North Texas Mean Green (18-17) at San Francisco Dons (21-15)
We lost our first game of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament’s second weekend last night when we backed the Duke Blue Devils against the Kansas Jayhawks. The Blue Devils were leading 72-69 with just twenty seconds left on the clock in regulation. All they needed was one hold, a foul, and a couple of made free throws and they would be winning and advancing to the Final Four.
Instead, Kansas guard Svi Mykhailiuk, hit a deep three to tie the game up and send it into overtime. Once in overtime, the Jayhawks were the recipients of some very interesting calls from the refs that have the media in an uproar this morning. To be honest, I didn’t see anything too egregious, and Coach K has gotten his share of bad calls over the years, so I don’t think it’s worth making a big deal out of.
Bad calls aside, this was a magnificent game that will go down as yet another classic between two of college’s basketball’s best programs. I wish that three at the end of regulation had missed and we had won our bet, but this is March Madness, you always have to expect the unexpected.
I can’t wait for the final Four next weekend! Be on the lookout for my picks coming later this week. Today will look at the finals of another tournament, the College Basketball Invitational, as they San Francisco Dons host the North Texas mean Green.
The North Texas Mean Green will travel to San Francisco Monday night to face the Dons of USF. This is game one of a best of three finals of the College Basketball Invitational Tournament (CBI).
The Mean Green ended their regular season struggling as they had lost eight out of their last nine games. They have, however, caught fire in this tournament and find themselves in the finals.
For San Francisco, the Dons were playing their best basketball of the season entering this tournament and have rolled to the finals. The Dons are -4-point home favorites. The game total over-under is set at 141.5 points. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:00 PM PST from Memorial Gymnasium in San Francisco.
The CBI is a very interesting tournament. They must select sixteen at-large teams to fill their bracket. All of those teams are teams that were not selected for either for the NCAA tournament or the national invitational tournament.
And there is one more kicker, each team must pay to play. Each team must pony up fifty thousand dollars to compete in the year’s most underwhelming post-season tournament. But, that being said, winning the CBI has recently shown to be a sign of good things to come.
Last year’s CBI winner, Wyoming won twenty games again this year and appears to be a program on the rise. 2016 CBI champion, Nevada-Reno found themselves as a seven seed in the NCAA tournament this year and made a run to the Sweet 16.
And the 2015 winner? None other than this year’s Cinderella and Final Four team, the Ramblers of Loyola Chicago. Winning the CBI seems to be a good thing for your program, so the question is, who wins it this year?
The San Francisco Dons were actually a decent team this year. They played in a tragically undervalued league, the West Coast Conference, and acquitted themselves well.
The WCC had five legit squads in it this year. You had Gonzaga and St. Mary’s up top, then followed by BYU, San Diego, and San Francisco. The Dons were able to beat St. Mary’s and gave Gonzaga all they could handle twice. This is a battle tested team that has played a tough schedule all year long and came out of it with twenty-plus wins.
North Texas played in Conference USA this year and struggled badly. They finished with a below .500 record in what turned out to be a one-bid league. They finished in eighth place in their league. When the regular season ended, this team had a losing record. They have managed to win three straight in this event to boost their record to 18-17 and get themselves in a position to finish the season with a winning record.
To me, this game comes down to how well tested these teams were this year. The Dons played against a tough league and played several tough non-conference games as well against big conference opponents.
The Mean Green spent their entire season playing small schools from small leagues and had a losing record to show for it. I just don’t see how this Mean Green team that was just 6-10 on the road this year is going to march into San Francisco and beat the Dons tonight.
This number has been jumping all over the place. I have seen it as low as San Fran -3 and as high as San Fran -5.5. As it sits right now, I love it as -4.
I expect the Dons to win this game at home, and fairly easily. I just don’t see anything in the North Texas resume that makes me believe they can win a road game against a legit team.
Give me the San Francisco Dons -4 points tonight in the CBI Finals!