Maybe Duke should have just suspended Grayson Allen after all…
The Blue Devils got absolutely punked in Pittsburgh, even with the controversial star on the court, getting beaten physically at every turn en route to an easy 76-62 victory that never felt as close as the score. Benching Allen would have accomplished two aims; one dispelling the notion that Duke is soft on discipline and that another spoiled, entitled petulant star is able to get away with things “normal” college players would not, and secondly, at least they could have chalked up the loss to personnel shortages. Instead, it was just a beat-down, and an embarrassing one at that.
Our five game winning streak went down with the Devils, but we will see if we can start a new streak today and stack up a few winners on the final week of the college hoops regular season.
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Today’s Free Pick:
Kansas Jayhawks -1.5 at Texas Longhorns
Saying any team is the “best in the country” or even definitively “better” than another team feels like a fool’s errand in 2016. But, if one were to make that extrapolatory leap for any team, the Jayhawks would be the best bet. The presumptive new #1 team in the country when today’s polls are released will have less than a few hours to acclimate to the mantle before facing a really difficult test. Texas is 10-6 in Big Twelve play and is fresh off a win over rival Oklahoma. Add in their wins over North Carolina, Baylor, Iowa State and their season sweep of West Virginia, and the Longhorns have cobbled together one of the most dazzling resumes in recent memory for a team with double-digit losses.
However, Kansas appears to be the one team that might have at least a slight immunity to the madness of this crazy college basketball season. They were the ONLY Top Ten team NOT to lose last week (absurd in its own right) and have won nine straight games including wins over Kentucky, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Baylor and Texas Tech. They’ve won at home, they’ve won tough games on the road and they LOOK like the team I picked as my preseason #1 on The Sports Geek.
There is a definite let-down challenge tonight. Kansas clinched at least a share of the Big Twelve crown for the twelfth straight year Saturday, making today a pretty quick emotional turnaround for a road game. However, Texas has a similar let-down affect in play. They just knocked off their fiercest rival with an insane flurry at the end of the game and now faces a second top five opponent in 48 hours. That’s pretty brutal.
Texas is at home, which is an edge, but Kansas is the better basketball team. I’ll take the ‘Hawks in a basic pick em, even on the road. Kansas is rolling. They are 8-1 ATS in their last nine games and is 4-1 both ATS and SU in their last five road games.