It’s Conference Tourney time, so who wants to be in the NCAA Tournament! No… seriously, who wants to be in the NCAA Tournament?? Hello??
After the performance from most of yesterday’s bubble-stradlers, it feels like the answer is less enthusiastic than one would assume. Nearly every team that needed to win yesterday failed to do so. Old Dominion lost to ETSU. Illinois got blasted by Michigan. Texas A&M lost to Auburn. It’s hard to imagine any of them getting an invite. But the most gut-wrenching loss of the day had to be the Texas Longhorns. Texas may still somehow, someway, hear their name called Sunday, but if they don’t then tonight’s loss to Iowa State will linger for a long while. The Cyclones closed the game on a 12-0 run including a game-winning buzzer beater to crush the ‘Horns hearts 71-69.
Teams like Indiana likely eliminated any doubt with their win and UCLA put themselves in good position with a blowout win over USC, but the biggest winner of the day might just have been Murray State. The RPI numbers don’t smile on them, but with seemingly every bubble team losing and most too bad teams, perhaps sentiment wins out and the Racers are given a reprieve by a sympathetic committee…
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Today’s Free Pick:
Baylor Bears vs. Kansas Jayhawks -1
The Jayhawks deserve plenty of accolades for winning an eleventh straight Big Twelve regular season championship, and yet another in a year where so many predicted them to finally fall off (remember when Texas was a Final Four contender??). But right now, this team just isn’t quite right. They struggled mightily to get past a clearly less-talented TCU squad, eeking out an unimpressive 64-59 win. Today, things will be a lot tougher with the Baylor Bears.
Baylor looked great today in dispatching a good West Virginia team, and has now won six of seven and covered five of their last six games. They’ve beaten West Virginia on a neutral court and won convincingly at Iowa State. If they could win two more, they could be an interesting candidate to steal the last #2 seed and leapfrog Kansas. They lost a pair to KU this year, including a brutal 56-55 loss at home, but perhaps the third time is the charm.
Kansas has never been more vulnerable. They’ve looked shaky since the Cliff Alexander “suspension” or “benching” or however you want to classify KU sitting the talented freshman amidst an NCAA investigation regarding improper benefits. Kansas is just 6-4 in their last ten games and a lousy 3-7 ATS.
Right now, Baylor is the better team and I think they get the win on a neutral court today.