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

The Big 12 conference race is the epitome of wide open. As of the writing of this article, six of the ten teams in the Big 12 are within one game of first place. Often times an occurrence like this can be misleading, as some teams have particularly soft schedules to start their conference slate (Ahem, Indiana). However, in this instance, having seen all six teams play, I would not be surprised to see any of them ending up on top of the Big 12 standings at season’s end. Sure, Texas is probably a long-shot and Oklahoma might be the distinct favorite, but the gap between these two teams and the others is not as large as some college basketball pundits might have you believe.

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3 Games to Watch this Week

i. Iowa @ Maryland (Thursday @ 7 pm EST, TV – ESPN)
After Indiana’s overtime loss to Wisconsin on Tuesday night, Iowa remains the lone team without a blemish in conference in the Big 10. That could change tonight, as the Hawkeyes have to make the 900 mile trip to College Park to take on fellow AP top-10 member Maryland. I believe experience is one definitive reason for Iowa’s success, as their best five players are all upperclassmen. Jarrod Uthoff is one of these upperclassmen, and his innate ability to stretch defenses with his shooting on the offensive end, while also protecting the rim at the defensive end, is something that is very rare at any level of basketball.

ii. Iowa State @ Texas A&M (Saturday @ 2 pm EST, TV – ESPN)
While the final game listed in my three to watch is considered the marquee matchup in the Big 12/SEC challenge in terms of pedigree, this game is likely to be just as entertaining. Iowa State has one of the quickest, most efficient offenses in the country; their offensive efficiency (7th) and adjusted tempo (29th) both rank in KenPom’s top 30. This is a stark contrast to the Aggies, as they rely on their stingy defense to win games. Another fun and interesting thing about this game is it pits two former Murray State head coaches against each other. Billy Kennedy of Texas A&M was the head coach for the Racers from 2006 through 2011, at which point Steve Prohm, his primary assistant, took over the program for four seasons before leaving for Ames.

iii. Kentucky @ Kansas (Saturday @ 7 pm EST, TV – ESPN)
These two basketball blue bloods face off for the second time in as many seasons. Last year, the Wildcats completely embarrassed Kansas in the Champions Classic, coasting to a 72-40 victory, while holding every Jayhawk to single digits in scoring. Bill Self’s squad should be primed for revenge and hungry for victory, as they need one to right the ship, having gone 2-3 in their last five games. Even with ESPN shoving it down my throat, I actually have not had the opportunity to watch Kentucky yet this season; not a better time to start than a marquee game against another perennial powerhouse.

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1 Bold Prediction for the Week

The Big 12 will win the Big 12/SEC challenge by a score of 7 to 3. Writing a blurb about each individual team for this topic would require another entire article on its own. Instead, I’ll take a crack at picking all 10 games (Wouldn’t that be a hell of a parlay?) that will be taking place throughout the day on Saturday:

Game 1: West Virginia – 72, Florida – 68
Game 2: Texas – 78, Vanderbilt – 72
Game 3: Iowa State – 77, Texas A&M – 72
Game 4: Tennessee – 81, TCU – 74
Game 5: Kansas State – 76, Ole Miss – 67
Game 6: Arkansas – 75, Texas Tech – 69
Game 7: Oklahoma – 82, LSU – 71
Game 8: Baylor – 85, Georgia – 73
Game 9: Kansas – 83, Kentucky – 75
Game 10: Auburn – 80, Oklahoma State – 77

1-3-1 Sports Midweek Review

THE 1-3-1 MIDWEEK REVIEW

1 Thought From the Games Earlier this Week

Come March, the tournament committee needs to distinguish Michigan State sans Valentine from Michigan State with Valentine. It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to see that the Spartans aren’t the same team without their floor general on the court. Valentine has an uncanny ability to find open spots on the court when he’s away from the ball, as well as a knack for breaking down opposing defenses to create opportunities for his teammates. Thus, it’s not a surprise that Michigan State has looked less-than-stellar in their first two games without Valentine (an overtime victory over Oakland and a blowout loss at Iowa). In the long run, playing without Denzel should facilitate the development of complimentary players like Eron Harris and Bryn Forbes. On Selection Sunday, the committee needs to remember the impact this short-term absence had on this team.

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3 Games to Watch this Week

i. Xavier @ Villanova (Thursday @ 12 pm EST, TV – FS1)
I had the opportunity to watch the Musketeers come to Ann Arbor and lay the lumber to my beloved Wolverines earlier this season. My takeaway? They’re deep, they’re physical, they’re well rounded and they’re fundamentally sound. Aside from the aforementioned win, the big victories for Chris Mack’s squad have been at home or on a neutral court. This will be their first real road test, as an in-conference showdown versus the Wildcats should have the Pavilion rocking. This should also demonstrate the true identity of Nova; they’ve played two tournament-caliber teams so far (Virginia and Oklahoma), and they’ve lost both games by double digits.

ii. Providence @ Butler (Thursday @ 2:30 pm EST, TV – CBSS)
The Big East sure starts off with a bang with these first two match-ups. The latter of these two games features two teams that have exceeded expectations and shot up the ranks so far this season. Providence beat Arizona and played a full-strength Michigan State team tough for 3/4 of a game. The Bulldogs of Butler similarly boast one key victory (Purdue) and one quality loss (Miami). These two teams also feature two of the most complete players in the Big East Conference in the form of Kris Dunn and Roosevelt Jones. It should be noted that this is underselling Dunn; he alone is reason enough to watch this game.

iii. Iowa State @ Oklahoma (Saturday @ 7 pm EST, TV – ESPN2)
Buddy Hield and Isaiah Cousins may be the best backcourt duo in the entire country this season. Lon Kruger continues to look like a great hire, as his Oklahoma teams have improved every season since he arrived in Norman. As for the Cyclones, the familiar (and improved) faces of Georges Niang and Monte Morris remain to lead the charge in Ames, while Brad Stevens’ coaching double tries his best to pick up where the Mayor left off. With a game against Kansas looming on Monday, the Sooners know that they have a huge opportunity to get an early leg up in the 3-man Big 12 race; sweeping both would be an incredible feat.

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1 Bold Prediction for the Week

Butler will lose back-to-back games. The Big East is very strong at the top this season, and I firmly believe that four teams (Xavier, Villanova, Providence, and Butler) will end up being on the 5-seed line or better; of those teams, I believe Butler is the weakest. I want to be clear that this is not me suggesting that Butler is not a good team, but rather that the Big East has a lot of quality at the top this year. They have a chance to prove me wrong, as three of their first four in-conference games are against the other three teams I listed. I don’t think they’ll be able to Get it Dunn (hold the pun applause) against the Friars at home, and godspeed to anybody trying to win at the Cintas Center this season.
– Game 1: Providence – 77, Butler – 72
– Game 2: Xavier – 80, Butler – 74