The early game between San Francisco and San Diego went pretty much just as planned and was an easy winner for the Dons 69-60. San Francisco will play BYU on Monday in what should be the best game of the tournament as I think the winner will win the WCC tourney.
Still on the docket is Fresno St. -6 at San Jose State. Below is the writ up for that one.
The new added play is #623 UC Santa Barbara -2 at #624 Cal Poly, 122.5 OU, at 7pm PST. On first look one would jump at this play. UCSB, 11-4, will finish in 2nd place behind UC Irvine and will slug it out with the Anteaters in the conference tourney. Cal Poly, 6-9, ranks in the bottom 20% of just about every meaningful stat category. They've lost the last two games, four of the last five, and 9 of the last twelve. This line seemed kind of fishy, and I think it is, but I think it's wrong. Yeah, this is senior night at Cal Poly, but it's also the last conference game for some of the Gaucho players too. In addition, Cal Poly's first conference game was at Santa Barbara where they beat the home team 72-64. This was not an easy loss for the Gauchos to swallow. If for no other reason that to ruin the Mustang's last hooray, the Gauchos will seek revenge.
The Gauchos do not want to end on a loss before the tournament begins and with the added revenge factor, laying 2 points is barely one possession. I look for UCSB to win this one easily by 10+ points.
This post could just as easily be titled, "How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love The Bomb," or The Big, Really Big Sky Enters The Octagon!"
First off, let's deal with the Big Sky. These comments are just opinions and not official picks so please dissect them carefully.
Saturday is really like putting numbers two through nine into the octagon and whoever survives gets an invite to the conference tournament. The Big Sky only invites 7 teams to the conference tournament so numbers 8-11 are just SOL. I think this is actually a good concept and should be adopted by other conferences as it forces competition right down to the last game and in this instance, we've got 8 teams vying for 6 spots on the last day of conference play. Weber State, Montana, and North Dakota are shoe-ins, but there's still an opportunity for #4 through #6 to advance. The real scrambling will come from Sacramento State -3, who hosts Montana State and I see Sac. St., who is almost unbeatable at home, winning and covering this one. The next big brew-ha-ha will be Weber State -1 at E. Washington, another team that's hard to beat at home. I think Weber St.will not be ultra motivated and EW gets the home win. N. Colorado -8.5 should be able to handle S. Utah now that the Thunderbirds have won their first conference game, and the Montana/N. Arizona game shouldn't have too much affect on the final standings.
I'm always intrigued by these smaller conference battles. If you love the Rocky movies, these are the Rockys of college hoops.
Now down to the official picks. There's two games I'm on already and there will probably be a couple more before high noon approaches.
But first, let me give an opinion on the West Coast Conference Tournament that is already underway. There's 8 teams left. (see image).
Gonzaga, BYU, and St. Mary's have all had problems on the road, but the Zags finally kicked it in gear winning the last 2 road games handily at Pacific and Santa Clara. I think Gonzaga has the gusto and the pedigree to get to the finals here, but I just don't think they win the tourney. Saint Mary's is also a late comer to the party, but I expect them to beat Pepperdine, but lose to the Zags in the next round. Right now my money is on BYU and San Francisco. One of them will get to the finals, but compared to the lower bracket, both the Dons and the Cougars have the firepower and the energy to go the distance.
For those of you aren't baby boomers, Las Vegas, the host city of the WCC tourney was just a few miles away from the nuclear test site in the 50's and 60's. If you wonder about some of the "Old Timers," wonder no more.
But the real gist of competition comes from the great movie by Stanley Kubrick, the master who brought us Lolita, The Shining, Dr. Strangelove, A Clockwork Orange, and Eyes Wide Shut.
My first pick is #647 San Diego at #648 San Francisco -4.5. I really like this San Francisco team and I think they've not only built team trust and chemistry throughout conference play, I think there's a wealth of mojo on their side.
And my second pick, although in the Mountains West Conference is #629 Fresno State -5.5 at #630 San Jose State. I've heard it from too many sources and the numbers back it up, but right now no one wants to play Fresno State. These boys are on a mission. It may, and probably will get cut short in the MWC tourney next week, but for now they are on a roll. And for first year San Jose State who just got their first conference win a week ago, their done for the year. This may be senior night, but this will be the Bulldog's night when play ends.
There's so many games to pick from out west. Right now these are leans and might become picks, but for now, I'm still undecided.
UCSB -3.5 at Cal Poly
Boise -8 at Air Force
Nevada pk vs UNLV (depleted with Roscoe Smith and Dejean Jones out)
New Mexico +4 at San Diego State - I just think the Lobos have found the missing link.
Arizona State pk at Oregon State - ASU is okay on the road and they beat UNLV in Vegas, so they should feel confident going forward although the Pac 12 tourney is at the MGM.
UCLA -11.5 demolishes Wash. St. - Folks, it's take no prisoners time.
BYU-11.5 puts the hurt on Loyola Marymount
St. Mary's -7 beats Pepperdine
One thing to remember once conference tournament play begins is favorites, if they get a big lead in the first half will let off the gas in the second half to give the starters a rest for the next game. So big totals and big spreads 10+, might not be the best bet.
As always, these are my opinions, so do your own analysis before betting my or anyone's opinions. And BOL tomorrow.
Great post scotty.
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Awesome post Scotty
Love SF tomorrow. Is Cezar Guerrero playing for Fresno st ? good luck with your plays
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Great stuff Scotty....solid info!
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No love for Full Metal Jacket, Scotty? :)
Solid work once again. Surprised Gonzaga isn't mentioned in your leans. Keep up the good work!
I never saw Full Metal Jacket so I can't comment on that one.
As for Gonzaga, I like the Zags. They turned on the heat when they had to and I expect them to get a Big Dance invite, but I think they could falter in the conference tourney. Let's see how to do against Santa Clara and then St. Mary's or Pepperdine. Lucky for them, they only have to face either BYU or SF, but not both if they get to the finals. Most of the talking heads expect one, maybe two teams from the WCC to move on. I think BYU has the best chance and also the most "Name" recognition. San Fran, even though they've exceeded everyone's expectations are still an NIT contender at best, but again, let's see how this plays out.
The one thing going for the Zags is they are equally at home on the road as they are in Spokane. This is a huge plus as everyone here is on the road, or shall I say everyone is on the "Strip," in Las Vegas!
Actually, they are at the Orleans which is a half mile off the Strip so maybe at best it's a Strip Tease!
Im in, great stuff. GL with the picks. Thanks
Behold the Turtle.
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Good thoughts Scotty!! Montana St. has had a tough week. They had longer dry spells Thursday than our huge drought called winter in Flagstaff. And the Jacks destroyed them on the boards 38-19. Monday night @ Montana was the first game in 562 games they DID NOT make a three ball. That's over a decade of games. Ironically, they lost by 3 points. It's also the week they have 3 road games in 6 days. The venomous home Hornets should sting them in that lair of a cracker box.
NAU is motivated. Winning Saturday ties them with Montana and Idaho St. If we beat Montana we will be seeded #3, owning tie breakers over both schools. That puts NAU not having to face host Weber St. until the title game. If NAU dominates the boards as in Missoula, they win. The Griz are also playing their 3rd game of the week. Both teams are on small winning streaks. 4 straight for the Griz and 3 for the Jacks. Spoke with NAU coach Jack Murphy today. He's focused on defense and winning the glass. Surprised the Jacks are a home dog. Revenge I guess. But coming to 7000ft. on short rest could drain the belly of the Griz!! Should be a great contest! I really enjoy the BSC posts.
JOTINI GO JACKS!!!!
As always Scotty another great job in your analysis. The problem I have (particularly the Big Sky) is inconsistency. Go on the road in the BS and you are playing Russian roulette with any wager. At least the Mountain West has the Aztec's and the Lobo's who both have been reliable (as far as effort) all season long.
If you take SDSU and New Mexico out of the equation, both of these conferences are very tough to get a feel for from a betting standpoint. That's a pretty crazy statement to make as the season nears it's end ! You're a better man than I for just making the effort to try and solve the "Rubik's Cube" of CBB which is these two conferences IMO !
your spot on coddfish