We had a rough day with college basketball picks, dropping two picks by a point and a half-point respectively. It was that kind of day across the country with tons of games coming down to a single possession or overtime. Today should be more of the same as most of the big boys have their conference tournament semi-finals today and good games literally pack the schedule from noon until midnight on the East Coast.
Let’s bounce back today with a pair of Big East picks, as well as a few others good wagering opportunities.
North Carolina State Wolfpack -2 vs. Virginia Cavaliers (ACC Quarterfinals)
These two teams split the season series, with each team winning by three points on their home floor. Both teams have a big win over Duke at home, and both teams went 11-7 in conference play. It’s about as even as you can get. The big difference, at least from an NCAA Tournament perspective is that NC State played a reasonable out-of-conference schedule, while UVA’s was atrocious. Further complicating matters is the trio of losses UVA took to Colonial League opponents, including Old Dominion. That one will haunt them if they don’t win today’s game.
In my opinion, Virginia is an NCAA Tournament team, certainly more than La Salle or the bevy of mediocrity jockeying for position in the SEC. However, according to most bracket analysts, they need to win today to get an invite.
I’ll lean UVA today in a good game. They had a day to rest while NC State logged some court time yesterday to ease past Virginia Tech. The other advantage for UVA is their ability to control tempo. I think their defensive orientation and patient style will translate well on a neutral court today. NC State has more talent, Virginia has more desperation. Give me the Cavs in a close game.
Free Pick: Virginia Cavaliers +2
Butler Bulldogs -1.5 vs. La Salle Explorers (A-10 Semifinals)
Speaking of La Salle, they are in the same spot as Virginia today, but I think they’ll get a less-favorable result. Butler lost 54-53 at La Salle earlier this season, but today’s game is on a neutral court. La Salle won seven of their last ten games, but lost all three games against NCAA or bubble teams. Their seven wins were over lower regarded foes.
I like Butler to cover this one today with a little room to spare.
Free Pick: Butler Bulldogs -1.5
Syracuse Orange vs. Georgetown Hoyas -1.5 (Big East Semifinals)
Ok, this is really the LAST time these two storied rivals will meet in a Big East contest. For the Orange, they are hoping that the third time is the charm. The first two meetings were all Georgeotwn, with the Hoyas winning by 11 in the Carrier Dome and them beating them even worse last week at home.
The old axiom is that it is hard to beat a team for a third time. But logic seems to indicate it is hard for Syracuse to beat Georgetown PERIOD. They weren’t even very competitive in the past two meetings.
This game means a ton for Georgetown, who is still in play for a #1 seed in the NCAA Tourney. I imagine Boeheim will make some adjustments to slow down Otto Porter who vaulted into National POY conversations in large part due to his performance against Syracuse, but the ‘Cuse offense just doesn’t seem to have the scorers to dent Georgetown’s defense.
I’ve learned my lesson from my earlier misses. Give me the Hoyas tonight at MSG.
Free Pick: Georgetown Hoyas -1.5