Most mock brackets, due to geography, have Wisconsin as the unfortunate #2 seed in the bracket with unbeaten Kentucky. However, anyone who watched yesterday’s absolute smoking of Ohio State in Columbus didn’t see a team anywhere close the eighth on the “S-Curve.” Do they deserve the #1 seed over Duke, Virginia or Villanova? Perhaps not. But the discussion is FAR from final. If the Badgers cut down the nets in the Big Ten Tourney, don’t be surprised if they leapfrog either Nova or the non-winner of the ACC (it gets even more interesting if neither wins…)
More teams have punched their tickets with Coastal Carolina and North Florida joining Belmont in the Big Dance. Several more teams are on deck tonight, with heavily favored Wofford looking to return to the NCAA Tournament against tenth-seeded Furman. The Paladins are 11-21 and would be an absolute stunning entrant to the field. Meanwhile, Wofford would be a dangerous potential Cinderella, so there are some teams like North Florida rooting for Furman in hopes of jumping up to the 15 line.
We notched a winner last night with Northern Iowa preserving a bubble bid with a furious second half decimation of Illinois State to turn a double-digit hole into a nine point win. Let’s see if we can grab another winner today.
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Today’s Free Pick:
Furman Paladins vs. Wofford Terriers -11.5
It’s been fun Furman, but tonight is where the party ends. Odd things happen in small conference tourneys all the time, and we have already gotten our share of upsets (Murray State, St. Mary’s, FGCU, Wichita State), but tonight’s game should even be in suspense for most of the second half. Wofford ripped through the SoCon, (I’m sure they aren’t missing Davidson right now, who won the A-10 in their first season in the much tougher league) with a record of 13-1 and has covered six of their last seven games.
Furman has gone on a nice run, winning their last three games after a tough two-point loss to Wofford seemed to jump-start their season. However, prior to this run they had lost six of seven games and, as their tenth place finish in the SoCon indicated, lost to a lot of teams that aren’t real good.
I’m not saying Wofford are world-beaters, but this is the kind of team that will give someone a legit game in the NCAA Tournament (and has before)/ They have wins over Iona and NC State this season and of their seven losses, three of them are against big time opponents (Duke, West Virginia, Stanford). This is a 14-seed that can make some teams nervous. I don’t expect them to have too much trouble with the Paladins tonight, despite a close game at Furman a few weeks ago. The home game was a 25-point route. Expect a little more of the latter tonight.