NCAAB Friday: 0-0, (0.00%) +0.0 Units
NCAAB Season: 53-48-1, (52.48%) +0.2 Units
Monster card coming up for Saturday so decided to post it a day early to give those interested in tailing more time to get the best numbers they can. Should be a fun day, good luck to you all. Here we go…
Penn (-3): Going to take a shot with Penn here as I think George Mason is due for a bit of a reality check. GMU has won 6 straight including impressive road wins over Northern Iowa and Penn State. All that said however, I can’t help but think they are playing a bit over their heads. Nothing as far as their team metrics is overly impressive and when you look at everything on the whole it’s pretty damn surprising they’ve found their way to a 7-3 record. As far as Penn goes their 3-4 record isn’t impressive but only their loss to Navy would be considered a bad one. The other three losses against Miami, Villanova, and Temple are nothing to be ashamed of however. Overall despite the difference in record I’ve got Penn rated a bit above Mason and when you factor in home court, plus the possible letdown angle for GMU and I’ve got enough to make a play here. I also how like how one of Penn’s biggest weaknesses (turnovers) isn’t something Mason should be able to take advantage of as they are 337th in the nation in forcing TO’s.
Tulane (-1.5): It isn’t often you are going to see this Tulane team as a road favorite but I think it’s called for here. Southern Miss is shaping up to be one of the worst teams in the country. So far this year they only have one win over a D1 team and that was an 8 point home win over Alabama A&M who literally might be the worst team in D1. This team is awful offensively, awful defensively, they can’t shoot, they can’t stop anyone, they turn the ball over a ton, they don’t force turnovers, etc etc. I mean you name it and Southern Miss is terrible at it. Tulane is certainly nothing special either and they’ll likely only win 8 or 9 games this year, but this should be one of them. They are at least battle tested having played 5 teams ranked inside the Ken Pom top 113, and for a rare time on Saturday they’ll be the clearly more talented team. In short this is just taking the bad team to beat the horrendous team.
Xavier (-11.5): Going to play Xavier here as I think they get back on track after losing their last two. X suffered back to back road losses against Baylor and Colorado and now head home to take on a Utah team that despite a spiffy 6-1 record is nowhere near what they were last year. The Utes lost Jakob Poeltl, Brandon Taylor and Jordan Loveridege from last years squad and they are still feeling out this years team will be like. Outside of a game against Butler (which they lost) they’ve playing nothing but cupcakes. Saturday will be their first game road game of the year and the best team they’ve faced this season. I think it could be a pretty rough experience for a team that’s still trying to find it’s way. Led by Sumner, Bluiett, and Macura I’m still pretty high on this Xavier team despite those two losses. I think this one could ugly and they flirt with a 20 point win. This Utah team is just too young and inexperienced to handle a team this good in their first road game of the year.
Michigan (+9.5): It’s not easy to go against UCLA with as well as they are playing right now, but that’s exactly what I’m going to do. So far this season the Bruins offense has been incredible. They are #3 in offensive efficiency, #1 in effective FG%, #2 from 3 point land, #2 on 2 point attempts, and they do it all at the 10th fastest tempo in the nation. In short it’s been awesome and damn fun to watch. Perhaps one of the teams best equipped to slow down such an offense is Michigan though. The Wolverines play at the 4th slowest tempo in the nation and they’ll do everything they can to slow this game down to a pace that UCLA doesn’t want to play. What backfired most on Kentucky last week was that they ran with UCLA and gave them exactly the style of game they wanted. There’s no chance in hell Beilein is going to that on Saturday. This is a Michigan team led by Seniors in Walton and Irvin that has plenty of experience and shouldn’t be rattled a bit by a big road game against a good team. I also like Michigan’s chances to get good shot attempts here. UCLA doesn’t do a good job of forcing turnovers at all and Michigan doesn’t turn it over much. This should ensure the long possessions that the Wolverines will be looking for to slow the tempo, and you’d figure should lead to some nice open looks while they force UCLA to play defense for most of the duration of the shot clock. I expect Michigan to hang around throughout.
Louisiana Tech (+4): I’ll fade UL Lafayette here as they come in on a 7 game win streak and in my mind more than due for a reality check. Of those 7 wins for ULL 3 have come against teams that are ranked 300th or worse in Ken Pom rankings and 2 of which against non D1 teams. In other words they aren’t exactly beating up on powerhouses. Louisiana Tech will be the best team they’ve played in a while and a team that comes in battle tested. Tech has already done battle with South Carolina, Nebraska, and California. Despite the fact they lost all three of those games the experience should bode well for them against a less talented team in ULL. I expect Tech to have a nice edge inside and I love the play of Freshman PG DaQuan Bracey who has been running the offense well and piling up a very nice Asst/Turnover ratio. Frankly I think Tech is the better team here and despite the game being on the road I’ll gladly take my chances getting nearly a handful of points.
I’ve got plenty more, but unfortunately am out of time for write ups. This is the rest of my Saturday card…. biggest one of the year. 14 plays total
CS Northridge (-2)
SE Missouri State (+3.5)
Western Illinois (-1.5)
South Dakota State (-5.5)
UL Monroe (-1.5)