Games to Watch (1/27/2019)

Starting this season, I’ve decided to catalog the most tournament-relevant games to watch (if there are any) each night, along with the tip-off time, TV channel, and projected score of the game when input into my own personal game-scoring model. I will also revisit the projections from the day before to archive their accuracy.

YESTERDAY’S GAMES

Iowa State (14-5) @ Ole Miss (14-4)

Projected Score: Ole Miss – 74, Iowa State – 72
Actual Score: Iowa State – 87, Ole Miss – 73

Florida (11-7) @ TCU (14-4)

Projected Score: TCU – 70, Florida – 65
Actual Score: TCU – 55, Florida – 50

Ohio State (12-6) @ Nebraska (13-6)

Projected Score: Nebraska – 73, Ohio State – 64
Actual Score: Ohio State – 70, Nebraska – 60

Alabama (12-6) @ Baylor (12-6)

Projected Score: Baylor – 72, Alabama – 68
Actual Score: Baylor – 73, Alabama – 68

Pittsburgh (12-7) @ Louisville (14-5)

Projected Score: Louisville – 77, Pittsburgh – 66
Actual Score: Louisville – 66, Pittsburgh – 51

Davidson (14-5) @ Saint Louis (14-5)

Projected Score: Saint Louis – 66, Davidson – 63
Actual Score: Davidson – 54, Saint Louis – 53

VCU (13-6) @ Duquesne (14-5)

Projected Score: VCU – 71, Duquesne – 67
Actual Score: VCU – 80, Duquesne – 74

Kansas (16-3) @ Kentucky (15-3)

Projected Score: Kentucky – 76, Kansas – 71
Actual Score: Kentucky – 71, Kansas – 63

Vermont (15-5) @ Stony Brook (17-3)

Projected Score: Vermont – 69, Stony Brook – 68
Actual Score: Vermont – 73, Stony Brook – 52

Syracuse (14-5) @ Virginia Tech (15-3)

Projected Score: Virginia Tech – 72, Syracuse – 63
Actual Score: Virginia Tech – 78, Syracuse – 56

Auburn (13-5) @ Mississippi State (14-4)

Projected Score: Mississippi State – 76, Auburn – 75
Actual Score: Mississippi State – 92, Auburn – 84

2019 Model Pick Record: 76-30

TODAY’S GAMES

Cincinnati (17-3) @ Temple (15-4)

Tip Time: 12 PM EST
TV Channel: CBS Sports Network
Projected Score: Cincinnati – 71, Temple – 68

Michigan State (18-2) @ Purdue (13-6)

Tip Time: 1 PM EST
TV Channel: CBS
Projected Score: Michigan State – 76, Purdue – 73

Seton Hall (12-7) @ Villanova (15-4)

Tip Time: 2:30 PM EST
TV Channel: Fox
Projected Score: Villanova – 78, Seton Hall – 69

Iowa (16-4) @ Minnesota (14-5)

Tip Time: 5 PM EST
TV Channel: Fox Sports 1
Projected Score: Iowa – 76, Minnesota – 75

Games to Watch (1/26/2019)

Starting this season, I’ve decided to catalog the most tournament-relevant games to watch (if there are any) each night, along with the tip-off time, TV channel, and projected score of the game when input into my own personal game-scoring model. I will also revisit the projections from the day before to archive their accuracy.

YESTERDAY’S GAMES

Michigan (18-1) @ Indiana (12-7)

Projected Score: Michigan – 68, Indiana – 64
Actual Score: Michigan – 69, Indiana – 46

Buffalo (17-2) @ Kent State (15-4)

Projected Score: Buffalo – 82, Kent State – 74
Actual Score: Buffalo – 88, Kent State – 79

Butler (12-8) @ Creighton (11-8)

Projected Score: Creighton – 78, Butler – 77
Actual Score: Creighton – 75, Butler – 61

2019 Model Pick Record: 68-27

TODAY’S GAMES

Iowa State (14-5) @ Ole Miss (14-4)

Tip Time: 12 PM EST
TV Channel: ESPN
Projected Score: Ole Miss – 74, Iowa State – 72

Florida (11-7) @ TCU (14-4)

Tip Time: 12 PM EST
TV Channel: ESPN2
Projected Score: TCU – 70, Florida – 65

Ohio State (12-6) @ Nebraska (13-6)

Tip Time: 12 PM EST
TV Channel: Fox Sports 1
Projected Score: Nebraska – 73, Ohio State – 64

Alabama (12-6) @ Baylor (12-6)

Tip Time: 12 PM EST
TV Channel: ESPNU
Projected Score: Baylor – 72, Alabama – 68

Pittsburgh (12-7) @ Louisville (14-5)

Tip Time: 2 PM EST
TV Channel: ACC Network
Projected Score: Louisville – 77, Pittsburgh – 66

Davidson (14-5) @ Saint Louis (14-5)

Tip Time: 2 PM EST
TV Channel: CBS Sports Network
Projected Score: Saint Louis – 66, Davidson – 63

VCU (13-6) @ Duquesne (14-5)

Tip Time: 2 PM EST
TV Channel: ESPN+
Projected Score: VCU – 71, Duquesne – 67

Kansas (16-3) @ Kentucky (15-3)

Tip Time: 6 PM EST
TV Channel: ESPN
Projected Score: Kentucky – 76, Kansas – 71

Vermont (15-5) @ Stony Brook (17-3)

Tip Time: 7 PM EST
TV Channel: ESPN3
Projected Score: Vermont – 69, Stony Brook – 68

Syracuse (14-5) @ Virginia Tech (15-3)

Tip Time: 8 PM EST
TV Channel: ESPN
Projected Score: Virginia Tech – 72, Syracuse – 63

Auburn (13-5) @ Mississippi State (14-4)

Tip Time: 8:30 PM EST
TV Channel: SEC Network
Projected Score: Mississippi State – 76, Auburn – 75

1-3-1 Sports Midweek Review

THE 1-3-1 MIDWEEK REVIEW

1 Thought From the Games Earlier this Week

Texas A&M looks like the only SEC team capable of advancing past the first weekend. The Aggies currently sit alone atop of the SEC, though LSU, South Carolina, Kentucky, and Florida are all within two games. Having seen the majority of SEC teams play this season, (thanks a lot for the SUPER HIGH-QUALITY basketball, ESPN!), I can safely rule out all other teams in the conference from receiving an at-large tournament birth. Now that we’ve narrowed the field down to five eligible bachelors for that pretty lady in March, we can talk about who’s likely to advance the furthest. The answer: Texas A&M, but only by default. LSU will be lucky to make the tournament with their abysmal Non-Con SOS, and if they do so, it’ll most likely be on the Ben Simmons hype train – hello TV ratings! South Carolina appears to be quite the fraud, having gone 4-3 after starting 15-0 with their Charmin soft early season slate. Who saw that coming!? (Spoiler Alert: 1-3-1 Sports Midweek Review on January 14th, 2016) Kentucky has lost three of six, including games against SEC bottom-feeders Auburn and Tennessee, and they no longer have talent quite like the Harrison twins and Karl-Anthony Towns. Finally, there is Florida, who may be the best bet to prove me wrong; their distinct flaw is an offense that becomes very complacent and stagnant too frequently.

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3 Games to Watch this Week

i. Columbia @ Yale (Friday @ 5 pm EST, TV – FS1)
I have to admit, I’m a real sucker for watching quality mid-major and low-major college basketball. A televised game between the two leaders of the Ivy League, both of whom are undefeated in conference… count me in! The highlight of this game for me will be the opportunity to finally see German guard sensation Maodo Lo. Though he is a senior, I have yet to see him play; he may be the key to leading the Lions to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1968. I feel like the blurb highlighting this game would be incomplete without a reference to these two teams also featuring some of the smartest basketball players in the NCAA. For some, it even runs in the family. The younger sister of Columbia’s senior leader Grant Mullins, Missy, plays basketball at fellow Ivy league school and academic juggernaut Harvard. The cousin of Yale’s Brandon Sherrod, Derek, is an offensive tackle in the NFL who graduated from Mississippi State with a degree in financial risk management, and a 3.54 GPA to boot.

ii. Michigan State @ Michigan (Saturday @ 2 pm EST, TV – CBS)
This is one of the most heated rivalries in not only the Big 10, but in all of college basketball. The recent resurgence of the bad blood has been facilitated by the Wolverines experiencing great success under John Beilein. This year is no different, as the two teams have a combined 36-10 record and both sit in the upper half of the Big 10 standings. The Wolverines will look to avoid back-to-back home losses after the debacle against Indiana earlier in the week. A loss in this one could cause a bit of panic in Ann Arbor in regards to making the tournament, and rightfully so – the Wolverines have struggled mightily against quality competition (2-5 against the RPI top-50). On top of that, there has been nothing definitive that could generate realistic optimism regarding the return of team captain and leading scorer Caris Levert. The Spartans are dealing with a significant injury of their own, as point guard Lourawls “Tum Tum” Nairn is likely to miss his sixth straight game due to a painful case of plantar fasciitis.

iii. Baylor @ West Virginia (Saturday @ 8 pm EST, TV – ESPN2)
These two top-15 teams need a victory in this game to keep pace with top-ranked Oklahoma in the Big 12 conference race. This match-up offers quite the contrast, as Baylor’s potent inside-out, slow tempo offense will be matched up with West Virginia’s fast-paced, press-oriented defense. West Virginia leads the country in steals per game, averaging over 10 – the ability to turn teams over at high rates is a demonstrated staple of Bob Huggins’ teams in recent years. Baylor ranks 141st in the nation in turnovers per game, so they’ll have to be smart with the ball if they want to go into Morgantown and steal a victory. The counter to the turnover issue could end up being the rebounding advantage Baylor should have inside. Baylor is 4th in the country in offensive rebound percentage, pulling down 41% of offensive rebounds that are available to the team; the Mountaineers will need to find bodies and block out to prevent second-chance opportunities.

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1 Bold Prediction for the Week

Diamond Stone continues his coming out party and meteoric rise up NBA draft boards with a great performance in a Maryland victory over Purdue. Freshmen phenom Diamond Stone has slowly been getting more playing time from Mark Turgeon, and the increase of his contributions to the success of the Terps has coincided with the bump in minutes. He will have an opportunity to prove his worth when the Boilermakers roll into town on Saturday. Purdue’s strength is definitely inside, led by senior big man A.J. Hammons, who is coming off of a 32 point, 11 rebound, 4 block game in a lopsided victory over Nebraska. Though he may not lead the team in any one category, I think that Diamond Stone will use his skill set to be a key contributor. This can be achieved by limiting Hammons and making key plays down the stretch, both of which may not show up in the box score, on the way to a Maryland victory.

Prediction:

Maryland – 73
Purdue – 67

1-3-1 Sports Midweek Review

THE 1-3-1 MIDWEEK REVIEW

 

1 Thought From the Games Earlier this Week

Chaos is king in college basketball this season. Filling out your bracket in any given season is a crapshoot, and in that sense, this season will be no different. However, with the two big changes to the game this season, (the 30-second shot clock [LOVE] and the freedom of movement rules [MEH]), we’re seeing significantly more mayhem than in past years. As with any major change, it takes time to iron out the kinks and stabilize what we expect as the norm. Thus, I anticipate that this pandemonium will continue through tournament time. Last night alone provides an example of some of the shocking upsets we’ve seen so far this season. A hot and cold Texas team won on the road against a West Virginia team who handily took care of Kansas one week prior, while the Spartans of Michigan State suffered their second straight one-point defeat, this one coming at home at the hands of a borderline-NIT Nebraska team.

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3 Games to Watch this Week

i. Gonzaga @ St. Mary’s (Thursday @ 11 pm EST, TV – ESPNU)
I know, I know, this game doesn’t start until 11 PM EST and you have to work tomorrow… cry me a river; it really should be of the utmost quality. This game between the Zags and the Gaels is for the outright lead in the West Coast Conference. Here is my pretend shocked face:

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These two teams are always the class of this conference, and this year is no different. Gonzaga isn’t quite the same team without Przemek Karnowski to come off the bench and be extra, super tall and do extra, super tall guy things. That being said, they still have a POY candidate in Kentucky transfer Kyle Wiltjer, and Lithuanian sensation and double-double machine Domantas Sabonis. The Gaels counter with Emmett Naar, another Australian pipeliner that has what the analysts love to call “in-the-gym” type shooting range.

ii. Oklahoma @ Baylor (Saturday @ 12:00 pm EST, TV – ESPN2)
Based on a relatively favorable start to their conference schedule, the Baylor Bears sit alone atop the Big 12 conference. If they wish to remain there, they’ll have to protect their home court and knock off the temporarily top-ranked Sooners. I anticipate Oklahoma will come out pretty fired up for this game, coming off an embarrassing defensive effort in their loss to Iowa State on Monday night. Scott Drew’s Baylor squad is very well-rounded, with four players averaging double-figure scoring per game. Of these four, I look for the Bears to channel their success through Rico Gathers, who will easily be the most physically-imposing player on the court.

iii. Maryland @ Michigan State (Saturday @ 6:30 pm EST, TV – ESPN)
After starting the season 16-0, the Spartans have stumbled their way to a 3-4 start in conference play. Of the four losses, none was more frustrating for Spartan fans than the home loss to Nebraska last night. This loss marks the second time in three years Tim Miles has led the Cornhuskers to victory over Tom Izzo and his squad in East Lansing. Michigan State will have the perfect opportunity to gain a rebound victory, as College Gameday joins Maryland in coming to town for this heavyweight match-up. Maryland, led by the underachieving Melo Trimble and the constantly improving Diamond Stone, will look for a victory to keep pace with Indiana and Iowa in the Big 10 race.

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1 Bold Prediction for the Week

Ben Bentil will put up 20+ points and 8+ boards, but all will be for naught in the face of a Villanova victory. The Wildcats of Villanova play host to the Friars of Providence at the Wells Fargo Center at 1 PM on Sunday. Providence has had an intriguing last four games, going 2-2 in a stretch where every game has been decided by single digits. While Kris Dunn’s name is the one that grabs headlines because of his NBA potential, Ben Bentil has quietly developed into a Robin role on the team. With Jay Wright sure to key in on stopping Dunn, it seems that Bentil will have a ripe opportunity to put up some double-double type numbers against Nova. In the end, however, I do believe the Wildcats will add another solid victory to their resume and maintain a zero in the loss column in Big East conference play.

Final Score:
Villanova – 76
Providence – 70