It was a slow night in college hoops with most ranked teams not in action. We dropped an underdog play as Purdue pushed their lead over IPFW into safe cover range late in the game. We have a few more good options on the board tonight to choose from, so hopefully we can start a new winning streak tonight.
Before we dive in to today’s free pick, a lot of attention has been paid to the top few teams in the country. Most people have seen Kentucky come up huge in both marquee games and have gushed about the Wildcats accordingly. Ditto for Duke who looked splendid in their national TV showcases and looks like the clear cut second best team in the country. Let’s take a quick step back and I’ll give you my two most impressive teams that are a bit under the radar.
First, Villanova is largely unnoticed but has been fantastic. They have beaten Michigan and absolutely hammered VCU. They also have decent wins over St. Joe’s and LaSalle in Big Five rivalry games and I expect them to make another nice statement tonight against Illinois at Madison Square Garden.
My second team to watch is the Virginia Cavaliers. The defending ACC champs look better than last year despite the loss of Joe Harris. They have beaten VCU, George Washington and Maryland all by double digits. It will be interesting to see if the underrated Cavs can challenge for the ACC title once again.
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Today’s Free Pick:
Seton Hall Pirates at Wichita State Shockers -13
If you need any evidence that Vegas is onboard with this year’s Shocker team being a legit Final Four contender, look no further than tonight’s line. Despite a tough loss to a good Utah team they are still huge favorites against an undefeated Seton Hall team. Wichita State has a blowout win over Memphis and has handled every game on their schedule with ease including 32 and 20 point wins against St. Louis and Tulsa.
However, I think Vegas is shortchanging the Pirates a bit. The Big East has proven their viability this season with big win after big win by previously unranked conquerors; St. John’s, Butler, Creighton, Providence, Georgetown, Xavier. Add Seton Hall to the list of legit teams. They are unbeaten, and while their schedule hasn’t been great, but they haven’t been complete cake walks. They own wins over George Washington, Mercer, Nevada, Rutgers, Mount St. Mary’s and Illinois State. Wichita State is better than all those teams, but I am not sure the gap is 13 points.
I expect this game to be WAY better than Vegas does and love getting a decent Big East team and more than a dozen points. Seton Hall is 6-0 ATS this season, and while I’d be surprised if they win outright, I’d also be surprised if they got completely humiliated.