We notched a third straight college hoops winner last night with Arizona playing a wonderful final 25 minutes to stretch out the lead at home and notch an easy winner against USC. I got a few worried messages when USC jumped out to a 24-15 lead and we were laying eight, but my reply was simple “USC is shooting 62%, Arizona is shooting 23%. R-E-L-A-X.” And it all worked out just fine.
A lot of conferences are jumbled messes, but the Pac-12 has settled into a pretty predictable order. Oregon, Arizona and UCLA are the best Final Four caliber trio of any conference in America (yes, better than the ACC), and Cal is a solid fourth, Utah and USC are tourney teams. The bottom half is less-than-great, though some of their misery is the dominant nature of the Top Three.
Friday’s are rough nights for college hoops fans as the major conference schedule grinds to a halt for all but a game or two and mostly low-major action fills the slate. I tend to stay away from low-major games, both because I don’t see many of them play and because I doubt too many people really want to read about tonight’s St. Peter’s at Niagara contest.
However, the A-10 usually comes to the rescue and the Pac-12 sprinkles in a game as well. I think Cal is vulnerable to a letdown tonight and wouldn’t want to lay 19 with them tonight, but my favorite play is the aforementioned A-10 contest between Dayton and Davidson.
Today’s College Basketball Pick:
Dayton Flyers -2.5 at Davidson Wildcats
Davidson entered the season with some NCAA Tournament aspirations behind returning All American candidate Jake Gibbs. Gibbs has lived up to the hype, but the team hasn’t. Davidson enters tonight a disappointing 14-12 SU and just 11-12 ATS (not every college game has a spread, so that tells you something about three of their wins…) They are just 7-8 SU in conference play and 6-9 ATS, 3-5 ATS on the road.
Meanhile, Dayton is gearing up for another March run. They enter tonight with nice momentum winning seven in a row and ten of their last eleven. The streak includes wins at Rhode Island and home wins over St. Bonaventure, St. Joe’s, Richmond and another win over URI. They are 13-2 in league play and their only losses were an early lousy performance at UMass and a tight road-loss to NCAA-bound VCU. They are 10-4-1 ATS in conference play and 5-1-1 ATS on the road inside the A-10.
Going on the road should be no big deal tonight for Dayton who is the vastly superior basketball team and enters with FAR better recent performance.
Today’s Pick: Dayton Flyers -2.5