It’s the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament, which is arguably the third best weekend in sports, behind the NFL Divisional Round and … the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament. It’s also Friday, which means my brain is officially in weekend mode and my belly is already filled with one Happy Hour beer.
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So, because of those aforementioned factors (basketball, Friday, alcohol consumed), I decided to bring you guys the picks I’m rolling with tonight.
Take them or fade them, I really don’t care, but at least give me credit for being honest — I’m an average gambler. While some (most) would lie and say they’re on a perpetual hot streak, I’m an average man of the people, bringing you my wildly average picks.
Here’s tonight’s slate:
#5 Clemson (+6) vs. #1 University of Kansas: 7:07 p.m. EST
The Analysis: Well, Kansas is Kansas. They’re regularly a one seed and have been there down that. Then there’s Clemson, who I really don’t know all that much about.
Clemson came into the tournament as a 5-seed, and while they’ve advanced to the Sweet 16, their wins haven’t been all that impressive. In the first round, they beat an overmatched New Mexico State team, and in the second game they beat Auburn, and we all know the SEC isn’t known for its basketball. Going even further back — the ACC Tournament final — Clemson got beat by Virginia, and we all know what happened to Virginia.
Kansas, on the other hand, beat a tough West Virginia team in the Big 12 final by 11 points, before blowing out Penn in the first round, then getting by a scrappy & talented Seton Hall in the second round.
While I think it’ll be a close game, I think Kansas pulls away late.
The Pick: I’d buy a point and take Kansas -5
#5 West Virginia (+5.5) vs. #1 Villanova: 7:27 p.m. EST
The Analysis: While no one could have predicted the extent of the upsets we’ve seen so far, many people (myself included) went into the tournament knowing that it was more wide-open than in year’s past. And because of that, I took Villanova to win it all, who, despite a couple of hiccups here and there, have looked like the best team in the country all season.
Now, that said, Bob Huggins and West Virginia are just one of those teams that scare you, ya know? Maybe it’s Huggy Bear, maybe it’s their Press Virginia nickname, but there’s always something about those Mountaineers that make you feel like they can pop up & snatch any game.
So, all of that is a long way of me saying I don’t know how this game is going to end. However, I do have a feeling how it might start.
The effects of WVU’s press on an opponent largely manifest themselves towards the end of games, meaning if it (when) it’s close, it will likely be late.
The Pick: Villanova -3 in the 1st half