We split our picks yesterday, with UCLA pulling out the cover and Northwestern missing a big opportunity at home allowing Nebraska their first road win of the entire season. The mixed day moves us to 7-2 ATS in college hoops for the week; still a good mark, but let’s try to wrap up the week with a nice day and stack on a few more winners.
The biggest win of the day might have come in Dallas, where Larry Brown’s SMU Mustangs all but assured their first NCAA berth with a dominating home win over Cincinnati. The Bearcats were 11-0 in the competitive AAC before hitting a buzzsaw last night. SMU is trending towards a solid single digit seed and it looks like Larry Brown, whom many thought was crazy to take the SMU job at 71-years old, is going to do it yet again. Really impressive stuff.
The biggest story of the day though was not a pleasant one. I’m sure more details will emerge, but you’ve gotta think that the Marcus Smart incident last night is going to lead some pretty big suspensions and penalties. It was a bizarre scene, and certainly not a good look for college basketball and one of its biggest stars.
Let’s get to happier things and try to notch an eighth ATS college winner for the week.
Today’s Free Pick:
Oregon State Beavers at Arizona Wildcats -15
Until I see that Arizona is really going to be OK without Brandon Ashley, I’m going to continue fading them until their massive lines shrink down to a normal size. They struggled mightily at home against Oregon, and if the Ducks had a little more team maturity and poise, they’d have won the game.
Meanwhile, Oregon State has been playing better basketball of late. They lost a tough overtime game at Arizona State and notched a pair of wins over UCLA and USC. They’ve improved to 5-5 in the tough Pac 12 and are 6-3 ATS in their last nine games. Are they going to knock off Arizona on the road?? Of course not. But 15 points is a ton to over for a team re-finding its identity and who hasn’t beaten a team by more than 15 points since the Arizona State beatdown and has failed to even come CLOSE to covering in their last five games.
Creighton Bluejays -3 at St. John’s Red Storm
This is a tricky spot for Creighton tonight. On paper, they seem a TON better than St. John’s, but over the past few weeks Steve Lavin’s team has started to more closely resemble the NCAA caliber team many expected them to be preseason. They’ve won five of their last six and covered four in a row and their only loss was a tough 63-60 loss at Creighton.
So which Creighton team visits New York tonight? The one that went to Villanova and won by 30, or the team that the game before that lost at Providence?
I love Creighton and national player of the year lock Doug McDermott, but I think tonight’s a tricky one for them and they finally get tripped up. I’ll take St. John’s at home in a mild upset.