Thursday's Picks: UConn vs. Providence; Clemson vs. Georgia Tech; Michigan State vs. Illinois; Xavier vs. St. Joseph's
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.
Alright, so things should clear up in due time and this blog will soon consist of more than just game predictions and rushed analysis during the sport's most crucial time. Consider yourself forewarned.
Also, this is the last night of regular season picks, but it won't be the end of me being prognosticative. For Championship Week I will be picking every conference championship game, ATS of course, for the non-major conferences and the semifinals and beyond of each of the six BCS conferences. So, be excited or something.
Last Night: Duke murdered Virginia which wasn't surprising to anyone outside of Las Vegas apparently, because the line was only six points. I got that one. Syracuse (-2.5) beat Seton Hall pretty handily, which I choose to believe keeps its tourney hopes alive. I avoided a jinx there. Texas A & M somehow beat another basketball team on the road, taking down Baylor (-1.5), earning the Aggies the right to be blown out by a No. 7 seed in the NCAAs.
Connecticut (-5) at Providence- Even though it's March, the ESPN Thursday night games continue to suck. Thank God the Pac-10 (specifically, UCLA v. Stanford) plays on Thursdays, even if it's broadcasted on Al Jazeera. Anyway, the Huskies have won 12 of 13, a streak that began after somehow losing to the Friars in Storrs. After that game Providence lost nine of 11 so clearly both teams went their separate ways. Let's call it a one night stand. One of the few things Providence can do well is shoot from the outside, which tends to give the Huskies problems, but I don't see how the Friars can stop UConn's many athletes on the offensive end. It won't be a blowout but UConn will cover.
The Pick: Connecticut
Clemson (-3) at Georgia Tech- Well this should suck. DO NOT WATCH THIS GAME. Even though a great deal of points will be scored, most of them will be by Clemson. The Jackets have lost six of seven, although most of those games were on the road, where they are even worse than their usual level of suckiness. The Tigers are an underrated team but can ill afford to struggle against the ACC underlings down the stretch if they want a favorable seed (like a No. 5 or 6). So I advise them to blow out Georgia Tech and with their considerable size advantage, they should.
The Pick: Clemson
Michigan State (-2.5) at Illinois- Another enticingly low line for a road favorite; I've got to think all three of these teams can't cover. The Spartans have been wildly consistent, although consistently bad on the road, and coming off a 30-point drubbing of Indiana, are due for a stinker. Illinois plays pretty solid defense and Michigan State cannot score any points when opponents choose to play defense. Final Score: Illinois 28, Michigan State 26.
The Pick: Illinois
Xavier (-2) at St. Joseph's- The Hawks get their chance to redeem recent losses to St. Louis and Temple and maybe get into that Tournament everyone is so crazy about. This should be a pretty entertaining game with a raucous crowd and a desperate St. Joe's team. On the other hand, Xavier probably isn't all that interested in playing this one, seeing as how they have locked up the A-10 No. 1 seed and are probably settled into a No. 3 seed in the NCAAs. The Musketeers do have an 11-game winning streak going so they may actually try but I don't see how they get up to the energy level of the Hawks, which only lost by four at Xavier in early February.
The Pick: St. Joseph's
Last night's record: 2-1
JTom's overall record: 54-41-4
Big 12: 6-10-2
Big East: 17-5-1
Big Ten: 8-6
Missouri Valley: 2-0
West Coast: 6-1
Big West: 0-1
Labels: The Picks