Welcome on back to the return of Sharp Cheese. I decided to put a pause in it with all the COVID shit going on and trying to figure out who was playing, what games were happening, etc just became too much of a waste of time. But conference play is here, we have a great slate and well, why not? I just want to talk hoops and this is a chance to do so. Pretty simple. Also I'll likely bring back Twitter Spaces this week. So follow me on there and be a pal.
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. That said, always willing to listen to any adjustments you might have.
As always - all the lines come from the Barstool Sportsbook. Download the app here.
Jabari Smith is awesome. He has a legit chance to be the No. 1 pick in the next NBA Draft. Here's the thing though, he's the only shooter for Auburn that's over 36% from three. That's problematic, especially since Florida is actually decent at running teams off the line They can play 5-out too and Castleton moves well enough. It also might be a gift that Auburn wants to push tempo since Mike White is so inconsistent about that and this team is good in transition. I am worried about them handling Auburn's pressure and turnovers, but 8 points is a lot in this sort of situation.
Pick: Florida +8
You have UConn coming off a break where they didn't practice and they haven't played since December 21. Now they are going against a desperate Seton Hall team, who is actually now starting to get healthy? Yeah, this is a Seton Hall play. Not to mention these teams are basically mirror images of each other. Defense first, grind it out, physical bigs. They remind me a lot of each other even Willard and Hurley look like cousins. But as this season goes on, one thing I tend to lean towards are teams that are playing and getting healthy. It's also a look at two teams who are battling for 2nd in the Big East. We all can agree Nova dominates that league. But you have Xavier, UConn, Seton Hall, Providence and even St. John's, Creighton, etc right there battling for 2nd. This is the sort of game we figure out who is going to be the 2nd best team.
Pick: Seton Hall -4.5
Another situation play here. This game was put together pretty last second, even though it's a conference game. There was rescheduling and COVID pauses and now San Diego State gets Colorado State at home, but SDSU is dealing with their own COVID problems. If you haven't watched Colorado State, do it. David Roddy is an All-American candidate. Isaiah Stevens is a damn good guard. Niko Medved is AWESOME as a coach and is going to get a big job in the coming years. His offensive scheme is beautiful. That said, San Diego State does have sort of the right defensive scheme with how they drop against this. I just question do they have the roster today to handle it. This is the sort of game though where we can find out if Colorado State can make a Final Four. Yes, it takes luck with the break of the bracket and staying healthy, but if Colorado State goes in and beats San Diego State, they are looking at a top-5 seed and another quad 1 win.
Pick: Colorado State +3.5 (sprinkle a little ML)
These two teams STINK offensively, especially Tennessee. They can't shoot, they really just grind out wins and beat teams with defense. I'm wildly impressed with LSU's defense, but that offense just really isn't selling for me. They need to force turnovers and get out in transition. These two teams actually grade out on KenPom as the top-2 defensive teams in the country. I want to take the under, but 136 feels a couple of points too low. I was hoping that would be closer to 140. That said, we'll take LSU at home with the fact they can just really bother Tennessee and I trust LSU's offense a little bit more? It's going to be an ugly game.
Pick: LSU -2
I'm actually real intrigued by this game. St. John's back and Champaigne playing again is massive. Providence has outplayed projections, but I still question if they are truly a top-20 team in the country (I don't think so). It's also a huge stylistic difference between the teams. St. John's obviously forces tempo, plays fast with big, athletic wings. Providence slows it down, has the flex offense and grinds out games. It's proven to be a problem for Providence, even if I don't like looking at past history because teams are different year-in and year-out. Providence is coming of an ass kicking from Marquette so there is bounce back opportunity, but St. John's is just a team I'm starting to buy low on.
Pick: St. John's +4
I fully admit I didn't get the best number here, but I'm still going to play it. Oklahoma State is a team that's going to fly a bit under the radar since they can't play in the NCAA Tournament. They've even lost 4 of the last 5 games, with the win coming against Cleveland State. But they are still a damn good defensive team that can really disrupt you in the halfcourt. As much as I like this Texas roster, they still have some struggle on offense. Yes, Andrew Jones is coming back and that helps, but this sort of feels like one of Oklahoma State's Super Bowl games.
Pick: Oklahoma State +2.5