We notched a nice comfortable NCAA winner yesterday with Xavier advancing to the tourney championship game by dispatching USC. It still hasn’t quite erased the sting of the day before’s rough string of misses, but it does get us back on track and ready for a nice Saturday.
But what a strange week of college hoops action it has been. Indiana lost twice to unranked foes. Wichita State has lost three times this WEEK, more losses than they took in the last two season’s non conference slate total. Arizona lost to Providence, Notre Dame lost to Monmouth, Richmond beat Cal, and Syracuse, lightly regarded before the season, won the Battle 4 Atlantis by working through UConn and Texas A&M – and yesterday Miami, one of the most impressive teams in the country in the early season lost to Northeastern.
It is a little thinner slate today, with most of the focus being on the final regular season Saturday of college football, but there one fantastic game on the slate today; Cincinnati and George Washington meet with one team looking to put a nice resume win on their docket and move to 7-0. For GW it’s another chance to add to the early season A-10 hitlist.
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Today’s Free Pick:
Old Dominion Monarchs at VCU Rams -7.5
Today we get yet another game that continues the trend of former conference foes reuniting to stoke some old rivalry embers. These former CAA foes have each moved on to greener pastures; ODU to Conference USA and VCU to the A-10 (and a Final Four). It may not have conference ties any longer, but these are still two proud mid-major programs with a geographical relevance. It should be a really fun game today.
Old Dominion hasn’t gotten off to the start they hoped for. They are 3-2 and their last two games have been disappointing losses. They got smoked by Purdue 61-39 and lost to a very average (or below average) St. Joe’s team. Meanwhile, VCU also enters at 3-2, but it is hard to be too upset about an eight-point loss to Duke on a neutral court and a one-point loss in the final possession to Wisconsin. VCU has already shown they can go toe to toe with some of the better teams in the country, and that while Shaka might have moved on, the HAVOC is still present.
Look for VCU’s defensive pressure to wreak havoc with Old Dominion’s guards. VCU has won four of the last five matchups and won three of them by 13 or more points. I like them to get a good lead and to hold on to the cover at home today as well.