I made a disturbing discovery this past weekend. It was so bad that I actually couldn't even write anything on Monday for fear of it's consequences. Before I expose the discovery, some quick background. I'm a college basketball nerd as this column has exposed. I'll wager on anything from the Big Sky to the Ivy League. I've been known to stay up late nights to listen to Hawaii basketball on the internet. I'm someone who yearns for the days of the West Coast Conference midnight ESPN2 game on Big Mondays with Terry Gannon and Stephen Bardo. I participate in a PRE-tournament pool and spend hours researching for it even though I've only won once.
I'm hoping the above illustrated the point. I dig my college basketball and apparently lonely nights at home as well. This past weekend I experienced a first though. I hit college basketball overload and was actually repulsed by the site of any game Saturday night. It could be because I started bright and early with the Xavier - St. Louis game at 11am. After watching that Atlantic 10 game, I moved over to St. Johns and UCLA on CBS until Temple and Rhode Island took the court around 2:05. So far, so good for me as I continued to feed my appetite. We then moved on to another one of the Gospel's favorite teams to watch in Gonzaga who took on Memphis in Spokane. This game kept me going as I flipped over to Vs. from time to time to watch UNLV and BYU. Around 5:15-5:30, I began to feel this discomfort and disinterest in the sporting world. I pushed myself to watch the 1st half of the Duke-NC State game, but the Blue Devils make my blood pressure rise. Around 7 o clock or so I hit the wall. I was like a marathoner sapped of all my strength. The true test came at eight with non-BCS school St. Mary's hosting Loyola Marymount. Unfortunately this did nothing, but turn me towards bad horror movies on Netflix.
The moral of the story is that there is a limit for everyone. There's only so much I can take before I just need an episode of "House" or "How I Met Your Mother" to cleanse the palette. We even took a few days to get away from betting on college basketball. The gospel can't do THAT much longer so here's a pair of winners for tomorrow.
Wichita State -16 -- The Salukis are on a terrible streak and have a team that is wounded beyond belief. They are without three players, two of which are starters after coach Chris Lowery suspended them for violation of team and university rules. Gene Teague and Mykel Cleveland are two key players who would be needed especially for a tough road trip at Wichita State. The first time these two played on January 26th, the Shockers won 74-64. SIU meanwhile has lost eight of their last 10 games including two home losses to Drake and woeful Bradley. Even with a full lineup, Southern Illinois scores just 61.8 points per contest. They'll turn to Carlton Fay (13.1 ppg) and Mamadou Seck (10.8 ppg) for their scoring now. The Shockers are 20-4, 11-2 in the Missouri Valley. They are putting up 74.3 points per game. They do it with balance and six players who average at least six points. Wichita State pounds bad teams at home beating Illinois State by 17, Bradley by 20, Drake by 19, Evansville by 34, Alabama A&M by 22 and Nicholls State by 18. They have won five straight all by 10 or more points with all 11 of their conference wins by 10 or more as well.
Boston College/Clemson Over 134.5 -- BC snapped a three game losing streak with a 58-56 win last time out over Virginia Tech. Now they hit the road to take on Clemson Tuesday night. The Eagles are averaging 73.3 points per game while giving up just over 70. Boston College's lack of a defense showed up during a streak of 16 straight games where they gave up 65 points or more to their opponents. Some of those games they managed to keep up offensively, but unfortunately in others they fell woefully short. The Eagles rely on Reggie Jackson (17.6 ppg), Joe Trapani (14.6 ppg), Corey Raji (12.3 ppg) and Biko Paris (10.7 ppg) for offense. Clemson meanwhile has excelled on the defensive end allowing only 59.6 points per game. They have six players who average 7.9 points per game or more. The Tigers defense has been stellar giving up 56 or less in four straight. They have shown that they will run at times scoring over 70 against Miami and Georgia Tech. This series has produced two overs in the last three meetings. We think this trend will continue.