We have finished up the regular season on fire as we went undefeated again yesterday to run our record to 10-3 in the last two weeks. That is nearly 77% winners! Last night’s winner came when we backed the Utah Runnin’ Utes as home underdogs against the Colorado Buffaloes.
The Utes, while having a very disappointing conference season, had been very respectable at home, especially when you looked at their record against the spread. And Colorado had struggled on the road all year long and had a terrible ATS road record. It was a strength on weakness spot, and I fired hard on the Utes as I expected them to protect their home floor yet again.
UTES WIN IT IN OVERTIME!!!!
— Utah Basketball? (@UtahMBB) March 7, 2020
And that is exactly what happened. Colorado came out hot in the first half to take a big lead into halftime, but collapsed in the second half, and allowed Utah to steal the victory. The loss was devastating for Colorado as they fell al the way to the six seed in next week’s Pac-12 conference tournament. After looking like a team that had a shot at winning the league title all season long, they fall out of the top-four spots, and the first-round tournament byes that go with them. Colorado has now lost four straight games as they limp into the postseason.
For Utah, the win was an emotional one on senior night, and the Utes know they must win the Pac-12 tournament to keep their season alive. Utah enters the tournament as the nine seed with a first-round matchup with Oregon State, before then having to face top-seeded Oregon if they can win and advance. For today’s daily betting pick, we will head to the Big 10, as the Michigan State Spartans wrap up their regular season against the Ohio State Buckeyes.
- Ohio State Buckeyes (21-9) at Michigan State Spartans (21-9)
- 1:30 PM PST
- Breslin Center, East Lansing
- TV: CBS
A share of the Big 10 regular season is on the line today as the Michigan State Spartans host the Ohio State Buckeyes. The Wisconsin Badgers locked up at least a share of the regular season title yesterday when they defeated Indiana on the road. If the Spartans can win today, they will take a piece of the title home as well. The Spartans have won five out of their last six games as they have hit their stride late in conference play.
Happy Spartan Senior Day and good luck to @MSU_Basketball today!!
Keep that trophy in East Lansing!
— Michigan St Baseball (@statebaseball) March 8, 2020
For Ohio State, the Buckeyes won’t be playing for a league title, but they will be playing for seeding, both in the NCAA tournament and the Big 10 tournament. After losing six out of their first eight conference games, the Buckeyes have really turned things around late in the year as they have now won nine out of their last eleven games, including five straight. The Buckeyes will look to ride that momentum tonight and knockoff the Spartans.
Ohio State Buckeyes
The Ohio State Buckeyes season has had three distinctive parts. The came out of the gates playing as well as any team in the nation when they started out 11-1. That hot start including signature wins over Cincinnati, Villanova, North Carolina, Penn State, and Kentucky. They rose to the top five nationally in all of the major polls, and they looked like a Final Four caliber team.
But when league play hit in the Big 10, the Buckeyes came crashing back to earth as they lost six of their first eight games and fell to last place in the league. Ohio State went from the top-ten to the bubble in a hurry. But the Bucks have righted the ship here late in the season as they have peeled off nine wins in their last eleven games, picking up big wins against the likes of Maryland, Illinois, Michigan, and Rutgers. With Selection Sunday just a week away, you have to wonder which version of this Ohio State team we are going to see in the Big Dance.
Michigan State Spartans
The Spartans have followed a near-identical path to March as Ohio State has this season. Sparty started the season out as the number one team in the country in the preseason, before hitting a rough patch in league play that saw them lose six games out of ten and fall completely out of the top-25. It was a sobering fall from grace for a Spartans team that many saw as the national title favorites coming into the season.
But the Spartans have figured things out now as they have won five out of their last six games and have beaten Penn State, Maryland, Iowa, and Illinois during this recent run. The top seeds in the NCAA tournament are as wide open as I can ever remember, and the Spartans currently project as a three seed. But if they can win today at home, and follow that up with a Big 10 tournament title, they could find themselves all the way up on the one line on Selection Sunday.
Who Do I like?
One of these team’s recent hot streak is going to have to come to an end tonight. When you look at the Spartan’s last several weeks of action, they have very surprisingly struggled on their home floor somewhat.
Four of their recent five wins have come on the road, and the one loss during that stretch came at home to Maryland. Shockingly, they have lost two out of their last three home games, losing to Penn State as well in early February. Throw in their early-season home loss to Duke, and this Michigan State team has been more vulnerable at home this year than they have been in a long time.
And when you look at Ohio State’s recent run of success, they have road wins at Nebraska, Northwestern, and Michigan. Winning on the road in the Big 10 this season has been nearly impossible, but the Buckeyes have more than held their own.
I am very hesitant to back a team on the road in a conference game. But this number is just too big right now. Kenpom has Michigan State winning by four points, and if that is where this number was at, I would certainly not dream of backing the road team. But with a number like seven, it is hard not to like a team as talented as Ohio State is, getting so many points.
And while I would be very surprised to see Michigan State lose at home on senior night, with so much on the line, I would also be equally as shocked if they blow this game out. I see this as a back and forth game that ends right in that four- or five-point range with Michigan State sneaking out with a home victory and a share of the Big 10 regular-season title. Give me the Ohio State Buckeyes, getting seven points tonight from the Breslin Center!