Tuesday's Picks: Purdue vs. Ohio State; Miami vs. Kent; Arkansas vs. Ole Miss
A partnership for the ages comes to its emotional endBecause 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: Blowouts galore got me two wins, West Virginia and Gonzaga, and a very very very incorrect loss, Kansas (-19.5) winning by 58 FREAKING POINTS over
Purdue at Ohio State (-1.5)- One of the few things in life I can count on, is knowing that this year's Ohio State team is completely incapable of beating a good team. It helps me sleep at night, it keeps me warm on cold days, it makes life simpler. So even in a home game with ginormous Bubble implications, against a young team playing in a crazy atmosphere, I still don't see how the Buckeyes are favored. I suppose they are a team that can exploit Purdue's somewhat thin front line but I'm not exactly sure how the Ohio State backcourt will function against the Boilermakers' pressure. Maybe if some of the Buckeyes who never hit threes somehow start hitting them, they have a chance, but I don't think so. And if they do, well then I don't know where I'll turn.
The Pick: Purdue
Miami of Ohio at Kent State (-5.5)- Our second Point of Reference game for the Golden Flashes, after that BracketBusters match against St. Mary's that I doubt anyone actually saw. So I guess it's the first Point of Reference game for most. And by following that win over the Gaels with a terrible loss to Bowling Green, Kent State really needs a win to make their play a point of reference for March Madness and not the NIT. In the beginning of the year, I thought the Redhawks could be a mid-major sleeper with wins over Xavier, South Alabama and Mississippi State and narrow losses to USC, Dayton and Louisville, but the MAC play has been underwhelming. Miami plays really, really, really slow (334th out of 340) and has a knack for keeping games close against superior teams, but generally suffers from a lack of shotmaking. The good news for them is Kent is coming off about as bad a defensive performance as you will see from them (second highest defensive efficiency, 124.6, allowed this season to that Xavier win). Even though Kent State absolutely must win this game, I actually think Miami keeps it close and given the carnage going around for Bubble teams, could pull off the win.
Arkansas at Mississippi (-2)- This game has pretty big Bubble implications with Arkansas needing a win to secure a half-solid at-large case and Mississippi desperately needing a victory to join the discussion. I wish I could offer a thrilling analysis but I have not seen either squad this year. I'll give it a shot based on what I do know. Ole Miss has the bodies inside to give the Razorbacks some trouble on the boards and takes care of the ball well enough to offset the Arkansas pressure, but I'm not sure they have the shotmaking to outscore the Razorbacks (see how much you can come up with if you just know the personnel, the styles of play and have some help from KenPom?). I think it'll be a close game but Arkansas pulls it out and ends the Rebels season. (This one should be a really good indicator if I'm smart or my record is a result of blind luck... I'm not crossing my fingers for the former.)
The Pick: Arkansas
Last night's record: 2-1
JTom's overall record: 52-37-4
Big 12: 6-9-2
Big East: 16-5-1
Big Ten: 8-5
Missouri Valley: 2-0
West Coast: 6-1
Big West: 0-1
Labels: The Picks