Our underdog bid was thwarted at the last minute when a late game-stretching run by the Bearcats ended in a successful cover with a blocked layup attempt with eleven second to go. We came up a point and a half, and an oh-so-tantalizing few feet away from victory, but alas the tough start to the week continued with a defeat.
We will try to salvage a tough week with a winner tonight amidst a crowded slate of quality college hoops action. If you like good mid-major hoops, the SoCon battle between William & Mary and Charleston is fantastic, and Milwaukee at Valpo and IPFW at South Dakota State are pretty darn good. But if major college hoops is more your interest, Pitt at Louisville in a battle of ranked ACC opponent is a good watch, and tonight’s rematch between Iowa and Michigan State, this time with the Spartans at home and with Denzel Valentine, trying to avenge their only loss of the season, is about as good as it gets.
I’m watching the two latter games, but my favorite play of the night takes place in a much smaller venue in a pivotal Summit League contest.
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Today’s Free Pick:
IPFW Mastodons at South Dakota State Jackrabbits -9.5
You are forgiven if you don’t have this game queued up on the DVR (or even have the means to watch it if you wanted to), but not only will you miss out on a good chance to watch a possible March Cinderella candidate, but you will also miss the nation’s most successful team against the spread, the mighty Mastodons of IPFW. They enter tonight at a staggering 12-1 ATS, including 7-1 in their last ten games and 3-0 in conference. They are also unbeaten straight up in conference play as well.
Meanwhile, South Dakota State has some name recognition from the Nate Wolters team that showed well in the Tourney, but is just 6-7 ATS and just 2-6 in their last ten games (in case there is some confusion on my numbers not adding up, keep in mind in the Summit League some of the lesser opponents are so small there is no line on the game, hence the last ten games ATS not adding up to ten in either case). Anyhow, SDSU has some talent but is far from that team of several years ago. They already have a conference loss to IUPUI and will try to avoid the Indiana back-to-back tonight.
They are a healthy favorite, but that just makes this game even more attractive to me. I can get the nation’s most successful wager and nearly double-digit points? Several computer simulations ran this game as a 73-61 winner for IPFW, 21 points to the contrary of the spread. If you want a flyer, IPFW can be had at as high as +400 which is good value. Plus 9.5 is a great value.
SDSU has failed to cover in their last five games or any conference game this season. They have won big in their last two head-to head matchups at home but are just 2-3 head to head in their last five overall.
I’ll take the odds tonight and a big pile of points with a top 100 RPI team.