D’Angelo Russell was spectacular in the first half, and the Ohio State Buckeyes got just enough defense and transition offense in the second half and overtime to notch the cover and the straight-up road win over Minnesota last night. The win was our fourth in the last five NCAA games and we will look to keep it going tonight with a nice schedule of college hoops action.
But first, we all knew that if it WAS going to happen, it was going to look a lot like last night; not a mighty giant felling the ‘Cats unbeaten dreams but an over-matched collection of “whose that guy’s” catching the Cats sleepwalking. Ole Miss was very nearly that team last night. The Rebels had the ball in with a chance to win in regulation but failed to get a good look at the hoop, and then again in overtime, down three, they failed to get up a quality shot, and they eventually fell to Kentucky by just three points in overtime at Rupp Arena. I always expected Kentucky to get caught napping on the road as opposed to home, but last night was just another good reminder that there aren’t a lot of freebies once conference play commences and any good team who comes in sleeping can get tripped up.
So will anyone sleep through a tough loss tonight? Let’s dive into today’s featured matchup…
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Today’s Free Pick:
Florida Gators at South Carolina Gamecocks -1
Tonight is a big test for Frank Martin and his young South Carolina team. When he took over several years ago, the Gamecocks were the absolute dregs of the SEC and major college basketball. All of a sudden he has them looking like an NCAA Tournament team a year ahead of schedule. He may be a madman, but the dude can coach. Just ask Iowa State who was ranked ninth in the nation before getting blitzed by Cocky in the Barclays Center this weekend.
Meanwhile, the Florida Gators were ranked as high as the Top Ten in some preseason polls but enter tonight at 7-6 with losses to nearly every decent team they’ve played. I’d consider South Carolina a decent team, and they have the added advantage of playing in their home gym whereas many of the Gators’ losses have been in neutral floor matchups.
South Carolina has won six straight games including dominating blowouts of Clemson and Oklahoma State and this weekend’s win over Iowa State. If the names on the jerseys were reversed, the home team would be a six point favorite tonight. So take advantage of the lingering resistance to South Carolina and the name recognition of Florida and get the superior team at home for a big discount.