Oakland vs. Towson Pick NCAA Basketball – March 28th

Is it the zone, or is it “the zone”?

For the second straight game, a team that was probably better on paper (or definitely better in Virginia’s case) completly wilted in a game they had comfortably under control, only to look up (dazed?) and see the Orange celebrating another win.  It was a tough pill to swallow for the Virginia faithful and senior-laden roster as the dream of finally returning to the Final Four evaporated inexplicably.  It leaves us with a Final Four comprised of three teams that have been ranked #1 in the nation at some point this season and… Syracuse, a team that justifiably raised some eyebrows when their name was announced as even being IN the Field of 68.

So is Syracuse the “lovable Cinderella”?  It’s kind of hard to wrap your head around Jim Boeheim, he of the multiple Final Fours and this year’s quarter-season NCAA mandated suspension being the lovable plucky upstart to wrap our collective arms around the way we would typically embrace a #10 seed in the Final Four.  Now if that #10 seed was Monmouth?  Oh the bench celebrations we would have had…. Sigh….

By the way, there is a tournament called the “Vegas 16” happening tonight.  Did you know that?  Seriously?  Did you also know the tournament features only EIGHT (huh?) teams?!?!  Ok then,  you are definitely my type of guy or girl.  The Final Four may be a week away, but we still have some wagers to win, darn it – so let’s dive into today’s free pick.

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Today’s Free Pick:

Towson Tigers vs. Oakland Grizzlies -6 (Total: 160)

Oakland has some name recognition thanks to their star player, Kahlil Felder, who was top five in the nation in both scoring and assists.  His Grizzlies darn near knocked off Michigan State over Christmas break and were one of the best bets in the country this season at a dazzling 19-7-1 ATS on the year.

They take on Towson tonight at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, after finishing the season at 20-12 and just 12-12 ATS.  The reason so many less games ATS?  They play a really lousy schedule with lots of games so bad no book even takes action on the games.  They lost three of their last five games and shot a pretty ugly 42% from the floor this season.  That could give them real trouble tonight against a pretty solid Oakland ballclub and their possible-pro point guard, Felder.

I’d lean Oakland, but am not wild about laying six points in a casino in Vegas – literally – this game is being played in a casino in Vegas.  But I am LOVING the UNDER 160.  To eclipse that number, we’d need a game with a score of like 85-76 or more.  That’s a lot of points, especially considering how poorly Towson shoots the basketball.  In fact, in their last five games the highest point total was just 148. The average is under 140.  Even Oakland, which can score, only has passed that number twice in their last seven games.

Look for a game in the 70’s with some odd shooting backdrops and an odd venue.  Think “Battle 4 Atlantis” where there is always some erratic shooting.  I’ll lean Oakland, but bet the UNDER.

Free Pick: Point TOTAL UNDER 160