Tuesday, November 18, 2014

College Basketball Picks - November 18th (The Marathon)

Went 12-16-2 on Monday and 4-3 in the morning games (Saint Mary's -6.5 v. New Mexico, Wofford -1.5 v. Iona, Baylor +1 at South Carolina & Wichita State -9 v. Memphis in Sioux Falls South Dakota were the hits.  The misses were Hawaii -3 v. High Point, Stephen F. Austin -2.5 v. Northern Iowa & Manhattan +8.5 @ UMass in one of the biggest mooses of the early season, given that the Jaspers led almost the entire way before miraculously forcing OT - they would have covered with a regulation loss - and crumbling in the extra session.

San Diego State -4 v. Utah.  Delon Wright is really nice but it takes more than one guy with a not-quite-there-yet supporting cast to win at The Show.
Delon Wright was the opposite of "really nice" and the Utes were still in this most of the way.  Ugly, ugly game.  Both teams have a ways to go.  This was a push so I'm just gonna pretend this game didn't happen.

VCU -11.5 v. Toledo.  Still like the Rockets...but VCU swallows up teams like this on its home floor.
UGH.  I was gonna take Toledo too.  Of course the Rams nearly covered anyway after being in a dogfight almost the whole game.  Both teams impressed me here.  0-1.

Old Dominion -2.5 v. Richmond.  Chris Mooney a classic case of why you strike when the iron's hot.  He should be getting fired at a power 5 school right around now.
2013 was just a shocking year to see the Monarchs going 5-25.  Of course, there was a silver lining in there - the hilarious victory over Virginia that played a large part in keeping the Wahoos out of the tournament.  Even more hilarious was it was sandwiched in between 9 and 10 game losing streaks.  Anyway, I'm glad they're back to being much better than that.  A shot at LSU, who had its own problems on Tuesday, awaits in the Virgin Islands on Friday.  1-1.

Youngstown State +7 @ Central Michigan.  I just love that there's a school out there who counts when Chris Kaman was there as its halcyon days.  But those days are gone.
Bad team fails to cover against bad team.  1-2.

Indiana State -2.5 v. Saint Louis.  The kind of game that makes you realize the Billikens are really rebuilding after a few year stretch that they may never match again.
Ouch.  13 point home loss for the Sycamores.  I was wary picking against a Jim Crews coached team and now I know why.  1-3.

Xavier -11 v. Long Beach State.  Total heart over head pick, I'm riding the X bandwagon as much and as long as I can.  49ers look good so far though.
Wow, not even I was expecting a 23 point win.  X could very well run the table in nonconference play until a New Year's Eve home meeting with Georgetown - and they'd pick up a number of decent wins if they do so, with games against Stephen F. Austin, Murray State, San Diego and Florida Gulf Coast along with an SEC three-step: Alabama, @Missouri, @Auburn.  Great scheduling by Chris Mack.  2-3.

Michigan State +7.5 v. Duke in Champions Classic game 1.  I just want to believe this is going to be close at the end.
Lesson # 1 in how stupid it is to pick what you hope will happen vs what you think will.  At least I believed this would be close more than the other game.  2-4.

Northeastern +11 @ Florida State.  Yeah, there's something off with this line.  Given the Huskies returning experience, the +525 moneyline is a nice shot too.
KA-CHING!  Too bad these are all just for fun.  FSU almost always botches a noncon game against a low major which is especially hilarious because they're almost always on the bubble.  3-4.

Ohio State -12 v. Marquette.  I can't help but think back to that utter stink bomb the Golden Eagles dropped on their home floor against the Buckeyes last year.
Ugh, Buckeyes win by 11.  3-5.

Minnesota -10.5 v. Western Kentucky.  Minnesota's not scared of these tough mid major teams coming in to the Barn.  They've had it happen a lot in recent years with the Dakota schools, Bucknell, etc.  Plus they showed me something in Puerto Rico.  They're tough.
It's easy to think WKU's continued its program strength from earlier in the 2000's when really they've just gotten hot in the Sun Belt tourney a couple of times.  Easy win for a good team.  4-5.

UT Arlington -3 v. Buffalo.  This is one where you look at all the money being on UT Arlington and you realize it's for a reason.  This isn't the kind of game where you want to fade the public.
hahahahaha I believed in the public.  4-6.

DePaul -9 v. Drake.  Drake had that one year - that ONE year - when they ran the Valley and got a 5 seed...and then got stunned at the buzzer by a Western Kentucky long 3.  They've been roughly a .500 team ever since.  I hate taking DePaul here but I'd rather take them than a team that got trucked against Bowling Green at home.
Yeah Drake is bad.  Looks like they'll be playing on Thursday in Arch Madness as usual.  5-6.

BYU -16.5 v. Arkansas Little Rock.  Little Rock's been in the top 100 in adjusted tempo the past 3 years.  That's not the way you wanna play at the Marriott Center when you don't have the horses.
91-62 sounds about right.  6-6.

LSU -7.5 v. Texas Tech.  Red Raiders only beat Loyola Maryland by 12 (that's bad) and are really, really young.  Maybe they're not quite walking in to Death Valley but this should still be a tough atmosphere to close out the marathon.
Tech actually blew a 12 point halftime lead here to lose in overtime.  Tells me that these are two uneven teams who will be in their conference's second division.  6-7.

Kansas +7 v. Kentucky in the Champions Classic game 2.  I just want to believe this is close at the end part 2 plus I think everyone's maybe overrating the favorites and underrating the underdogs a little - just as was the case coming in to this event last year.
No.  6-8.

UNC Greensboro -2 v. UNC Wilmington.  270 in KenPom meets 272 and East meets West!  I'll take West because they don't have the beaches although it's looking like a strong year to have the ACC tournament.
Ugh I KNEW I shouldn't have taken Greensboro because they're so bad.  6-9.

Penn +3 v. Rider.  My grandfather's a Princeton man and I've always rooted for them too.  With that said, it's sad to see our (?) traditional rivals as down as they have been in recent years.  Both Ivy basketball powers need a resurgence, especially after this bullshit Harvard losing to Holy Cross.
Yeah that resurgence isn't happening any time soon.  6-10.

La Salle +3.5 @ Quinnipiac.  Bobcats may still be drained from a 2OT triumph over Yale.  Even if they're not this feels like a second straight one possession game.
BOOM.  60-58 TO THE EXPLORERS.  I almost want to give myself a bonus point here.  7-10.

Murray State -1.5 @ Middle Tennessee State.  MURFREESBORO has always been a sneaky tough trip for football and hoops but the Racers need to get back on track after a surprising home loss to Kelvin Sampson's Houston to start the season.  Blue Raiders aren't what they were a few years ago when they should've won the Sun Belt tourney but never could.
Racers didn't even let the hosts get to 50.  Another nice call.  8-10.

Southern Illinois -9 @ Tennessee State.  Still cautiously optimistic about a decent season in Carbondale....
The optimism would be less cautious if they could finish each game playing against 4 people!  9-10.

Butler -15.5 v. Chattanooga - Was gonna take the Mocs and then I saw they were wedged between Incarnate Word and SIU-Edwardsville on Kenpom.
hahahahaha this was 25-22 at half and ended 70-48.  10-10.

Boise State -16.5 v. Montana.  This feels like kind of a high number but I like the Broncos and the Griz are starting over.
Broncos got off to a really slow start and had to pull this out of the fire in 2OT.  This was a bad pick.  Montana was always going to play hard against a regional big brother and that was just way too many points.  10-11.

Stony Brook +13.5 @ Georgia.  This too is a great moneyline shot - +800?!  Wow.  That's incredible value.
Stony led this much of the first half before fading to almost not cover but 80-70 gets it done.  Nice resilience and offensive prowess from the Bulldogs.  They've got a date with Gonzaga in the NIT Season Tip Off on Thanksgiving Eve.  That's what we call a "measuring stick game."  11-11.

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