It was a tough night last night as I dropped both college basketball picks for the first time in two and a half weeks. It was a weird weekend of college hoops in general; Michigan gets blasted by Wisconsin, SMU’s hot streak met a bucket of ice water losing to a 7-17 Temple team, Arizona State avenged an earlier season blowout against arch-rival Arizona, and maybe the biggest jaw-dropper of all, Nebraska went INTO East Lansing and handily beat the Michigan State Spartans. Crazy. Nebraska was 1-8 on the road at one point this season, now they are on the bubble.
It’s going to be an insane final three weeks of regular season action, so strap in for a wild close to the season!
Let’s start a new week off right with a winner. We’ll start by taking a look at a pair of absoulutely desperate teams squaring off in a huge Big 12 clash.
Today’s Free Pick:
Oklahoma State Cowboys at Baylor Bears -4
There are some games where teams are reeling and need a win. There are some games where one team really has their back against the wall and can ill-afford a loss. This game has do-or-die implications for BOTH teams.
In November, you could have projected these two in the Final Four and not been thought crazy. Now, it could still be a Final Four matchup, though I’m not sure they get as excited over that nomenclature in the NIT…
You’ll hear a lot about Okie State struggling without suspended star Marcus Smart, but keep in mind he has only missed two games. The Cowboys have lost six games in a row, seven of their last nine and have failed to cover in seven straight games. Only one of those seven failed covers were even near-misses. Six of them were by five points or more.
Meanwhile, Baylor, despite an awful start to the conference season, appear to be steadying the ship a bit, winning two in a row (yes, one was over TCU but they did beat them 91-58) and have won three of five overall. Losses to Kansas and at Oklahoma are no shame (but you’d expect a little more competitive effort).
That’s the skinny on both teams, but let’s face it – neither can afford a loss tonight. I like the way Baylor has played the last few times out and think they have enough talent and fight to get the win at home. Oklahoma State is lost right now, and I’m not sure they figure it out on the road without Smart tonight. I STILL think they will somehow find their way into the NCAA Tournament (seriously, Nebraska is on the bubble?) but it’s going to have to be a high-wire act after taking another “L” tonight.