Villanova prevailed last night in a thriller, 82-79 in double overtime. Unfortunately, they came up a point and a half shy of covering, giving me a narrow loss. The Indiana Iowa game was cancelled after parts of the ceiling fell off. Yup. It wasn’t snow or weather. It was a building shedding pieces. Weird stuff.
The end result was a 0-1-1 night for me. Let’s try to do better tonight. We have a bevy of games to choose from tonight, but it is unique night in that we have a TON of teams that are heavy double-digit favorites inside conference play. LSU, Xavier, St. Louis, SMU, Kansas State, Syracuse, Wichita State, and Florida are all massive favorites tonight. Are one (or more?) of them vulnerable tonight?
Perhaps you like your favorites in a bit more of a struggle? Cal is a scant two point fave against rival UCLA and Arizona is a tempting slim 4.5 point favorite at Utah. There’s a bunch of good matchups to look at tonight, but I’m going to focus on my favorite pick on the board.
Today’s Free Pick:
Creighton Blue Jays -3 at Marquette Eagles (Total: 142.5)
Marquette went from biggest bust in the country to recent bubble contender thanks to a nice recent surge winning five of seven games, including a recent win against Xavier where they forced 19 turnovers and turned them into 27 points. They will find Creighton a little less willing to cough it up tonight, but that defensive intensity will be key for Buzz Williams’ crew.
Creighton is riding high after a second blowout win over Villanova to sweep the season series and move into a first place tie with the Wildcats at 11-2. Obviously, they now hold the tie-breaker and will win the Big East in their very first season if they can just hold serve the last two weeks of the regular season. With the recent slides by Xavier and Providence, only the two aforementioned teams are tourney locks, so it’d be better for the conference if Marquette gets the win. But suffice it to say Creighton could care less.
The Jays have been fantastic, and Doug McDermott is so easily the National Player of the Year that anyone who votes otherwise is kidding themselves. He has nine 30+ point games this year and just passed Larry Bird on the all-time scoring list for 13th on the all-time list. I expect him to keep it going tonight and get a big win for Creighton. Marquette has been playing better, but Creighton is the better team.