Shame on you. Shame on all of you. Last season, you the public RIPPED the Guru, Gus Elvin for his lackluster showing. You Armchair Krzyzewski’s flapped your gums like you were the second-coming of John Wooden. Frankly, Elvin is an understanding person and luckily for you he didn’t feel the need to lash out and defend his nickname. Like the silent killer he is on Twitter, waiting in the weeds to lay a factual beating on others, he calmly sat back, did his CBB offseason stuff and previewed college hoops for 2011-2012 waiting for the Guru vs. Gamblers to kick off. The “Parlay King” as he’s added to his name, was scorching hot not long ago and it’s the reason K.M and I held reservations about what he would do this season. If Week 1 is any sign, we’ll need to pick it up just to keep him in sight. The Guru dropped a hammer with a 4-1-1 opening week, putting K.M and I behind the 8-ball on our Roll the Dices as well.
So now is week 2, and K.M and I will look to close the early gap the Guru has built up. If you’re still not familiar, it’s a pretty simple concept. Like the Sexy Six of College Football season, we take 6 games each week (most often top 25 matchups) and play them against the spread. While we all have our own personal records to track, we throw in some special categories as well that we’ll track throughout the season. If you get a situation where all 3 of us are on the same side of the spread, we call it a Bet The House. Ironically you would have lost your house if you followed those last year. If K.M and I are on the same side of the number against the Guru, we call that a Roll The Dice. Finally, if you get a situation where either K.M or I stand alone on the spread, we call that a Crapshoot. As the season rolls along you’ll get a feel for which, if any, of those categories are the ones to roll with.
With that said, here’s where we stand heading into week 2:
Gus “The Guru” Elvin: 5-1 SU, 4-1-1 ATS
K.M: 3-3 SU, 1-4-1 ATS
Bryan: 4-2 SU, 2-3-1 ATS
Bet The Houses: 1-1
Roll The Dices: 0-1-1
K.M Crapshoots: 0-1
Bryan Crapshoots: 0-0
*One INC due to me (Bryan) being an idiot and forfeiting a pick
#16 Mississippi St. at #14 Florida (-9.5)
Guru: In a game between 2 of the top 4 teams in the SEC the Bulldogs of Mississippi State hit the road to take on the Florida Gators and their heralded backcourt. While Florida has 4 tremendous guards in Bradley Beal, Erving Walker, Kenny Boynton and Mike Rosario, the best guard on the floor Saturday may be wearing maroon. That guard is Dee Bost the senior point guard for the Bulldogs who has the ability to beat you off the dribble, from the perimeter or as a passer. On the inside the Bulldogs are a 2 headed monster with UTEP transfer Arnett Moultrie and former McDonald’s All-American Renardo Sidney. Moultrie has exploded onto the scene this season after 2 solid seasons at UTEP as he leads the Bulldogs in scoring and rebounding with averages of 17 points and 11 rebounds. Florida on the other hand is a guard oriented team that has 5 guards who would start for 75% of the teams in college basketball. These talented guards are led by veterans Erving Walker and Kenny Boynton who combine to average 31 points and 8 assists. Boynton has emerged as the go to guy for the Gators this season as he is averaging a career high 18.3 points per game while shooting career bests from both the field (50%) and 3-point range (45%). In the paint the Gators have budding star Patric Young (11.2ppg, 6.9 rpg, 64%-FG%) but lack much size/production outside of the talented but underutilized Young. In this game the key for me will be the offensive efficiency of Florida as the Gators rank 7th in the nation in scoring (82.2ppg), 23rd in field goal percentage (48.2%), 8th in 3-point percentage (40.7%) and average just 11 turnovers per contest. At home in Gainesville I like the Gators behind Kenny Boynton and Bradley Beal to hold serve in a closely contested SEC matchup. Arnett Moultrie against Patric Young will be a matchup to keep an eye on as Moultrie is a long and skinny 6-10, while Young is an athletic and physical 6-9. Gators at home in a close one as the guards for Florida outplay and outpace a strong Mississippi State team in the 2nd half. Florida is the pick at home in a very tight game as their guards are quicker and more explosive than the perimeter players of MSU.
Prediction: Florida 76 Mississippi St. 70
K.M: ON NO KMVENNE STARTED 1-4-1. HE SUCKS. Listen up, TSHQ. I hear you all calling me out. You’re saying no way can K.M. Venne make money for the FOURTH consecutive season betting at TSHQ, 5th if you count my NBA plays on CBS last year. Well, you all are idiots. You can tell the same lie a thousand times, but it never gets any more true. So close your eyes once more and once more believe that they all still believe in you. Those are lyrics to Redneck by Lamb of God. I’m listening to that right now. Why am I rambling? I haven’t seen MSU yet this year. I’m going to lay the points with Florida because I think they are a pretty good team. And I’m going to win by the time this season is over. So suck it on ALL counts you heathens. I rule.
Prediction: Florida 84 Mississippi State 70
Bryan: I’ve seen my Wildcats play both of these teams this year and though I came away from the two games saying Florida looked more talented, Mississippi St. gave us more trouble. Florida just hasn’t done anything all season that makes me impressed. Even their win over Florida State wasn’t a FSU team who is playing its ass off now. Otherwise they have a bunch of careless wins. The Bulldogs have a few good wins and also have managed some very respectable losses including a nail-biter to Baylor. Florida at home should be good enough to snag the W, but I’m not getting behind them to win by double-digits.
Prediction: Florida 70 Mississippi St. 66
K.M. crapshoots on Mississippi State
Update: Florida wins 69-57, K.M: 1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS, 1-0 Crapshoots, Bryan: 1-0 SU, 0-1 ATS, Guru: 1-0 SU, 0-1 ATS
#23 St. Mary’s at BYU (-4)
Guru: In a matchup between the 1st and 3rd place teams in the WCC, conference front runners Saint Mary’s travels to the Marriott Center to take on conference newcomer BYU. The Gaels enter the game at 20-2 on the season and on a 10 game winning streak while BYU has won 7 of 8 since losing to the Gaels on the road in Moraga. This game to me comes down to the age old question of talent versus home court advantage. The Gaels are the more talented team in this fixture as they possess one of the best point guards in the country in Mathew Dellavedova (15.8ppg, 6.5apg) and one of the best bigs in the WCC in Rob Jones(14.5ppg, 10.7rpg). BYU on the other hand is also a talented team with Matt Carlino, Brandon Davies and Noah Hartsock and also have the advantage of playing at the Marriott Center in Provo where they are 126-18 over the past 12 ½ seasons. Picking against the Cougars in Provo is like playing with fire, it’s not a good idea but my gut is telling me to roll the dice here. This game will be a shootout as I expect both teams to go over the 80 point plateau but on the road I am going with the explosive Gaels to pull off the upset. Saint Mary’s is for real and a win over BYU in Provo should silence the remaining doubters and end all bubble talk before it starts. I am going with the Gaels on the road in the upset as I like Saint Mary’s experience and offensive firepower to outweigh the home court advantage of the Marriott Center. SMC ranks in the top 50 in the nation in almost every offensive category and with shooters like Dellavedova, Stephen Holt and Clint Steindl the Gaels average almost 8 made 3-pointers per game. SMC is the pick on the road as I look for Stephen Holt and Brad Waldow to be x-factors for the Gaels.
Prediction: St. Mary’s 86 BYU 80
K.M: BYU is in the WC now? I forgot that. Interesting*. I’m laying the wood with the home team. BYU still has a great home court, right? I thought so.
*not interesting at all
Prediction: BYU 77, St. Mary’s 65
Bryan: Yea I haven’t see one second of either of these teams play. There’s not possibly anything I could even pretend to say to justify my pick here. I’ll take the points with the better team and hope BYU’s homecourt isn’t truly that daunting.
Prediction: St. Mary’s 76 BYU 72
K.M. Venne crapshoots with Mormons. That statement is funny to K.M. Venne and K.M. Venne only.
Update: St. Mary’s wins 80-66, K.M: 1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS, 1-1 Crapshoots, Bryan: 2-0 SU, 1-1 ATS, Guru: 2-0 SU, 1-1 ATS
#4 Missouri at Texas- pick em’
Guru: After a sluggish win over lowly Texas Tech over the weekend the 5th ranked Tigers travel to Austin to take on NCAA bubble team Texas. While Missouri seems like the obvious pick here this could be a tougher game than its looks at first glance for 2 reasons. First, Texas is quietly 12-1 on the season with their lone loss coming by just 3 points against #7 Kansas and secondly Missouri could be overlooking this game a bit as they anticipate their huge matchup with Kansas this Saturday. That being said I am still going with the Tigers on the road as they are the more experienced and more consistent team. This game will be all about guard play and when all is said and done I’ll take Flip Pressey, Marcus Denmon and Michael Dixon over Myck Kabongo, J’Covan Brown and Sheldon McClellan at this point in their careers. Texas has a bright future if their young players decide to stick around but against an veteran team and offensive juggernaut like Missouri, I could see the Longhorns struggling for stretches. Missouri is the pick on the road as I like the Tigers on the road in a tune-up for this weekend’s “Border War” showdown against Kansas.
Prediction: Missouri 82-Texas 72
K.M: I don’t get this line. I don’t believe in Mizzou, either. But all I know for a fact is that Rick Barnes is terrible. Rick Barnes should coach the Wizards.
Prediction: Mizzou points, Texas less points
Bryan: Missouri is coming off that loss at Oklahoma St. two games ago and needs a W in the worst way to stay within striking distance of Kansas atop the Big 12. They have wins at Baylor, at Iowa St. (who apparently is good?) and just beat the Longhorns by double-digits two weeks ago at home. How much do you think I’m giving home court as an edge to Texas? Not 12 points. On the flip side Texas has lost almost every tough game they’ve had to date with wins over Temple and Iowa St. being the only things that really do anything for me. In a game Mizzou needs bad, with what I feel is the better team, I’m taking the Tigers.
Prediction: Mizzou 78 Texas 72
Verdict: Bet the House on Missouri
Update: Missouri wins 67-66, K.M: 2-1 SU, 2-1 ATS, Bryan: 3-0 SU, 2-1 ATS, Guru: 3-0 SU, 2-1 ATS, 1-0 Bet The Houses
#9 Michigan St. at Illinois (+3.5)
Guru: Another big time matchup this week, Tom Izzo and his 9th ranked Spartans visit Assembly Hall to take on a Fighting Illini team that has lost just once this season at home(Wisconsin). While Michigan State is the better offensive team is tough to pick against the Illini at home as Illinois has been impressive in front of the famed “Orange Crush” with wins over Gonzaga, Minnesota and most impressively against then #5 Ohio State. Despite Illinois’ success at home I’m going to go with Sparty on the road as MSU has been very tough to beat since losing their first 2 games of the year, going 17-2 since. The edge I give MSU in this game will be on the boards as the Spartans are one of the top rebounding teams in the country (16th) while Illinois struggles in the rebounding game ranking just 194th out of 345 Division 1 teams. Look for Draymond Green, Adreian Payne and Branden Dawson to control the glass against the Illini which will lead to easy 2ndchange points and foul trouble for Illinois’ Meyers Leonard (13.4ppg, 8rpg). Draymond Green is one of my favorite players to watch in all of college basketball and Tom Izzo’s do it all senior will lead Sparty to a very impressive road win in Champagne. MSU has already won at Gonzaga and at Wisconsin this season so I am confident in the Spartans ability to win on the road even in a hostile environment like Assembly Hall. Draymond Green goes for 24, 10 and 7 as MSU edges Brandon Paul and Illinois
K.M: Apparently K.M is just trying to dig himself a record-breaking hole.
Bryan: Michigan State just continues to rise from the dead each year. A few years ago I thought their run was over and they got to the title game as a 5 seed I believe. Then after last season’s blowout loss to UCLA and first round exit, I said, “alright, they won’t be elite for a couple years”. Yet here they are, top 10 team in America. Man crush alert: Draymond Green is my boy. Reminds me of a chubbier Lemuga Fonkum. You don’t know who that is? Of course you don’t. You didn’t go to Catholic Memorial. But Coley and Guru did. So they’ll understand and likely disagree. Speaking of CM, #3 in Massachusetts in HS basketball. What’s that? What’s that have to do with this game? Very little other than we’re early in the season and if you paid attention at all last year you should know I can’t really talk about the teams until 4-5 weeks into this.
Prediction: Michigan State 67 Illinois 60
Update: Illinois wins 42-41, K.M: 2-2 SU, 2-2 ATS, 1 Forfeit, Bryan: 3-1 SU, 2-2 ATS, Guru: 3-1 SU, 2-2 ATS
Uconn at #14 Georgetown (-3.5)
Guru: Before the season Connecticut would have been the choice here as the Huskies came in ranked in the top 10 nationally while Georgetown was projected to finish in the middle of the pack in the Big East after suffering 3 key losses to graduation. As we enter February these 2 teams are heading in different directions as the Hoyas have surged to a 16-4 record and a top 15 national ranking while the Huskies have fallen out of the top 25 this week after 3 straight losses. Georgetown this season has been led by the veteran trio of Jason Clark, Hollis Thompson and Henry Simms as the 3 have combined for 42 points, 14.5 rebounds and 7 assists. UConn after a hot start have hit a rut as recently the Huskies have really struggled losing 3 straight and 5 of 7 to less talented opponents like Rutgers, Notre Dame and Tennessee. UConn has struggled offensively and it looks as if the Huskies are still trying to discover their identity as a team especially on the offensive end. The Huskies do have a boatload of talent as a roster with Jeremy Lamb, Shabazz Napier, Ryan Boatright and Andre Drummond should be a lot better than 4-4 in the Big East. As anemic offensively as the Huskies have been over the past 2 weeks for some reason I like UConn in this matchup as I think Connecticut is the more talented team and due for an offensive resurgence. I don’t see this Huskies team losing 4 in a row and with their backs to the wall I am banking on the Huskies turning it around starting tonight on the road at Georgetown. Ryan Boatright is back eligible for Connecticut and with Jeremy Lamb and Shabazz Napier gives UConn a 3-headed guard attack. Jim Calhoun is still searching for the right combination with his roster and with a reshuffled starting lineup tonight (Boatright for Napier) I like the Huskies in an upset on the road. Jeremy Lamb is the best player in this game and look for him to be at his best in a key game for the rest of Connecticut’s season. UConn’s the pick on the road as I am playing a hunch and going with the Huskies in a “toughness test” on the road. Connecticut needs to feed the post going forward as Andre Drummond and Alex Oriakhi are too talented to not get offensive touches. I don’t need to worry about spreads here as I am going with Connecticut straight up against in my opinion an overrated and vulnerable Georgetown team.
K.M: Opps, sorry guys. Good news, however, I was TOTALLY going to take Sparty! So that loss was coming my way one way or the other. I nearly put some of my own money on Sparty as is, thankfully I don’t give a damn about the Big 10 so I didn’t do that. Here’s this game. awesome. I’ve seen Georgetown, they did not impress me despite beating my Tigers twice. UConn has NBA talent. Easy call for me here.
Prediction: UConn 69, Georgetown 64
Bryan: Hoyas who? Listen, Uconn is much better than their record indicates and will be a dangerous team come tournament time again. While they may not be a title contender again, I like the core they have still in place and frankly, Georgetown is overrated to me. I’ll give them a little love for two wins over Memphis, as well as wins over Marquette, Louisville and Alabama. But lately they’ve been slipping. Honestly, I just think Uconn is the better team overall and in fact forget the points, I’m taking the Huskies straight up.
Prediction: Uconn 62 Georgetown 54
Verdict: Bet The House on Uconn
Update: Georgetown won 58-44, K.M: 2-3 SU, 2-3 ATS, Bryan: 3-2 SU, 2-3 ATS, Guru: 3-2 SU, 2-3 ATS, 1-1 Bet the Houses
Arizona at California (-7)
Guru: - At the start of the season many would have projected that this game would go a long way in deciding the Pac-12 regular season champion but with Arizona struggling and Cal leading the conference this game does not have the same ring to it at this point in the season. While Cal is tied with Washington atop the Pac-12 table, they have only been good by Pac-12 standards as the Golden Bears have ZERO top 50 wins and have bad losses to Oregon State and Washington State. If Arizona wants to make it back to back trips to the tourney they are going to need to turn it around soon and this game poses a perfect opportunity for the Wildcats to get back into it in the Pac-12. As bad as Arizona has been they are only 2 games back in the conference and in the Pac-12 that seems like a gap that could be easily made up considering the inconsistency of conference leaders Cal and Washington. To me this game comes down to guard play and whichever team’s guards play better will win. I like Cal in this game at home with Jorge Gutierrez (14.1ppg, 5.3rpg, 4.4apg) and Allen Crabbe(15.8ppg, 6rpg) as the Golden Bears’ guards are more experienced and better than the 2 freshman Nick Johnson and Josiah Turner of U of A. The only question remaining is the spread(+7.5) and I do think Arizona can cover which to me is a tough one as I could see Arizona keeping this under 8 points. The spread will be close in this one as Arizona needs this game bad but I like Cal to just make the points and win by 9 or 10 at home at the Haas Pavillion. Cal is the pick but in the Pac-12 you don’t know which Arizona or which Cal is going to show up so betters beware in this one.
Prediction: California 70- Arizona 60
K.M: Considering I am so not going to be paying a lick of attention to this game, I’m going to do it early. My knowledge of Arizona basketball consists of Bryan tweeting how angry they make him (at @BDohertyTSHQ1 follow that s****). My knowledge of Cal consists of me laughing that they were ranked to start the year. When you think both teams aren’t much worth discussing on a national level, lay the points with the home team. Well, I lay the points with the home team. You can do whatever you want.
Prediction: Cal by enough to cover. Let’s say by 10.
Bryan: This is the type of friend Guru is. I swear he only picks Arizona games that don’t look promising for my Wildcats. SPOILER ALERT: THERE’S NOT A CHANCE IN HELL ARIZONA WINS THIS GAME!!!! The only thing worth discussing, and frankly the only thing that we care about in this event is whether Arizona can cover. But I’m not breaking down this game. I’m ranting. Since Gus is the CBB guy here, and well, since Arizona sucks right now, you don’t get to hear me talk about my boys. Lets start with Kyryl Natyazhko. Screw Alex Jacobson, everyone knows he sucks. This man Kyryl is 6-11, a Junior, on a team that gets bitched around on the boards every game and HE CANT GET ON THE COURT. Know why? Because he sucks!!! Literally he had the starting center spot this year if he was any sort of decent but he blows. Can barely rebound. Does nothing offensively and is a shitty defender. I remember when he was a “big get” for the program. Near 7-foot European? I was ecstatic. Moving on…Josiah Turner. This heralded freshman was another huge get for Miller this year. A PG who was supposedly NBA ready out of high school. Kid averages more turnovers than assists. Then last game vs Washington, in a MUST WIN, this dumbass tries to slide into a charge take IN THE BACKCOURT with 5 seconds left in a tie game. Foul on him, Washington hits two free throws, and we lose. Every time he does something good and I clap for him, he turns around and sticks his head up his ass and does something stupid. Now Kevin Parrom broke his foot. Kevin Parrom is a true Wildcat and has been through more than anyone should have to go through in this short of time so Kevin Parrom will never be spoken ill of from my mouth. Sean Miller is a boss, cleaning up house in the recruiting trails again, but this team is a f***ing joke. Derrick Williams was a huge loss, no question about it. But there was enough talent left in the cupboard for us to compete again this year and be a tourney team. Momo Jones? OVER-RATED!!! People who just saw Arizona in the tourney thought he was a stud. HELL NO. Momo Jones was a DECENT player for us the entire time he was there. He just had a good tournament. We could have survived him easily. Listen, PAC-12 basketball sucks. Losing to Oregon at home? Embarrassing. Losing to Colorado? Get the hell out of here. Getting BEATDOWN by THIS UCLA team???? Oy vay….Arizona has to win the PAC-12 tourney. They’re not getting an at-large. Our best win is probably Clemson or St. John’s. Have you seen either of those teams? This season has been infinitely more frustrating than 2 years ago when we were all freshman for the most part. This team has been major underachievers. The pick? Lay the points. Cal’s the best team in the league, we suck on the road, and we’re down to 3 players who are worth a damn this year: Jesse Perry, Nick Johnson and Soloman Hill who has been a beast and should be a PAC-12 POY candidate. But Cal wins by double-digits probably.
Prediction: Cal 70 Arizona 58
Verdict: Bet The House on Cal laying the points
Update: Arizona wins 78-74, K.M: 2-4 SU, 2-4 ATS, Bryan: 3-3 SU, 2-4 ATS, Guru: 3-3 SU, 2-4 ATS, 1-2 Bet The Houses