The Carmelo Anthony trade is finally done. We're finally out from under this story that held us all hostage. I'm a Syracuse alum so I'm glad to see Carmelo succeeding, but this whole farce is just another reason why the NBA just doesn't do it for me. The NBA's superstars have taken control of this league and are essentially saying that they want four or five dream teams. When the Knicks pick up another superstar next season, they'll be up there with the Heat, Lakers, Bulls et al. What happens to the rest of the teams...my beloved Sixers or the Cavaliers or the Nuggets? Should they form some sort of NBA D-League for themselves? I just can't get into a league that has the same eight or ten teams vying for the title.
Compare that parity to that of the NFL or the college ranks. Green Bay wasn't one of the teams mentioned before the season began yet they hoisted the trophy come season's end. Look at Auburn...Vegas had them for only eight or nine wins depending on where you look yet they picked up the trophy. This year's college basketball tournament features a couple of teams who may win and a whole host of teams who could make things interesting. There's a lot of Butler's potentially this year in the tourney.
There's been talk that college basketball is down this year, but I just don't agree. To me, the more upsets the better. The fact that there are less dominant teams, the better in my book. I really want to hear from those people who were against the addition of three teams after this year's tourney. I have a feeling they may change their tune. I, for one, am excited for the extra games and can't wait until the Cinderella's put on their glass slippers and screw up some brackets.
Anyways, let's move on to the winners for Wednesday night.
Western Michigan -15 -- Toledo's road losing streak will be put to the test on Wednesday when they play at Western Michigan. It's a shame how poorly the Rockets are playing this season. They are a team undermanned and out-talented by all of their opponents. The team has lost all but two of their road games by at least 10 points this season. In their first meeting at home with WMU, Toledo won 73-60. Revenge will be a big factor in this one as Western Michigan isn't that bad of a team. Toledo is scoring 57.9 points per game while giving up just over 70. The Rockets have two double digit scorers in Malcolm Griffin (12.9 ppg) and Reese Holliday (10.5 ppg). Western Michigan is 15-11, 7-5 in the MAC which is good for 1st place in the Western division. They are led by Demetrius Ward (14.5 ppg) and Flenard Whitfield (13.3 ppg). The Broncos have won five of their last seven games and are coming off a tough two point loss against Kent State on the 21st. They'll get revenge against Toledo on Wednesday.
Boston College -3.5 -- The Miami Hurricanes must be getting close to setting a record for close losses in a season. Ten of their last 12 contests have been decided by single digits. Five of those were victories for the Hurricanes. This is a team that has struggled at the end of contests which could prevent them from making the NCAA Tournament. They average over 72 points per game while giving up 68. Malcolm Grant (15 ppg), Durand Scott (13.6 ppg) and Reggie Johnson (12 ppg) lead the way for the Canes. Boston College is 16-10 and firmly on the NCAA tournament bubble. The Eagles score 72.2 points per contest while giving up just over 70. They get balanced scoring from four players who average over 10 points per contest. BC has won five of their six home games in the ACC this season and will be trying to avenge a one point loss in Miami on January 15th. The Eagles have the leadership and homecourt on their side in this one.
Drake -3 -- The Bulldogs may be struggling in the Missouri Valley, but they are a different team at home. Drake gets a chance to continue their home success on Wednesday when they host Evansville. The Purple Aces won 67-51 at home on January 12th. Drake has won four of their last five home games knocking off Northern Iowa and Creighton there this month alone. Their lone loss over that span was by three points to Missouri State who is one of the better teams in the conference. Rayvonte Rice (13.9 ppg), Ryan Wedel (10.6 ppg) and Seth VanDeest (9.2 ppg) lead the way for Drake who scores only 64.2 points per game. Evansville's offense is just slightly more potent averaging 66.1 points per contest. They have one double digit scorer in Colt Ryan (14.9 ppg). The Purple Aces have lost seven of their last nine road games this season with many of them coming by double digits. The team has lost three straight and four of their last five overall so their not exactly entering this game in good form. I'll take the good home team in this one despite the worse record.