Honestly, is there a single team in the country that is any better than “pretty good”? In the last two days, even our “sure bets” have taken their lumps. Indiana got thumped on their home court on senior night. Last night Miami loses to pedestrian Georgia Tech on their home floor. The losses give each of these supposed “contender” three loses in their last four games.
So who is going to win this thing? Georgetown was equatorially hot, then got routed by bubble-dweller Villanova last night. Michigan, Louisville, Syracuse, Duke, Kansas and Michigan State have all displayed significant weaknesses and stretches of poor play throughout the year. Mid major darlings like VCU, St. Louis, Butler, Creighton and Memphis have all taken their share of bad losses and mediocre wins.
So who’s left??!?
I suppose it’s Gonzaga. With all the carnage around the country the last two weeks, the Zags have emerged as the overall #1 seed in the tournament. So can they win it all? I’d imagine they are an underdog to AT LEAST seven teams on a neutral floor (Indiana, Michigan, Kansas, Duke and Louisville certainly).
The truth is, it’s anyone’s tourney. And that tourney really starts today as many low-major conferences enter their conference tourneys and semi-finals today.
Let’s scan the country for a couple quick winners, and see if we can leave the madness (both on the real court and in our recent pick losing streak) behind.
Kentucky Wildcats -3 at Georgia Bulldogs
It seems like I’ve written that Kentucky is one loss from the NIT for about two weeks, but despite their losses with everyone else in the country losing too, there is still hope for Coach Cal’s Cats. But tonight, for real, is DO OR DIE. They lose, they can forget the far-fetched dream of repeating as national champs. Their new goal will be “we’re #69!” and NIT glory.
The good news is, this is a game they should win. Georgia played a nice game over the weekend, jumping up and clipping Tennessee, but overall, it’s been a dreadful year in Athens. Kentucky has won six of seven at Georgia, and three of four overall this season. Georgia has dropped five of their last seven games, and aside from the weekend win over Tennessee has shown very little progress.
Give me the Cats making one LAST STAND tonight at Georiga.
Free Pick: Kentucky Wildcats -3
Wisconsin Badgers at Michigan State -4
The winner of tonight’s game becomes a HUGE Michigan fan. As odd as it will be for Spartan fans to root for the Wolverines, that could very well be the case after tonight. The winner of tonight’s game will split the Big Ten championship with Indiana, Ohio State (possibly) and Michigan, provided UM wins at home Saturday hosting the Hoosiers.
Wisconsin has been a resilient team all year, but Sparty is real tough at home. They are 15-1 at the Breslin Center this season and will be eager to get the sour taste of three straight losses out of their mouth. Normally I’d be pretty down on a team that has lost three straight, but a last-second loss to Michigan, a four-point loss to Indiana and a road loss to Ohio State aren’t anything to be ashamed of.
Michigan State is the more talented team, for the first time in two weeks. I think they play like it tonight, especially at home.
Free Pick: Michigan State -4