We notched a pair of college hoops winners last night, backed by Texas’s dominant second half against Iowa and Indiana’s impressive home win over SMU. The pair of winners push the season mark to 8-2 ATS with a big weekend of college hoops action scheduled .
Before we dive into today’s picks, a few random observations from the college hoops landscape. Here’s a few teams I’m BUYING and a few teams I’d caution you not to overreact about.
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BUY: Gonzaga looks incredible. I know I was big on them in the preview, but the dominant 94-42 win over St. Joe’s is worth repeating a few more times. That’s a staggering performance, and coming on the heels of the 27-point win over SMU (who went to the wire at Indiana last night, despite missing a few players). Wisconsin also looked excellent in a routine 84-60 win over a better-than-most know Green Bay team.
HOLD: Florida got beat by Miami. But keep in mind they were dealing with some suspension issues, most notable Chris Walker. He’s back now, and this still a legit Top 10 – Top 15 team. Likewise, don’t jump off the Kansas or Michigan State bandwagon quite yet. Kansas, we all know what happened to them. But Michigan State shot 50% in their loss to Duke. The Spartans actually impressed me Tuesday night, Duke is just REALLY good.
BEWARE: Syracuse got exposed last night in a blowout loss to Cal. Likewise, I’m tepid on UConn being able to replace Shabazz as easily as some expected with Boatwright. We will get a better look at them against Dayton this afternoon, but don’t be surprised if the Flyers pick them off…
Today’s Free Picks:
Akron Zips vs. Miami Hurricanes -3
The Canes are getting votes in the Top 25 after their win over Florida, but as cautioned above, that win may be more an indication of Florida’s personnel shortage as Miami’s brilliance. Meanwhile, don’t sleep on the Zips. These type of mid-major versus middling high majors tend to yield some interesting scores to the casual observer. That is because, just as March proves every year, there just isn’t a HUGE gap between good midmajors and non-elite high majors in terms of talent.
Miami is a small ballclub, with only three guys topping 6’5’’, that negates some of the advantages big conference schools often enjoy in these type of ball games. Akron is fresh off a 64-44 ripping of USC and Andy Enfield (another column for another day, but did anyone think this was really going to work in LA??)
Akron is likely the team to beat in the MAC East. This is a HUGE game for them in terms of national perception and resume. I like them to come in sharp and pick off the Canes today at the Charleston Classic at an odd 2:30 ET tip.
LSU Tigers -1 vs. Old Dominion Monarchs
Things have been tough to Old Dominion the past few seasons after a great run in the late 2000’s. They are expected to be better this year but this is still a team picked in the middle of the pack in C-USA. That puts them in cahoots with Middle Tennessee State, UAB and FAU. Hmmm.
Meanwhile, LSU is a borderline Tourney team with good size and athleticism. This line flew off the board as one of the oddest of the day. I think LSU handles ODU with relative ease over in the Virgin Islands. Look for Jordan Mickey to have a big game inside for the Tigers.