The Kansas Jayhawks won the Orlando Old Spice Classic (is that still the name?) with a five point win over Michigan State, enough to easily cover the spread. The winner was out sixth winning day in seven days and pushed the season record to a nice 17-11 ATS. This week is officially dubbed “Feast Week” and there will be some big time matchups to tune in to (Kentucky vs. Texas, Wisconsin vs. Duke, Ohio State vs. Louisville) though the overall depth of games is a little lighter than last week.
We will try to keep a nice start to the season rolling with a bevy of picks, though some of the games might be ones a little more off the national radar.
Speaking of off the radar, how about the DePaul Blue Demons yesterday? Long the laughingstock of the Big East, hey pushed their record to 3-1 with a commanding win over Stanford. I still think DePaul is likely last in the Big East when it is all said and done, but chalk up yet another stunning early season winner for the BEast.
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Today’s Free Pick:
Nebraska Cornhuskers -1.5 at Florida State Seminoles
It’s been a tough start to the season for both of these teams. Both Nebraska and Florida State have tourney aspirations, but the tourney looks more like the NIT through five and six games respectively. Yes, Nebraska is a decent 4-1, but their loss came in their only real test, a road game against a likely non-tourney Rhode Island and looking sluggish in their two subsequent games against Nebraska-Omaha and Tennessee Martin.
Florida State lost to Northeastern, got slaughtered by Providence and then lost to UMass (while wearing bizarre neon highlighter blue jerseys trimmed with garnet and gold, which were even more hideous than their play on the court.) An NCAA Tourney berth seems ludicrous given the start and what is looming heading into the loaded ACC gauntlet, and that makes tonight a bit of a last stand for the Noles.
But I think their talent disadvantage is going to rear its head once again tonight. Nebraska hasn’t lived up to potential so far this season, but still will have the two best players on the floor in Petteway and Shields. Add in the fact that the Seminoles will be missing Aaron Thomas and Devon Bookert due to injuries tonight, and it all adds up to a Cornhuskers win.
Florida State and especially Leonard Hamilton-coached teams are known to get after it defensively, so don’t be surprised if this is an ugly, muck-it-up kind of game tonight and a less-aesthetically pleasing start to the ACC-Big Ten Challenge, but I’ll take a winner no matter how tough to watch, so I’ll lay the slim point and a half with the Huskers tonight.