Selection Sunday is getting closer and closer, and Bang The Book takes yet another look at the hottest and coldest teams across the country in this week’s edition of Who’s Hot & Who’s Not, sponsored by Bet Phoenix!
ATS Power Poll
1: Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles (17-6 ATS): The Golden Eagles might’ve lost to both UTEP and Memphis on the road last week, but they did wrap up two covers to grab the best college basketball betting record in the country for the first time all year. Even though SMS can’t like its chances of winning the C-USA Tournament in two weeks, it will have a great chance of getting to 20 wins and securing a good spot in the NIT as long as it doesn’t slip this week.
2: Syracuse Orange (18-7 ATS): The Orange stamped a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament in the most impressive way possible on Saturday night when they disposed of the Wildcats by a hefty margin. Even though the ‘Cuse have been one of the best teams to bet on all season, the NCAA basketball spreads may catch up with them now that they’ve dominated one of the best teams in the land. Buyer beware.
3: North Texas Mean Green (15-5-2 ATS): The Mean Green’s run through the Sun Belt continued to be awfully impressive last week when they knocked off both UL-Lafayette and UL-Monroe. The Sun Belt Tournament is on deck, and North Texas will go into that tourney as the only 20+ game winner in the field.
ATS Power Outage
1: Tennessee-Martin Skyhawks (4-20-1 ATS): Thank goodness! We only have to see the Skyhawks take to the court one more time this year until they get bounced from the OVC Tournament. Then, a nightmarish campaign that will likely end at 4-26 SU and 4-21-1 ATS will be over. At least UTM gave it a nice run against Morehead State this week, “only” losing by ten as 22.5-point dogs.
2: Pepperdine Waves (6-18-1 ATS): Make the coverless streak ten games long for the Waves after two more dismal efforts last week. It’s hard to blame Pepperdine for getting crippled so often on the road the WCC, and fortunately, it will all come to an end this week with the conference tournament, where the Waves will likely be one and done.
3: LaSalle Explorers (6-16 ATS): Even though the Explorers have a bit of an offense to rest on, their defense has just been so costly in A-10 play that it’s not even funny. 81 points allowed to GW midweek didn’t help the cause any in spite of a solid 72-point outburst. The Explorers have conceded a whopping 82.3 PPG in their L/4.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish: The eyes of Touchdown Jesus are watching over the Fighting Irish on the hardwood now as well. Notre Dame shocked that world and got itself back into the NCAA Tournament if it started today by beating both Pitt at home and Georgetown on the road last week. Without F Luke Harangody in the lineup, this was supposed to be the week that the Irish just crumbled and slithered into the front end of the NIT bracket once and for all. Now, barring too many more setbacks, they’ll be dancing for the first time since 2008.
The job that the Selection Committee will inevitably do in two weeks: There are only 35 at-large bids to the NCAA Tournament. Just look at the quantity of teams that think they’re going to have a shot to go dancing come Selection Sunday… And this assumes that one of the teams listed in each conference actually wins the conference crown and that the bubble doesn’t shrink any with teams like ODU or Butler stealing spots… A-10: 5 or 6, ACC: 6, Big XII: 6, Big East: 8 or 9, Big Ten: 4 or 5, C-USA: 1, MWC: 2 or 3, Pac-10: 1 or 2, SEC: 5, WCC: 1… You let me know out of these potentially 38 team, which three deserving squads you’re leaving home??? Inevitably, the bashing from the college basketball pundits is going to be intense.
Saturday’s game between the Ball State Cardinals and the Toledo Rockets: The over/under in this game was just 111.5, so we knew that the potential was there for a disgusting finish. Both teams had a half of basketball in which they scored just 15 points. The Cards shot just 26.7% from the floor and 8.3% from beyond the arc. Toledo wasn’t much more to write home about at 38.6% from the field. BSU nearly came up with more points from the charity stripe (17) than from the rest of the court (25). The 45-42 win for the host Rockets was marked by turnovers aplenty… 26 of them to be exact. Not bad for a game with just 29 made shots.