Maryland vs. Wisconsin Pick – February 19th

It was a third-straight Saturday of relatively little upsets in college basketball but that doesn’t mean it was a boring day.  The highlight was Kansas closing on an 8-0 run at Baylor to come back and win on the road and all but clinch a thirteenth straight Big Twelve title.  The win runs Bill Self’s record in Top Five matchups to 90% during his Kansas tenure.  Stunning.

Florida State was the only “upset” of the day, getting handled at Pitt, and Virginia was the biggest red-flag of the day – not that they LOST to North Carolina but that they once again sputtered offensively scoring just 41 points in the process.

There was also some sad news with Michigan State senior Eron Harris becoming the latest high profile player to go down to a season-ending injury as he was taken off in a stretcher in the Purdue loss.  Here’s hoping Harris can recover quickly and play some basketball somewhere overseas in the future…

We took another one-point loss last night, a tough way to keep the week-long slide continuing.  Arizona wasn’t in real jeopardy of losing at Washington, but the absence of two of their starters prove JUST a little bit costlier that I expected and we came up one-point shy of the cover.

Let’s snap the slide today with a team that has brought us some good results most of the season.

Today’s College Basketball Pick:

Maryland Terrapins at Wisconsin Badgers -8

Before we get in to the pick, I know it’s kind of become a funny thing with picking Maryland and pointing out how undervalued they are in Vegas.  Those are true observations, but I am not a “Maryland fan”  I have no connection to the program, no geographic affinity, no Juan Dixon posters as a kid.  It’s just a team that has emerged oddly often with lines I really like.

Just like today.

I expected them to be slight dogs on the road, as they should be.  I didn’t expect to be able to get eight points.  Both teams enter today winners of eight of their last ten games and tied atop the Big Ten standings at 10-3.  Maryland enters this afternoon’s contest with a 10-2-1 ATS mark in conference.  Wisconsin is just 5-8 and has failed to cover their last four games and is just 3-7 ATS in their last ten games.

Wisconsin has also played a lot of close home games lately.  They beat Rutgers by just seven, Indiana by just five and lost straight up to Northwestern by eight.  Maryland has been solid on the road, winning at Northwestern, Ohio State, Iowa and Illinois and dropping only the Penn State hangover game after the tough one-point home loss to Purdue.

I’m not sure Maryland grabs the road W today – they ARE pretty solid underdogs.  But they haven’t failed to compete all season long and only have ONE loss by more than six points.  According to CBS Sports this morning, Wisconsin point guard Bronson Koenig participated in shootaround yesterday, but his status is still not official for today’s game.  I am going to assume he DOES play though he is called “questionable”.  Obviously, if he does NOT, the eight points becomes a ridiculously good value.  But even if he does play and play well, I’ll take the Terps on the road with the eight points.  Only one team has gotten over on them all year by double digits, and that was Pitt was back around Thanksgiving.