YTD: 116-117-5 (Another .500 day on Saturday and we're trying to get back to the plus side. Gotta make the run now before NCAA Tournament time)
Alabama/Vandy over 155.5
North Florida +300 to win A-Sun Tournament
Note: We are officially entering the best 3 week stretch of the year. We have conference tournaments starting tonight. The regular season is ending in major conferences this week too. Next week we have all the major conference tournaments underway and then bam the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament. Just the best. I'll give out some conference tournament picks as I see them and anything sticks out. Either way let's go, it's here.
Campbell at UNC-Asheville (-2/141)
I'm not playing into the 'it's tough to beat a team 3 times in a season' here. Campbell, the 11 seed in the Big South Tournament, is playing at 6 UNC-Asheville. They already swept UNC-Asheville and beat them at home in the last game of the regular season. The reason I'm taking Campbell here? UNC-Asheville is 350th in the country in 2pt defensive percentage. There are 353 teams in the country, so I'm not a math wizard, but that's not good. Campbell is also an above average team defensively at running you off the 3pt line. That's how Asheville wants to beat you. I miss Chris Clemons.
Pick: Campbell +2
Purdue at Iowa (-5/142.5)
Everything says to take Iowa. They are playing at home. They have Luka Garza, the best player on the floor. Purdue beat the hell out of them in West Lafayette while shooting out of their damn mind. Purdue has lost 4 of 5. That's why we're on Purdue. That and they really need this win to stay alive on the bubble. They have enough bigs to throw at Luka Garza to give him different looks. You're not going to stop him, but you have to bother him. If Purdue can control tempo and slow the game down, this hits.
Pick: Purdue +5
Vandy at Alabama (-12/155.5)
This line opened at 162 so it's telling me to be on the under. But, oh no. I've seen these teams play too many times to take an under here. Both teams want to launch threes. They each rank in the top-35 nationally in shooting threes. Alabama also plays the 5th fastest tempo in the country. They are playing at home, where they tend to play even faster. Vandy also has one of the worst defenses in the country. During their 7-game losing streak, they've given up at least 78 points 5 times.
Pick: Over 155.5
Davidson at Richmond (-5.5/140.5)
We're using a spot play here. Richmond NEEDS to win. They are right on the bubble - projected on the first four out on bracketmatrix. I know Davidson is coming off that game at Dayton where they literally couldn't stop Dayton from scoring inside. It was damn impressive. Now they head to Richmond for a big time game? Richmond doesn't turn the ball over and is 27th in the country in effective field goal percentage. Davidson's defense simply isn't good enough to stay up with a decent offense. No matter how great Davidson's offense is, it's always a struggle. Grant Golden only had 9 points in the 6 point win at Davidson. He could have a huge night tonight.
Pick: Richmond -5.5
Syracuse at Boston College (+4.5/142.5)
Syracuse is coming off an ass kicking at home against UNC. Boston College has been losing to everyone lately. It's not a great spot for either team, but Syracuse's zone should cause BC some problems. When Syracuse beat BC by 26 earlier this year, the Eagles were 6-for-30 from three. They are also the 315th best 3pt shooting team in the country. BC wants to beat you by forcing turnovers and Cuse actually takes care of the ball. Not a huge fan of road favorites, but all signs point to Cuse.
Pick: Syracuse -4.5
The A-Sun is one of the 4 tournaments getting started tonight. Liberty is the heavy favorite and we're going to fade them. We're looking at North Florida here the No. 2 team in the conference. North Florida split with Liberty in the regular season and ended the year winning 8 out of 9. North Florida shoots the most threes in the country and the 13th best percentage. That's a huge advantage during this time of the year. The fear is their defense sucks and they give up a ton of offensive rebounds, but the value is too good for me here.
Pick: North Florida +300 to win