February 27th. Only one day left in the month and there is plenty of madness left. Tomorrow brings a full slate of 17 games for Top 25 teams.
Than March comes in with a bang featuring 3 games of Top 25 matchups!
Today is picks day, so you'll get the best of the games this weekend and my picks for the winners.
Last week I went 4-3, picking the surprising Texas game, but losing on 3 accounts. Totally unacceptable and I will do better this week, even with a bunch of Top 25 matchups. My record so far this year is 22-14.
Three games on Sunday that are must picks, so Saturday is only down to 4 games. I'll pick those based on the times to play in case anybody has nothing better to do than sit around and watch college basketball.
12 ET - First up, the pickings for this time slot are slim. The game most likely to not be a blowout is Cleveland St. (who beat the 'Cuse earlier this year) are traveling to play #23 Butler. Cleveland State was on the short end of a 50-48 score in their other matchup this year. This is the last regular season game for both teams and Butler only holds a one game lead in the conference over Green Bay (who knew?!?). The Bulldogs pull it out on the road and take the #1 seed to their conference Tourney.
2ET - A must pick here as Clemson visits Florida State. Both teams are tied for third place in the ACC @ 8-5 and need a victory to keep themselves out of the dreaded bubble discussion. FSU won the previous matchup (on Clemson's home court), but both teams are coming off of losses. Florida State has yet to impress, with their only high profile victory being over this same Tigers team earlier in the month. Clemson at least has a win against Duke and a surprising Illinois team. However, the game is in Seminole country. Still, against most odds, I think Clemson gets a victory on the road and improves their tournament resume.
4ET - A pseudo Top 25 matchup as Ohio State (who lost already this week to Illinois) travels to West Lafayette to play Purdue. The Boilermakers just lost last night to Michigan in Ann Arbor. Purdue has virtually locked up a trip to the Big Dance, while OSU might have some work to do. The key to this game (as is the case with most Great Lakes 11 games) is home court. Purdue at home = Win. Plus, people from OSU call it "The Ohio State" and I hate that.
You think putting "The" in front of your university makes it better? Nope. It doesn't. And you're not that good at basketball anyway. So there. And your coach's name it Thad. Ha!
I totally won that argument. Eat that Buckeye Nation!
9ET - UCLA @ Cal - UCLA is not the same team they have been the last few years. They don't play as good of defense and they don't have as many key players. They won't make another Final Four or Elite Eight run, but that doesn't matter today. Both teams are 1.5 games behind Washington for the Pac 10 lead and need a victory. California is now led by former Super Stanford Head Coach and NBA failure Mike Montgomery. He has taken the program to a new level, and his team needs a W more than UCLA. Cal has only lost once at home in conference play (to Oregon State, go figure) and will lock down a Bruins team that has lost 3 of 5. Cal wins. Eat that UCLA!
Sunday make things for the entire weekend even more interesting. If you think you have an idea of who will win what league and their corresponding tourney (stay tuned, a likely future post) Sunday will blow your mind.
12 ET - Marquette @ Louisville. This one is easy. The Fighting Pitinos (Louisville) will handle 'Quette who is without 1/3 of their trio of amazing guards. Dominic James is out for the year, which is a shame because he was one of the more exciting players to watch. Louisville keeps pace with UConn in the Big East with 2 extremely winnable games to go (vs. Seton Hall and @ West Virginia).
2 ET - The game of the year in the Big 12. Mizzou @ Kansas. Mizzou has achieved a Top 10 ranking by winning against the majority of teams it should and just winning period. Kansas is coming off a big win on Monday in Norman against the Griffin-less Sooners. KU has a one game lead in the conference standings, and controls their own destiny.
In the last matchup the Tigers got a victory by forcing 27 turnovers and holding the Jayhawks to 13.3% from the 3. Mizzou also got more fouls on KU (22 vs. 15 for MU) and attempted more free throws (27 vs. 16). KU had only one player in double figures (Tyshawn Taylor with 11) and Mizzou was led by Leo Lyons (13) and DeMarre Carroll (22).
My pick for the game. Revenge is sweet.
KU gets a game out of Cole-nan and Mighty Mouse along with the home cooking (fouls and free throws). KU will not turn it over 27 times and will shoot better than 13.3% from downtown. KU gets the inside track to the Big 12 title. Fizzou (as my cousin on Facebook put it so elequently) might get a sniff of a W, but the mystique of the Fieldhouse and the complete and utter loathing for Mizzou eminating from the crowd will be too much.
TBD - Michigan State @ Illinois - Illinois wins. This one is short because I am tired of writing and I am sure you are tired of reading. The Great Lakes 11 just got interesting! By the way
Finally some quick thoughts before the weekend.
- Too many guys were injured @ the NFL combine for me to really care about it. I think the players individual pro days will mean more when they are fully healthy and performing in a familiar environment.
- Already the Washington Redskins assured themselves of not winning their division. They signed two big free agents (which never work out for the skin's, see Deion, Jeff George and Adam Archuleta... the book is still out on Jason Taylor) and have too much money in too few players.
- The Chiefs need to do Tony G and Brian Waters a favor and get them to a contender. They are in true rebuilding mode, and while I think those two would be perfect mentors for younger players, they deserve a chance at success. Larry Johnson can go to the Lions for all I care. He had not been a quality guy for the city and needs to part ways.
- The Royals started off spring training with Mark Teahan getting 2 errors @ second base and letting Horacio Ramirez start and give up 6 runs. So far, two bad decisions, but they pop that everyone is displaying at the plate (John Buck = Homer) is very encouraging. Gordon with 2 strikeouts is concerning though. Keep reading.
- The NBA trade deadline was awful. The Kings and Bulls pulled off the biggest trade and nobody of consequence went anywhere. Now the NBA is borrowing money to bail out its teams.
This is ridiculous because when you give players that are destined to ride the pine multi-million dollar contracts, you are just asking for failure. The NBA needs new GM's and needs them fast. There are too many dumb ones. Bill Simmons should be the GM of some NBA team, because at least people would care.
- Tiger's return ended poorly, but he's back. Good for golf and good for Tiger.
- It's March people! Get excited! The Mrs. and I are taking a nice vacay to Vegas (yeah alliteration) for the First round of the NCAA tourney. While Vegas doesn't quite smell like awesome (more like smoke) it's an awesome place to be for the Tourney. There will definitely be a post about my experiences there.
I'm over 7 bucks again on centsports.com after losing it all on some tennis bet (*note to self: don't bet everything on stupid tennis matches). When I get over 10 we will celebrate.
Have a great weekend and keep the comments coming. Suggestions for days of the week would be great too!
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