Jimmer-mania is in full force, as the senior point guard is still splashed all over every media outlet and message board in America following Wednesday’s 43-point outburst. It’s a little amusing to hardcore hoops fans, who have known about and been following his career for nearly two years now, but it is ultimately great for the sport to have such an unlikely celebrity emerge.
The collective sports world’s attention turns their eyes to college hoops as soon as the Super Bowl ends, and there will be more than a few fantastic storylines to follow. One that is not getting the attention it deserves is the resurgence of the Arizona Wildcats under second-year coach, Sean Miller. The Wildcats handled UCLA at home with relative ease, moving to 17-4 and 6-2 in the beleaguered Pac 10. Granted the league isn’t even close to top form, but it’s far better than it was last year.
The Pac-10 race with Washington, Arizona and UCLA is worth tuning into down the stretch. Washington State is an entertaining watch too, thanks largely to Klay Thompson’s scoring acumen. It’s not quite “Jimmer-like”, but these days, what is?
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Today’s Free College Basketball Picks
Wright State @ Green Bay -2.5
The Phoenix enter the game a pretty average 11-10, and equally ho-hum 5-4 in Horizon league play. However, they have been playing much better basketball of late – evidenced by their last outing, a road win over conference leader Valparaiso.
The Phoenix have won four conference games in a row at home, and their only loss since Jan 1st was a six-point road loss to Butler.
Wright State defeated Green Bay 64-61 at home on Jan 1st. Tonight’s line gives the same three point margin in the opposite direction.
Green Bay is playing well, is a good home team, and has really faced some tough non-conference foes to aid in their 10-loss record. I like them holding serve tonight in their gym and getting the win.
PICK: Green Bay -2.5 (-110) @ Bookmaker.com <- $500 sign up bonus
Columbia @ Harvard -10.5
The Ivy League enjoyed a rare period of national prominence last season. Cornell was as good as any Ivy squad since the Penn teams of the late 90’s, culminating with their run to the Sweet 16. Harvard was bandied about as an at-large candidate for a brief period before settling for an NIT appearance. The Jeremy Lin-led Crimson knocked off major foes, including Boston College last season.
Lin is gone to the NBA (though reassigned to the D-League recently by the Warriors), and with him went any expectations for Harvard contending for the league title.
Not so fast. Harvard enters tonight 13-3, with their three losses to George Mason, Michigan (by 3), and a road decimation by UConn (seriously though, not a big shame).
They are 2-0 in the Ivy, and have a double-digit win over Colorado on their resume. They have emerged as the presumptive favorite in the Ivy, and are a sneaky potential #15 seed you really don’t want to face.
Colombia enters at a respectable 11-5, and also 2-0 in conference. On paper it seems like a decent matchup – until digging a little deeper into Colombia’s wins: by 2 over American, 1 over Stony Brook, by 4 over Bryant; losses to Longview, Bucknell and Elon – this is not a real good basketball team.
Harvard handles their business tonight in their home gym and grabs early control over the Ivy League’s regular season crown – and the automatic bid that goes with it.
PICK: Harvard – 10.5 (-110) @ Bodog.com <- up to $1000 in free money on first deposit