My picks went 6-6 over the jam-packed weekend, moving me to 34-26 on the season.
I saw the upset of No. 1 Kentucky coming (playing your first road game of the season in mid-December seems fishy), but not the upset of No. 2 Ohio State despite my rabid Jayhawk fandom. That pretty much summed up my weekend of picks. I saw Long Beach State keeping it close against No. 6 North Carolina and predicted that No. 8 Xavier would win much bigger than their 7-point line.
I was specifically impressed with the Musketeers' poise, maturity and HOLY CRAP DID YOU SEE THAT FIGHT??? I was literally giving my dad a happy birthday hug when I saw punches flying over his shoulder and pointed at the TV shouting "Fight!" Great job, men. I have been talking Xavier up all season and I feel like a fool. Look, you can't have players talking mess like that, pushing opponents like that, punching like that, leaving the bench like that and making stupid statements like that. Why does the NBA automatically suspend players for leaving the bench at a Draconian level, but the NCAA doesn't lift a finger when an entire team rushes with haymakers at the ready?
Xavier administrators should be embarrassed for being so lenient on their players. You have a chance to really make national noise this season, the players ruined that and tarnished your image, and you need to show that this behavior is unacceptable (and this is from a guy hoping Xavier is at full strength for their game against Long Beach next week). They didn't do that and we're all worse off for it.
Here's how I did on Saturday:
L 67-78: No. 2 Ohio State (-3) @ No. 13 Kansas
W 72-73: No. 1 Kentucky @ Indiana (+5.5)
W 78-84: Long Beach State (+16.5) @ No. 6 North Carolina
W 53-76: Cincinnati @ No. 8 Xavier (-7)
L 68-74: Oklahoma State @ No. 14 Pittsburgh (-6.5)
W 51-62: UNLV @ No. 16 Wisconsin (-8.5)
L 71-80: No. 17 Creighton (-1) @ Saint Joseph's
L 90-80: No. 19 Michigan @ Oakland (+6)
W 74-67: Michigan State (+3) @ No. 22 Gonzaga
L 67-78: Villanova (+5.5) @ Temple
L 66-77: Miami (FL) (+6.5) @ West Virginia
W 47-63: Clemson @ Arizona (-6)
There are only thirteen games in all of Division One college basketball tonight, none of them featuring Top 25 teams, none of them televised and only three of them assigned betting lines. Let's eenie-meenie-miney our way through those three.
7:00pm: Fordham @ Siena (-8)
Eight points seems a little steep for a team that's 1-6 in their last seven games. But the Saints are far more efficient offensively, so I say they take care of business here.
8:00pm: Oral Roberts @ Arkansas Little Rock (+7.5)
On the other hand, Oral Roberts has rode a six-game winning streak before losing at Oklahoma and, impressively, not embarrassing themselves. The Golden Eagles would seem like a lock to cover, but none of their last four wins were by more than eight points and they've lost both of their road games this year. Fight on, Trojans!
10:00pm: Portland State (+14) @ Oregon
I've been tellin' y'all not to sleep on the PAC-12 just because Ben Howland couldn't recruit his own children if ALL OF THEIR LIVES depended on it. Howevah, Oregon has only beaten one team by more than 14 points this year, and it was a Southeast Missouri State squad far worse that Portland State. Show me something, Chehales Tapscott.