Conference tournaments are such a wonderful thing. They represent an early taste of the madness to come in March. There's games on in the afternoon that even the beginner sports fan can latch on to. I mean there hasn't been basketball this exciting played at Madison Square Garden in a long time. Ooh, I know....cheap shot at the Knicks. Whatever, the Big East tournament has some amazing basketball and a lot of excitement when NY's team takes the court in Syracuse. We've gotten tastes of the big boy tournaments with the best to come this weekend.
The other thing that's coming is Selection Sunday which could be more intriguing then it has been in years. There are so many bubble teams who aren't helping their case at the end of the season that there truly will be some surprises in the field of 68. Not only that, but, the NIT could be intriguing this season as well. We already have eight number one seeds who fell in their conference tourneys and are guaranteed spots in that postseason tourney. We have the potential to have a field that even the biggest college basketball fans will pay attention to.
You should be paying attention to the picks lately. We've enjoyed some success in the conference tournaments. Just one pick as of now as Vegas takes their time releasing spreads.
Temple/La Salle Over 143 -- The Philadelphia rivals will take their show to Atlantic City for the A-10 tournament on Friday night. Temple has swept the series so far this season winning 71-67 and 90-82 on the final day of the Atlantic 10 regular season. The Explorers aren't exactly defensively inclined as they routinely have given up at least 80 points this season. They've done that in nine of their 17 conference games and is coming off allowing 73 to St. Bonaventure. The problem for La Salle is that their poor defense hides a pretty potent offense. They've scored over 70 points in four straight and 13 of their last 16 games. Aaric Murray (14.9 ppg), Jerrell Williams (13.8 ppg) and Ruben Guillandeaux (12.5 ppg) lead the way for the Explorers. They'll face steady Temple who is 24-6 this season. They are led by Ramone Moore (14.8 ppg), Lavoy Allen (11.8 ppg) and Juan Fernandez (10.5 ppg). There is a chance they may get Scootie Randall back as well as he recovers from a broken foot. Temple's defense has been the stellar part of their season. They have held multiple teams to 60 points or less this season, but for some reason can't do that to La Salle. Temple will try to slow the Explorers down, but will struggle to be able to.