Duke vs. Stanford Pick NCAA Hoops – Nov 22nd + Bonus Pick

It was an eventful day in college hoops last night. Duke and Stanford both looked fantastic in their respective wins over Temple and UNLV and will meet tonight in the Coaches Versus Cancer Final at the Barclays Center. Meanwhile, Texas took the championship in 2K Tourney beating Cal handily, but the win came at a steep price as point guard Isaiah Taylor will miss the next 4-6 weeks with an injury. The injury is a shame because up to this point this season Texas has looked like a legitimate threat to end Kansas’s ten-year string of Big 12 dominance. If Taylor can recover quickly, expect the Longhorns to make the Big 12 really interesting.

Meanwhile, Florida continued to scuffle, needing overtime to defeat Louisiana Monroe, and LSU took a disastrous loss to Old Dominion, a decent team but not one that profiles to be an at-large contender. Kentucky may not or may not be able to beat the 76’ers, but it is getting harder and harder to see any way they could NOT win the SEC…

We will look to bounce back from a tough Friday with some Saturday winners, so let’s dive in.

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Today’s Free Picks:

Nebraska Cornhuskers -1.5 at Rhode Island Rams

I’m already on record as saying Nebraska is a good sleeper candidate for runner-up in the Big Ten. Shavon Shields and Terran Petteway give them good veteran offensive punch and last year’s tourney berth gives them nice experience. Petteway led the Big Ten in scoring last year at 18.1ppg and has picked up right where he left off last season so far in 2014.

The Rhode Island Rams are off to their best start in decades and they have been doing it with dominance on the glass. They own a 17.0 rpg edge in the early going, but could find things a little more difficult against a quality Big Ten opponent. The Rams wins have come over Pace and UMass-Lowell… so let’s not too excited about the Rams early results.

I think Nebraska is a clear notch better than URI. Yes, the Huskers have lost five straight non-con road games, but this year’s team is considerably better than most of the past editions. I like them to get the win tonight.

Free Pick: Nebraska Cornhuskers -1.5

Duke Blue Devils -10.5 vs. Stanford Cardinal

Last year Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins likely saved his job by narrowly making the tourney and then making a Sweet 16 run with a win over top-seeded Kansas. This year’s team has looked even better than last year’s squad, despite the loss of NBA draft picks Josh Huestis and Dwight Powell. Chasson Randle is back to run the show and the Cardinal haven’t missed a beat en route to a 3-0 start.

Duke has been sensational in the early going, but phenom frosh Jahlil Okafor showed some signs of mortality last night, especially in a 3 for 13 shooting first half against the Temple Owls. Stanford is even better athletically, and will hope to similarly frustrate the freshman big man.

Duke is the better team, but I think Stanford can make them work tonight. Coach K and Johnny Dawkins will get most of the pre-game attention as hall of fame coach and long-time protégé’ face off, but in the end the Devils depth should prove too much to overcome. But ten points is a ton to lay on a neutral court. I’ll take the Cardinal to narrowly cover.

Free Pick: Stanford Cardinal +10.5