Things are looking good again on the college basketball side of things at thesportsgeek.com after notching our third straight win, this one is easy fashion, as the Florida Gators absolutely hammered the Florida State Seminoles in Tallahassee last night. The Gators, laying just 4.5 at one point in the middle of the second half held a 39 point lead before cruising to an easy 72-47 victory.
On the season the Gators now own twenty-plus point wins over Wisconsin, Marquette and Florida State. Granted all three of those wins would have been more impressive LAST year, but it’s getting harder and harder to ignore Billy Donovan’s squad as a legit Final Four contender. Add in the fact that Kentucky is struggling mightily and Vanderbilt and Georgia being WAY down, and it’s getting easier and easier to see Florida as a #1 seed and the SEC champs.
It’s not a heavy slate of games tonight in college hoops, but there is a sleeper game I love tonight, so let’s dig into an interesting A-10/Big East matchup.
Rhode Island Rams at Providence Friars -6.5
Rhode Island has built up a solid program and has been a bubble-contender (or tourney team) most of the last five years. However this year, the cupboard is a bit bare, and the Rams are going through some painful rebuilding. They won their last outing over Vermont to pull their record to 2-6, and while a few of their losses are quality, there are just way too many of them to take this team as a serious contender or even non-bottom feeder in the hyper-competitive A-10.
Providence is very quietly building a sleeping giant. Keno Davis brought in a Top 20 recruiting class and will have two of the top freshman in the country…once they are eligible, which won’t be tonight. Junior guard Bryce Cotton has filled the void, averaging over 22 points per game. But HE won’t be playing tonight either. They are already playing with a short seven-man rotation due to the injury to Vincent Council, now add in the injury to Cotton, and it is realistic that the Friars will be using walk-ons tonight to hold off local rival Rhode Island.
Under nearly any other circumstances, it would be hard to see Providence getting much of a challenge from the Rams, but tonight, with a makeshift lineup and tons of questions about WHERE the offense is going to come from, I like Rhode Island to do no worse than keeping the game close and interesting.
Free Pick: Rhode Island Rams +6.5