I told all y'alls that the oddsmakers set some strange lines last night. Turns out I know what I'm talking about sometimes, and I went 4-1 picking all five road teams. Here's how I did:
W 73-61: No. 8 Butler (-6) @ Butler
W 72-78: Arizona (+11.5) @ No. 12 Florida
L 62-74: No. 15 Alabama (-5) @ Dayton
W 68-56: Georgia Tech (+5) @ Georgia
W 87-83: Vanderbilt (-1) @ Davidson
My only miscue came in taking the No. 15 team in the nation over a squad that recently lost to Buffalo at home by 29. LESSON LEARNED (#neverforget). Alabama allowed Dayton to shoot 60.9% from the field, take a 17-point lead in the first half and probably dance with their dates, too.
With a 23-17 record on the season, I'm ready to keep this hitting streak going.
7:00pm ESPN2: No. 24 Harvard @ No. 9 UCONN (-6.5)
This has been a lot of fun, you guys, treating Harvard like a real basketball team and everything. Look, they're a nice story, they'll romp through the Ivy League and have a shot to steal a game in the Tourney. The Crimson takes their lumps here. But, you say, they won the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament-- NOPE. But, they beat UCF while UCONN lost to UCF by-- NOPE. The Huskies are so much bigger and faster they'll set any tempo they want. Tune in to watch Jeremy Lamb toy with the Crimson, but stay to check out freshman Ryan Boatright (73.5 TS%, 4.5-1 A/TO in two games).
7:00pm ESPN3: Boston College @ Providence (-13)
Have you guys used XBOX to watch ESPN on demand? It's fantastic. We have DVR in the living room but not the bedroom, so when the wife has konked out and I'm up late pounding moonshine and wrestling these columns, I can watch Xavier beat up Butler and then switch to Assassin's Creed when I'm done. SEAMLESS. This is the future. Oh, yeah: Boston College played six straight home games and lost five, and their last road game was a 22-point loss at Holy Cross. This isn't going to go well.
7:30pm: West Michigan @ Detroit (-5)
I think it'll be fun, every once in a while, to pick a game in which the two teams have a combined 29.4 winning percentage. Western Michigan's only win came over a D-III team called the Hope Flying Dutchmen. Ummmm… Detroit.
9:00pm ESPN2: West Virginia @ Kansas State (-2)
I've mentioned that my grandparents live in Wichita, and Wednesday morning I called my grandpa to talk about the Kansas win over Long Beach State. He told me they just held some big political debate downtown, and that this West Virginia vs. K-State game would also be held downtown (to hopefully sell more tickets in a bigger market than Manhattan). I asked if he planned on going to the game, but he thought I was asking if he had gone to the political debate and gave me this gem: "Well, I hadn't intended on going, and by golly, I didn't." It was perhaps the Most Kansas Grandfather Statement Ever Made and I loved everything about it. Back on topic, these squads are matched up evenly on paper and in all honesty it should really be a great game. I want to go Wildcats but this is more like a neutral court than a home game (people out there LOVE Huggins even though he left K-State hanging a few years back). Both teams turn the ball over too much and are horrendous from the free throw line, so I like the depth of Jamar Samuels and the Wildcats over the ability of Kevin Jones and the Mountaineers. But this one is tough.
Ryan ZumMallen writes about basketball and saltwater noodlin' in Long Beach, CA. Follow him on Twitter at @ryanzummallen.