It is an absolutely bananas day of college basketball – for sheer VOLUME of good games, today and tomorrow might be the two greatest days of the entire college basketball season. It’s a good day to fake an illness or to somehow otherwise creatively shirk all responsibilities and escape to a television for a well-earned 14-hour hoops vacation.
Here’s some of the highlights of the day at a quick glance:
Early: Michigan vs. Illinois, Miami vs. North Carolina, Oklahoma State vs. Iowa State, Duke vs. Louisville, Michigan State vs. Penn State, Seton Hall vs. Marquette
Early Evening: Indiana vs. Iowa, Cal vs. Utah, Virginia Tech vs. Florida State, Texas A&M vs. Vanderbilt, Butler vs. Xavier
Night: Kansas State vs. Baylor, Colorado vs. Arizona, Virginia vs. Notre Dame, Creighton vs. Providence, USC vs. UCLA
We took another tough one-possession loss last night and it hasn’t been a great two weeks. We are still WAY positive for the season, but it’s a big four days coming up to regain some momentum heading into March.
Today’s College Basketball Picks:
Creighton Blue Jays -2.5 vs. Providence Friars
Providence has very quietly been on the hottest teams in the Big East down the stretch. After looking like an NIT team at best for most of the season, Providence finished the season on a 7-3 SU run (8-2 ATS) and has won six straight games including wins over Butler, Xavier, Marquette and at Creighton.
Creighton’s late slide is not-coincidentally perfectly synced with the loss of Maurice Watson, Jr. at the point. They are still going to make the tournament but are now a far cry from a team with any real aspirations of doing March damage. They are 5-5 in their last ten games, and just 5-7 since the injury. They took losses to Marquette twice, Georgetown and Seton Hall, as well as the recent home loss to Providence.
I’m surprised they are still favored tonight, but will happily take a few points and the Friars tonight on a neutral floor.
Today’s Pick: Providence Friars +2.5
Texas A&M Aggies vs. Vanderbilt Commodores -3.5
There has been a lot of talk about Vanderbilt being the first team in NCAA history to receive an at-large bid despite having 15 losses. That talk will all but end with a loss today to the Aggies, so there is a TON at stake for Bryce Drew’s crew in his first season on the Vandy bench.
Vanderbilt DOES have a lot of losses, but they also have some really great wins and an ambitious schedule. They own W’s over Belmont, Chattanooga, Iowa State, @Florida, @Arkansas, a sweep of Texas A&M, @Arkansas and a home win, again, over Florida. Even their losses are reasonable; close to Kentucky, close to Minnesota, close at Dayton and Butler, etc.
And did I mention they have already beaten Texas A&M twice? A&M finished the season on an upswing, winning three of five, but their best win all year was over Georgia, punctuating a very disappointing season in College Station.
Vandy is the better team with more on the line. They are 8-2 ATS in their last ten games to Texas A&M’s 4-6. I’ll take Vandy to prevail tonight on a neutral floor.
Today’s Pick: Vanderbilt Commodores -3.5