Oklahoma State vs. Oklahoma Pick NCAA Basketball – January 30th

Northwestern notched an easy winner last night, downing Indiana and capping off a perfect college basketball weekend for us here at The Sports Geek.  The win pulled the record to 54-30-1 ATS on the site with an equal 64%-plus ATS mark for all picks through @TheMarchManiacs on Twitter.

By the way, thanks for the feedback on Twitter, it’s really cool hearing from so many of you and getting to chat some hoops.  I’m sure we will all win some and lose some along the way, but I definitely appreciate the support!

I like winning, but my win was NOWHERE near as BIG as the win was for Northwestern.  Yesterday was their 18th victory on the season with 11 games still to play.  Their schedule does get difficult, so don’t be surprised to see them struggle to go .500 the rest of the way.  But .500 will be MORE than enough to get the Wildcats their first EVER bid into the Big Dance.

Today will be an interesting day in the polls for sure.  The Top Ten recorded a combined NINE losses last week, paving the way for a likely Gonzaga stint atop the rankings.  Don’t be surprised if Kansas gets some votes, despite the loss to West Virginia as pollsters get enamored with the win at Rupp (fairly) and have trouble rewarding a team that beat Pepperdine over a team than went TO Lexington and won.

My guess:  Gonzaga, Kansas, Baylor, Arizona, Villanova

And no – those aren’t the five best teams in the country…

Today’s Free Pick:

Oklahoma State Cowboys at Oklahoma Sooners +1.5

Let’s start with the obvious, Duke at Notre Dame is the ONLY game of real interest today on the entire schedule.  BUT, since I have sworn off the Duke guessing game, I must abstain from picking that game.  You can if you want.  And you could write an intelligent column for why Duke will win by double digits.  You could write an equally intelligent column for why Notre Dame is a LOCK at home despite the Duke name and collection of awesome individual talent.

But let’s be real – you’d just be guessing.  The truth is NO TEAM in the country has a wider gap between their floor and ceiling than Duke. Figuring out which night will be which is more Roulette than Poker.  I’ll pass.

Instead, I’ll hone in on Bedlam on the hardwood, the annual rivalry between the Cowboys and Sooners for Oklahoma state supremacy.  I faded OU on Twitter picks this weekend for an easy winner while Florida ran roughshod over them for a 30 point win.  It’s hard to do anything OTHER than fade the Sooners this season.  They enter tonight at 8-12 and just 2-6 in Big Twelve play and with the 30-point loss to Florida joining nine other losses in their last eleven games.

But Okie State isn’t much better.  They too are just 2-6 in conference play and 13-10 on the season.  However, momentum is squarely on the side of the Pokes.  They have won three straight, winning AT Texas Tech, beating TCU by double digits and eviscerating Arkansas this weekend 99-71.  If you saw nothing other than the last nine days, you’d assume this is an NCAA Tournament team.  They lost their first six conference games but competed in all except the loss to Baylor and have played a VERY tough schedule.

Oklahoma meanwhile is heading in the opposite direction.  They had their brief surge towards competence two weeks ago with the stunner over West Virginia and the hard-fought loss to Iowa State, but since then, three straight losses including the exclamation mark this weekend.

This could very well be a close game, but I’ll take the momentum of the Cowboys, even on the road in a hostile environment.  They are just playing markedly better basketball of late.

Free Pick:  Oklahoma State Cowboys -1.5

Chris Scheeren / Author