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 occasionally picking against one of my roommates, Craig, so we can have a rational method of settling all disputes involving rent, household matters, etc.
Last Week: Closed it out on my first 3-0 night of the year Thursday when Duke, Michigan State and Seton Hall all rolled on its respective opponents, getting me back to .500 for the week. More importantly, Craig, my picking opponent, went 1-2, which means he was locked in the basement for the weekend.
Louisville at UConn (-2)- This is a match-up of two teams to really keep an eye on in The Clusterfuck That Is The Big East. If either can ride its recent, world-crushing 2+ game winning streaks - a level of consistency completely unheard of, and likely frowned upon in the Big East this season - to continued success, a whole lot of ground can be made up in the crowded standings and NCAA pecking order. The Huskies looked pretty damn good against Indiana but I wonder, with only one day of rest, if a letdown game is looming. The Cardinals, on the other hand, exerted very little energy is easily dispatching league doormat St. John's, the only team with no chance at winning the conference. This game will be in the steady, stolen laptop-wielding hands of AJ Price. If he can handle Louisville's pressure and keep the tempo where UConn wants it, the Huskies will be fine. But if it gets too fast-paced, Thabeet and Adrien are rendered useless. Should be a great game nonetheless, something ESPN is not accustomed to lately.
The Pick: Louisville
Craig's Pick- Really looking forward to this game, oh wait, I’ll be working. Anyways, I’ve been bullish on UCONN all year ever since their game against Memphis in the Garden. Price has turned into a heck of a player. UCONN will get every conceivable foul call in this game at home, and I look for them to win in ugly fashion.
The Pick: UCONN
Oklahoma State at Oklahoma (-8)- The home team has won five of the last six in the Bedlam series but never by more than eight points. It's pretty obvious that Oklahoma is a much better team with freshman Blake Griffin healthy, judging by the tough win it got at Baylor Saturday. Meanwhile Oklahoma State, who does suck, has lost four straight, but all in respectable fashion. The question is, does the rivalry keep this game close or does the high intensity fluster the Cowboys into missing shots, turning the ball over and sending ghoulish coach Sean Sutton on a killing spree. I vote killing spree.
The Pick: Oklahoma
Craig's Pick- Ok State has to be deflated after its past couple home losses. While they should be able to get up for this rivalry game, I think they’ll get down double digits sometime early in the second half and never be able to recover.
The Pick: Oklahoma
Cal Poly at Pacific (-11.5)- Good for ESPN to start embracing some mid-major conferences besides the one involving Gonzaga. Unfortunately they decided to embrace some pretty shitty teams. Pacific is a usual Big West power but have no shot at an at-large as per usual. They have lost to Pepperdine and the ragingly conservative, offensively inept St. Louis Billikens. I'm not going to pretend to know anything about Cal Poly, but it appears they have no players averaging in double-figures, and it's not because they have balanced scoring. It's because they cannot make any shots that they attempt (41 percent from field, 29 from three). Pacific, if I remember correctly, plays some pretty solid defense so clang away Mustangs.
The Pick: Pacific
Craig's Pick- I refuse to pick three home favorites. Also, in other games tonight I like San Diego and San Francisco, mostly because they seem like cooler cities than the one in which I currently reside. Most successful team to be named strictly after a major city? Houston? This will require some thought and I’m sure the editor will think of a better one, or another one that isn’t good but try to form an argument in favor against me (Ed note: I will, Syracuse, and there is no argument. Also would have accepted Louisville).
The Pick: Cal Poly
Last week's record: 4-4-2
Overall record: 11-10-2
Big 12: 1-2-2
Big East: 3-2
Big Ten: 2-1
Missouri Valley: 1-0
West Coast: 1-1
Craig's record: 2-5-1
Labels: The Picks