As we charge toward another weekend, I really wanted to open with something positive. The Spurs came to mind, and so did the Celtics. But after what I watched last night in the UConn/S. FLORIDA game last night, I just can't let it slide. It has nothing to do with the fact that I was on UConn and lost. Games will be lost. That's just a fact, and anyone that tells you different is delusional. It's in the way that the game was lost that bothered me the most.
The worst thing you can say about any team in any game is that they quit, and that's just what the Huskies did last night. Maybe all the talk that's been flying around the last several weeks about conference tourneys and The Madness finally wore this team down since they can't participate. That's no excuse for displaying no pride and no heart. The Huskies were unmotivated, disinterested and just didn't care about last night's game. Instead of playing a matchup zone on defense, the Huskies played a matador zone that allowed any S. Florida player that wanted to drive to the basket, a clear path for an easy layup.
You would think this team might be able to find some motivation in the fact that, while they are banned from the postseason this year, they can still get to 20+ wins and be relevant. That wasn't the case at all, and for the last 12+ minutes of the game last night, it was blatantly obvious that each blue clad player on the court was playing for himself and not for the other guys on his team.
The core thing that makes a good team is their loyalty to each other. The Huskies showed none of that. There was no pride for their school, their coach, each other, and worst of all, themselves. This is a group that should be terribly ashamed of itself, but the really bad part about a performance like what I saw last night, I seriously doubt that it really mattered to any of them.
COLLEGE HOOPS (13-11 ATS/15-9 SU/11-13 TOTALS last night and 32-23/38-17/29-26 so far for the week)
BUTTA (1-1 last night and 3-1 so far for the week)
MICHIGAN ST. (-200) over Wisconsin - Lots of data to back up a play on the Spartans tonight. The primary ones are the fact that Wisconsin in 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games against State and only 1-8 ATS in their last 9 trips to East Lansing. Another is that the home team is 13-5 ATS in the last 18 meetings. As we'll see later, though, there's no wiggle room between the posted spread and my projection, so I'll just back State to just win the game.
ALL THE REST
1. Virginia (-3, O124) 69, FLORIDA ST. 64
2. MICHIGAN ST. (-5, U121) 60, Wisconsin 55
3. Penn St. (+5, U120 1/2) 53, NORTHWESTERN 51
4. GEORGIA (+2 1/2, U124 1/2) 58, Kentucky 46
5. DENVER 65, Tex.-Arlington (+13, O113) 55
6. La. Tech (+2 1/2, U134) 51, NEW MEXICO ST. 45
7. Tex.-San Antonio (-1, U128) 63, SAN JOSE ST. 46
8. UTAH ST. 71, Texas St. (+12, U143 1/2) 67
9. COLORADO (-3, U129) 64, Oregon 47
10. UTAH (-1 1/2, U135) 69, Oregon St. 65
THE NBA (7-7 last night and 20-13 so far for the week)
SU WINNERS (11-1 last night and 25-6 so far for the week)
KNICKS and Clippers
TOTALS (10-4 last night and 24-9 so far for the week)
OVER - Thunder/KNICKS (206 1/2)
UNDER - Clippers/NUGGETS (214 1/2)
BUTTA (no play last night and 2-0 so far for the week)
Once again tonight, there's nothing on the schedule that I'm interested in.
ALL THE REST
1. KNICKS (+7) vs. Thunder - Sorry, but I'm not buying the projection for this game at all. Maybe the number is a little large, but the Knicks are playing their 4th game in 5 nights tonight. They've also got the extra added pressure of being the front runner in their division and being pursued hotly by a relentless Celtics team. Even with 'Melo, I'm not sure the Knicks can match the Thunder's firepower. Anthony is listed as "questionable" for this game, and without him, the Knicks have no shot. KNICKS 104, Thunder 103
2. Clippers (+4 1/2) at NUGGETS - We all know that the toughest b2b in the league is the one that ends in Denver. The Nugs have the best home record in the league anyway, and when they get a visitor in the Pepsi Center that played the night before, they usually make hay. That might not be the case tonight. The Clips are as deep as any team in the league, so they can throw fresh, quality bodies at an opponent all night long. Also of interest is the fact that the last 11 times these 2 teams have met, the Clips have been the dog, and they're 8-3 ATS in those games. Clippers 104, NUGGETS 97
That's all, folks! Not nearly as busy a day as it was yesterday, and that's not a bad thing. Have a great rest of your Thursday. If you're starting your weekend a bit early tonight, be careful out there. I'll see you again tomorrow.