YTD: 125-130-6 (Brutal, brutal Saturday. A real welcome to March moment.)
St. Francis (PA) -1
Wake Forest vs Pitt (-1/137)
Nothing like some shitty afternoon basketball in Greensboro to really get us going for Championship Week. We're going to take Pitt on this one though. Wake beat Pitt by 4 on the road earlier this year, but we're going to rely on Pitt's defense here. They are ons shows up for the of the best teams in the country at forcing turnovers - 12th in the country. If they can turn Wake over, which they should be able to do, there are free points there. The other major key here? Pitt is EXCELLENT at getting to the free throw line. Wake fouls all the time. Those two are major reasons we're taking Pitt here.
Pick: Pitt -1
Canisius vs Iona (-3/144.5)
I don't care if the MAAC is being played at Siena, Atlantic City or anywhere in the country. Quite simply, Iona always shows up for this tournament. They always seem to win this damn thing. Iona won by 3 and 21 earlier this season and they were hot before losing the last 3 of the regular season. Hell, I don't care that Iona doesn't even have a head coach since Tim Cluess has been out with health problems pretty much all year. Iona is going to get to the rim and score in the paint. That's where they are thriving this year and Canisius SUCKS at defending inside the arc.
Pick: Iona -3
UIC vs Northern Kentucky (-4.5/128.5)
I love NKU. One of the best mid-major programs in the country and John Brannen set that place up for success before he left for the UC job. That said, UIC is the hottest team in the country right now.
They just beat NKU by 30 points on the road. Tarkus Ferguson is a hell of a player while UIC's defense is also one of the best in the country. The other reason I'm going to lean UIC here? NKU struggles from the FT line. As a team they shoot 70%. That's terrifying in what should be a close game. That leaves a back door open. That leaves too many points out there that can terrify me.
Pick: UIC +4
St. Francis (PA) at Robert Morris (+1/142.5)
I was wrong on this exact game a couple Saturday's ago on the last day of the regular season. St. Francis had a chance for a share of the NEC title with Merrimack and the 1 seed in the NEC Tournament. Instead, RMU controlled the game. That said, I'm sticking with it again. Why? Keith Braxton is the best player on the floor. Can't go 0-for-2, right?
Pick: St. Francis (PA) -1