Happy New Year’s everyone! 2016 ended on a high note for me, and hopefully you, as we cashed in a perfect 3-0 day, winning a pair of Big East battles and hitting on Florida State who won straight up despite being nine point underdogs at Virginia.
It was a chaotic day of college basketball and it’s a shame that the day wasn’t better spread out as the hoops was light-years better than the pair of college football snoozers. The biggest shockwaves were sent through the ACC where not only did UVA get dropped at home, both Duke and North Carolina lost by double digits to unranked opponents. The Virginia Tech loss for Duke wasn’t too surprising for us college basketball die-hards; Buzz Peterson’s squad clipped a few big guys last year in Blacksburg and has a legit team this season. Georgia Tech was the stunner. Josh Pastner was on his last leg at Memphis after a half decade of mediocrity and declining results. He saw the writing on the wall and leapt over to Georgia Tech; it looked like a lateral move to a bottom of the ACC dweller and a difficult reclamation project. Perhaps it wasn’t. The Jackets are 11-2 and absolutely laid the lumber to the Heels yesterday in Atlanta.
In an odd way, having their three best teams LOSE on a day where Louisville grabbed a great neutral-floor win over Indiana was the BEST thing that could happen to the ACC. The three losers are all still Top Four seeds in March. But the “upsets” fortify the resumes of the Tech’s and leave the ACC with a dozen teams in legitimate position to consider being Tourney viable. Duke, UNC, UVA, Louisville and Florida State are all but locks. I’d also include Notre Dame in that category. Clemson, Pitt, Miami, NC State have solid early returns and even Syracuse and Georgia Tech are in the mix. Crazy day, but a GREAT DAY for the ACC…
Let’s start the 2017 in the same fashion we ended 2016 – spitting straight fire (33-18 ATS)
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Today’s Free Pick:
Syracuse Orange -10 at Boston College Eagles
In all the talk about the ACC, the one team I glossed over were the Boston College Eagles. That’s because, well, they don’t have any shot of competing for an NCAA Tourney bid. They enter the conference slate at 7-6, and while the recent wins over Auburn and Providence are encouraging, they also own losses to Hartford AND Harvard, as well as Nichols State and Fairfield. Not good.
But they are at home, have beaten two reasonable Top 100 foes in the last three weeks and are hosting a team whose name on the front of the jersey FAR outperforms the current players wearing them. The ‘Cuse has been rough this season, punctuated by the recent demolition at the hands of downtrodden St. John’s by 33 points. Their other four losses are reasonable; South Carolina, Wisconsin, UConn and Georgetown, but at some point, you have to actually WIN some games against reasonable competition. Their only “quality” win is over Monmouth. Their best win after the ‘other’ Eagles is probably Eastern Michigan or North Florida. Most of their wins are over directional schools, which is generally a good sign the direction of one’s OWN program is South…
The point. BC isn’t good. Far from it. But they have been competitive lately and have beaten two teams that profile similarly to this year’s Cuse squad. So, if I can get ten points AND home court advantage against a struggling Syracuse, I’m going to take it.
I’ll roll the dice with the Eagles resurgence this afternoon in Boston.