Another tough night thanks to some choke jobs early. 3-4-1, whatever. The push in Creighton/Nebraska over was disgusting. We move on. Remind me to never bet on a Denver game again. Anyways, we're going to be rebranding this blog soon with a name and graphic and stuff. Shout out Carl for helping out with that. But for now, the title will stay the same and the process will stay the same. Really this is the only day of a weaker schedule this week. Let's get into it.
As always - all the lines come from the Barstool Sportsbook. Download the app here.
2021-22 Record: 20-22-1
I'm all on in this George Mason team. Kim English can coach his ass off. He got a ridiculous transfer in D'Shawn Schwartz from Colorado. He gets a chance to prove it tonight against Maryland. Now I am scared that Maryland's big - mostly Qudus Wahab - just goes off. That's the biggest weakness for George Mason. But, that said, GMU shoots the shit out of the ball. 40.5% from three as a team and they are 38th in 3PA/FGA. They just fly around on offense and Maryland is going to have to find the ball fast. I'm curious how they matchup with Schwartz. He's 6'7" and a complete mismatch with how he shoots the ball. I'm still waiting for Maryland to beat the shit out of someone who is a decent mid-major. They struggled with George Washington and Vermont. They have another chance here, but I'll fade for now.
Pick: George Mason +9.5
NC State losing Manny Bates is just far too important for me. Remember that Oklahoma State really mixed up defenses last year, including throwing out an effective zone. They'll do that tonight to slow down NC State and Keatts' PnR offense. Oklahoma State should also get a fair amount of clean looks in the post. NC State without Bates has struggled big time in 2pt defense. Oklahoma State can play with Cisse, Boone, let the wings attack. I'm still high on Oklahoma State despite the loss to Oakland.
Pick: Oklahoma State -3.5
Simple here. Two teams who LOVE to play slow. Bellarmine is going to run their standard offense. No dribbles, a bunch of cutting and looking for the open shot that way. They are Norman Dale's wet dream. Each team has an average possession length of 18 seconds on offense and over 17.5 seconds on defense. That's where we take the under here. Throw in that St. Mary's is still good defensively, ranked 28th early in the season. Bellarmine will try to pack the paint and force St. Mary's to shoot. It's fine. It's going to be SLOW.
Pick: Under 130
The line feels perfect here, so we're going to go another way. The over. Mike Woodson has Indiana playing fast and we know that St. John's has one of the quickest tempos in the country. They want a million possessions. They go all out defensively with pressing and trapping. That could give some easy looks for Indiana if they take care of the ball. If not, it's turnovers and runs for St. John's. Same goes the other way. St. John's can get sloppy with the ball while Indiana can get it and go the other way. Think Miller Kopp, the Northwestern transfer, is a huge key here. Dude can shoot, which he'll get clean looks at if Indiana breaks the press. But who does he guard? Give me the track meet here.
Pick: Over 151.5
URI getting a home game here with BC still likely missing Brevin Galloway. The biggest thing here is how URI defends the rim. They have good size with the former Maryland Mitchell twins. URI as a team actually leads the country in block percentage with 5 guys all in the top-202 individually in the country. BC is just 339th in the country in 3PA/FGA. So where do they get their points? There's just a huge advantage in the paint here for URI on both sides of the ball and with both teams not wanting to shoot threes, we'll take that plus a home game.
Pick: URI -5.5
Pepperdine is one of biggest letdown teams of the country right now. Not exactly shocking since they lost Colbey Ross and Kessler Edwards. They don't really have anyone to go get offense for them. UC Davis forces a ton of turnovers and Pepperdine is 243rd in the country at taking care of the ball. Don't love that for Pepperdine! UC Davis also has an impressive road win over Utah State on the books already too. Going to Pepperdine is nothing. I'm just taking the better team here, I don't care where the game is being played.
Pick: UC Davis +.5
Mike Magpayo is one of the best coaches in the country. We saw them pull the upset at Arizona State last week with the halfcourt shot. But the fact is Riverside is just a smart team. They have a ton of size, they play their ass off on defense and offensively are very analytical based. They are 64th in the country in 3PA/FGA and are shooting 39% as a team from there. San Diego is going to try and score at the rim. Good luck with that. Riverside has a 7'1" guy in Callum McRae waiting there. They also have great size on the wings led by Temple transfer JP Moorman. I'll take the points with Magpayo.
Pick: UC Riverside +3