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.

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