I know it's Sunday. No I don't care that 99% of America will be watching football. This is for the 1%. This is for us that's going to ABC at 1pm to watch Purdue/Nova. This is for us staying up late for Arizona/Michigan and battling the couch nap. This is Sharp Cheese. I still laugh at that name and the fact Carl and I spent a week texting about cheese. Debating how to label some games and bets by different cheeses. This company makes no sense sometimes and it's perfect. I digress.
Just a reminder. Sharp Cheese is the way you'll know you're going to read a picks blog for college basketball every single day. We're also going to incorporate it into social media perhaps posting on Instagram and going live on IG/Twitter Spaces. Twitter Spaces will absolutely happen 1-2 times a week, most likely on weekdays after big games. Just come on and talk whatever the hell you want about college basketball. The blog will mostly read the same. Breaking down games and making picks. I'm thinking maybe adding a Q&A part into the blog. Now most of the time I feel the same way about games, that said if there's a game I really love and attacking a few different ways you may see a Sharp Cheddar alert next to it. Sprinkle on the ML? Well, get out the shredded mozz. You get it.
Let's get into today. Shoot stuff over at barstoolreags on Twitter.
As always - all the lines come from the Barstool Sportsbook. Download the app here.
2021-22 Season Record: 31-33-1
Goddamnit, we're going back to Boise. They broke our heart earlier this week after choking the cover away against St. Bonaventure, but I think they figured it out. The offense looked the part on Friday and we know Leon Rice's defense will be fine. The question is whether or not Kermit Davis and Ole Miss run that amoeba zone he made notorious at Middle Tennessee State. He dialed it back a bit this year mostly due to new faces, but it's sort of the perfect opportunity to use it. That said, Boise has a huge advantage with Emmanuel Akot working as a 6'8" point guard. I'm mostly banking on watching Boise State figure out their offense throughout the St. Bonaventure game and then the Temple game.
Pick: Boise State +1
Cheese: Swiss - it's gross, I don't like it, but sometimes it's a necessity
This is the good stuff. This is what makes that tingly feeling inside the pants when you see it on the guide. We deserve this game. This is a potential Final Four matchup as I think Purdue is AWESOME. There's a reason I gave them out as a future. Nova kicked Tennessee's ass but that was mostly due to the fact Rick Barnes sucked. One of the worst coaching games I've ever seen. Why? Simple. You don't beat Nova by running cuts and trying to run some fake motion. You beat their guards off the dribble and create havoc. Play through the post. Sitting Kennedy Chandler with two fouls, not letting him loose. It was insane. So I think Nova is a bit overvalued here because of that. Purdue can play any way. They are bringing Trevion Williams OFF THE BENCH. The dude was a projected All-American. We saw them go small yesterday with Williams/Edey in foul trouble. They also got a bit of a preview considering how UNC plays now with the tempo, 4-out offense, sometimes 5-out offense. Now Nova will drive more and try to post up guards. Good luck posting up Jaden Ivey. There's no depth on Nova. Is Eric Dixon going to be able to handle Edey/Williams? What happens if Dixon gets in foul trouble? Also Ivey should FEAST on Nova's guards because of how quick he is with the ball in his hands. Like I said, that's the key to beating Nova. Go back and watch UCLA. Mick let his guards just go make plays. Break them down off the bounce. Nova defensively has been a bit of a mess. You can't give Purdue clean looks from three, but how do you let Dixon play one on one in the post?
Pick: Purdue -2
Cheese: American - it's solid, you know what you're getting, a key ingredient
Alright, Utah State. You destroyed my New Mexico State bet a couple days ago, let's back you here. Why? I like the way they matchup against Oklahoma. Utah State's bigs are made to play more of a finesse game and while Tanner Groves can score in the paint he's not banging in there like a traditional big. That helps Utah State, who shot the shit out of the ball the last game out. Justin Bean has been playing like a damn All-American too. He'll have a chance to be a mismatch here. I like Oklahoma a lot, but 5.5 feels 2 points too high.
Pick: Utah State +5.5
Alright there are two ways to look at this here. Was yesterday just a bad matchup/night for Tennessee or are they overhyped? Rick Barnes has always had elite defensive teams with offenses that are just whatever. If they can't score against UNC - especially if Leaky Black misses today - then it's a ton of trouble. That said, I'm higher on this UNC team than most projections. Sure, they can't defend and there's a cap on their ceiling. BUT they are a matchup nightmare and can beat you playing through Bacot or through the wings. They also just control tempo. They'll push it and look to speed the game up. I'm hesitant to buy Tennessee's offense right now, even against UNC.
Pick: UNC +4
Going back to the well with Colorado State here. They are a bitch to prep for on short rest and despite Creighton's freshmen figuring it all out, I love this Colorado State team. They don't turn the ball over. They are top-50 in the country in all shooting categories. They also have an absolute star in David Roddy. He's coming off a 30/9 day against Bradley when they really needed him. He can create for himself and score at basically any level. Creighton figuring it all out this early is a bit terrifying because they do have a ton of talent. Just felt like a rebuild year.
Pick: Colorado State -3
Can we really buy Marquette? I'm not sure what the hell is going on with either of these teams. Marquette is playing over its head with Darryl Morsell looking like an All-American. St.Bonaventure might be the worst 1st half team and best 2nd half team in the country.So my fear here is St. Bonaventure's guards just light up the press. They've seen VCU's press and at least have experience going against it. If Lofton beats the press it'll be lights out for them. At the same time though St. Bonaventure is playing a 5-man rotation. They aren't subbing. We could see some tired legs even with the day rest.
Pick: Over 137.5
I really like this Arizona team. They can kind of do it all, have really good size and Tommy Lloyd can coach his ass off. The one thing they don't do well though? Rebound the ball. It's sort of weird to watch. That's not great when Michigan has Hunter Dickinson down there to clean up. Now that said, Arizona's defense is designed to take away Dickinson. I also don't know what Michigan does with Brandon Johns. They are better with him not on the floor, but he's key defensively. I don't know if it matters this game either. Tommy Lloyd is going to go international style too. He'll play small ball 5 and exploit Dickinson in space and PnR. That's how you have to attack Michigan defensively.
Pick: Arizona +3
Gonna roll with the Tigers here. Why? Their shooting the shit out of the ball and at some point that's going to regress just not today. Well, maybe today. But we're hoping not. I also don't trust WVU offensively. They don't shoot threes. They don't offensive rebound. They are average inside the arc. It's just kind of ugly. They rely on turnovers to create offense. That's fine, Clemson takes care of the ball fairly well. Clemson is currently shooting 46% from three as a team. That's going to regress but the way WVU can get lost, we'll take it for another day.
Pick: Clemson +3