It’s the final week of the regular season for this segment. Simply put it’s been an ugly go of it so far. But we all know that championship week and the NCAA tourney can right that ship. You know the deal by now. 6 games for the week courtesy of the Guru and we battle it out with him. So we’ll get to that in a moment. Biggest thing now is explaining the rest of the year. After this week, there’s no more assigned games. In championship week and the NCAA tourney, K.M, the Guru and myself will play any game we feel we have a feel on, which given this year’s performance, we should probably just retire now. But nonetheless, we can play as few or as many games as our little hearts desire. The FIRST person into a game locks the line in. For example, if we all decide we want to play the Big East 9/16 game, it doesn’t matter who the first one is, if Guru makes his bet on it Sunday, whatever the line is on Sunday is the line for the game for all of us, even if it changes before K.M and I put it in. At the end of a couple days, we’ll set up a new thread with our updated records and continue. Same deal for the NCAA tourney. Last year Guru retired to get prepared for his NCAA tourney coverage. K.M and I each hit a heater and used it to propel ourselves to the profit line. Unless we catch fire on this last week, we’ll go into the championship week with a pretty poor record. So lets get caught up:
Gus “The Guru” Elvin: 18-12 SU, 15-14-1 ATS
K.M: 17-13 SU, 11-18-1 ATS
Bryan: 16-14 SU, 12-17-1 ATS
Bet The Houses: 5-9
Roll The Dices: 1-1-1
K.M Crapshoots: 3-6
Bryan Crapshoots: 0-2
It’s the last week so fortunately we have some quality matchups on the docket….
#3 Missouri at #5 Kansas (-8)
Guru: In a rematch of the Border War Missouri travels to Lawrence looking for a season sweep of the #5 Jayhawks. In the first meeting on February 4th the Tigers rallied late and escaped at home thanks to an 11-0 run to end the game keyed by 2 huge 3-pointers from Marcus Denmon. As close as the game was in Columbia if you look at the boxscore you will see that Ricardo Ratliffe(6pts) and Flip Pressey(2pts) did absolutely nothing. Don’t expect either to repeat that output the 2nd time around as both are consistent players for Mizzou and are bound to bounce back. As good as Kansas has been this season after losing the Morris twins and Josh Selby, I still feel they are not as good as their record indicates as they lack depth and are too reliant on Thomas Robinson(17.4ppg) and Tyshawn Taylor(16.5ppg). Missouri is one of the most efficient offensive teams in the nation and with balanced scoring led by Marcus Denmon(17.8ppg) and Kim English(14ppg) I think the Tigers will be too much offensively for Bill Self’s Jayhawks. If you are looking for an x-factor in this game I think it will be Michael Dixon as the former starter has thrived coming off the bench for the Tigers(12.9ppg, 3.1apg) and seems to play his best against the toughest opposition. Missouri on the road as the Tigers again show they are for real this season. Mizzou has too much pace and too much scoring for a Kansas team that depends on Thomas Robinson and Tyshawn Taylor to score 25+ points. I’m gonna pull a Dorial Green-Beckham here and throw on that Mizzou snap back as the Tigers are my pick. Missouri on the road at the Phog as the Tigers’ guards are too explosive for a Jayhawk team that I believe is a good team but not a great team. Missouri would have been my choice regardless but coming off a loss to KSU the Tigers will come out flying as they look to get back on track after losing their 1st home game of the year. Ricardo Ratliffe will be more of a factor this time around as the nation’s 2nd best shooter from the field(71.7%) goes for 18 and 8 in a good duel with Thomas Robinson.
Prediction: Missouri 78-Kansas 73
K.M: Kansas wants revenge. I think. Maybe they want to lose. Hell if I know. But I’m stuck now with Kansas as my second best team, so I need them to cover this 8 for me so I can be right about something for the first time this CBB season.
Prediction: Kansas 74, Missouri 63
Bryan: Eight? EIGHT??? Mizzou has been great this year. Yes I realize they just lost to Kansas St. for the 2nd time and yes I realize Kansas almost beat them at Mizzou but at 8 points Kansas has to be almost better by double-digits for the cover. 9+ points to cover? Against a team who has the resume’ of Mizzou? I’m not sure I lay 8 points with many teams against Missouri and I think Kansas is slightly overrated. I’ll take those points and enjoy them.
Prediction: Missouri 69 Kansas 65
Verdict: K.M crapshoots on Kansas
Update: Kansas 87-86, K.M: 1-1 SU, 0-2 ATS , 0-2 Crapshoots, Bryan: 1-1 SU, 2-0 ATS, Guru: 1-1 SU, 2-0 ATS
Vanderbilt at #1 Kentucky (-12)
Guru: In Lexington you’d figure UK is a lock for a comfortable win as they have been dominant at home under John Calipari(50-0 ) but this spread seems like a lot especially when you consider how highly ranked and regarded Vanderbilt was entering the season. While Kentucky is the more talented team and has next year’s 1st overall pick in Anthony Davis, Vandy has 3 future 1st round draft picks of their own in John Jenkins, Jeffrey Taylor and Festus Ezeli. For that reason the spread seems like an awful lot so I like Vandy to cover behind a hot shooting game from Mr. Jenkins. You know what scratch that Vandy came into the season with big expectations and while they have been up and down I like the Commodores on the road to pull the upset. Vandy has let me down plenty of times before and they probably will again but a veteran Commodore squad snaps Kentucky’s home court winning streak and grabs a signature win. I was high on Vandy coming into the year and I am not jumping off the bandwagon now….I’ll roll the dice with the Cornelius Vanderbilt’s on the road against #1 UK. Don’t cry Ashley Judd it’s only a game.
Prediction: Vanderbilt 74- UK 70
K.M: I pick Kentucky blindly. That’s not changing anytime soon. I like them because they are usually big favorites, and I live off a diet of chalk.
Prediction: Kentucky 81, Vanderbilt 61
Bryan: Kentucky escaped Mississippi St. on the road with a frantic comeback while Vanderbilt has slid a bit from their preseason expectations. These teams played close one in Vanderbilt 2 weeks ago and I think Kentucky is kind of going through the motions at this point. There’s likely two ways this game could play out. Kentucky will either have a bounce back game after their performance against MSU and blow Vandy out at home or they’ll continue to go through the motions and let Vandy play them tough. 12 points is a lot to lay against Vandy and even if Kentucky is 15-16 points better most of the game, one little spurt to end the game could cover for Vandy. Give me the Commodores.
Prediction: Kentucky 74 Vanderbilt 69
Verdict: K.M Crapshoots on Kentucky
Update: Kentucky wins 83-74, K.M: 1-0 SU, 0-1 ATS 0-1 crapshoots, Bryan: 1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS, Guru: 0-1 SU, 1-0 ATS
#16 Florida State at Miami (-1.5)
Guru: It’s not the FSU versus Miami football rivalry but when the Seminoles and Hurricanes meet on the hardwood there is very little love lost. This matchup has added intrigue as it is almost a must win for Miami as they sit firmly on the bubble and can’t afford anymore setbacks. The Hurricanes are coming off their worst loss of the season at Maryland as Miami squandered a late lead in what could prove to be a costly defeat. FSU on the other hand has been rolling and despite losing to Duke on Thursday night the Seminoles have won 10 of 12 and have been one of the hottest teams in the entire country over the 2nd half of the season. In this desperation game for Miami I like the Hurricanes at home as they are fighting for their tournament lives and look to rebound after a disappointing result the other night against Maryland. Miami’s talented backcourt of Durand Scott (12.9ppg) and Malcolm Grant (11.4ppg) will be the difference as they will shoot their way past FSU in a closely contested game. FSU’s defense will make things difficult for the Hurricanes but Miami will make enough 3’s(7.4 per game) to take down FSU at home. Jim Larranaga’s club needs another signature win and with their backs against the wall the finally completely healthy Hurricanes get the job done at home behind their all NYC backcourt of Grant and Scott.
Prediction: Miami 64- FSU 59
K.M: I’m 9 under .500 and I’m actually 7-7 for my last 14. That is so damn sad. I like FSU this year. Then again, and I lost money last night on Michigan, who I bet instead of the Red Wings, who also lost, so clearly I know nothing. I did have team New York in that stupid 3 ball thing. So there’s that. Point is, I have nothing to add worth listening too, so I’ll just bet the team that impresses me, FSU.
Prediction: Florida State 60, Miami 56
Bryan: Big bounceback game for the Seminoles if they want to stay in the ACC regular season title race. Miami has overachieved IMO under Larranaga. Albeit on the road I think the Noles go in and get the win. They’ve been playing very well in ACC play and though they have had a tendency to play down to their opponents at times, I’ll roll with FSU to get the win.
Prediction: Florida State 66 Miami 58
Verdict: K.M and Bryan roll the dice on FSU
Update: Miami wins 78-62, K.M: 1-2 SU, 0-3 ATS, Bryan: 1-2 SU, 2-1 ATS, Guru: 2-1 SU, 3-0 ATS, 0-1 Roll the Dices
#18 Notre Dame at # 8 Georgetown (-6.5)
Guru: While Notre Dame proved me wrong the other night hammering West Virginia at home they went out and proved my right this weekend losing to an inexperienced and undisciplined St. John’s team. I told you I don’t think Notre Dame is as good as there recent run suggests and the Irish displayed why I have concerns about this team dropping a decision to a 5-10 Big East team that only goes 6 deep. The Hoyas on the other hand rebounded from a blowout loss to Seton Hall earlier in the week with an easy win over a bad Villanova team. This game will not be an offensive showcase as both teams like to use a lot of the shot clock and drag out games around the 65 point plateau. Georgetown is the pick at home as once again I am not sold on the Irish especially away from home as I can’t seem to overlook the fact that this team was dead just a month ago. To me this game comes down to 2 factors, 1st the Irish on the road where I still feel they are vulnerable, and secondly senior leaders. This game will come down to experience and I like the fact that on an otherwise young team Georgetown’s 3 upper classmen Jason Clark, Hollis Thompson and Henry Sims are there 3 best players. Notre Dame has a very young backcourt with sophomore Eric Atkins(12.7ppg, 4apg) and redshirt freshman Jerian Grant(12.7ppg, 4.9apg) and on the road against a more talented and more efficient Georgetown team I could see the young guards of ND struggling. Georgetown at home in a game that the 1st to 60 is the winner, as the Hoyas are the better team and Notre Dame is not nearly the same team that they are when playing at home.
Prediction: Georgetown 62-Notre Dame 55
K.M: Hoyas big.
Prediction: GTown 68 Notre Dame 54
Bryan: My god was I a sloth today. Talk about being pretty much useless. My sleep schedule is all sorts of jumbled lately. Didn’t even see the FSU game. Am I surprised? Hell no. I haven’t hit 3 straight all year. Just give me Georgetown and let me regain consciousness.Notre Dame to cover though.
Prediction: GTown 65 Notre Dame 59
Verdict: Bryan Crapshoots on Notre Dame
Update: Georgetown wins 59-41, K.M: 2-2 SU, 1-3 ATS, Bryan: 1-3 SU, 2-2 ATS, 0-1 Crapshoots, Guru: 3-1 SU, 4-0 ATS
#8 Michigan State (-2.5) at #24 Indiana
Guru: Michigan State riding a 7 game winning streak visits Assembly Hall to take on #24 Indiana a team that has been up and down since starting the season 15-1. This game is a big game for MSU’s Big Ten title hopes because a loss here would open the door for OSU to finish tied atop the conference with a win over the Spartans on Sunday. This game for Indiana is also a huge test as the Hoosiers are trying to improve their seeding down the stretch and haven’t beaten a ranked team since beating Michigan back on January 5th. While MSU is the trendy pick right now having won 8 straight and having won at Ohio State I like the Hoosiers in this payback game as people forget Indiana beat #1 Kentucky and #2 earlier in the season at Assembly Hall. Indiana’s 1st loss of the season came at the hands of the Spartans but in a rematch at home where IU is 16-1 I like Indiana to feed off the crowd and knock off their 3rd top 10 team at home this season. MSU is a very strong defensive team and rebounding team as the Spartans rank 9th in the country in scoring defense, 5th in 3-point defense, 2nd in field goal defense and 13th in rebounding but against a very skilled offensive IU team I could see the Spartans being exploited a bit. The Hoosiers are a different team at home at Assembly Hall and with the crowd behind them in a big game I expect the sharpshooting Hoosiers to (7th in field goal %, 3rd in 3-point %) to light up MSU behind the arc with Jordan Hulls(11.2ppg, 48%-3-pt) and Christian Watford(11.6ppg, 42%-3-pt). The key matchup will be how Indiana hangs on the boards as they need the longer but thinner Christian Watford and Cody Zeller (15.4ppg, 6.5rpg) to compete on the glass with the heavier and stronger Draymond Green and Derrick Nix. I think MSU is somewhat limited offensively outside of star “point forward” Draymond Green (15.6ppg, 10.3rpg, 3.6apg) and in a higher scoring game I like the more fluid and better offensive team the Indiana Hoosiers to win at home. IU has been going under the radar and seems a bit forgotten but look for Tom Crean’s club to make a splash on Tuesday night against a very good MSU team that is competing for a #1 seed.
Prediction: Indiana 73- Michigan State 67
K.M: I could not hate these teams more. I’m going State by 20. Just because.
Prediction: State 20, Indiana 0 (this is the Big Ten, after all)
Bryan: Spartans have a Big Ten title and #1 seed potentially on deck. Have to win this game to keep that #1 seed hopes alive for the time being. Sure Indiana has been tough at home but it’s almost March. You know what that means with Izzo teams.
Prediction: Michigan State 70 Indiana 63
Bryan and K.M. roll the dice on Sparty. If you remember how much Sparty gives us trouble in college football, this is either a terrible sign or a double negative.
Update: Indiana wins 70-55, K.M: 2-3 SU, 1-4 ATS, Bryan: 1-4 SU, 2-3 ATS, Guru: 4-1 SU, 5-0 ATS, Roll The Dices 0-1
UCF at Memphis (-11.5)
Guru: In a key game in C-USA, Central Florida visits Memphis looking for a huge win that could put them from being one of the last few teams out of the tournament to a team inside the field of 68. UCF is one of those teams on the outside looking in and in their last opportunity to impress the committee before the Conference USA Tournament the Knights need a win at Memphis. The Knights who beat Memphis earlier this season 68-67 behind 23 points from Keith Clanton and 20 from Marcus Jordan have never beaten the Tigers in Memphis. The Knights hope that streak comes to end tonight as UCF currently 66 in the RPI has a huge chance to take down Memphis (22) and improve their RPI and overall resume. Memphis is 14-2 on the year at home but recently dropped a game at home against lowly UTEP so there is some light at the end of the tunnel for Donnie Jones and the Knights. UCF has a solid 1-2 duo in Clanton (15ppg, 8.6rpg) and Jordan (14.5ppg) but after that the Knights don’t match up well with a deep and balanced Memphis team. Memphis offensively is led by C-USA Player of the Tear favorite Will Barton (18.3ppg, 8rpg, 2.9apg) who leads 5 players who average right around double figures. Memphis is too athletic, too talented and too deep for UCF on the road as the Tigers will win this game and finally end all tournament question marks. Although I like Memphis to win this game a spread of 11 seems awfully high for a matchup between the 1st place and 3rd place team in the conference especially when you consider the Knights beat Memphis in their 1st meeting. Memphis is your winner but I like the UCF Knights to cover by 20 from both Marcus Jordan and Keith Clanton. Marcus Jordan’s good but to beat Memphis on the road the Knights need Michael Jordan to suit up.
Prediction: Memphis 72- UCF 64
K.M: Memphis needs to win to make me happy, because I cheer for Memphis. So go Memphis!
Prediction: Memphis 77, UCF 64
Bryan: Arizona needs Memphis to win this league’s bid and Southern Miss to lose some more. You think I’m picking against what I need?
Prediction: Memphis 78 UCF 62
Bryan and K.M. roll the dice of MEMPHIS F*** YEAH GO MEMPHIS (GUESS WHO IS TYPING THIS?)
Update: Memphis wins 84-55, K.M: 3-3 SU, 2-4 ATS, Bryan: 2-4 SU, 3-3 ATS, Guru: 5-1 SU, 5-1 ATS, Roll the Dices 1-1