Washington vs. Stanford Pick NCAA – Jan 4th

It’s been an eventful week in college hoops with a few teams starting to prove themselves as legitimate while a few teams are showing that a nice pre-conference start was simply a mirage. Let’s do a quick stock-up/stock-down to get a good grip on all that has transpired in college hoops.

Stock Up:

Seton Hall – Back to back wins against Providence and an overtime win against previously unblemished Villanova should put the Pirates into the Top 25 tomorrow. And even if it somehow doesn’t – be wary wagering against these Pirates at home. Likewise for the entire Big East, as both Marquette and DePaul notched home wins yesterday of higher-regarded opponents.

Maryland – The Terps are starting to emerge as the second best team in the Big Ten in their inaugural season. The backed up a nice road win over Michigan State with a convincing win over Minnesota.

South Carolina – what a huge win yesterday in Brooklyn over #9 Iowa State. Frank Martin may make for some interesting memes, but the dude is one hell of a coach. South Carolina could wind up the second or third best team in the SEC when it is all said and done.

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Stock Down:

Florida – A bad season gets worse, they lost to UConn to fall to 7-6 immediately after the bizarre loss to Florida State where they tipped in FSU’s game winning buzzer attempt themselves…

St. John’s – #15 in the country?? Um, maybe not. A road loss to Seton Hall was followed up yesterday with a home loss to Butler.

Washington – From undefeated to unranked after a pair of losses to Stony Brook and a rout in their conference opener at Cal. Things are all of sudden sleepless near Seattle.

TCU – There’s a reason most people were reluctant to rank the Horned Frogs despite an unbeaten start to the season. It was evident yesterday in their 11 point loss at home to WVU. The Frogs still lack a win over a Top 100 team.

Colorado St – Same story for the Rams. Their 13 point loss at New Mexico was their first of the season but they have a shortage of quality wins as well.

Let’s dive into live action today with a winner. We skidded in with a 1-2 ATS mark yesterday so there’s room to improve today!

Today’s Free Pick:

Washington Huskies at Stanford Cardinal -5

Is the bloom off the rose at this point? I think it is fair to say yes. Washington has shown themselves to be pretenders this week despite a huge unbeaten run to start the season and it doesn’t get any easier tonight with a trip to Palo Alto. The Cardinal enter with a worse record but a much better resume.

Stanford has dropped games to BYU, Duke, and a better-than-expected DePaul squad. They own wins over Washington State, Texas, and a 29-point demolition of UNLV. Meanwhile, Washington’s best win is still to be had.

Stanford has covered their last four games while Washington has failed to do so in three straight. The Cardinals are just playing better basketball right now and they are at home. So far in this brief conference season, home court has meant a ton. I expect it to matter again tonight.

Look for Stanford to get off to a good conference start and start cobbling together a resume to get them back into the NCAA Tourney. For Washington, it’s safe to say December will end up being the high point of their season.

Free Pick: Stanford Cardinal -5

Chris Scheeren / Author