Tough 1-2 night last night after UC Riverside just decided to score 4 points the last 10:30 of the game. Also decided to just straight up not score the last 5:40 of the game. Would have been nice to you know, hold onto the lead against Saint Mary's and then again to cover the 9.5 spread. Scoring points tends to help. It happens though and we move on to a truly terrifying night in college basketball. Terrifying because I hate how I like road favorites tonight. Terrifying because we need Ohio State basketball to come through, more on that later though.
Just a reminder. Sharp Cheese is the way you'll know you're going to read a picks blog for college basketball every single day. We're also going to incorporate it into social media perhaps posting on Instagram and going live on IG/Twitter Spaces. Twitter Spaces will absolutely happen 1-2 times a week, most likely on weekdays after big games. Just come on and talk whatever the hell you want about college basketball. The blog will mostly read the same. Breaking down games and making picks. I'm thinking maybe adding a Q&A part into the blog. Now most of the time I feel the same way about games, that said if there's a game I really love and attacking a few different ways you may see a Sharp Cheddar alert next to it. Sprinkle on the ML? Well, get out the shredded mozz. You get it. That said, always willing to listen to any adjustments you might have.
As always - all the lines come from the Barstool Sportsbook. Download the app here.
2021-22 Season Record: 52-52-1
I'm not here to debate if Duke should be 1 or 2 in the polls mostly because the AP poll is dumb as hell. What I'm saying is Ohio State needs to save the world tonight. Duke is undefeated, the world is slobbering over Coach K after beating Gonzaga and the schedule isn't exactly tough coming up. After the trip to Columbus they have South Carolina State, App State, Cleveland State, VT and at Clemson to close out the 2021 calendar year. Somehow this vampire asshole Coach K is robbing the world of joy again. Nobody wants to cheer for Duke, unless you cheer for the Cowboys and Yankees. Maybe you also cheer for Ohio State basketball and are truly conflicted in this game.
Had to get that off my chest. As for this game it's a little weird. Situationally I love Ohio State. Getting Duke at home in the first game after Gonzaga screams letdown, it's also the first road game for a somewhat young team. People are down on OSU after losing to Xavier and Florida so far this year. The line screams to take Ohio State because it seems too low to be real. Howevah, from a basketball standpoint it screams go Duke. This is a nightmare matchup for Ohio State. EJ Liddell really struggles in ISO sets where Paolo thrives. Ohio State is really struggling to stop any sort of dribble penetration from guards and Wendell Moore has taken a jump. Trevor Keels is a mismatch on his own because he's built like a linebacker and versatile on defense. Ohio State has also been somewhat terrible on the glass, which is just leading to Mark Williams points. This is in no way a reverse jinx bet or hedging personal feelings.
Pick: Duke -2.5
I've talked about it before, but I'm a big fan of fading Chris Collins. I just don't trust him. I also think Steve Forbes can coach his ass off and is starting to get his guys over at Wake. I was forced to watch too much Wake Forest over the last week with my old man in town so I feel like I have a decent read on them. Most importantly I believe Wake has enough size and versatility to throw different looks on Pete Nance. Slow down Pete Nance and Northwestern is a pretty big mess offensively. The biggest fear here though is Wake chokes late like they did against Oregon State. Just blew a 16-point lead in the 2nd half. But I'm a big fan of Alondes Williams who transferred from Oklahoma and has scored double digits in every game so far.
Pick: Wake Forest -1.5
Oh here we go. Two awful major conference teams playing each other. The way the Big 10/ACC Challenge should be. Pitt has home losses to The Citadel and UMBC already so I'm not overly concerned about Minnesota on the road in this situation. Pitt has given up on its basketball program. Minnesota hasn't beaten anyone of note, but they've at least won games. That matters in a battle of bad teams, I guess? Mostly I'm banking on Minnesota just being able to break down Pitt's defense off the bounce like everyone else has.
Pick: Minnesota -2.5
Going the other way home and finally taking the small home dog that I tend to love. I'm ready to get hurt. The most impressive thing so far for Indiana under Mike Woodson has been the defense. They are taking away easy looks, ranking 1st in the country in effective field goal percentage and 2pt percentage. Syracuse should - I stress should - shoot the ball better. They have Buddy Boeheim who is still a unique matchup and can shoot the hell out of it. Swider is better than a 27% shooter. The 2-3 zone has been, well, shit this year. They don't have the big athletic guards/wings up top to really cause havoc like years past. But it's also the first time that Indiana will see this defense. If Syracuse hits shots, it limits Indiana getting out and running where they have been good.
Pick: Syracuse +2.5