We had a rough night in college hoops last night dropping both picks. It was a disappointing night for me, but nothing compared to the disappointment that must have permeated Assembly Hall for a post-game senior night “celebration” that had to feel anything but celebratory. The Hoosiers had their first outright Big Ten title in twenty years on their racquet, and couldn’t serve it out at home. Now, they have to win AT Michigan this weekend in the regular season finale to win the Big Ten outright. Should Michigan win, at least those two will split the title and several other teams (Ohio State, Wisconsin, Michigan State) can jump back in the race.
It was a wacky, bubble-shifting night and tonight expects to be more of the same. Between the final week in the power conferences and the little guys beginning their conference tourneys, there are a ton of meaningful games across the country.
Let’s hone in on a few for tonight’s free picks.
St. Louis Billikens -4 at Xavier Musketeers
This one feels pretty simple to me; the Billikens are one of the two hottest teams in the country. They have already disassembled VCU and Butler in routine fashion. Now they travel to perennial power Xavier who is headed nowhere this season, and aside from their upset home win over Memphis (hence tonight’s too-close line) has been mediocre. They lost this weekend at home to UMass, a team that is light years away from what St. Louis is bringing to the Cintas Center tonight.
I like St. Louis to win and cover on the road. Xavier has been feisty at home, but just lacks the talent and depth to compete with a red-hot St. Louis team.
Free Pick: St. Louis Billikens -4
Georgetown Hoyas at Villanova Wildcats -1
Speaking of hottest teams in the country, that discussion has to start with the surging Hoyas. They began the season unranked and are now in prime position to claim a #1 seed in the tourney. Their impressive rise has mirrored the explosion of Otto Porter onto the national scene. With Trey Burke, Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller all looking average at times in the last three weeks (and in games their team lost) the door is wide open for Porter to sneak in and win the award.
From a team perspective, I like Villanova, and think they have miraculously played their way into the tournament just mere months after a double-digit home loss to Columbia. But they are hosting a buzzsaw tonight, and I think it keeps on mowing through the Big East.
Give me G’Town on the road. They are getting a point, which is a basic pick-em’, so might as well take the money line if you can get one…
Free Pick: Georgetown Hoyas +1