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If Seton Hall Wants To Prove They Are Legit Contenders, There's One Simple Thing They Need To Stop Michigan From Doing

Last night was ... bad. No other way to put it. Lost Illinois -8 outright. Belmont -7 won by 6 in OT. San Diego +4 lost by 5 after being tied at halftime. Providence was the right side at least. But no other way to put it. It was bad. Luckily it's college hoops. We have hundreds of days to make up for one bad night. They're going to happen. Not only that but the schedule gave us some awesome games tonight. Obviously Seton Hall/Michigan is the headline, but stay up late for the 10pm start between Oregon/BYU. Sneaky good game for an Oregon team I'm super high on. More on that later. 

But like I say in every blog here. I'm willing to take any and all feedback for how you want the daily picks blog set up. My goal here is to always show why my picks are just that and breakdown the biggest games of the day too. But if there's a better concept or way to put it out there, let me know. Let's get into today. 

As always - all the lines come from the Barstool Sportsbook. Download the app here.

2021-22 Record: 17-18

The most hyped game of the night and rightfully so. Now let me say two things here. 1) The blog will always be titled something involving the biggest game for me. I've mushed the last three - Texas, FSU and Andre Curbelo. It's honestly amazing that the main game I pick how damn different the game turned out. It happens. 2) I don't get the 'revenge 32 years in the making' narrative I've seen for this. Seton Hall and Michigan played the year after the title game. These kids weren't alive for the 1989 title game. Half the people reading this probably weren't either. But just a refresher, I can't believe a title game ended this way. 

Onto today. The one simple thing I said in the headline? Well it sounds simple. Don't let Hunter Dickinson shoot over his right shoulder. It's his go-to move and how he destroys teams. The one team that really took it away was UCLA in last year's NCAA Tournament. Seton Hall the ability to do so with their frontcourt. Ike Obiagu should have the best shot defending Dickinson. After him, Tyrese Samuel should get a shot. They need to force him over the left shoulder and get him uncomfortable. If they do so, they'll cover. At the same time Seton Hall has arguably the best PnR defense in the country. They have a ton of size, even on the wings and damn good defenders. That's where Michigan really shines. They like to run PnR and get Dickinson on a short roll. They can take that way. I am worried a bit about Seton Hall's offense. It's wildly inconsistent and you need to attack Michigan by getting Dickinson in space and draw him away. I'm not sure if Seton Hall has the best roster makeup for that, but the defense is legit. To me Seton Hall is the 2nd best team in the Big East. They should be ranked and are playing like a top-25 team. The big advantage for Seton Hall though? Kadary Richmond, the Syracuse transfer. He started to look like the guy that we read all about in preseason reports. He's going to have a massive size advantage and we could see Willard try to exploit that. Whether it's ISO'ing him or trying to invert the offense, he'll have a chance for looks. It's simple though. Slow down Dickinson and Seton Hall is going to be close. 

Pick: Seton Hall +8

A weird matchup here as Creighton is full rebuild mode and Nebraska is trying to find something under Fred Hoiberg. Here's the thing though. Nebraska is going to fly around. They have three guys who can really score in the McGowen brothers and Alonzo Verge. Creighton isn't shooting the ball like they typically do, instead they are 5th in the country in 2pt percentage. Small data point, I'm aware, but worth pointing out. They also gave up 77 points to Pine Bluff, a team that plays the same sort of tempo as Nebraska. There should be some free points with how much Creighton turns the ball over and Nebraska living on that defensively. There will also be gambling defensively leading to easy points. I expect Hoiberg to really have the Huskers pushing tempo today against a younger team. 

Pick: Over 146

It's not the best number and it looks gross, but computer projections have this at 117. Why? Well, Virginia is a mess offensively. Throw in the fact that Houston is damn good defensively and really rebounded after barely beating Hofstra. They locked in defensively in that last game. At the same time, Houston struggled against compact defenses and Packline defenses. That's still Virginia's bread and butter. Neither team shoots a lot of threes. Neither team fouls a lot. That should take away some free points. We know Virginia won't crash the offensive glass, opting to take away transition and making opponents take time off the clock to start offense. If Houston had Tremon Mark for this game, I'd be jumping all over them. This should be ugly. 

Pick: Under 119

A spot play for me here. Nevada is coming off a loss to San Diego and Santa Clara is coming off a win against Stanford. Potential let down spot for a Santa Clara team that is improving. Now Santa Clara has a ton of size, especially for a mid major, but Nevada does throw out Warren Washington and Will Baker - two seven footers. They also have decent size on the wing, where their best players are. I think you see a big game out of Grant Sherfield and Desmond Cambridge. Another weird aspect here is Nevada barely shoots threes. That's what Santa Clara takes away defensively. That will play into Nevada's hand here. 

Pick: Nevada -2

I feel for Saint Louis and their fans. Javonte Perkins is one of the better players in the country who decided to come back only to tear his ACL just before the season started. That really takes away their offense. Memphis under Penny has always been good defensively. They now have more athletes. They are still going to press and trap. On the other side of the ball, we know that Memphis will rely on cuts and a motion offense. The talent level for Memphis is figuring itself out too with Emoni Bates stepping in right away and looking the part to go with Jalen Duren. I just don't trust the Saint Louis offense here though. Not against this sort of athleticism. 

Pick: Memphis -10.5

Alright the game I said to stay up for. BYU's offense is one of the prettiest in the country. However, Oregon has some things in their favor here. Most notably the size and ability to hide their defensive look until it's too late. They are coming off a game where they really bothered Kendric Davis - one of the best point guards in the country. They'll get another chance tonight with Alex Barcello. This Oregon team is just a typical Altman team. They have a bunch of versatility and they aren't going to rely on just one person to beat you. They can shoot from the outside with Will Richardson, Jacob Young and De'Vion Harmon. They can throw different looks on Barcello/Lucas and even different matchups. I just don't know how BYU gets comfortable offensively against the Oregon defense. 

Pick: Oregon -4

Two major things in EKU's favor here. One, the game is likely going to be played incredibly fast. That's where they are at their best. A.W. Hamilton has always wanted to play fast. The second thing is JMU is reliant on a PnR offense where EKU can really disrupt that. They have the athletes to blow it all up and force JMU into some bad shots. Both teams want to launch threes and while JMU currently has the No. 1 3pt defense in the country, they played Old Dominion. ODU is not a shooting team. EKU is an entire different animal in that aspect. If JMU takes away the 3pt line, EKU has the size and wings to get to the rim. That's another spot JMU struggles defensively. 

Pick: EKU -3

Going opposite of a spot play here. UTSA just lost to a non-Division I team. They aren't good. They are ugly. This line shouldn't be this high. There's nothing like taking a bet on a shitty game, but that's what we are doing here. UTSA shouldn't be anywhere over a 5 point favorite right now. Denver is at least showing up and competing. I'm not worried about being on the road. I'm not worried about back to backs. UTSA is just bad. Sorry Chaps. 

Pick: Denver +9

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