Ohio State and Penn State share the same pedestrian 6-10 Big Ten record, but both have been wildly different performers on the road versus at home. Will the trend continue tonight?
In my defense, I was absolutely correct about the simply offensive nature of the Virginia Cavaliers offense. They scored 53 points, again, in a conference game. It was pretty ugly. I was wrong however, in never even considering that the North Carolina Tar Heels would ever score 43 points in a game. FORTY THREE POINTS. They scored more points in EACH HALF of the Kentucky game out in Vegas.
Alas, we took the loss, the Cavs got a HUGE win, and the ACC race is back on with some final week excitement as North Carolina owns a one-game edge over Louisville, Florida State and Notre Dame and some school named Duke is two losses back with a season-ending trip to Chapel Hill still on the schedule.
The ACC isn’t the only major conference with some drama this week. Purdue holds a one-game edge over Wisconsin but hosts a DESPERATE, but still-talented Indiana squad tonight in a rivalry game while Wisconsin is in an identical situation hosting Iowa Thursday night. Both end the season with tough games on Sunday; Purdue visiting Northwestern and Wisconsin hosting Minnesota.
The Big East and Big Twelve are all but wrapped up for Kansas and Villanova (as have both leagues always been, seemingly) and Kentucky has a one-game edge over Florida with just tonight’s visit from Vandy and a season-closing trip to disappointing Texas A&M remaining.
There’s some excellent drama in the Pac-12 as well, with Oregon and Arizona knotted at 15-2 and UCLA just one back in the loss column. But with both Oregon and Arizona visiting their downtrodden instate rivals on Saturday, a tie atop the standing is the most likely scenario.
I owe you guys a win after our five-game winning streak gave way to two losses. Let’s see if we can get it back tonight.
Today’s College Basketball Pick:
Ohio State Buckeyes at Penn State Nittany Lions -1.5
There are a lot of teams with a lot to play for this week in the Big Ten. These are not two of them.
To call this year a disappointment for each would be fair, though neither entered with lofty expectations, a Tourney bid was certainly a reasonable goal; for Penn State a sign of an improved club, for Ohio State a rebound to the status quo after missing the field last year. Both are just 6-10 in conference play and well outside the glutted bubble conversation.
Ohio State has been particularly poor on the road. They are just 2-6 SU from home and an equal 2-6 ATS. Meanwhile, Penn State has jumped up and clipped some good teams at home this year. They owns wins over Maryland, Michigan State and Minnesota – all likely Tourney-bound, and are fresh off a game at home against Purdue in which they fell 74-70. Winning AT Penn State is no easy task. They are 4-4 SU and a nice 6-2 ATS, making them the play tonight hosting a poor road team and a pretty pedestrian basketball team overall.
Ohio State has lost by eight or more in five of their road losses in league play. I think tonight could be number six.
I’ll eat the slim point and a half and take the underrated Nittany Lions at home.
Today’s Pick: Penn State -1.5