Because the best way to feign actual knowledge on a subject is an accurate prediction, I introduce The Picks. Every weekday, Monday-Thursday (hopefully) I will pick the televised games of the night, against the spread of course, and follow the results to see if I actually know something about basketball. The results should be both entertaining (for readers) and soul-crushing (for me). And if I'm wrong, I'll just do what all the TV "experts" do: never bring it up again and avoid all accountability. And since I won't be betting actual money (that often), I win every time!
I'll also be picking against one of my roommates, Craig, so we can have a rational method of settling all disputes involving rent, household matters, etc.
Last Night: First shutout of the year. In what I am now referring to as the Year of Mediocrity, Wisconsin, a top 15 team, struggled with a 5-13 Michigan team at home. I am pretty convinced there is no in-conference, BCS-league match-up in the country where the spread should be over 15 right now. And to just hammer home the theme of complete and utter lawlessness in college hoops right now, Tennessee, which was playing as well as any team in the damn country coming into last night's game, lost at 7-9 Kentucky by eight. The Cats somehow got the Vols to slow the tempo, even though no one else on Tennessee's incredibly tough schedule could. It's a complete apocalypse of reason in college basketball. And this is all without Vitale!
No picks from Craig today. We all suffer as a result.
Iowa State at Kansas (-24) - Yeah so about that whole not picking a team giving more than 15 points thing? The Jayhawks are obliterating folks lately and are probably the one BCS team most likely to cover a gigantic spread like this. They beat Oklahoma at home last week by 30 and beat Iowa State by 37 at home last season. If you do the math, they should beat the Clones by about 89 this year. But here's the thing. Iowa State isn't terrible. I know, it's blasphemous to say so, but the Cyclones have won nine of their last 11 with wins over a Missouri team Kansas just struggled with, an Oklahoma State team Texas just struggled with and, most importantly, at Purdue. They aren't going to win tonight, but there's precedent for them not to be embarassed. In the Year of Mediocrity, not even Kansas can cover 24. Anywhere. (I just bet against Kansas at home, I'm doomed.)
The Pick: Iowa State
Georgia Tech at North Carolina State (-2.5) - Man, this will be a boring fucking game. Seriously, there is no excuse to watch this game. Actually, the only reason to watch this game is if you need to use it as an excuse.
Chick: Honey, let's go ice skating and afterwards we can meet my parents at a coffee shop and talk for five hours.
You: Um, nah, I can't. Gotta watch the Georgia Tech-North Carolina State game. Mike Patrick's voice is the new preferred method of anger management. After listening to him, it's impossible to hate anything else.
Yeah, so Vegas is obviously scared of the Jackets after that UNC near-win, plus the Pack are 3-10-1 ATS this year. But NC State actually has some solid home wins (Miami, Davidson, gasp, the Dragonslayer That Is Cincinnati) and are 7-2 against G Tech in the last nine meetings. It should be close because both teams' strength is up front, but in The Year Of Mediocrity, I'll take the homecourt.
The Pick: NC State
Last night's record: 0-2
Overall record: 8-9-1
Big 12: 1-2-1
Big East: 2-2
Big Ten: 1-1
Missouri Valley: 1-0
West Coast: 1-1
Craig's record: 1-3-1