Unlike last week, this is a great weekend of college hoops. Hopefully like last weekend, we clean up on the wagering. Well, more accurately, our guest picker Bill cleaned up with a 6-2 record. A very high bar has been set for all future pickers.
This weekend we are lousy with big games. It would be better for everyone if we just punted all of them. Sorry. You’ll have to pick who to go with.
Season to Date:
Mike (13-10) – Solid
Nate (12-14) – To hell with that reverse jinx Mike put on me at the start of the year.
Beer Bets – Tied 3-3
Saturday (all times Central)
#7 Duke (14-3; 2-2) at #14 Louisville (14-3; 2-2), 11 a.m., ESPN
Line: Fighting Pitinos -4
Reason to Watch: Why on earth wouldn’t you watch this game? If you like college hoops, watch the damn game.
Mike: I’m not sure that Duke is currently anywhere near the ranking they have. I’m definitely taking the Fighting Pitinos here. Louisville -4
Nate: The Cards are going to press, press, and press. Duke has no true point guard, and I think they turn it over a ton in this one. Cards -4
#19 Virginia (12-3; 2-2) at Clemson (11-5; 1-3), 11 a.m., ACC Network
Line: National Champions +2.5
Reason to Watch: If you like rock fights, this is your game. Both of these teams play at a snail’s pace…so maybe just watch Duke/Louisville and keep an eye on this score.
Picks: BEER BET!
Mike: Virginia is somehow still underrated. They’re winning this one by more than a trey. UVA -2.5 seems like a gimme.
Nate: Clemson lost two close ones to UNC and ND, before going to Atlanta and playing their worst game of the year in a loss to GT. This is a very good team, and it is incredibly hard to win on the road in the ACC. I think they get this one in a mild upset. Clemson +2.5
#15 Xavier (13-3; 3-1) @ #12 Butler (14-3; 3-2), 1 p.m., FS1
Line: Lovable Slobbering Mascots -5
Reason to Watch: Battle for the third best team in the Big East, because ‘Nova and Creighton are damn good. Can Myles Davis make a difference to get X back to the same level they played at last year?
Mike: Not a big fan of either team here both on reputation and this year. I’m thinking the Big East is overrated. Still, this spread seems like it’s about right. Pass.
Nate: This is a perfect line from Vegas, which means I’m passing. I think Butler wins by 4-7, with a Xavier meaningless three at the end making the difference in the cover.
#9 Florida State (16-1; 4-0) @ #11 North Carolina (15-3; 3-1), 1 p.m., ESPN
Line: Roy Williams -7.5
Reason to Watch: Florida State is really good, and they get their best test yet in the Heels.
Mike: I’m going with what I still think is the best team in the country here. UNC -7.5.
Nate: Looking forward to this one, and of course it is the same time as ND. Thank God for two-TV action. Vegas wants you to take FSU and the points here, as this is a similar spread to the Baylor/WVU game earlier this week. Staying away here and just enjoying this one.
#20 Notre Dame (15-2; 4-0) @ Virginia Tech (13-3; 2-2), 1 p.m., ACC Network
Line: School Everyone Will Associate with Frank Beamer -2
Reason to Watch: Get the Roku out for this one, as there should be a ton of offense. Both these teams can score it, but quietly, ND is the best in the ACC at FG% defense at this point.
Picks: BEER BET!
Mike: I take a perverse amount of enjoyment out of watching ACC people complain about the ACC Network. That makes me happy. Also, we have a beer bet about an ND game on which I am taking ND. This should be a double beer bet. ND +2.
Nate: I hate picking against the Irish, but I’m doing it today. Reasons here. VT -2
#1 Baylor (15-1; 3-1) @ #25 Kansas State (13-3; 2-2), 7 p.m., ESPN
Line: School Less Associated with Sexual Assault -1.5
Reason to Watch: Did Baylor just wet themselves after being anointed the #1 team in America, or are they flawed? Can Kansas State finally pull out a big conference win? Many questions in this one.
Mike: This spread is a nightmare. I would have picked Baylor until I saw that Vegas apparently thinks that KSU has a legitimate shot at winning this thing. I don’t bet against clear Vegas statements. Pass.
Nate: KSU now has lost in conference play by two at Kansas, and one at Texas Tech. Vegas is giving them credit. Baylor, on the other hand, is not going to turn the ball over 29 times again, like they did at WVU. I think the Bears rebound. Baylor +1.5
#21 St. Mary’s (15-1; 5-0) @ #5 Gonzaga (16-0; 4-0), 9 p.m., ESPN2
Line: Duke West -7.5
Reason to Watch: This might be the game with the most on the line. Obviously Gonzaga wants to keep its undefeated record going. This is one of its only two chances to lose, though. If you don’t want to watch this one I really don’t understand why you watch college hoops.
Mike: So I’m going with Vegas here. I hate this. This spread should be around 10.5 so please give me Duke West -7.5.
Nate: #ABADW – Always Bet Against Duke West. Come on, Gaels +7.5.
Wichita State (15-3; 5-0) @ Illinois State (13-4; 5-0), 7 p.m., ESPN2
Line: Uhhhhhhh…something snappy about Illinois State? +3
Reason to Watch: Two more small schools that are undefeated in conference, and a big test to see if Wichita could be dangerous again in March.
Mike: I’ll pass on this but I am looking forward to watching the game. Outside of the A10 I’m not as on top of smaller schools as I should be.
Nate: Two 5-0 teams in the MVC…sign me up for this one. I even discussed making the two-hour drive to Normal. This half of the blog absolutely loved FVV and Baker, and while both are gone, the Shockers have serious depth (10 guys averaging 15+ minutes) and talent. They’ve also scored 80+ in six straight. Shockers -3.