I said in my pick yesterday that I would be shocked to see Michigan go into Villanova and win the game outright, but that I expected a very close game and loved getting +7.5-points backing Big Blue. So, I fired on the Wolverines and expected a tight contest. And boy did I get that one wrong! Not only did Michigan win the game outright, they absolutely destroyed Villanova on their home floor, beating the defending national champion Wildcats 73-46.
It was the second-worst loss ever for head coach Jay Wright at Villanova, and a lot of people are wondering what we got so wrong in this one. Is Michigan really this good? Or did we overrate Villanova by a bunch? Only time will tell which side of that story turns out to be true, and it is likely going to be a little bit of both. But Michigan officially has the attention of the nation now after getting revenge on Villanova in a repeat of last year’s national finals.
It is nice when you get a game wrong like I did in this one and still cash a ticket. Michigan was always the side to be on, but after what happened last night you are going to have to be very careful as the hype train on Michigan has gone into overdrive this morning. For today’s pick, I will look at another team that I think is about to get a lot of media attention, the Oregon Ducks, as they play the Iowa Hawkeyes.
The 2K Classic kicks off tonight from the world’s most famous arena, Madison Square Garden in New York City, as the Iowa Hawkeyes face the Oregon Ducks. Iowa comes into this game undefeated at 2-0 on the season, although they have underwhelmed a bit in winning tightly contested games against undermanned teams Missouri-Kansas City and Green Bay. The Ducks, on the other hand, have completely dominated in their first two games, beating Portland State and Eastern Washington by an average of over thirty points. The Ducks are -4-point favorites. The game total over-under is set at 148.5 points. Tipoff is scheduled for 6:00 PM PST from MSG.
I love this Oregon Ducks team this season. They have huge size, and their athleticism is off the charts. The Ducks prize recruit this year is Bol Bol. The son of former NBA star Manute Bol, and he has his daddies signature size as he comes in at 7-2 with a 7-8 wingspan. The big man is very unique in that he doesn’t just post up down low like most seven footers, he can spread the floor and shoot the ball from deep. He is a matchup nightmare at the college level and has dominated so far in his first two career games as he is averaging 17.5 points, 12 rebounds, and 3.5 blocks a game.
The Ducks will be a bit short-handed tonight in New York though as they will be without Louis King, a highly ranked freshman. But they have played with King all year so far, and it hasn’t seemed to stop them from dominating. And they will have Payton Pritchard on the court as well, a returning second team all-Pac-12 selection from last season, Pritchard is expected to lead the Ducks in scoring this season.
Iowa returns almost all of last year’s team that went 14-19 and were terrible in the Big-10 at 4-14. It is good to have a lot of your talent returning, but this team was really bad on both sides of the ball last season, and they really haven’t added much to the rotation this year. The Hawkeyes are expected to finish towards the bottom of the Big-10 against this season, some media outlets are even picking them to finish dead last.
I just don’t understand this line. Iowa is garbage. They have looked super mediocre in their first two games of the season, and most are expecting them to lose a lot of games this season. So, how is this number so small? Oregon is elite this year. Yeah, I know they will be even better when they get King back, but this team still has a huge amount of talent, and with Bol and Pritchard leading the way, I expect them to dominate this game tonight.
Iowa was really, really bad on defense last season and they just gave up eighty-two points to Green Bay in their last game. I see Oregon slicing and dicing up this defense tonight, and they could score ninety plus points. Early season college basketball can be tough to predict, and there is always going to be variance as we just don’t always know what teams are going to look like in the new season. But this stinks like a mismatch to me, and I expect the Ducks to roll with ease. Give me the Oregon Ducks laying -4-points from MSG tonight!