Let this be the first time that my mind has fully transitioned from the pigskin to the roundball. I have been quietly watching a couple sleeper teams play some damn good ball. There are four teams that I am going to be watching all year, maybe you should too.
1. Arizona Wildcats—With Lute announcing he is taking a year off, and not really giving a reason, they only thing I see happening in Tucson is unmotivated players and poor coaching, I am almost always going to go against them ATS this year.
2. St. Marys Gaels—This St. Marys team is the Gonzaga of 5 years ago, BTW they already put it to the Zags this season as well. They are high scoring and dominate the defensive boards. Nothing fits into a running teams style better than having their opponent run the court, throw up a shot in 10 seconds, and shut em down one-and-done style.
3. Drake Bulldogs—They are sitting quietly at 7-1 with their only loss being at the hand of, you guessed it, the St Marys Gaels. Drake has a kid named Korver that is as pure a shooter as his older brother and a strong Junior class that is their foundation. Watch them ATS on the road.
4. Butler Bulldogs—I’m watching Butler simply because I think their run last year will wear off when they get into conference play road games. They have a new coach that will win them some games, but I just don’t see the magic I saw last year. I am against the Bulldogs ATS on the road all year long.
Now lets get to today’s action.
St. Mary’s –3.5 @ San Diego St.
The Aztecs will try to slow the Gaels down, but with two big men injured it leaves nothing but shooting guards on the floor, and we all know that shooting guards like to, well, shoot. St. Mary’s will dominate on the boards with their big boys, and remember this name…Patrick Mills. He is a freshman phenom from down under that is lighting it up for 16.3 a game with a measely 94% FT accuracy. Gaels by 10.
Michigan State +3 @ BYU
I know Sparty didn’t have the best road record last year, with that being said did you actually think that wouldn’t be Izzo’s top priority to correct. They handled a decent Butler team pretty easily this week in Butler’s house where they had won 28 straight. Drew Neitzel and Izzo are well rested and focused for this BYU squad, it will be close but I’m taking Sparty outright today. MSU by 4.
Arizona @ Illinois –2
This one comes down to this game being in Illinois. It is always hard to beat the Orange Crush in their own state, and with Zona players wondering if they should transfer since Lute is out all year, this becomes about as easy as the drunken coed that says she would like to see what your Scooby Doo bedspread looks like. I think both of these teams will underachieve this year, but Trent Meachem and Shawn Pruitt for the Illini will show their stability to lead a team down the stretch today. Illinois by 10.