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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Wednesday's Picks

All hail Robbie Hummel, Spartan-Slayer

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 Night: Didn't watch any of the games last night but I was upset to learn I had my first losing night in awhile. Purdue (-2) got a monster night from Robbie Hummel, who looks a little like Professor Frink from the Simpsons (pictured above after sinking a three-pointer) and nothing like someone who should dominate Michigan State. My reasoning for picking the Spartans was that the young Purdue squad wouldn't handle the pressure of first place. Being an idiot, I forgot to factor in the incredible boost a young team can get from a rabid home crowd like they had last night. Be wary of the Boilermakers on the road though. UNC (-7.5) continues to struggle in victory, beating an awful, and horribly unlucky Virginia team by one (the Cavs have now lost 10 of their last 11, three in overtime and two by two or less). I picked the Heels. And, as I (sort of) predicted, Vandy (-4) DESTROYED Kentucky last night, by 41, avenging an earlier loss that sent the Dores into a tailspin. It was 41-11 at half and the Cats sudden surge toward the Bubble is derailed.

Oh and Craig would like to provide a furious rant on his Nova squad getting shafted the other night. Since I enjoy the suffering of others, here it is:

First I’d like to state that it was a wise decision on Jtom’s behalf to not let me pick yesterday (Ed. Note: I actually just forgot), the morning after one of the most atrocious calls of all-time (Nova game). I challenge someone to come up with a worse foul call at the end of a game in the history of college basketball. Surely there have been bad calls at the end of big games, and this was surely not a big game in the grand scheme of things, but this was the worst call to EVER decide a game (your boy Parrish agrees with me as well) (Ed. Note: Worst call 'ever' might be stretching it, but it was the worst of the year definitely). Less than one second left, tied game, possession of the ball 80 feet from the hoop, a SLIGHT grazing of the body, the game headed to overtime after 39:59 of hard fought albeit sloppy basketball, and you are going to COMPLETELY give the game to one team. To top this off, the Big East and other ref’s are coming to the defense of the bonehead who made this call (check out ESPN CBB site and there are articles) – are you fucking kidding me?!!?!?! (Ed. Note: I'm having a great time) The only thing saving me from not committing some sort of crime related to this atrocity is the fact that Nova stinks this year and probably won’t even make the BET. By the way, Georgetown is a joke and all potential 14 seeds should be praying for a matchup with them. Ok, now on to the picks...

Maryland at Duke (-11.5)- Since losing to Pitt at MSG, the only game Duke hasn't won by double-digits was the game at Maryland. And for a large portion of that game the Devils were legitimately outplayed. The road team has won three of the last four in this series and while I don't think the Terps can win this game, I do think they match up well enough with Duke to keep this game pretty close. Maryland is one of the few ACC teams with big men athletic enough to cover Duke's forwards in that spread offense and they have a pretty solid 3-point defense (38th in the country). The problem is, Maryland's ability to care of the ball is really inconsistent and with the smothering, helter-skelter Duke defense, this game might simply come down to whether Greivis Vasquez can play under control. Oh, and being able to shut down the unstoppable long-range force that is Greg "Pimp G" Paulus.
The Pick: Maryland

Craig's Pick- As mentioned, Maryland gave Duke a battle in the first game of this series, and the Blue Devils responded with what will now be considered a solid road win. The Dookies will be out in full force tonight and take no mercy on their rivals.
The Pick: Duke

St. John's at Cincinnati (-6.5)- Holy shit this game will suck. DO NOT WATCH THIS GAME. Seriously, UConn plays Notre Dame tonight and this is the game ESPN picked at the beginning of the year. Couldn't they just fill their St. John's quota by putting them on ESPN Deportes or something? The Dragonslayer That At One Time Was Cincinnati has fallen off lately and the Red Storm (or is it Redmen or Code Red or something?) have somehow won three in a row. And because of that fact, there is absolutely no way St. John's wins tonight. The Bearcats are much, much better at home so they will probably cover or something. I don't care.
The Pick: Cincinnati

Craig's Pick- Two teams who have done nothing but remain inconsistent/irrelevant over the past couple years. Well, I guess you could say that about almost everyone in the Big East. Cincinnati has had a few nice wins at home, so you’d think they would win easily. This leads me to believe St. John’s will win outright.
The Pick: St. John’s

Kansas State (-2.5) at Texas Tech- This should be interesting because it's the first home game since Bob Knight's resignation and I have no idea how the crowd will react. Regardless of what they do, they will provide no help to the Red Raiders in attempting to keep Michael Beasley under 40 points. Tech has won five of the last six in this series but that was against a Kansas State team that didn't turn its program upside down for a ridiculously good player. You can watch this game because Beasley will do freakish things, but the uncertainty in Lubbock will probably keep this from being close.
The Pick: Kansas State

Craig's Pick- I have no idea how the crowd will react either. There is a lot of frustration being displayed towards Bob Knight, but I’m not so sure I agree with that. In the long run, Tech will benefit from Pat Knight gaining this experience running the show solo for the back half of the season. I’ve read columnists mention that it’s unfair to the seniors on the team because it symbolizes throwing in the towel, but do you really think they care who is coaching as long as the contributing senior players are still getting minutes? It’s not like Pat Knight is going to come out with a radical change in his overall approach to the game. Anyways, I actually think this will be a one possession game.
The Pick: Texas Tech

Last night's record: 1-2
Overall record: 28-23-4

ACC: 5-5
Big 12: 3-5-2
Big East: 6-5-1
Big Ten: 5-3
SEC: 4-2
Missouri Valley: 1-0
West Coast: 3-1
Big West: 0-1
CAA: 0-1
Horizon: 0-0-1
A-10: 1-0

Craig's record: 13-16-2



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