Sunday's Pick: Missouri Valley Championship
I assure you, that is The DrakeBecause 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: Michael Jenkins tried his best to deflect some of the attention from that giant person that UNC Asheville (-2.5) plugged in the middle by scoring almost as much (33) as the entire Asheville team (48). The Eagles won by 18 but it was still a very entertaining with great defense, good athletes and of course, Kenny George (who, somehow, is a great passer with a nice shooting touch; he just doesn't rebound or dunk, which are widely considered things a 7-8 person should be able to do). Austin Peay (-3) and Belmont (-6) both rolled to get into the Big Dance, just as I had expected.
Missouri Valley, Illinois State vs. Drake (-2.5)- This is the match-up everyone, especially members of Bubble teams across the country, wanted. The Valley will get its two bids no matter what and the Syracuses and New Mexicos of the world can breath easier (that is, if being a completely mediocre team allows one to breath easy). That's not to say this game is meaningless, winning this conference is an incredible feat any year and to win the regular season AND tournament, like Drake has a chance to do, would be nuts (especially for a team picked to finish ninth in the preseason). Plus, the Bulldogs, who hopefully have proved they are for real by now, might be able to get a No. 4 or 5 seed with a win, which would be their third over Illinois State this year. This is going to be a typical Valley final with a slowed down, grind-it-out, make your threes, take care of the ball, awake your fans with the occasional dunk from Josh Young feel to it. It will be a battle of the super sophs Young for Drake and Osiris Eldridge, which is not a character in the Lion King, for the Redbirds. But I think this one, in a game where the ball pressure and intensity will be sky high, is going to come down to who can avoid turnovers and not give the other easy baskets. Therefore.... GOT TO LOOOOVVVVVVVEEEEEE THE DRAKE.
The Pick: Drake
Championship Week Record: 3-0
Overall Record: 58-44-4
Regular Season Record: 55-44-4
Big 12: 6-10-2
Big East: 17-6-1
Big Ten: 8-7
Missouri Valley: 2-0
West Coast: 6-1
Big West: 0-1