Tuesday, December 9, 2014

College Basketball Picks - December 9 (Jimmy V Classic)

Before we begin, a quick note about the bracket.  Providence had the gall to lose by double digits at home to Brown so they've been kicked out of the bracket.  SMU moves up from the 11 line to take Provy's 10 by virtue of their profile getting a nice boost with last night's overtime win over UC Santa Barbara.  Michigan moves in to SMU's 11 hole, which is good since they were only knocked down to the 12 line because of bracketing problems.  Northern Iowa gets out of the play in game due to being the strongest of the 12's and Georgetown gets in to the field because their profile is the best of the last 4 teams out (Oregon/Nebraska have sub 100 RPI's and the Hoyas have a better RPI and one less loss than Georgia.)  The Hoyas have a huge game tomorrow night at home against Kansas but even a loss won't be enough to knock them out of the field for me.

Villanova -5.5 v. Illinois in the first game of the Jimmy V Classic.  I really want to take the Illini because I don't have a ton of faith in Nova to cover even a spread this small against a quality opponent but I just can't see them winning this game so I can't take them.  There will be a lot more Wildcat fans at MSG and they should spur their team on.
Decent game.  Illini kept trying to make runs in the second half but Nova - in large part thanks to Dylan Ennis - kept swatting them away before pulling away late.  1-0.
Louisville -12 v. Indiana in the second game of the Jimmy V Classic.  Indiana's got the 16th youngest team in the country.  That's not good when going up against the Pitino press.
A surprising shootout in which the Hoosiers were able to stay close in the first half before getting blown away in the second.  Just goes to show you how good the Cards are that they can win any way.  2-0.

Michigan -14.5 v. Eastern Michigan.  The Eagles aren't bad - they're better than NJIT - but the Wolverines will surely be more focused after the most embarrassing of losses.
No they won't.  I should edit the bracket to kick them out just like I did Providence but EMU is good and plays really good defense so I'll be nice.  2-1.

Wichita State -12.5 v. Seton Hall.  Pirates haven't played a road game yet and their toughest opponent so far has been Illinois State.  They're in for a rude awakening against a far superior Valley team that's unbeatable at home.
Pirates went on a late run to cover this but they were never in the game.  2-2.

Kansas State -17.5 v. Bradley.  Wildcats may not have the firepower to cover this with ease but Bradley's so bad they probably will anyways.
Virginia/Rutgers is still the ugliest first half of the season but this damn near matched it.  Bradley led 19-18 but the Cats came back to "win" by 3.  2-3.

Baylor -5.5 v. Texas A&M.  First road game for the Aggies and they've played a number of close home/neutral site games with teams worse than the Bears.
Slow start for the Bears but they kicked it in to gear to win the Battle of the Brazos by 14.  3-3.

Xavier -26 v. IUPUI.  X put up 56 in the second half against Alabama on Saturday.  That offense is HUMMING.
A slow first half that they only led 27-23 at the half....but they almost covered anyway.  3-4.

Marist +11 v. Penn.  I need an underdog and I don't trust Penn to beat a middle school team by 11.  Well, they DID beat Navy by 11 but that's not much better.
Marist - especially missing three people - is worse than a middle school team.  3-5.

TCU -22.5 v. Furman.  Paladins have one of the best names in college athletics but also one of the worst basketball teams.
I wanted to pick each of Eastern Michigan, Bradley, IUPUI and Furman.  I picked none of them.  All covered.  Story of my life.  3-6.

Evansville +5.5 @ Belmont.  Purple Aces are a three against Green Bay from being unbeaten and their next two are against the Ohio Valley favorites (they host Murray State Saturday.)  That's enough for me to take a generous amount of points.
Ooh, nice second half comeback by the Purple Aces to win in Nashville!  Maybe it's they who will be Wichita closest challenger in the Valley along with UNI.  4-6.

South Dakota State +4 @ Saint Louis.  The Billikens have been.....uninspiring to say the least.
SDSU won by 7.  Doing Nate Wolters proud, boys.  5-6.

Creighton -16.5 v. South Dakota.  The Coyotes only hope is if the Bluejays are resting on their laurels after winning at in state big brother Nebraska on Sunday night.
That's pretty much exactly what they did.  South Dakota hit a 3 to force overtime and the Bluejays hadn't escaped until after a second helping of extra time.  Big night for South Dakota hoops though!  5-7.

UC Davis -6.5 v. Eastern Illinois.  UC Davis might be able to throw its hat in to the ring in the Big West but they're probably still a step behind the top three.
7-1 now for the Mustangs (they're technically the Aggies but fuck that, the logo's a Mustang) although Utah State at home in overtime is their only top 200 KenPom win.  Next four are on the road, including the most possible power conference scalp (Washington State.)  6-7.

Iowa State -25.5 v. UMKC.  The ROOS haven't beaten a Division 1 team since winning at Missouri on opening night.  ISU has topped 90 points in each of its two games since looking stagnant offensively against Maryland.
Make it 0-5 in underdogs I wanted to take but didn't.  6-8.

New Hampshire +9.5 @ Rutgers.  Rutgers.
UNH actually led this in the second half before Myles Mack led a comeback.  How the hell Rutgers has beaten two power conference opponents and led Virginia at the half is beyond me.  7-8.

Utah Valley +28 @ Arizona.  Finally a big underdog I don't decide against taking after looking at the game closer.  Mostly because they're getting A LOT of points and I don't think Arizona's gonna be super fired up - I still think they're drained from the war with Gonzaga on Saturday.
Aaaaaand the big underdog I actually take doesn't cover.  Maybe next time take one not playing a top 5 opponent.  Still, story of my life.  7-9.

Iowa -31.5 v. Alcorn State.  SWAC.
Did NOT have this game ending 67-44.  But that'll happen when one team goes 0/8 from 3 and the other 3/19.  7-10.

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