Last night was a tough night to be highly ranked team in college hoops. Notre Dame got taken down at home by a Syracuse team that has defied logic; it seems they have little to play for since they are banned from the posteason – instead, they are playing like EVERY game is their postseason. North Carolina scored just 46 points, the lowest output since they opened the Dean Dome is 1986, in a home loss to surging NC State. And lastly, we got bit by the upset bug with Dez Wells playing one of the best games anyone has played this college season, leading the Terrapins to a huge home win over #5 Wisconsin.
Things are heating up as we approach Selection Sunday, and if you needed any reminder that seeding is going to be far from a predictor of who will win and lose, just look at yesterday’s games. It was the equivalent of a #4 over #1 in the Sweet Sixteen, and a few double-digit seeds winning first round surprises. Chaos is looming, and I can’t wait.
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Today’s Free Picks:
Kentucky Wildcats -18 at Mississippi State Bulldogs
There’s not really much of a reason to do any of the home/road splits or any other stat when it comes to Kentucky; they’ve won them all and they are starting to look like an even better basketball team than they were in November. They’ve covered three straight games and tonight they get a chance to scrimmage against one of the worst teams in the SEC.
There is always that nagging fear the Cats sleepwalk into the gym tonight, but since their back-to-back blips in early January, they’ve been pretty efficient tools of destruction, covering three straight games and winning by an average margin of over 25 points per game.
Mississippi State has lost four straight games and four of their last five at home. They jumped up and clipped LSU, but I don’t see them putting up much resistance tonight.
Look for Big Blue to roll on the road.
BONUS PICK: Indiana Hoosiers -2 at Northwestern Wildcats
Don’t expect the same result for these Wildcats. Indiana has covered three straight road games and enters tonight needing to avoid a damaging loss to keep their tourney prospects on safe ground. I think they will show up despite some of the “trap game” qualities a trip to Northwestern before a closing stretch of Iowa and Michigan State at home.
IU has five conference losses but all are to teams that are likely going to the tournament; Ohio State, Purdue (twice), Maryland and at Wisconsin. No bad losses there (though getting swept by Purdue stings a bit).
The point is, against lesser competition the Hoosiers win. I think they’ll do the same tonight.