Picking college basketball games. Is there anything less stable? You might as well flip a coin because college basketball is literally where, as the great Jon Rothstein says, the unexpected becomes the ordinary.
I am new to Student Union Sports, and happy to be here spreading any college hoops knowledge I have to the readers. When I build up the guts to, I’ll take a stab at my nightly picks for college basketball ATS. I’ll keep track of my record to remind myself of how poorly I’m doing.
My Pick: Notre Dame +9.5
Winning this game will be a tall task for the Fighting Irish, but both teams enter on a bit of a hot streak. The Tar Heels beat Duke and NC State last week, and the Irish reeled off two straight for the first time since early January with wins against Florida State and Boston College. The Irish are playing better because they are healthier. Bonzie Colson is still out, but Matt Farrell is back. I trust in Mike Trey and Notre Dame’s desperate mentality – they need to win to have any sort of shot at the NCAA Tournament – and I think the Irish keep this one close.
My Pick: East Tennessee St. +1.5
Sure, the game is in Greensboro. But this is the highest ranked KenPom team (67 overall) that UNC Greensboro has faced at home this year. Steve Forbes and East Tennessee St. are riding high at 13-0 in league play and looking to make the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year. The Buccaneers’ last loss was at Xavier by just two back on December 16th. East Tennessee St. is a really good basketball team, and I like them to win this game on the road.
My Pick: West Virginia -6
These two Big 12 foes had opposite days on Saturday. Jamie Dixon and TCU continued their phenomenal season and beat rival Texas by 18 at home sans star Jaylen Fisher, who is out for the year. West Virginia, on the other hand, lost to Oklahoma State at home, its fourth loss in the last six games. I like West Virginia, though. The Mountaineers will be motivated to bounce back on their home floor, and it will be hard for TCU to prepare for WVU’s unique press – which is second in the country in turnover percentage – in such a quick turnaround from Saturday.
My Pick: Texas -3
These are two more Big 12 teams riding separate waves heading into the matchup. Texas just got creamed by TCU on the road, while Baylor upset Kansas on Saturday at home. The good news for Texas is that Baylor has just one win on the road all season, and it was against Oklahoma State, which has just three wins at home in conference play. Before a loss last week to Kansas State, the Longhorns were 5-1 at home in Big 12 play, including wins over Texas Tech, TCU, and Oklahoma. Shaka Smart and Texas are in need of a bounce back with their NCAA Tournament fate on the line, so I like the Horns to win and cover in this one.
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