Maryland vs. Iowa Pick NCAA Basketball – January 19th

There were a couple things worth noting last night in the world of college hoops.  First, the rather shocking home loss by West Virginia to miserable Oklahoma.  If you haven’t tuned in since last March, that doesn’t sound so bad.  But if you HAVE been following along in 2017, you know Oklahoma has been dreadful, especially in conference play.  West Virginia was one of two teams ranked in the top ten nationally in BOTH defensive and offensive efficiency and were a strong double digit favorite.

The Mountaineers allowed 89 points in an overtime loss and took their second bad loss of the season, damaging an otherwise pristine profile.

The other big result was the Florida State vs. Notre Dame game.  The Noles won to pull into a first-place conference tie with the Irish and Tar Heels, but the WAY Notre Dame fought on the road was impressive.  This team is going to be an absolute nightmare to dispatch in March.  Someone is going to have to make sure to Zombieland double-tap those zombies, or else they will keep crawling out of the grave and fighting (and hitting threes).

We took a rare L last night with Miami laying a flat-out stinker in Wake Forest, and I got up today cursing myself for not giving you South Carolina (unbeaten with Thornwell in the lineup, 3-3 without him) in an upset of mediocre Florida.  Let’s get up off the mat today and get back to our winning ways!

Today’s Free Pick:

Maryland Terrapins -1.5 at Iowa Hawkeyes

Why does no one besides me (and Scott Van Pelt) like the Terps?  They are 16-2 with wins over Kansas State, Georgetown, Oklahoma State, Richmond, Indiana and Michigan.  Their two losses are to Pitt and the weird one to Nebraska (who also beat Indiana that week) and they are led by an All-American level junior point guard in Melo Trimble.

Yet here they are, barely favored again, and this time to an average (or slightly below) Iowa team that enters tonight 11-8 with losses to Omaha at home and coming off an 89-54 clunker against good but not great Northwestern.  They also have a 22-point loss to Purdue and a 31-point loss to Virginia.

The potential for very lousy things is strong with this Iowa team, especially if shots go awry early.

And back to the original point; Maryland is a good basketball team whether anyone seems to realize it or not.  They are a perfect 3-0 ATS on the road.  Iowa is just 6-10 ATS on the season, even with plummeting expectations, Fran McCaffery’s club has largely failed to meet them.

I know conference road games are tough, but I’ll take the far superior team at a very good price.

Free Pick:  Maryland Terrapins -1.5

Chris Scheeren / Author