Unlike the Mavericks, I kept my win streak alive last night and was able to finalize my final four selections. It’s your lucky day fellaz, because I’m going to give you the 411 on how things will shake out in the tourney. After analyzing the brackets, I’ve got West Virginia as the eventual winner of the N.I…M*tha F*ckin T. Unfortunately, I’ve only got three players to join my bracket-buster NIT tourney: a Madison stripper named ONYX, some dude named Ronnie Woo Woo, and my ole’ lady (don’t tell Onyx or Ronnie that my girl’s picks are really just mine!) Of course, my Homeboy Gator Mike was not invited to play since he took my money in the Football Bowl Spectacular and my accountant recommended I treat him like the 7-11 employee who tries to play the lottery…Ineligible BEEATCH! While I’ll give you my 5-star NCAA tournament picks tomorrow (Niagra is a lock for the play-in game tonight…I mean sh*t, the actually beat the Red Foxes of Marist this year!), let’s head back to the Association hardwood were I’m hotter than a jello wrestling contest between Tom Brady’s two swimmer holders…I got to say it was a good day! Ice Cube ‘92
BOSTON CELTICS @ CHICAGO BULLS (-10.5)
The baby Bulls just beat the Celtics by 16 in Boston, and are only two games behind Cleveland for the second seed in the East. As for Danny Ainge’s debacle, Doc Rivers actually had them motivated for a week at the beginning of the month, but the youngsters finally figured out he was just trying to save his job. In addition, the supposed superstar Paul Pierce looks like he may have eaten Larry Bird and is completely out of gas (33 fg% and 24 3pt% over his last three). This ATS play has nothing to do with skill-level, and everything to do with passion and defensive energy. While the Bulls disaster against the Heat last week may have caused me to sell some of my Wicked Pictures stock, it may have been the best wake-up call for Skiles to get his boyz to play at a whole other level…Bulls by 15-21 points
UTAH JAZZ (-2) @ MIAMI HEAT
One of these days, I’m actually going to be right about the Wade’less AARP Heat. While they’ve won a bunch in-a-row at home, their last 4 have been against the Hawks, Bulls, Wolves, and a last second victory against the Wiz on Sunday. As for the Jazz, with everybody healthy they’ve been ballin’ like the Mavs, Suns, and Spurs out West, and I’m guessing Jerry Sloan would luv to beat the gel right-out of Riley’s hair. Boozer, Kirilenko, Okur, Millsap, & Harpring are relentless in the frontcourt, while the big bodies of Collins & Araujo have 12 fouls to waste on the Diesel…and I haven’t even mentioned that Deron Williams should have his way with J-Will and the Glove…Jazz by 5-11 points
DETROIT PISTONS (-4) @ SEATTLE SUPERSONICS
Just like you guys, I get scared of Lewis and Allen getting hot from deep, but the Pistons really have the perfect match-ups for this defense’less squad. Tayshaun and Rip should be able to cancel out whatever damage those two do, while Chauncey, Webber, & Rasheed will be running with Earl Watson, Nick Collison, & Chris Willcox. In addition, after slumping earlier in the month and with Cavs and Bulls starting to catch fire, these vets are well aware they need to go on a nice win streak to ensure home-court throughout the Eastern conf playoffs…Pistons by 6-12 points
While I know you guys think I’ll be taking the M*tha F*ckin Red Foxes of Marist, just like my first rehab trip it’s time to put the crack down!
UTAH ST AGGIES (+7.5) @ MICHIGAN WOLVERINES
The Aggies may have the best player in the NIT that nobody has heard of…Jr. guard Jaycee Carroll (21 ppg, 6 rpg, 53 fg%, 89 ft%, 43 3pt%). The Aggies lost a heartbreaker in the WAC Championship, but should be excited to prove they can handle a team from the Big 10. As for the Wolverines, Tommy Amaker has been looking over his shoulder for the last couple years and I have feeling the disappointment level of not making the tournament is much greater in Ann Arbor. While the Wolverines have a nice size advantage in this contest, I’m pretty confident they’re not disciplined enough to exploit it. I guarantee Michigan has more pressure on them than Utah St., and while they may pull it off at home…I have a feeling this is coming down to the wire…Jaycee Caroll with a floater to win it!
G. GAMBLE’S HOOP TOTALS- NBA 102-78 ATS ; NCAA 58-57 ATS