There were some rather interesting results last night in college basketball. The Alabama quadruple-overtime win was not only thrilling, but a great poster for NCAA Hoops in 2017 – South Carolina had a chance to win the SEC and keep place with red-hot Florida on their racket after a disastrous two weeks for Kentucky. Instead? They lose at home to Alabama in a marathon. Florida did capitalize on their opportunity with a 12-point win at Georgia, that coming off the emotional Kentucky blowout win, was perhaps even more impressive given the opportunity for a big letdown on the road against a solid ballclub.
The rivalry game in Michigan was interesting two as two perennial Tournament teams, and one perennial POWER linked up with the Wolverines and Spartans BOTH squarely on the NCAA Tournament Bubble. Michigan proceeded to hand Sparty their worst loss in the rivalry since nearly back to WWII. Despite the win, Michigan has plenty of work to do, and we could be looking at a tournament that includes Northwestern, but EXCLUDES Michigan, Michigan State and Indiana…
And of course, we took the loss last night with Maryland delivering their first clunker of the season losing at Penn State. Losses happen, so no complaining on my end. But if these two were playing again tonight, I’d make the same pick. Maryland isn’t going to shoot 33% from the floor very often, no matter how stout the Nittany Lions’ defense plays.
Let’s get back on track tonight.
Today’s NCAA Basketball Pick:
Baylor Bears at Oklahoma State Cowboys -2
This weekend was a reminder that regardless of the location, the better team doesn’t always win in college basketball. Sometimes the ball just doesn’t go in the basket, or for one team, it does with improbable frequency, and strange results happen.
That doesn’t mean the better team doesn’t still USUALLY win.
SO tonight’s play is a counter-play to the odd Big Twelve weekend where three of the top seven teams in the country lost at home to unranked foes and is instead a vote for a return to normalcy. For those of you who read regularly, my beloved “regression to the mean” if you will. Baylor is still a really, really good basketball team. Before Saturday’s opposite day, they had lost only at West Virginia and at Kansas. And while Brad Underwood is engineering one of the great turnarounds on college basketball with the Cowboys winning five straight games after an 0-6 start to conference play, I think the streak ends tonight.
Oklahoma State has done nothing in the last three weeks to merit fading them. Admitted. But tonight is more about keeping the faith in Baylor, and keeping the faith that the larger sample size means something. Yes, Baylor lost on the road twice, but both were against potential #1 or #2 seeds in the NCAA Tournament. They also own road wins over Kansas State, Oklahoma, and TCU, all by comfortable margins.
I can get the vastly better team and points – especially if that vastly better team is smarting off of two tough losses, then I am inclined to take advantage. I’ll take the point or two, but am on Baylor to win wherever this line ends up tonight.
Today’s Pick: Baylor Bears +2