mississippi State team that lost by 19 at home to McNeese State last night?  They beat Saint Louis by 25.

Butler +11 @ Villanova.  Disappointing to see a double digit spread on the best Big East game of the day.  Then again the best Big East game of the day may be happening as I type this out (Seton Hall/St. John's.)

Loyola Chicago -7.5 v. Bradley.  Porter Moser!

Nebraska -3.5 v. Indiana.  This is just TOO trappy of a line.

Northeastern +5.5 @ Richmond.  I mean, they're less spots apart in KenPom (4) than this line.

Illinois State -10 v. Indiana State.  The ISU Bowl should kick off Valley play on New Year's Eve every year.

Kansas State -2.5 v. Georgia.  What the hell is this game?  This is more a fading of the Bulldogs away from Stegman Coliseum.

Brown +12 @ Rhode Island.  Please make "Champions of Rhode Island" shirts if you win this game, Brown.

SMU -16.5 v. South Florida.  Slowly - slowly - coming around on SMU.

San Diego State -13.5 v. Air Force.  Air Force needs to start being a factor in the Mountain West again.  The league needs their home court advantage just like it needs New Mexico's and UNLV's and BYU's

George Mason +19 @ Oklahoma.  Another weird ass game.  And a weird ass spread to boot.

Marquette -4.5 @ DePaul.  Golden Eagles need to be thinking NCAA Tournament again, which means no messing around here.

Southern Illinois -3 v. Missouri State.  This used to be a battle of Valley powers, now it's also rans.  Sad.

Wichita State -16.5 @ Drake.  There have been times where the Shockers have been even more dominant on the road in Valley play than at the Koch Center.  They relish being everyone's best shot.

Syracuse -17 v. Cornell.  A nice pasting is what the Orange need to kick start them in to 2015.

New Mexico -9.5 v. Fresno State.  Another non objective pick that I'm banking on the Bulldogs being bad enough to cover me.

Creighton +5.5 @ Providence.  Like the Friars straight up but this should be close.  Big time bubble game - potentially - to close out 2014.

Wyoming -7 v. UNLV.  Those young Rebels having to head out to God's country to face that defense?  That won't be fun.

Boise State +8 @ Colorado State.  Another one where I'm guessing there's not this much space between the two teams but CSU's home court advantage may make it blow up in my face.  Does anyone have more pronounced home court advantages than the Mountain West?

Utah State -19 v. San Jose State.  SJSU would be another great candidate for not just its football program but its entire athletic program closing up shop.  The state of California doesn't need to bankroll that crap anymore.

Georgetown +5.5 @ Xavier.  Get the sense that these two might be going in opposite directions.

Wofford +22.5 @ Duke.  A whole bunch of teams worse than the Terriers have been able to cover against the Blue Devils.  Of course that means Duke's probably crushing and killing these guys but oh well.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

College Basketball Picks - December 30 (Major conference play begins)

Took Sunday and Monday off to rear up for today.  Actually I'm just lazy, but we'll go with that.

Northwestern +2.5 @ Rutgers.  I'm gonna take a team getting points against Rutgers in B1G play while I still can.

Iowa +8.5 @ Ohio State.  Hawkeyes won at UNC and UNC handled Ohio State.  Transitive property aside, I'm not sure we have any real evidence that Ohio State's *that* good yet.

West Virginia -16.5 v. Virginia Tech.  You only get a few power conference teams per year that would finish in the bottom rungs of mid and low major leagues.  Virginia Tech is one of them.

Michigan 1.5 v. Illinois.  Suspiciously low but makes me even more confident the Wolverines are winning this.  4 of Illini's first 5 in conference play are on the road, which is awful and pretty much assures they're fighting for their spot in March at best.
4-0.  I'd be more excited about these if I hadn't accidentally started with the night games because I already know how those are gonna go.

NC State -4 v. Cincinnati.  Still not sure on the Wolfpack but Mick Cronin's out indefinitely and Cincy can't score.
Just an awful performance from the Wolfpack.  They let Cincy get to 50 in 25 minutes.  4-1.

Maryland +6.5 @ Michigan State.  That's just insulting.
This GAME was insulting....but my Terps found a way to win.  That's what good teams do.  5-1.

Davidson +16.5 @ Virginia.  Just a gut prediction but I feel like they really give the Hoos a fight.
Mostly right prediction.  6-1.

Charleston +14.5 @ Miami (FL).  Reminder in case you forgot over Christmas - Miami lost by 28 at home to Eastern Kentucky.

Georgia State -15.5 v. UL Monroe.  A final gift to close out 2014?  You shouldn't have!
7-2.  Seriously, it may not seem like it now but it's gonna get REAL bad soon.

La Salle -12.5 v. Pennsylvania.  Does anybody besides the Quakers play their Big 5 home games at the Palestra anymore?

Akron -11.5 v. Marshall.  Part of me feels like Marshall never left the MAC.

Florida -5.5 @ Florida State.  If you like the Gators to have a second half resurgence - and a lot of people, myself included, do - they should take care of this one easily.  Not sure people realize how bad FSU is yet.
Did you hear?  The guy knocked the ball in to his own hoop at the end.  8-4.

Delaware +9.5 v. St. Bonaventure.  The Hens have been knocking on the door, it's time to kick it down.

Long Beach State +19 @ Louisville.  This is disrespectful to the Beach.
I've been talking up the Cards as a contender for a top seed in the bubble watch but they're looking like they might be a step behind Duke and Virginia.  Think the step up from the American is gonna be tougher than people realize, especially in the midsection of the league.  10-4.

North Carolina -18 v. William & Mary.  They're in a groove.
I guess it's kind of nice I tabulated the later games first so I have no false hopes about having a great day or anything.  11-4.

Georgia Tech -4.5 v. Charlotte.  Stupidly, I'm buying Tech for now.
Still a good win, if only by a point.  11-5.

UNC Wilmington +7.5 @ Ohio.  That's a big number.
Okay, HERE comes the decline.  11-6.

Kansas -16 v. Kent State.  Not a vintage Kent State.
The Push Before The Storm.  11-6-1.

Dayton -6 v. Mississippi.  Maybe the most intriguing game of the evening.  Ole Miss is a weird team so I'll opt with the reliability of Dayton's home court advantage.
Flyers were covering this most of the way but the Rebs made a late push.  11-7.

Arkansas State -2.5 @ South Alabama.  Pounding Mississippi State has to be worth something, right?
OT cover by a half point!  12-7.

Georgia Southern +4 @ UT Arlington.  They're being underrated!
Nah.  12-8.

Texas State +2.5 @ Troy.  Really like this, for some strange reason.  Texas State can defend.  Troy can't do anything, right?

Arkansas Little Rock -1 v. UL Lafayette.  This just *seems* like a big Sun Belt game, right?  Well, to finish best behind Georgia State anyway.
Rajun Cajuns won in OT.  12-10.

Oklahoma State -9 @ Missouri.  Messing with me so much that Mizzou and aTm are SEC in basketball now.  How is this not a conference game?  So weird.
Tigers hit a buzzer beating 3 to force OT before losing by a deuce.  12-11.

UC Santa Barbara -1 @ Oregon State.  Alan Williams Project is 5-6.  That's a 5-6 Big West team favored by a point at a Pac-12 school.
The disappointing season continues.  A 12 point loss here?  Really?  Yuck.  12-12.

George Washington -21 v. VMI.  Colonials sure to be flush with confidence now and scoring will be easy against VMI.  Keydets are bad.
That kind of night.  Point miss.  12-13.

Detroit -5 v. Oral Roberts.  Love when teams I can't pick correctly play.
Of course ORU wins.  12-14.

Iona +3.5 @ Massachusetts.  This can't quite be termed a gift but that's a strange line.
LOL.  12-15.

IPFW -1 v. Cal Poly.  West flying to Midwest.
Good lord.  12-16.

Mercer +13 @ Texas A&M.  Seems like it's time for someone in a low major to push an SEC team again.
Missed by 2, 12-17.

Vermont +5.5 @ USC.  hahahahahahahahaha.
Mercifully it's over.  12-18.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

College Basketball Picks - December 27

I was considering being lazy and skipping picks for Saturday because I'm kinda worn out from the holiday and the bracket and the bubble watch and all that.  And then I realized that the Game of the Year is happening and I gotta at least make a pick for that, right?

Indiana +3 v. Georgetown (NYC).  Yep.  And here it is.  Hoosiers over the Hoyas.  No, yeah, this is 2015 2014 not 1986 so this isn't the Game of the Year but seriously, this should be an excellent appetizer for the big one.  I basically want the points here and also I'm intrigued by Indiana's offense more than anything Georgetown has at this moment.

Ohio State -18 v. Wright State.  It's too bad the Buckeyes won't end up remotely near the bubble - because if they did the nonconference schedule would be putrid enough to potentially keep them out.

Green Bay -4.5 v. Georgia State.  Ooh, great low major battle.  That's a 12/13 matchup in my latest bracket (linked above) and it wouldn't be shocking to see either or both get through in March.  Given how good both are at this level, the points would make sense but I'm very confident in a Phoenix win.

Louisville +6 v. Kentucky.  And here it is - for realsies.  That's a pretty big number but it has to be when there's the kind of blowout potential Kentucky has.  I just can't see the Cards getting blown out in their gym.  If Kentucky crushes and kills, yeah, sure, nothing can stop it.  But if it does anything less, this is going to be a total war for 40 minutes at least.  With all of that said, I still have a really hard time seeing the hosts get the win here.

Minnesota -19.5 v. UNC Wilmington.  The Gophers haven't exactly challenged themselves either since their coach played his dad in Puerto Rico on opening night.

Saint Mary's -10 v. Santa Clara.  Welcome to WCC play!  The I-880 Derby is a nice showpiece kickoff and a proper appetizer to the major opening day showdown.  The Gaels have almost always had the better team but this year it's by a considerable distance.

Maryland -17.5 v. Oakland.  Oakland's really not good at playing defense and that's a big problem going up against this Terrapin attack right now.

North Carolina -25 v. UAB.  Not having a football program isn't so bad, UAB.  Is it *really* so great if you're losing a crap December bowl game in an empty stadium to Rutgers?!

Portland +7 @ San Diego.  I think this might be a crazy line.  I'm REALLY high on the Pilots and don't think there's this much difference between the two even at the Slim Gym.  I like USD too but this could very well be a Portland win.

Gonzaga -6 @ BYU.  Cougars have been far too up and down for me to be confident taking them here.  It makes sense that they'd get up for the biggest game of the year and the Marriott will be rocking - man, we're gonna have two spectacular atmospheres on Saturday - but you don't know if the jumpers will be falling and the Zags are really good.

Pacific +3 v. San Francisco.  Even though it makes total geographical sense and they fit the profile of a WCC school to a T, it still feels weird seeing Pacific in this league.  Maybe I just miss them always being in the Big West scrum as opposed to an also ran here.

Pepperdine -13 v. IUPUI.  Wait a minute, IUPUI's not in the WCC!  They ARE really bad though.

Georgia -16.5 v. Mercer.  Speaking of really bad, it's Mercer.  Them and Saint Louis are the two tournament teams from last year who were absolutely loaded with seniors and now they've completely fallen off a cliff and are starting back over.

Tennessee -21.5 v. Tennessee State.  Fun fact - the only reason Tennessee State's not a SWAC school is travel costs.

UNLV -18.5 v. Southern Utah.  Sure, I'll buy that the Arizona win Brought The Team Together and A Young Team Grew Up.  Especially now that it gets to feast on the Thunderbirds (always root for them bc of that name, STILL lament when they almost shocked Troy Bell's BC from the 14 hole.)

Illinois -26 v. Kennesaw State.  Rarely do I get to pick against Kennesaw State.  I'm not passing up those chances.

Colorado State -2 @ New Mexico State.  It'll be hard pressed for something, anything, to top this as the most wrong line of the year.  I don't give a damn if the Aggies win by 100, there's no way in any universe ever that they should be only 2 point underdogs.

Seton Hall -25 v. Maine.  Ken Pomeroy, on MaineI always root for Maine to win its conference tournament. And every year I am disappointed. The Black Bears got a break this season when super-freshman Justin Edwards decided to stay in Orono instead of transferring to a program with a more illustrious postseason tradition, which is like every single one. Maine has never won a conference championship and has never participated in a postseason tournament of any kind. Perhaps if Rick Carlisle had shown the kind of commitment that Edwards has, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Not that we are conversing, mind you, but Carlisle left for Virginia after his sophomore year in 1981 and eventually got to a Final Four. That should have been Maine’s Final Four. More recently, if Tom Knight had not forsaken his home state and attended Notre Dame, perhaps we would be talking about a much better Maine team this season. But that is the story of Maine basketball. And because Boston University could not educate its players is leaving America East and is not eligible for the tournament, Maine is forced to play its quarterfinal game against the tournament host, Albany, squelching what little hope the Black Bears might have had for glory. That is the story of Maine basketball.

Northwestern -9.5 v. Northern Kentucky.  When you play in the Big Ten and you're not even a double digit favorite against Northern Kentucky, you can probably be assured that you're gonna be in for it come conference season (which is literally like Tuesday.)

Friday, December 26, 2014

Bubble Watch Friday - December 26

Welcome to Grip's Anatomy of the Bracket - Boxing Day edition.  If you just want to look at the bracket itself, it's in the post beneath this one.  I'll be shooting for two brackets in January before we go weekly in February but first, the autobids and bubble watch for today's field.

Automatic Bids

These are all the one bid leagues that do not have a second team on the Watch.  For now, autobids are determined by a combination of highest RPI, highest KenPom ranking, best record and preseason polls with defending champions getting the benefit of the doubt.  Once we get deeper in to conference season, things will shake themselves out more and the criteria will be simpler.

America East - Stony Brook.  Vermont has fallen under .500 - in fact, it's only the Seawolves, UMass-Lowell (RPI down to 140 from 66 though!) and New Hampshire (HUH?!?!) who are above .500 in this league.  Of those three, Stony has the highest RPI, has most of its losses are to power conference teams and is the preseason favorite.
Atlantic Sun - Florida Gulf Coast.  Dunk City had a horrible home loss to FIU (no longer coached by Isiah Thompson) and just got blown away at Iona last Monday.  Meanwhile USC Upstate has added a win at Mississippi State and also performed well at Maryland, which is a good sign even if the latter was a weird 11 AM tip.  North Florida gave Iowa a run as well and this looks to be a legitimate three horse race.  SIX spots separate the three in RPI (North Florida has the best at 146) though Dunk City still is 20ish spots ahead of the Spartans and 40ish on the Ospreys in KenPom.
Big Sky - Eastern Washington.  The Eagles sandwiched near misses at unbeaten Washington and two loss Cal with....a 24 point loss at Sam Houston?!  What?!  But they're almost in the top 100 of KenPom (102) and nobody else is in the top 200.  Their RPI is a surprisingly high 40 with Portland State (?!?) second in the league at 184.  They're a large favorite.
Big South - Coastal Carolina.  High Point, Radford and Gardner-Webb.  That's three - count 'em, THREE Big South teams in the top 100 of RPI.  Those three are *also* in the top 200 of KenPom along with the Chanticleers, who are the only ones in the top 150 to go with their 141 RPI.  Also they're the only ones to 9 wins (the other three each have 8) and are the defending champs.
Big West - UC Davis.  Big West ahead of Conference USA in conference RPI AND on KenPom?!  That was utterly unthinkable even just a couple of years ago.  Five of its eight teams are inside the KenPom top 200 which is incredibly impressive for a league that's mostly pulled down 15's and 16's over the years.  The Alan Williams Project is still the only KenPom top 100er despite its 5-6 record but it's the surprise package Aggies who have lost only at Idaho, are the only top 100 RPI team (84) and - along with fellow surprise package Hawaii (who lost by a point to Wichita in OT then beat Colorado in the Diamond Head Classic) - are the only two to 9 wins.  The Beach is still gonna be a factor and so will UC Irvine once Mamadou N'diaye gets back to health.  This should be a lot of fun.
CAA - Northeastern.  But it's Hofstra who has the highest offensive efficiency and William & Mary is right there as well.  The other two were supposed to be title contenders but the Pride are ahead of schedule under Joe Mihalich; already to 7 wins after only getting 10 all of last season.  Everyone else is clustered together (all are projected between 9-9 and 8-10 in league play on KenPom, which sounds impossible) and it's not out of the question that someone (JMU?  Towson?) could emerge.
Ivy - Harvard.  If Yale had any at large hopes (it didn't) those are now gone after losing at home to Albany.  Columbia looks a decent third wheel and even Princeton's starting to show signs of life.  It won't be a walk in the park for the Crimson.
Horizon - Green Bay.  They've relinquished their RPI crown - they're 38th now - but they still look to be marginally ahead of 12-2 Valpo (3 of those wins are vs non Division 1 teams.)  Detroit hasn't won - or even looked remotely competent at the game of basketball - since losing the second half home lead against Wichita and Cleveland State continues to be arguably the most disappointing low major thus far so right now this looks like a two horse race.
MAAC - Canisius.  Could come down to their defense vs Iona's offense.  The two are both inside the top 100 of RPI with the Gaels at 79 and the Golden Griffins at 96 (everyone else is 183 or worse.)  Truthfully Iona's the favorite especially now that its offense seems to be really kicking it in to high gear but they're 1-1 in the league while the Buffaloans are 2-0.
MAC - Buffalo.  *These* Buffaloans still have the glitch RPI - though it's down from 22 to 27 - and they're still tops in the conference in KenPom.  Of the other contenders, Central Michigan made a big statement last week by dominating at Northwestern and they're 8-1 with the only loss at Bradley.  Only Ohio, Miami Ohio, Northern Illinois and Ball State are below .500.  This will be a very, very competitive conference.
MEAC - North Carolina Central.  Norfolk State has won 5 of its last 6 with the lone loss in OT at Mount St. Mary's and Hampton has also won 5 of 6 with its loss a lot more respectable, if not as competitive, at Illinois.  Could be another three team race with all three (and 4-10 South Carolina State) at 2-0 in conference play but the Eagles are still the only top 100 RPIer and top 150 KenPomer.
NEC - St. Francis (PA).  No, they're not the Forgotten Five one - that's NY.  Yes, they've joined Sacred Heart as an above .500 team in this conference and win the "beat Rutgers" tiebreaker between the two.
Ohio Valley - Belmont.  Yes, Eastern Kentucky won at Miami (FL) by 28.  They are also under .500 for RPI/committee purposes since they're 6-5 with two non D1 wins.  Still, it looks likes them, Murray (who has finally come to play) and the Bruins.  Worth noting that two of the Tennessees - Martin and Tech - are surprisingly to 7 wins as is Jacksonville State.
Patriot - American.  LE-HIGH LE-HIGH has thrown its hat in to the ring with a triple OT win at Arizona State, perhaps replacing Holy Cross who has lost 4 of 5.  Like last time, Lafayette has the best profile with the only top 100 RPI and a 6 spot lead on the Eagles in KenPom but like last time, the defending champions gets the benefit of the doubt.
SoCon - Wofford.  Losing by 33 at West Virginia was really disappointing after winning at NC State thanks to a waived off buzzer beater and the general existence of Karl Hess, but it's still them and everyone else.  They might be the biggest favorite in the one bid leagues.
Southland - Stephen F. Austin.  Incarnate Word is ineligible for the auto bid, which makes me just want to give up hope on life.  That leaves Sam Houston State - who did blow out Eastern Washington and also has single digit losses at Texas A&M and LSU - to challenge the Jacks.  The rest of this league is absolutely dreadful though, with the bottom half especially bad.  It's ranked ahead of only the SWAC and MEAC on KenPom.
Summit - South Dakota State.  They're the only ones inside the RPI top 150 and the only ones to 9 wins.  North Dakota State, who's one spot behind KenPom-leader-but-under-.500 Denver, is the only other team to 7 and whoever gets this bid looks to be staring down a 16.
Sun Belt - Georgia State.  It's worth noting though that Georgia Southern is 7-2; Louisiana Lafayette, UT Arlington and Texas State are all to 6 wins and # 3 in KenPom/5-4 Arkansas State won handily at Mississippi State last week.  The Panthers are still the clear favorite but the others might not be as bad as previously thought.
SWAC - Texas Southern.  Alabama State is actually the only one left who's ineligible for the auto bid.  Good to see the league not ravaged by APR restrictions like it has been recently but it's too bad the only team who is looks to be the second best team in the league.  That leaves Southern as the top challenger to Mike Davis' boys, who finally got him his first ever win at Michigan State as you probably already knew.
WAC - New Mexico State.  This league is last in conference RPI.  Dead last.  Being beneath the SWAC in conference RPI is IMPOSSIBLE but there they are.  Grand Canyon and Seattle are the only two .500 teams.  I repeat, Grand Canyon and Seattle are the only two .500 teams.  NO ONE is top 200 in RPI with the Aggies the best at 213.  It's gonna be weird potentially seeing them in a play in game after consistently getting 13's in recent years.

Locks - Duke, Virginia, Louisville, North Carolina
The top 3 will each be in the conference title and 1 seed hunt all season long and it's very possible the league gets two 1 seeds.  The Cardinals can give their chances a huge boon by beating Kentucky tomorrow.  The Heels will comfortably make the field but a 3 seed might be their ceiling given the traffic ahead of them in their own league.
In - Miami (FL), Notre Dame, NC State, Syracuse
No one in this group is comfortably in after the Canes lost by twenty eight (28) to Eastern Kentucky on their home floor.  They drop an almost-unbelievable four seed lines but are still ahead of everyone else here.  The Irish still have a sub 100 RPI but it's also up about 100 spots from the last Watch.  Syracuse missed a massive chance for a signature win at Villanova and will be in serious danger of missing the tournament if they mess around early in conference play.  Not much has changed with the perpetually bubbalicious Wolfpack, who get bumped to the play in for the second year in a row with George Washington's win over Wichita State.
Out - Pittsburgh, Georgia Tech
No change with the Panthers either, who will likely need a marquee win or two in ACC play to make the field.  Boston College is replaced here by the Yellow Jackets, who are 8-3 with a 44 RPI and would be in the field had they won at Dayton last Saturday.  Their best win is in-state rival and fellow bubbler Georgia but the Dawgs have even better computer numbers and don't have a home loss to South Carolina Upstate, which is why they're in the field and the Ramblin Wreck are not.

Atlantic 10
Locks - VCU
Jumping FIVE seed lines since the last bracket on December 8 sounds crazy but a lot of teams in front of them backslid while the Rams beat three tournament teams. They now have the 3rd best RPI and the toughest schedule in the country.  That will change come conference play but a dominant regular season title could net them a protected seed.
In - Dayton, George Washington
Holding serve against former coach Brian Gregory keeps the Flyers in the field.  Beating Texas A&M and thus getting to play Connecticut instead of Charleston in Puerto Rico will continue to pay dividends as the season goes on.  They host Ole Miss on Tuesday in what could turn in either to a decent win over a team that beat fellow bubblers or an ugly loss to an SEC bottom feeder.  The Colonials missed their shot at Wichita in the Diamond Head final and each of the four losses are to top 40 RPI teams but the best win being Colorado in the Diamond Head semi isn't enough beat Wichita to win the Diamond Head Classic and that vaults them all the way to a 9 seed.  It's a much better win than anyone on the 10-12 seed lines has and they also have much stronger computer numbers than those teams.
Out - Rhode Island, Davidson
Losing at Providence knocked the Rams out of the field and while a number of major conference profiles have strengthened, their Nebraska win has slowly decomposed and they're fallen further away from the field.   The Wildcats are 8-1 against the 248th ranked schedule and the best win is Charlotte but the only loss is UNC and they have a 71 RPI so they're worth keeping an eye on for now.

Locks - SMU
The Ponies will be hoping Michigan gets it together in Big Ten play so last Saturday's win in Ann Arbor will end up with some merit.  For now it's a modest addition to the modest collection of wins that is Eastern Washington, Wyoming and UC Santa Barbara.  This team would be right on the cutline if they didn't get the auto here.
In - Cincinnati
The San Diego State win got them over the line and while I'm not totally sure if the committee will give consideration to the fact that their coach missed the VCU loss with an aneurysm, I'm going to from here on out (if only because I've always liked Mick Cronin.)  The bigger problem is the OT loss at Nebraska which is already turning in to an albatross.
Out - UConn, Temple
The Huskies showed decently against Duke in East Rutherford and will probably end up in the field sooner rather than later.  Beating Temple on New Year's Eve would help and the Owls are here after shockingly pulverizing Kansas on Monday.  The UNLV loss also got a lot more acceptable this week.  Too bad the one to Saint Joseph's didn't and won't.

Big East
Locks - Villanova, Butler, St. John's
The Wildcats are still unbeaten after the wild comeback against Syracuse and honestly look like they should win this league by multiple games and get yet another 2 seed.  The Bulldogs look like they played over their head in Atlantis but that's just what Butler does in tournaments.  They'll be good to go if they finish .500 or better in league play.  The Johnnies continue to impress and with a 22 RPI, they're absolutely in the hunt for a protected seed with a strong conference season.
In - Xavier, Seton Hall, Georgetown
X lost in overtime at Auburn, which could be an utterly crippling loss if they're sweating on Selection Sunday.  Even in the present day the 9 seed I gave them might be generous - they're probably out of the field with a home loss to Georgetown on New Year's Eve.  The Hoyas escaped a Charlotte upset bid last Saturday and are barely in the field themselves.  Like Xavier, Seton Hall had an ugly loss to an SEC team last weekend but at least Georgia is a fellow tournament team and the Pirates unbeaten start and strong computer numbers keep them the best positioned of this group.
Out - Providence, Creighton, Marquette
North Texas is 259th in RPI.  Prairie View A&M was able to beat them but the Bluejays weren't so that's really, really not good.  Providence got back in to the field last update by beating Rhode Island after falling out for losing to Brown by 10...and then got kicked out again by George Washington upsetting Wichita State on Christmas night.  Marquette has joined the Watch but has a sub 200 RPI loss of their own to Nebraska-Omaha.  At least their Georgia Tech win from the Orlando Classic has matured a bit.

Big 12
Locks - Texas, Kansas, Iowa State, Oklahoma, West Virginia
The top two ate some really disappointing losses last week, with Stanford winning at Texas and Kansas getting shockingly blown out at Temple.  They'll probably still fight it out for the conference title and each get top 3 seeds.  The Cyclones could possibly join them, especially on the evidence of the past couple weeks in which their offense has hit 90 twice and 80 twice more.  The Sooners continue to have close and late problems stunting their growth but they remain a very good team.  The Mountaineers are also good although will likely go as only as far as Juwan Staten takes them.
In - Baylor, TCU
TCU's only in because there's no way the committee's leaving out an unbeaten power conference team at this juncture.  The second they lose, they probably fall out of the field.  Their RPI is 82 which is unthinkable seeing as how they haven't lost and the two best wins are the Mississippi SEC schools.  The Bears - like the other 5 - are comfortably in at this point and as the top 7 seed just missed the cut for lockdom.
Out - Oklahoma State
The Cowboys are 8-2 with an RPI just inside the top 50 (47) but the 25 point loss at South Carolina is always going to look ridiculous and they weren't nearly as competitive in a 9 point home loss to Maryland as the final would indicate.  They'll have plenty of chances in conference play though.

Big Ten
Locks - Wisconsin, Ohio State, Maryland, Minnesota
Right now, it's the Badgers and everybody else.  They'll be in the hunt for a 2 and it would take everything breaking right for more than one other school to get a protected seed.  Ohio State's RPI is SIXTY SEVEN right now, in large part because the only remotely decent nonconference win is Marquette.  My Terps have given themselves a fair amount of breathing space going in to their inaugural Big Ten campaign with semi away and away wins at Iowa State and Oklahoma State and the former could very well end up being good enough to boost their seed up a line by itself.  The Gophers are like a poor man's Ohio State with Georgia the lone nonconference win of any note.
In - Michigan State, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana
What a catastrophic weekend last weekend was for this group save for the Hoosiers, whose offense hummed in a Crossroads Classic upset of Butler.  There were murmurs that this year's Spartan outfit could be the first Izzo team to miss the tournament since the Neolithic Era and that's officially in play (if it wasn't already) with the loss to Texas Southern.  Iowa looked utterly dreadful in the Big Four Classic, failing to get to 50 against Northern Iowa but that's a very acceptable loss at present and the win at UNC could end up being their bubble trump card.  The Illini are actually the best positioned of the four at the moment since they're the only one with no bad losses (Oregon's the worst although Miami has gotten a lot worse) and a top 50 RPI.
Out - Penn State
The Nittany Lions actually have a better RPI than everyone in the above group (39) and they're 12-1 but it's against the 181st ranked strength of schedule and the loss to Charlotte isn't great and could turn ugly as the 49ERS 53 RPI inevitably starts to sink.  They did what they needed to do to give themselves a fighting chance going in to league play though and Pat Chambers is clearly taking that program in the right direction.

Conference USA
Locks - Old Dominion
The Monarchs would absolutely have an at large case if they didn't have the auto bid.  They're 10-1 with an RPI of 12 (!!) and the 31st ranked strength of schedule.  Those numbers will drop, but they've beaten VCU, LSU on a neutral floor, Georgia State in what should remain a top 100 RPI win and one or both of William & Mary and Richmond could end up there too (the Spiders are almost top 50 at present.)  An outright regular season title with 3 or less losses might - might - be enough if they slip up in the tournament.  This will be worth watching.
In - None
Out - UTEP
The Miners would be right at the cutline if they had pulled the upset of Arizona but as it stands they're a fair ways out.  The Xavier win in the Anaheim Classic might help in bubble comparisons.  The New Mexico State loss will hurt with everything.

Missouri Valley
Locks - Wichita State
Thanks to Nebraska being terrible, the Shockers got trapped in a no-win road game at Hawaii in the Diamond Head semifinal but barely survived in overtime.  They didn't survive GW in the title game and that further cements the fact that their seed likely tops out at 3 this year.
In - Northern Iowa
The Panthers have earned their 5 seed line jump with a hard fought double OT loss at VCU, a dominant win over Iowa at the Big Four Classic in Des Moines and a top 10 RPI with a top 50 SOS.  As long as they don't stub their toes too many times in conference play, they should be good to go - particularly if they can split with Wichita.
Out - Loyola Chicago
The fact that the Ramblers are even here is amazing and what a job Porter Moser (great name!) is doing in the Second City.  The RPI is just outside the top 50 (52) and they just won the Las Vegas Classic, dominating Texas Tech before slogging through against Boise State.  It's almost assuredly not happening but why not give them some recognition?

Mountain West
Locks - San Diego State
The OT loss at Cincinnati was a bummer and could cost them a protected seed, which is particularly important for them as it greatly decreases their chances of landing in the West.
In - Colorado State
It actually might not be fair to them that they're a seed line beneath Northern Iowa (and they don't even have a loss) but dominating Iowa in Des Moines is more impressive than scraping by at Colorado by 3.  More importantly, the Rams have yet to prove themselves against a top team like the Panthers did at VCU.  There are also wins over UTEP, The Alan Williams Project (Alaska final) and Georgia State but meh.
Out - Wyoming, Boise State, UNLV
Wyoming also has Colorado as a best win.  The good news is theirs is by 23 and they held the Buffs to 33.  The bad news is there's absolutely nothing else except for an RPI of 135.  I had them in when I did the first rundown of in/out but they may not even be close right now.  UNLV wouldn't be here if not for the Arizona win, which if nothing else gives them a puncher's chance heading in to conference play.  Boise's profile reminds me of Illinois a little bit but with a loss to Loyola Chicago in Vegas instead of a win over Baylor in Vegas.

Locks - Arizona, Washington, Utah
Arizona's loss to UNLV loss gives Gonzaga the lifeline it needed to grab the 1 seed out West.  Those two will jockey for it all season long.  Washington added yet another great victory to its chest by winning in Vegas against Oklahoma.  Utah could end up kicking itself for not beating Kansas in KC, particularly if they're a seed line or two lower than they thought they'd be in March.
In - Stanford, California
The OT win at Texas gets the Cardinal in to the field and at the very least cancels out the DePaul loss (which still should have never, EVER happened.)  I thought Cal was more comfortably in than they probably are but the only two losses being to Wisconsin and Texas are a sufficient safety net for now.
Out - UCLA, Oregon
Two of the last four out.  Basically, both have a worse version of Cal's resume but with more/worse losses and a sub 100 RPI.  The fact that they're even close to the field is a sign that we might have a really bad bubble for the 19406th year in a row.

Locks - Kentucky, LSU
Kentucky's one of the greatest teams in college history when it has it all going.  Arkansas was ahead of LSU but upon second review, their profiles are pretty similar but the Tigers winning at West Virginia stands out.  They'll be rooting for Bob Huggins' boys to perform well in the Big 12 to increase the shine on that win.
In - Arkansas, Georgia
The Hogs are still more comfortably in than the Bulldogs but that Seton Hall blowout was a really nice chip to add to the resume and got UGA in to the 8/9 range for now.  If the Dawgs get the 2 seed in the SEC Tournament again, it's almost impossible to see them missing the tournament.
Out - Florida, Texas A&M, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi
Oh jesus.  It goes without saying that the middle of this conference is a mess and your guess is as good as mine in determining basically the 5 through 12 seeds in the conference tournament.  The Gators are in the first 4 out and probably should emerge from this group once they get everyone together and rolling.  After that?  The Aggies were in the December 8 field but last Saturday's loss at the Octagon made sure they weren't in this one.  South Carolina wouldn't have any business being here if they hadn't thrashed Oklahoma State and handled a Clemson team that a number of their peers lost to.  Alabama might very well be in if it hadn't completely collapsed at Wichita but it did.  And Mississippi has a shockingly decent profile - especially considering its good wins are on neutral courts - but there's just that small problem that they lost at home to Charleston Southern and Western Kentucky.

Lock - Gonzaga
Arizona's shock loss at UNLV enables the Zags to take the top seed in the West from them.  They've added a convincing win at UCLA to their profile since we last did this and that may come in handy if the Wildcats slip up at Pauley Pavilion in Pac-12 play.
In - None
Out - BYU
That Purdue loss in the 5th place game in Maui might really come back to haunt the Cougars.  It's the only thing keeping them out of the field right now, especially now that they've added a Stanford win to the ledger and then that Stanford win went and got much better late last week.

Last 4 In
Dayton, Stanford, Cincinnati, N.C. State

Last 4 Out
Providence, Florida, Oregon, UCLA

Grip's Bracket: December 26

And now for the bracket.  First comes the S-Curve, which in case you've forgotten or don't know is the ranking of the teams in order from 1 to 68.  It's the guide for bracketing the teams and as its name implies, it snake ends so that the best 2 seed goes in the region with the worst 1 seed and so on. However, there are also bracketing rules and regulations that need to be followed.  The main ones:
1) The top 4 seeds in each region must be from 4 different conferences
2) No more than 1 team per conference in each half of a region (unless there's 9 teams from a conference obviously.)
3) Avoid regular season rematches in the first two rounds (although the committee has broken this one a number of times in recent years.)

S Curve

Kentucky Duke Virginia Gonzaga
Louisville Wisconsin Arizona Villanova
Kansas Washington Texas North Carolina
Utah Wichita State Maryland VCU
Iowa State St. John's Ohio State San Diego State
West Virginia Oklahoma Old Dominion LSU
Baylor Northern Iowa Arkansas Butler
Georgia Seton Hall Illinois Colorado State
SMU California George Washington Miami (FL)
Indiana Xavier TCU Notre Dame
Georgetown Michigan State Syracuse Iowa
Green Bay Harvard Dayton/Stanford Cincinnati/N.C. State
Wofford Georgia State Buffalo Belmont
Eastern Washington Stephen F. Austin UC Davis Northeastern
North Carolina Central American Florida Gulf Coast Coastal Carolina
St. Francis (PA) Canisius Texas Southern Stony Brook South Dakota State New Mexico State

MIDWEST (Cleveland)

(1) Kentucky (SEC)
(16) New Mexico State (WAC)/Stony Brook (AE)

(8) Illinois
(9) SMU (AAC)

(5) Iowa State
(12) Dayton/Stanford

(4) VCU (A10)
(13) Wofford (SoCon)

(6) West Virginia
(11) Syracuse

(3) Washington
(14) Northeastern (CAA)

(7) Baylor
(10) Notre Dame

(2) Villanova (BE)
(15) North Carolina Central (MEAC)

WEST (Los Angeles)

(1) Gonzaga (WCC)
(16) St. Francis (PA) (NEC)

(8) Colorado State
(9) George Washington

(5) Ohio State
(12) Green Bay (Horizon)

(4) Utah
(13) Belmont (OVC)

(6) LSU
(11) Iowa

(3) Kansas (Big 12)
(14) Eastern Washington (Big Sky)

(7) Butler
(10) TCU

(2) Louisville
(15) Coastal Carolina (Big South)

EAST (Syracuse)

(1) Duke
(16) South Dakota State (Summit)/Texas Southern (SWAC)

(8) Georgia
(9) California

(5) St. John's
(12) Cincinnati/N.C. State

(4) Maryland
(13) Georgia State (Sun Belt)

(6) Old Dominion (C-USA)
(11) Michigan State

(3) Texas
(14) UC Davis (Big West)

(7) Northern Iowa
(10) Indiana

(2) Arizona (Pac-12)
(15) American (Patriot)

SOUTH (Houston)

(1) Virginia
(16) Canisius (MAAC)

(8) Seton Hall
(9) Miami (FL)

(5) San Diego State (MW)
(12) Harvard (Ivy)

(4) Wichita State (MVC)
(13) Buffalo (MAC)

(6) Oklahoma
(11) Georgetown

(3) North Carolina
(14) Stephen F. Austin (Southland)

(7) Arkansas
(10) Xavier

(2) Wisconsin (Big Ten)
(15) Florida Gulf Coast (A-Sun)

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

College Basketball Picks - December 23

Last night of games before the holiday break (not counting Wichita clowning everyone in the Diamond Head) so let's do some comments.  A new bracket and bubble watch to come sometime in the next 3 days depending on family obligations and all that.

A fair amount  of day games today for travel purposes (people getting home for the holidays.)  UMass played at BYU for some reason - noon local time tip at the Marriott - and lost in OT.  Richmond only beat IUPUI by 4 in a game that I'm sure was attended by dozens in Gotham.  Iona bounced back from the Mason loss at the weekend to handle Dunk City.  Cleveland State continues to be the most disappointing low major program in America, losing at home to Eastern Illinois (wow.)  Ahahahahahaha DePaul lost by 21 to Ohio in Hawaii.  And Detroit lost by THIRTY NINE at Arizona State, which is a really, really disappointing performance from them.

Louisville -24.5 v. CS Northridge.  They've missed covering a few of their latest big spreads but Northridge is really bad and flying in from the West Coast.  Is the guarantee money *that* important?  Use it towards a new gym for christ's sake.

George Mason +7 @ Wright State.  Wright State's one of the teams I'm to the point where I just accept I'm getting the pick wrong so I'm picking from the heart.  Northern Iowa is showing Mason the way - time to get back to mid major prominence.

Texas -10 v. Stanford.  This number seems a little low.  In related news, Texas has flown under the radar for the past couple weeks.

Louisiana Tech +6 @ NC State.  I'm back on the LA Tech bandwagon and expect to be back off it in a few hours.

Dayton -6 v. Georgia Tech.  The Brian Gregory Bowl!  Beginning to like the Jackets a little bit but not enough to take them at UD Arena.

Arizona -12.5 @ UNLV.  Man, that was an ugly performance at UTEP.  Hopefully this one will be better.

Wichita State -13.5 @ Hawaii (Diamond Head.)  I definitely thought this would be closer to 20.  What a gift!
Nebraska -9.5 v. Loyola Marymount.  This is actually really interesting because the Huskers could very well sleepwalk through this game.  They have way too much talent and too smart of a coach to not handle this though......right?  I can't believe this team has lost to Incarnate Word and Hawaii already, what a disappointment.

Houston +7.5 v. Texas Tech (Vegas.)  I refuse to take a team that just lost by 18 to Loyola Chicago.
Boise State -3.5 v. Loyola Chicago.  Winning this would be a major chip for the Ramblers in their first season in the Valley.  Given how awful that league looks after Wichita and UNI, why can't they finish in the top quarter?

Cornell +7 @ Siena.  Saints program has pretty much cratered completely since Fran McCaffery left for Iowa.  Then again so has the Big Red's since Steve Donahoe left for BC.  I'm taking the points.

Arkansas State -2 @ Niagara.  This line makes me mad.  It makes ZERO sense given how WRETCHED Niagara is and after the week the Red Wolves just had.  And of course they're going to lose because that's just how flaky low majors roll.

Memphis -18.5 v. Western Illinois.  Fire Pastner if they don't cover.

Wyoming -12.5 @ Montana State.  I don't like Wyoming on the road....but I don't like Montana State anywhere.

Utah -17.5 v. South Dakota State.  I've actually had a strange fondness for the Jackrabbits this season - I think I've taken them in like their last 3-5 games - and it's been warranted.  They've won 7 straight and the latest was an OT win at the Spectrum at Utah State and I'm assuming they just stayed in Utah.  Either way, this is a major step up in competition for them and the Utes look like they're turning the Huntsman Center in to the fortress it used to be in the 90s.

Villanova -26 v. NJIT.  This wouldn't even be a question if not for the Michigan game and (a) Michigan really blows and we've gotten sufficient evidence of this even post-NJIT and (b) Nova's almost assuredly going to put in a far better performance in the first 39 minutes and 50 seconds than they did Saturday.

Sacred Heart +7.5 @ Rutgers.  Rutgers has a 67% chance of winning this game according to KenPom which is a little low for a home game with Sacred Heart but hey, the Pioneers are the best team in the NEC thus far!  THEY HAVE A THIRTY FIVE PERCENT CHANCE OF WINNING AT MONMOUTH ON SUNDAY.  That's a Big Ten program having a 35% chance to beat a Northeast Conference program.  Just let that one marinate for a minute.  Like that's well beneath even Northwestern standards, my god.

Monday, December 22, 2014

College Basketball Picks - December 22

Kansas -8 @ Temple

William & Mary +7.5 @ Old Dominion

Arkansas -18 v. Milwaukee

Oakland +10.5 @ Clemson

Notre Dame -19.5 v. Northern Illinois

Connecticut -7.5 v. Columbia

St. John's -10 v. Long Beach State

Vanderbilt -13.5 v. Pennsylvania

Charleston +12.5 @ LSU

UC Santa Barbara +7.5 @ Oregon

Providence +1.5 v. Miami (FL) (Brooklyn)

Northeastern +8.5 @ Saint Mary's

Wisconsin -10 @ California

Nevada -4.5 v. Marshall

Washington -14 v. Tulane

San Diego State -16 v. UC Riverside

Wichita State -19 v. Loyola Marymount (Diamond Head Classic)
Nebraska -5 v. Hawaii (Diamond Head Classic)

North Dakota State -16.5 v. Alcorn State (El Paso)
Kent State +10.5 v. UTEP (El Paso)

Texas Tech -7 v. Loyola Chicago (Las Vegas)
Boise State -10.5 v. Houston (Las Vegas)

VCU -18 v. East Tennessee State

IPFW +9.5 @ Illinois State

UAB +5 @ Chattanooga

VMI +10 @ Virginia Tech

Eastern Kentucky -5.5 @ Florida Atlantic

Butler -14.5 v. Tennessee-Martin

Tennessee -12 v. Mercer

Wofford +13 @ West Virginia

Furman +27 @ Minnesota

Murray State -2 @ Southern Illinois

Oral Roberts +4 @ Missouri State

Oklahoma -20 v. Weber State

SE Missouri State +8 @ Mississippi

Air Force -11 v. Jacksonville State

UC Davis +5.5 @ Northern Colorado

Marquette -17.5 v. North Dakota

Syracuse -16.5 v. Colgate

Coppin State +26 @ Michigan

Saturday, December 20, 2014

College Basketball Picks - December 20

Charlotte +13.5 @ Georgetown
As I figured, this would be a real test for the Hoyas.  They look like a team that's going to be on the bubble all year long and missing their shot against Kansas might end up keeping them out of the tournament.  Long way to go though and at least they held on for this one.  1-0.

Cincinnati -1.5 v. VCU
Speaking of bubble teams, will the committee give aneurysm credit to the Bearcats for their ugly loss here without their head coach?  Mick Cronin will miss another game and hopefully he gets his health straight.  Just from his on court demeanor it's not a huge surprise this happened - the guy practically looks like he's going to pop blood vessels most of the time.  Have always liked him though, especially after the way he handled himself and his team after the brawl with Xavier a few years ago.  1-1.

Michigan -1.5 v. SMU
The nightmare season for the Wolverines continues.  Looks like an NIT year for them unless they win double digits in the Big Ten or make a deep tourney run.  1-2.

Louisville -12.5 @ Western Kentucky
The logic for this pick was that the team would get its stuff together over Montrezl Harrell called them out last week.  Instead, he fought someone and the Cards got fought the whole way by a tough WKU team.  This is an interesting little in-state rivalry that I hope continues.  The big in-state rivalry is Saturday.  1-3.

Syracuse +11.5 @ Villanova
This was free money; this was always going to be close.  Brutal loss for the Cuse here after leading the whole way, most of it by double digits.  But a collapse in the final 10 seconds of regulation before an offensive no-show in overtime robbed them of what would have been a marquee win to shield them from bubble trouble.  Now things could get interesting, especially if they mess around with their soft early ACC slate.  2-3.

North Carolina PK v. Ohio State  (Chicago)
Big win for the Heels.  Another flat performance in a marquee game for the Buckeyes until it was too late.  3-3.

Providence -5 v. UMass
Sadly, it looks as if the Minutemen are back in to obscurity.  That's a shame, I've really enjoyed their fun, quality teams these past few years.  4-3.

Missouri +11 v. Illinois (St. Louis)
More free money.  This is almost always close and Saturday was no exception.  What a dagger by Rayvonte Rice at the buzzer though.  The neutral in me hopes he just goes HAM to carry the Illini to the tournament in 2015.  5-3.

Penn State -6.5 v. Drexel (Allentown)
Another win for the Nittany Lions, who are now 11-1 although none of the wins are against remotely quality competition.  Still, the confidence has been sufficiently boosted going in to B1G play and overachievement is possible, especially given how weak the league looked this weekend.  They almost let this one get away against a bad team though, so still cause for concern, and of course they blew the cover.  5-4.

Georgia Tech -3 v. Vanderbilt
Second half comeback for the Jackets to win by 5.  I'm interested in both of these teams going in to conference play though.  Are they both decent?  Mediocre?  Will one surprise while the other fades to the bottom?  We'll see.  6-4.

South Florida +6 @ Florida State (Sunrise)
6 just wasn't enough points here.  I think I still give South Florida too much respect and treat them as a Big East program.  That needs to stop.  Though I still do remain bullish on the Noles but they'll do what they do in ACC play - D up and give people a hell of a time.  6-5.

Butler -3 v. Indiana (Indianapolis)
HUGE win for the Hoosiers and a great performance as well.  When that offense is humming, this is a fine team.  Any questions about Tom Crean's job security should be laid to rest if they hadn't already.  As for the Bulldogs, chalk up one more piece of evidence that they aren't as good as they looked in Atlantis and I expect them to continue to fade closer to the bubble.  6-6.

Marshall +7 @ Arkansas State
Really nice week for the Red Wolves, who won handily at Mississippi State before avoiding the letdown performance I expected here.  Only covered by a bucket but that's enough.  6-7.

Western Michigan +3.5 @ Northwestern
Broncos led most of the way here but couldn't pull the trick their Central brethren did.  Disappointing day for the athletic program as football got handled by Air Force in the Potato Bowl.  6-8.

Kentucky -14 v. UCLA (Chicago)
Hopefully the full game makes it on to Youtube sooner or later.  Would love to watch the 24-0 start in full since I was at the mall during this game.  I can't remember a more dominant college team than Kentucky when they're on.  As for the Bruins, I've suspected since Atlantis they weren't that good and I think they're a lot closer to missing the tournament than many people realize.  A lot of work to be done.  7-8.

Pittsburgh -15.5 v. Oakland
I keep picking Pitt to cover big (ish) spreads against mid/low majors and they keep failing.  Why do I do this.  7-9.

Detroit +9.5 @ Rhode Island
Titans led by a deuce at the half....then scored 15 points in the second half.  7-10.

UC Davis +6.5 @ Air Force
Nice road win for the now 8-1 Aggies.  They're a very good shooting team that will give people problems on most nights and they're definitely a threat to get hot in Anaheim and get to the Dance.  8-10.

Davidson -4 @ Charleston
Bob McKillop's boys are now 9-1.  They were picked by everyone to be near the basement of the A-10 and I was never so sure that would be the case.  Now I'm definitely confident they can finish mid table - or better.  9-10.

Northeastern -1 @ Santa Clara
The Huskies have spent like a week out in California right before Christmas - with great success!  More Northeast programs should do this.  10-10.

Florida -12.5 v. Wake Forest (Sunrise)
Another ugly Gator performance but a half point cover.  11-10.

Iowa State -19 v. Drake (Des Moines)
Drake is dreadful.  12-10.

Notre Dame -3 v. Purdue (Indianapolis)
A validating win for the Irish, who have definitely done enough nonconference work to be a tournament team.  An awful performance by the Boilers, who have gone south since beating NC State in the ACC/B1G Challenge.  13-10.

Xavier -5 @ Auburn
Oh no.  Oh my boys.  Ohhhh that might be a loss that is a real anchor come March.  13-11.

Richmond -3.5 @ Pepperdine (NYC)
Why the hell was this in New York City?  Spiders won by a deuce.  The Waves are decent enough that I'm intrigued by their home shot at Gonzaga.  13-12.

Towson +2.5 v. La Salle
32-15 at the half.  Maybe the Towson players were Christmas shopping at Towson Town Center and showed up late?  13-13.

UNC Wilmington -4 v. East Carolina
East Carolina is 5-6 but they sure seem a hell of a lot worse than a 5-6 team.  14-13.

Kansas State -2 v. Texas A&M
It's fine for football but the Aggies continue to make no sense as an SEC basketball program and it still feels like they're in the Big 12.  15-13.

Columbia -2.5 v. Hofstra
Lions look to be best poised of anyone to challenge Harvard and Yale at the top of the Ivy.  16-13.

Northern Iowa +2 v. Iowa (Des Moines)
Hahahahahahahahahahaha Iowa.  Got a feeling their win at UNC will be one of the odder results of the season as it wears on.  UNI continues to validate itself as a tournament team.  Great to see that program doing well again.  17-13.

Eastern Michigan +2.5 @ Missouri State
Missouri State is 5-6 but they sure seem a hell of a lot worse than a 5-6 team.  18-13.

TCU -16 v. UT San Antonio
Predictable blowout spot for the Frogs.  They're yet another team I'm super intrigued to see take its cuts in league play.  19-13.

Texas -15.5 v. Long Beach State
Yet another really tough road performance for the 49ERS that ends in a cover but a loss.  19-14.

Oklahoma -6 v. Washington
Another great win for the Huskies who are still unbeaten!  They're probably the surprise of the season at this point which naturally enters Lorenzo Romar in to Coach of the Year talk.  I'm already excited for their Friday night home shot at Arizona in February which goes to show you how exciting my life is.  As for the Sooners, they continue to struggle in close games.  Might wanna work that out.  19-15.

NC State +1.5 v. West Virginia (NYC)
I made this pick because of Trevor Lacey, which was dumb because Juwan Staten was on the other side.  Wuffies continue to lack a notable nonconference win so they might wanna knock off one of the ACC powers at some point.  19-16.

Gonzaga -22 v. Cal Poly
This was in Seattle, which only partially explains the Zags slogging through it.  19-17.

San Diego State -19.5 v. Ball State
Blah.  I think I'm ready to be done caring about SDSU until any high profile Mountain West games they might have against....Colorado State?  Wyoming?  Blah.  19-18.

Fresno State -1 @ Pacific
I keep expecting Fresno to be better than they are and I keep being disappointed.  19-19.

BYU -3.5 v. Stanford
Good game that got lost in the shuffle.  Cougs won by 2.  If the Cardinal get anywhere near the bubble, that DePaul loss (by double digits!) is gonna kill them.  Too bad because they seem like a decent enough team that should land in the top half of the Pac-12, which would put them squarely on the bubble.  19-20.

Utah -8.5 @ UNLV
A one point halftime lead became a 13 point victory.  Rebs didn't get to 50 as Utah continues to show it can beat you a variety of ways.  Good team that should be thinking second weekend in March.  20-20.

IUPUI +1 v. South Alabama
Ouch.  USA football lost in the final minute in practically a home bowl game to Bowling Green and the basketball team lost in overtime.  20-21.

The Citadel +14 @ Virginia Tech
I'm very happy this covered.  Outside shot VT goes winless in ACC play but we can still believe in the dream.  21-21.

Belmont -1.5 @ Fairfield
Maybe most off line of the day.  Bruins covered it by 10.  22-21.

Indiana State -6.5 v. Eastern Illinois
Jake Odum isn't walking through that door.  22-22.

Elon PK @ UNC Greensboro
Good to see Greensboro back to being reliably bad.  22-23.

Oral Roberts +9.5 @ Memphis
Ken Tutt isn't walking through that door.  22-24.

Murray State -4.5 v. Illinois State
Racers look like they finally figured their shit out.  23-24.

Valparaiso -1 @ IPFW
Good road win for the Crusaders, who I'll always root for as long as Bryce Drew's the coach.  24-24.

George Mason +3.5 v. Iona
Let this be the start of George Mason doing a Northern Iowa and building back up to being one of the best low major programs in America.  25-24.

Saint Joseph's -9.5 @ Marist
Jared Jordan isn't walking through that door.  26-24.

Wisconsin Milwaukee -1 @ SIU Edwardsville
I pick Milwaukee to zig, they zag.  This was a really ugly zag.  26-25.

Arkansas -17 v. SE Missouri State
Oh, there's the required push on a day with this many games.  26-25-1.

Northern Colorado -9 v. Jacksonville State
Oh, there's the required second push on a day with this many games.  26-25-2.

Portland -14 v. Montana State
A lot of decent teams in the WCC midsection this year.  Gonzaga's getting tagged by at least one of them.  27-25-2.

Oregon -22.5 v. Delaware State
Is Oregon able to offer bigger checks for these guarantee games because of that Nike money?  If I were a low major AD they'd be one of my first calls every year.  27-26-2.

Michigan State -24 v. Texas Southern
hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahaahahahaha.  27-27-2.

New Mexico State -3.5 v. New Mexico
Woof.  NMSU's totally getting a 15 or 16 if they win the WAC.  27-28-2.

Arizona State -12.5 v. Lehigh
LE-HIGH!  LE-HIGH!  What a triple OT win to add to the dominant scalp of DePaul.  I hope they win the Patriot.  27-29-2.

Friday, December 19, 2014

College Basketball Picks - December 19

It's Friday but no Bubble Watch tonight.  The next one of those, as well as the new bracket, will come during the Christmas holiday when everyone's off (except for the teams in the Diamond Head Classic.)  That break can't come soon enough for me as it's back to back under .500 days for the first time in a while.  If these keeps up I'm gonna have to go back to comments!

St. John's -7 v. Saint's Mary's

Northern Illinois +6 @ Dartmouth

Clemson +6.5 @ South Carolina

Arizona -6 @ UTEP

CS Bakersfield +6 v. South Dakota State (Logan, UT)

Utah State -10 v. Idaho State

Miami (FL) -13 v. Eastern Kentucky
3-4 (Miami lost 72-44.  The same Miami that was unbeaten until like a week and a half ago lost by 28 on its home floor to Eastern Kentucky, who lost earlier in the week to East Tennessee State by the way.  This may hold up as the most shocking blowout of the season.)

Tennessee Tech +13 @ Tennessee

Buffalo -13 v. Niagara

Loyola Chicago -13 v. Southern Utah

Middle Tennessee State -5.5 v. Chattanooga

Colorado State -4 @ Denver
7-5 (REALLY weird game.  The hosts went 17/31 from 3 and LOST.  By a point.  After two free throws, a CSU travel and a 3 at the buzzer for what might hold up as the Moosing of the season.)

Eastern Washington +6.5 @ California

Minnesota -21 v. Seattle

Marquette -23.5 v. Alabama A&M

Thursday, December 18, 2014

College Basketball Picks - December 18

Virginia -16.5 v. Cleveland State

Richmond -14 v. South Alabama

Seton Hall -4.5 @ South Florida

Delaware +11.5 v. Temple

Connecticut +10 v. Duke (East Rutherford)

Charlotte -14.5 v. Appalachian State

Evansville -8 v. Ohio
2-4 (hahahahahaha Ohio got SHUT OUT in overtime.  Evansville covered this by FOUR.  They won by 12 points.  In overtime.)

LSU -5.5 @ UAB

Nevada +5.5 @ Pacific

Oregon State -6 v. DePaul
5-4 (DePaul lost by 31 points to Oregon State.  Oliver Purnell is in Year 5 of a 7 Year Contract.)

South Dakota State -9.5 v. Idaho State

Utah State -10.5 v. CS Bakersfield

Western Carolina +1.5 v. Wright State

Montana State +10.5 @ South Dakota

Portland State +10.5 @ San Francisco

Coastal Carolina +8 @ Mississippi

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

College Basketball Picks - December 17

Ball State -1.5 v. James Madison

NC State -4.5 v. Tennessee

Mississippi State -13 v. Arkansas State

Detroit -3.5 @ UCF

Old Dominion -3 v. Georgia State

Northwestern -6 v. Central Michigan

Illinois Chicago +19 @ SMU

Missouri State +9.5 @ Tulsa

San Diego State +2 @ Cincinnati

Eastern Michigan +13.5 @ Michigan State

Stanford -17 v. Loyola Marymount

Portland +6 @ UNLV

Northeastern -2 @ Cal Poly

Oregon -15.5 v. CS Northridge

Pittsburgh -11 v. Manhattan

Tennessee Martin +9.5 @ Illinois State

Green Bay -10 v. Morehead State

Nebraska Omaha -4 v. Northern Colorado

Illinois -22.5 v. Hampton

Ohio State -33.5 v. North Carolina A&T

Winthrop +9 @ Auburn

Washington -35 v. Grambling

Baylor -13 v. New Mexico State

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

College Basketball Picks - December 16

Buffalo -7.5 v. Drexel

Charlotte -8 v. Charleston

Oklahoma State -15 v. Middle Tennessee State

Marquette -3.5 v. Arizona State

Wichita State -12 v. Alabama

Arizona -26.5 v. Oakland

North Carolina -21.5 v. UNC Greensboro

Belmont +13.5 @ VCU

Mercer -4.5 v. Dartmouth

Eastern Kentucky -6 v. East Tennessee State

Oklahoma -16.5 v. Oral Roberts

North Dakota State +1 v. Akron

Southern Illinois -16 v. Tennessee State

Vanderbilt -10.5 v. Western Carolina

Saint Mary's -14 v. Northern Arizona

Monday, December 15, 2014

College Basketball Picks - December 15

Duke -31.5 v. Elon
Didn't even come close to covering this despite a 20/20 from Jahlil Okafor, the first 20/20 at Duke since Elton Brand in 98.  He was really, really good.  0-1.

Georgia Southern +7.5 @ South Florida
Won straight up thanks to Jelani Hewitt's 33.  1-1.

San Francisco -9.5 v. Cal Poly
I don't know why I believed in them after fading them most of the season thus far.  Oh yeah right, I'm dumb.  1-2.

South Alabama +11.5 @ Pepperdine
Point and a half cover.  2-2.

Georgia Tech -16 v. Appalachian State
Maybe if they still played in the Thrillerdome they would've covered.  2-3.

Austin Peay -2.5 v. Troy
Half point cover.  3-3.

Illinois-Chicago -1.5 v. Tennessee-Martin
The visiting Skyhawks blew an 8 point halftime lead before winning in overtime.  3-4.

Oral Roberts -4 v. Missouri State
Missouri State's bad, as we learned when they got taken to overtime on a neutral floor by Washington State.  4-4.

Oregon State -25 v. Grambling
This was 41-9 at the half.  Grambling had 17 turnovers at the half.  That's 8 more turnovers than points.  That's.....that's Grambling all right.  5-4.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

College Basketball Picks - December 14

Penn State +1.5 v. George Washington
Penn State is TEN AND ONE.  I'm still skeptical - almost all of those wins are by single digits against marginal competition - but I've always been a fan of Pat Chambers.  In fact, now I miss the Boston University/Vermont rivalry.  Let's just move on.  1-0.

St. John's -17.5 v. Fordham

Temple +17.5 @ Villanova
Stupid pick # 1.  Nova's been WHIPPING Big 5 competition.  2-1.

Butler +1 @ Tennessee (LOL)
Yeah LOL this pick.  Stupid pick # 2.  2-2.

Kent State -1 @ Arkansas Little Rock
Took overtime but they won it.  3-2.

Illinois State +3 @ DePaul
Still not sure if this is more "Illinois State is decent!" or "DePaul is bad!" - probably the latter though.  4-2.

Syracuse -8 v. Louisiana Tech
Rakeem Christmas with a SWEET hook to win this at the end.  Another shaky offensive performance for the Orange though.  4-3.

Auburn +6 @ Clemson
Stupid pick # 3.  Who goes against Clemson against the SEC?  4-4.

Louisville -28.5 v. UNC Wilmington
This wasn't a stupid pick but that offense isn't good enough to cover all these monster spreads.  Montrezl Harrell called out his teammates and said he knew in warmups they weren't ready to play this game.  Sounds like a guy who knows the offense - and intensity level - is too high variance.  4-5.

Miami (Ohio) +10 @ Wright State
One point cover.  5-5.

West Virginia -18 v. Marshall
STUPIDEST PICK OF ALL THE STUPID PICKS.  This is ALWAYS close.  West Virginia has literally  never covered this in the history of KenPom.  And they're a one man team this year that's prone to offensive inconsistencies.  I don't know why I let myself do this.  I really should shut down the blog.  5-6.

Michigan State -19.5 v. Oakland
Maybe Oakland would have covered if they didn't wear all black uniforms.  6-6.

Western Michigan +1.5 @ Pacific
I'm just high on WMU's athletic program in general right now.  Row row row!  7-6.

Seton Hall -11.5 v. St. Peter's
Continue to like the Pirates.  8-6.

Wyoming -20.5 v. Montana State
37 points in a half to Montana State?!?  They allowed 33 points in a GAME to Colorado!  8-7.

Jacksonville State +3.5 v. Dartmouth
Dartmouth should probably never be favored on the road in men's basketball maybe ever.  9-7.

Manhattan -1 v. Rutgers
This was actually in MSG.  That's probably why Rutgers won, they're AWFUL at the RAC.  9-8.

Wake Forest -17.5 v. Samford
Half point cover!  10-8.

Boise State -23.5 v. Southern Utah
Southern Utah's covered almost every big spread thrown at them.  They've definitely improved from last year's total disaster outfit.  Maybe.  10-9.

Eastern Washington +9 @ Washington
Ooooooooof.  That's a tough L to take back across the state.  Up 10 in the second half......well they came back from down 12 to win at Indiana and this time they died by the sword.  Hell of a comeback by the Huskies though, who are arguably the biggest major conference surprise at this point in the season.  And EWU is definitely a team I'm gonna have a really hard time not taking in March, I can tell that already (assuming they get there.)  11-9.

Montana +2 @ Wisconsin Milwaukee
Whatever.  I was never taking Milwaukee after how awful they looked against Wisconsin.  11-10.

Northwestern -21 v. Mississippi Valley State
Northwestern.  Won.  By.  Fifty.  Two.  The final score was 101-49.  Seriously, this is the box score.  12-10.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

College Basketball Picks - December 13

Wichita State -12 @ Detroit
This was a real test for the Shockers, who actually trailed by 10 at one point in the second half.  Juwan Howard Jr. was leading the Titans to the upset before he got locked down and the veteran Wichita team took the game over.  Almost covered too, winning by 9.  0-1.

North Carolina +12 @ Kentucky
Didn't expect this to be such a wild shootout given the way the Cats have just suffocated people to death.  But they led by double digits most of the way and while UNC didn't let themselves get completely blown out, they never seriously threatened either.  0-2.

Green Bay -16.5 v. Drake
Missed by a half point.  Gonna be one of those days, isn't it.  0-3.

Creighton -5.5 v. Saint Mary's
And the 24 game home winning streak is over.  Looking more and more like the Bluejays just aren't very good and the second half against Oklahoma was the outlier.  They escaped in 2OT earlier this week but couldn't win in OT today.  Good road win for the Mary's and now I'll be sufficiently disappointed when Gonzaga takes care of them in both meetings.  0-4.

Arkansas -10 v. Dayton
This is why I like doing gut picks.  Overanalyze a game like this and you get so deep in the forest thinking there's no way there's 10 points between these teams and you miss the trees of Arkansas being almost mystically good at home and the Flyers often struggling away from UD Arena.  Was 40-23 at the half and the Hogs coasted from there.  1-4.

Pittsburgh -8 v. St. Bonaventure
Typical ugly Pitt win.  They can't string together consecutive good performances which isn't too surprising given how young they are.  1-5.

Pepperdine +7 @ Arizona State
Sun Devils trailed by 2 at the half but dropped 52 in the second half for the win and the push.  1-5-1.

Oklahoma -5 @ Tulsa (this is the most off line I think I've ever seen)
Yeah, somebody made a mistake here.  Sooners rolled by 19.  2-5.

Kansas -3.5 v. Utah
Wild game.  Jayhawks fell down 10-4 off the bat, then got up by 21 late in the first half then blew THAT lead late in the second half but regrouped and escaped with a 3 point win.  Considering this was a psuedo home game, that's quite a flaky performance.  Jury may still be out on whether or not they're truly an elite team this year.  As for Utah, gutty comeback and a brilliant performance from Delon Wright but Hertl taking the final 3 wasn't how they drew it up.  They should be Arizona's top competition in the Pac-12 though.  2-6.

Mississippi State +1.5 @ Oregon State (Oregon State.......favored?  Whaaaaat?)
I'm blaming KenPom for making me believe Mississippi State was even somewhat decent and I'm sticking to it.  2-7.

Bowling Green -2.5 v. Cleveland State
Oh hey another disappointing performance from the Vikings.  They led 31-24 at half and lost by 10.  BGSU continues to impress me - it's gonna be a VERY interesting MAC season with the amount of relatively quality teams in that league.  3-7.

Xavier -4.5 @ Missouri
Musketeers messed around for about 30 minutes before blowing the overmatched Tigers away.  I'd be shocked if Missouri's not playing on day 1 of the SEC tournament.  4-7.

Western Kentucky +11 @ Mississippi (I'm picking against Mississippi habitually at this point.  I don't care)
HAHAHAHAHAHA YES.  SPEAKING OF TEAMS WHO WILL BE PLAYING ON DAY 1 OF THE SEC TOURNAMENT!  Mississippi was covering at halftime.  They lost by 10.  How is that possible?  Just let Hugh Freeze coach the basketball team too, he CAN'T be worse than Andy Kennedy.  5-7.

James Madison +3 @ East Carolina
Boy, a lot of teams collapsed in the second half today.  JMU was another.  Led by 3 at the break, lost by 12.  5-8.

Arizona -12.5 v. Michigan
Michigan's another one of those such collapses....except they were down 11 at halftime anyway.  They need to completely regroup before Big Ten play.  On the other side, dominant performance from the best in the West.  6-8.

Oklahoma State +1 @ Memphis
Memphis might be in even worse shape than Michigan.  Very strong performance for the Cowboys though.  7-8.

Oregon +6.5 @ Illinois (in Chicago)
Oregon wants to get in to my next bracket!  Really nice win for them - yet another second half comeback - in essentially a road game.  This will be a nice one in their pocket come March whereas the Illini may end up coming to rue losing this.  8-8.

VCU -6 v. Northern Iowa
Game of the day.  Nip and tuck for 30 minutes, VCU gets a 9 point lead, UNI comes back, VCU gets up 5 again, UNI comes back again to force overtime then hits a tying three to force a SECOND overtime before finally running out of steam and pushing.  Both teams looked good although it remains possible that UNI is still unproven and VCU isn't as good as past VCU teams.  8-8-2

Toledo -16.5 v. Arkansas State
Stop me if you've heard this - Rockets trailed at the half but came back to win.  8-9.

Middle Tennessee State +7.5 @ Akron
Straight up win for the Blue Raiders.  As for Akron, none of them, Kent State and Ohio might be in the MAC top 3 this year.  That's insane.  9-9.

New Mexico -12.5 v. UL Monroe
Ugly 54-46 win.  Is there a pretty 54-46 win?  9-10.

Texas A&M -13 v. Youngstown State
Solid 18 point win for the Aggies.  YSU's 7-5 after this loss, which shocks me.  10-10.

Texas -23 v. Texas State
Texas State scored 9 points in the first half.  That's not good.  Hell, they only scored 18 in the second.  If there was any doubt the Longhorns are a top 5 defensive team in college basketball this year, that's put to rest.  11-10.

Valparaiso -13 v. Ball State
Halftime trailed, second half won, etc.  11-11.

UCF -4 v. Florida Atlantic
Only scoring 15 in the second half is a special kind of collapse.  Nice going UCF.  11-12.

California -11.5 v. Princeton
Maybe it's not fair to say Princeton collapsed since they were literally shooting 70% when they got out to their first half lead and that's unsustainable.  And they still covered anyway.  11-13.

Nebraska -4 v. Cincinnati
56-55 in double overtime?!?!  I don't want to know more.  Huge bounceback win for the Huskers though.  11-14.

Vanderbilt +2 v. Purdue
If Purdue's near the bubble, this loss is going to cripple them.  They were never even in the game.  12-14.

CS Fullerton +5.5 @ Nevada
God, Nevada is atrocious.  Kirk Snyder and Nick Fazekas are NOT walking through that door.  13-14.

Gonzaga -4.5 @ UCLA (seriously?  hahahahaha)
Literally never trailed.  Listless performance from the Bruins who are one of the more disappointing major conference programs so far this term.  14-14.

Cal Poly +4.5 @ Fresno State
Meh.  14-15.

Santa Clara -5 v. Washington State
I'm gonna be disappointed if Washington State wins more than 2 Pac-12 games.  15-15.

UC Irvine -12 v. UT Arlington
Wow, brutal loss for the Anteaters.  Goes to show you how valuable Mamadou Ndiaye is for them.  15-16.

Ohio State -19.5 v. Morehead State
Convincing performance for the Buckeyes, even with no cover.  15-17.

VMI -12 v. Marist
Another hilariously off line given Marist is missing players and already not very good in the first place.  Keydets were up 20 in the first half.  16-17.

Eastern Kentucky -6 @ IUPUI

Indiana State +13 @ Iona
Sycamores actually led this by double digits in the first half but lost by 7.  Iona offense scored 40+ in both halves so it continues to hum.  18-17.

Canisius +10.5 @ Massachusetts
Whoops.  This was over at halftime.  18-18.

South Dakota State -10 v. Idaho
Idaho got out 14-3 but the Jackrabbits fought back to win by a deuce.  18-19.

Colorado -12.5 v. Northern Colorado
Needed dominant performance from the Buffs.  19-19.

Stanford -13.5 v. Denver
Cardinal only scored 17 in the first half but held the Pioneers to 18 in the second half to win ugly.  And by ugly I mean neither team got to 50.  19-20.

SE Missouri State -3 v. Missouri State
Way to let me down, Dickey Nutt.  19-21.

Davidson -17.5 v. Niagara
Niagara's really awful.  20-21.

East Tennessee State -12 v. UNC Greensboro
Oh ETSU.  Oh that's the kind of loss that may not make me believe in you again for years.  20-22.

Saint Louis -10 v. SIU Edwardsville
Jesus, the Billikens can't even cover this?  They really are starting all over from scratch.  20-23.

Northern Illinois -2 @ Eastern Illinois
This was a game where no matter who I picked it was gonna be wrong.  20-24.

Murray State +7.5 @ Evansville (this would've been an unthinkable line in preseason)
Cameron Payne finally got the memo that he and his teammates are supposed to be better than they've been!  He dropped 32 and the Racers got the win.  21-24.

North Dakota +8.5 @ North Dakota State
Why did I do this.  21-25.

UNLV -3 @ South Dakota
At least I wasn't dumb enough to pick both North AND South Dakota.  22-25.

Alabama -17 v. Tennessee Tech
This was too big of a number for a team that plays as deliberately as Bama does, mistake pick.  22-26.

Weber State +9 v. BYU
I gotta stop thinking Weber's any good this year either.  22-27.

Loyola Marymount +4 @ Northern Arizona
Covered by a bucket.  23-27.

Maryland -15 v. South Carolina Upstate
In a day full of stupid picks, this may have been the dumbest.  We were never covering an 11 AM tipoff with this offense still struggling to find itself post Dez Wells injury.  23-28.

Georgetown -14.5 v. Radford
There were also a lot of bad lines today and this may have been the worst.  24-28.

Wisconsin -37 v. Nicholls State
They "only" covered by two possessions!  25-28.

Indiana -18 v. Grand Canyon
This was only slightly better than the Georgetown line.  26-28.

LSU -9 v. Sam Houston State
Yeah but whose football team won today, huh?  26-28-3.

New Mexico State -2.5 v. Oral Roberts
Led by 4 at half....yeah.  26-29-3.

Army +6 @ USC
They can't beat Navy in football but they CAN beat USC in basketball!  A 20-12 overtime period?  Especially one involving USC?  Wow.  Great win for the Black Knights though.  The USC/Washington State game on February 25 is appointment television if you hate yourself.  27-29-3.