It was a good night for us at thesportsgeek.com, with a perfect 3-0 ATS in college hoops. It wasn’t a good night for SEC basketball fans, however. As predicted here, Kentucky, despite being at home against a miserable 10-14 Vanderbilt team, struggled mightily to get the win before prevailing 74-70. Their worthiness of inclusion in the Tournament still has to be proven, and time is running out. Meanwhile, remember Ole Miss and that great start? Well, hopefully the Committee does as well, because last night’s loss to lowly South Carolina was an absolute stink-bomb. It gives the Rebels five losses in their last seven conference games and has them well outside the RPI Top 50.
Could the SEC really be back to being a two-bid league? They looked like a solid four, hopeful five, bid league three weeks ago…
Another league’s tourney fate lies in the balance of a huge West Coast Conference game tonight. Let’s dig into that matchup, as well as peek in on a few Pac-12 bubble teams squaring off tonight as well for tonight’s free picks.
BYU Cougars at St. Mary’s Gaels -8
The Gaels had the conference title “on their racquet” so to speak, and double faulted mightily in their 77-60 home loss to Gonzaga last week. Now they need to bounce back and get a huge home win over fellow WCC Tourney-hopeful BYU in order to firm up their otherwise flimsy resume. Yes, they are 21-5, but the resume doesn’t have a lot of meat on it, especially having been swept by the Zags.
Senior point guard Matthew Delavadova has the ability to be one of the best lead guards in the country but has been slumping lately. He has more pressure on him than in recent years, as this year’s Gaels don’t have the same scoring punch as prior teams he guided.
BYU entered the season ranked, but quickly fell out and hasn’t returned. They have however seemed to stumble upon Jimmer 2.0 with the scoring machine of Tyler Haws. I expect Haws to follow up his 27-point performance with another good game tonight.
I am not sure BYU pulls the upset, but eight points seems like a ton in a game of two pretty evenly matched teams.
Free Pick: BYU Cougars +8
Cal Bears at Oregon Ducks -6
Oregon was ripping through the Pac-12 and rocketing up the national rankings, but reality has crept in a bit the last three weeks. This team is good, but not great, and probably not the best team in the Pac 12. Cal has resurrected their season with some excellent recent play, and is suddenly back in bubble conversation. Can Coach Montgomery push the Bears to an upset win tonight?!?! (OK, bad pun. If you don’t get the joke, google ‘Montgomery pushes Crabbe’)
All kidding aside, I like the way Cal has played lately and don’t trust the Ducks. Cal beat them once this season already in their place, and has a good talent match position by position to give the Ducks trouble. I like Allan Crabbe and the Cal Bears to cover, if not win outright, tonight at Oregon.
Free Pick: Cal Bears +6