We kept the beat rolling with another easy NCAA winner last night as Cincinnati not only covered the seven and a half point spread, but went into Ames, Iowa and won in overtime in difficult Hilton Coliseum. The win should vault the Bearcats into next week’s Top 25 and solidify UC as the favorite in the underrated AAC conference. The league suffers a perception hit with UConn’s early struggles, but the play of UC, Temple and SMU should keep this league relevant this season. Houston and UCF have looked good as well, and I still wouldn’t dismiss Memphis and UConn improving before the season’s end.
Today is a relatively light slate of action before tomorrow’s awesome lineup, and that tends to be how it goes in December. Most days will be light other than Saturdays, with just a few good games sprinkled here and there to whet the appetite. However, I am not about to let this insanely scorching start lay waiting, so rest assured I will still be combing the hidden gems to find a winner each day if possible…
Today’s Free Pick:
Alabama Crimson Tide at Texas Longhorns -4
It is hard not to look to look at Texas’s last two week resume and cringe. The lost by double digits to Northwestern and Colorado and then returned home to get pasted by Texas Arlington. Ouch. But the Crimson Tide haven’t fared a ton better, coming off loses to Dayton and Valpo. Granted, both of those are likely tourney teams, but it isn’t a great sign for progress in Avery Johnson’s second year with the Tide.
Tonight is Alabama’s first true road game of the season, so that is a chip in Texas’s favor, but I am still reluctant to lay points with UT right now. Could they bounce back, put last week’s frustration in the rear view mirror with an inspired effort? Sure. But is it also just as possible that Texas just isn’t very good this year? Yep. That could VERY well be the case.
Alabama isn’t perfect, but their losses have been far more competitive and they have LOOKED better on the court. Texas is a flat-out mess. I wouldn’t be surprised if Bama beat them outright, but I will definitely take the four points with a smile.
Texas was ranked up until this most recent poll. That obviously won’t be a problem for quite a while, but there is still a LOT of young talent on this team. It hasn’t come together yet, but this could still be a dangerous squad come February. But for now, they have lost three straight, all to unranked teams, and all by double digits. I’ll take Bama and the points, even on the road.