I thought San Diego State’s defense would play well, and they did, holding unbeaten Washington to just 49 points. What I didn’t bank on was an offensive display to set basketball back decades, for the third or fourth time this season nonetheless, in a 36-point clunker. Obviously, they lost the game, but it is interesting to see yet another game between ranked or major conference opponents in which the winner failed to score 50 points (Wisconsin over the weekend against Marquette also comes to mind).
The offensive drought is definitely more ammo for the opponents of the one-and-done rule and all the folks decrying the decline of college basketball. As unaesthetically pleasing as it may be, I think us hoops fans need to buckle up for a low-scoring ride. Look at the top teams in the nation; Kentucky, Wisconsin, Louisville – all great examples of teams that are happy to beat you 50-40 this season. Could we be in store for a Final Four game with a Vegas total under 100??
In the meantime, it’s a pretty light slate of action tonight, but there is one game I like to get us back on the winning path and build on a nice 59% ATS start to the college basketball season.
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Today’s Free Pick:
IPFW Mastodons at Purdue Boilermakers -14.5 (Total: 151.5)
Purdue has a lot to be thankful for this weekend, namely the Michigan Wolverines for losing at home to NJIT in stunning fashion. That was a nice red herring to distract Big Ten fans away from the similar stinkbomb in Mackey Arena that was North Florida’s 73-70 win over Purdue.
However, if you can wipe that game aside and chalk it up as a reallllly bad day, Purdue has actually been pretty good this season. They have beaten Missouri, BYU and NC State and had only lost to Kansas State prior to the North Florida debacle.
So do they get back to normal and hammer a no-name IPFW squad tonight? Well… not so fast. IPFW has a good chance to earn their first tourney berth in school history as one of the favorites in the Summit League and is off to a 5-2 start with close losses to Georgia Tech and Dartmouth (by a single point). They aren’t a “good” team by any chance, but I think they can keep the in-state challenge closer than expected. IPFW is 7-1-1 ATS in their last nine road games and should be inspired tonight to play well. I’d like them even more if they had the element of perhaps catching Purdie napping – that wake-up call was likely well-delivered by North Florida (the Osprey, if you’d like some useless trivia).
However, I think the Mastodons can keep the game right around double-digits and sneak out a cover tonight on the road. Mackey Arena is tough place to play, but I doubt the crowd will be at fever pitch tonight.