Fridays tend to be pretty quiet nights in college hoops; think of it as the calm before the Saturday storm of great matchups. But for the trained eye, there can be some pretty good wagering opportunities that pop up on Friday nights, and we have a game that fits that mold tonight.
Before we get to today’s pick, just a quick snapshot of some of the games scheduled for Saturday. With so many excellent matchups taking place, be sure to check back at thesportsgeek.com tomorrow for a solid handful of good plays.
The afternoon starts off with two interesting matchups involving the top teams in the Big Ten. Both Michigan and Ohio State get visits from teams with decent names, but teams they should beat handily. Can the Wolverines and Buckeyes handle their respective business against Arkansas and Long Beach State (who is playing the most absurd schedule in the nation! They JUST got beat by 30 last night at Syracuse, now off to Columbus!)
In the afternoon, keep an eye on Colorado’s trip to Kansas. The Jayhawks do not lose conference games at home. Ever. Colorado came close, pushing them to overtime in 2007, but has lost to Kansas seemingly infinite times in a row (more on that in tomorrow’s column). Other games worth noting are Temple and Duke on a neutral floor, UCLA vs Texas (in a game I’m dubbing “the Salvage Bowl”), and an awesome late night matchup between Illinois and Gonzaga (both undefeated).
Be sure to check in tomorrow morning for a full slate of breakdowns and picks.
Meanwhile, on to Friday’s hidden gem…
Harvard Crimson at UConn Huskies -10
The Huskies are fresh of a loss to NC State on the road, but it was certainly not a game to be ashamed of. The Huskies showed well in the Big East/ACC clash, and have continued to play slightly above expectations for first-year coach Kevin Ollie. They enter tonight at 6-2, with their only other loss a competitive 66-60 game to a very good New Mexico squad. Their backcourt tandem of Boatwright and Napier can play with any in the country, and I expect they’ll give Harvard a real tough time tonight.
Harvard has had a nice three –year run of relevance in college hoops, peaking last season when they were ranked in the Top 25 for the first time in the shot clock era. However several key suspensions as well as the regular graduation of players has left this roster fairly depleted. They will still compete in the Ivy League, but competing in the Ivy isn’t the same as going into Storrs and stealing a win.
Harvard couldn’t beat UConn last year when they were ranked in the Top 25. They couldn’t beat them three years ago with Jeremy Lin. I don’t see them even coming close this year. I like the Huskies to handle their business and exploit the athletic deficiencies in this Harvard team en route to an easy home win.
Free Pick: UConn Huskies -10