Buckle up everyone, we have an awesome day of college hoops on tap this Saturday. Wall-to-wall, morning-to-night, non-stop hoops. Your Super Bowl planning can wait. You can listen to talking heads opine about the awkwardness of Roger Goddell having to hand a trophy to Tom Brady (oh NO!) and all the other male soap-opera chatter that have filled the vacuous void of sports show airwaves later.
Today? Nothing but real good sports and fantastic action.
And what makes a day of endless hoops ogling even better? Why some winning wagers of course. So let’s strap up and see if we can carve out another profitable day. I’m still hovering over 63% ATS on the season between here at the Saturday Edge and other published picks, so hit me up anytime on Twitter @TheMarchManiacs to chat, opine, celebrate, whine about a bad beat, or even argue politely.
Today’s Favorite Plays:
Xavier Musketeers at Creighton Blue Jays-3.5
Just when me and the rest of the sportsworld were ready to leave Creighton on the side of the road for the trash collector, the Jays went in to Hinkle Fieldhouse and completely handled the Butler Bulldogs. Was it an aberration, or has an otherwise-talented team learned how to play without injured point guard Maurice Watson, Jr?
I think it was a combo of good night/growing, adapting team, but either way, they narrative has now changed. Creighton still appears to be an NCAA Tournament team and still has a good chance to wear home jerseys in their first game.
Meanwhile, Xavier passed their first test after losing THEIR star point guard, Edmond Sumner, with a close, tense win over Seton Hall. But the difference between the two results; Xavier was at home against a Bubble Team, Creighton was on the ROAD against a #4/#5 seed. The other difference is Xavier played their first game sans Sumner. Creighton has had a little more time to adjust. I think that factor, plus the simple fact that Xavier has been terrible on the road (2-5 on the road with only wins by five points each at Georgetown and St. John’s), gives Creighton a significant edge today. Three and a half is a pretty slim price to pay for the Jays in Omaha.
MY PICK: CREIGHTON BLUEJAYS -3.5
Stop me if you’re tired of this column: “Maryland remains one of the most undervalued teams by Vegas in the entire country. This team is good and…”
I’ve written it before. We’ve been right every time And here we are again, with 20-2 (8-1) Maryland getting points AT HOME against Purdue. I agree that Purdue has a tantalizing blend of size and toughness and that Caleb Swanigan is the All American no one seems to notice. But getting points at home with a major conference team that is 20-2 (8-1) just seems a little silly to me. Purdue is good. But it ain’t like Maryland is hosting Kansas or Villanova. Purdue is 2-2 on the road in conference play with losses at Iowa and Nebraska, a win over Michigan State and a one-point win at Ohio State.
Again. REALLY surprised Purdue is favored here.
I’ll take the Terps over and over again until the ATM stops spitting out money.
MY PICK: MARYLAND TERRAPINS +3
Iowa State has lost four of six, but I expect a better effort tonight, even in Lawrence. They played the Hawks tough two weeks ago in Ames, and despite a 13-8 record, the Cyclones haven’t gotten embarrassed often. Their losses are mostly close, and nearly all to ranked opponents.
Meanwhile, Kansas is fresh off an emotional, tense, Big Twelve lead-staking win over Baylor. They have to summon up the emotion again a few days later against a sneaky tough opponent. Iowa State isn’t ranked, but they will be a tough Tournament out in the first round and have a veteran All-American caliber point guard in Monte Morris to steep the ship.
I’m not doing anything crazy like pick KU to lose at home in conference. But I do think this will be a largely competitive game tonight and like Iowa State to keep it in single digits.
MY PICK: Iowa State Cyclones +11
The two best games today are probably Arizona at Oregon and Kentucky at Florida. Even if you don’t have a play on either game, they are worth watching on ESPN at 2pm and 8:15pm EST. Also, Coach K makes his return to sideline today against a reeling Pitt squad. NO PICK on the Duke game for me, but I am very interested to see how they fare in his return…
Should be a good day of hoops. Let’s stay hot and stack some W’s!