We notched a fifth straight college basketball winner last night to drive the season record to a sparkling 14-4 ATS on the season. The latest winner was powered by a strong late effort from Northwestern, whom we have already covered with once prior this season, as they powered past Wake Forest last night to notch a very important win.
The ACC/Big Ten Challenge continues to heat up tonight with some far better matchups, including Pitt at Maryland, Iowa at Notre Dame, Syracuse at Wisconsin and Michigan State continuing their gauntlet at Duke. It should be a fun night of action and I am genuinely curious to see which conference will prevail. Granted, a lot of it comes down to matchups (you could argue Duke is the #2 ACC squad right now and Michigan State is no better than fourth or fifth in the Big Ten), but the conventional wisdom is the ACC is the best conference in the country and it isn’t even close. I have a sneaking suspicion, it might be closer than people think this week…
Let’s see if we can keep the good times rolling this week and keep stacking up winners at a near-record pace.
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Today’s Free Pick:
Pitt Panthers at Maryland Terrapins -4
We rolled with Melo and the Terps this weekend and barely escaped with a winner that frankly should have been a loss. Maryland struggled and narrowly got us the half point we needed to survive. I have been big this season on saying I expected a bounce back year from Tremble (so far so good) and to not give up on the Terps as relevant in the Big Ten (so far so good). But let’s be real – this team feels ripe for the picking tonight against a physical, tough Pitt squad.
The Panthers have a lone loss this season and enter 5-1, but the more you dig into their resume and results, the more you realize, this ISN’T that old-school Big East, black and blue, Jamie Dixon-led squad anymore. This Pitt team plays at a quicker tempo and, to this point, doesn’t defend in nearly the same fashion. They lost comfortably to SMU in Madison Square Garden and then came back the next night to squeak against a Marquette team that is far from good. They gave up 90 points in a three-point win over Eastern Michigan. They gave up 80 in a win over Gardener Webb. Marquette scored 75 in the aforementioned 78-75 win and they gave up 70 to Yale in a 75-70 winner.
Maryland is going to get a resounding loss at some point soon. They aren’t as good as their unbeaten record indicates. But I don’t think it will be tonight at home against a WAY softer than you might think Pitt squad.
Look for Tremble to continue to play well, scoring 20-plus and getting his mates involved early and often. Add in the home crowd, and I think Maryland gets another win and cover tonight in College Park.