3/29/14 in NBA   |   pigskinfan   |   65 respect

I could really go on a rant about last night's Louisville game.  It had to be the worst officiated game in the history of basketball.  And yes, I'm including any game that Joey Crawford is involved in over in the NBA!  However, the bottom line is that The Ville was their own worst enemy last night, and most of their "foot shooting" had to do with free throw shooting.

The kid that missed the free throw for Louisville with 14.3 to go in the game will probably shoulder a ton of the burden.  Another make would have allowed the Cardinals to play those last few seconds straight up on defense instead of being forced to foul, but that would be unfounded criticism.  The key to the whole game was The Ville shooting only 6-for-15 with their freebies in the 1st half.  Had they made 5 of those 9 misses---a poor 56% in it's own right---it would have been a whole different game.

To that,  you might say, "Sure, that would have left the game tied at the end, but Kentucky was the team with the momentum, so the 'Cats still probably would have won the game."  Again, you'd be wrong.  With those extra makes in the 1st half, it would have been Kentucky at the end of the game having to take the fouls and at the mercy of the Cardinals ability at the charity stripe.  It just goes to show that the turning points in games can happen at any time during the game.  It doesn't have to be, and usually isn't, at crunch time at the end of the game.

We move on.  It's a big day ahead as we close out the month of March.  And it's no big mystery that we're needing a "lion" of a day to keep from going out like a "lamb".  Let's get to work.

THE NBA  (7-5 ATS/9-3 SU/8-4 TOTALS last night and 25-22/31-16/24-23 so far for the week)

BUTTA  (1-1 last night and 2-3 so far for the week)
Pelicans/SPURS (O202) - This number looks extremely vulnerable to me.  The Spurs are on a tear right now, and they're scoring at a breakneck pace.  The Pels have some talent on offense as well.  With both teams on the b2b tonight, many will question the legs of both teams as the game wears on and feel like the UNDER is the side, but that's a wrong way to look at things.  It's defense that's hardest to play and requires the most effort.  Defenses lack when there is fatigue, and that leads to a lot of easy points.
Pistons (-5 1/2, O200 1/2) 108 Clippers 101
76ERS 101 ROCKETS (-2, U217) 115
Hawks   94 Kings (+10, U208)   97
WIZARDS (-5, O197) 104 MAVS 105
Heat 100 Pelicans   96
BUCKS (+9, O198 1/2)   99 SPURS (-13 1/2, O202) 125

---It's real tempting to jump on the Wiz tonight.  They are on the b2b though, and there's got to be a game, at some point down the stretch, where the Hawks "back into one".  Be careful.

COLLEGE HOOPS  (3-1 ATS/0-4 SU/2-2 TOTALS last night and 23-14/23-14/17-20 so far for the week)
Once again, it's only The Madness tonight.  That is, unless you want to count the Div.II title game being played this afternoon.  I only mention it because the Mules from just down the road of Central Missouri St. will be one of the participants in that game.  Good for the Mules!

BUTTA  (0-1 last night and 3-3 so far for the week)
Arizona (-160) over Wisconsin - After today, I will have posted on 914 college basketball games this season.  For the first time, I will be going against what my numbers say for a game.  Arizona is the better team.  They play smothering defense, and they have outstanding guards.  As we've seen again this year, just like every year before it, when things are tight, it's the guards who make the difference in college hoops.  I'll take the 'Cats to "Bear Down" and move on to the Final Four.
Dayton (+10, U132 1/2)        53 Wisconsin (+3 1/2, O130) 67
Florida 56 Arizona 65

Bold moves to be sure tonight.  But now that my bracket is officially busted due to the Louisville loss last night, fortune truly does favor the bold.  Have a great Saturday, and I'll see you tomorrow.
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