Yeah - it's a Pac 12 Sunday. Sorry. With all the disappointment surrounding the USC and UCLA football debacles, today's the day the Pac 12 flexes some muscle.
#548 California -5.5 over Pacific at 6pm PST on ESPN 2
Pacific 3-2 has had a great early run, especially upsetting Xavier 70-67 and St. Mary's 77-66 in their last two starts. Yes, Pacific has all of his key starters returning this year, but they're still only ranked 4th in the Big West and #142 per Kenpom. I think Xavier and St. Mary's looked past the Tigers as these wins came in a Thanksgiving tourney and Pacific capitalized big time. Personally, I'm excited to see Pacific playing this well this early because I expect Long Beach State and UCI to falter and I look forward to a Fullerton/Pacific/Northridge battle for the Big West - but that's a long ways off.
California 5-0 has the most returning starters in the Pac 12 conference and are definitely underrated by most accounts. Cal ranks #4 in the Pac 12 behind UCLA, Arizona, and Stanford and is ranked #45 by kenpom. Cal's 5 wins came against CS Bakersfield 78-65, Pepperdine 79-62, Denver 72-61, Drake 73-70, and Georgia Tech 68-57.
I doubt Cal will overlook or take the Tigers lightly given this is the championship game in the Direct TV Classic and they've obviously seen the Tigers upset Xavier and St. Mary's over the long holiday. It's time for Cal to show its mettle and I don't think the Tigers have the horses to compete here.
#526 Colorado -10.5 over Air Force at 5pm PST
I don't have a lot to say about this contest so I'll let the numbers speak for themselves.
#23 Colorado 4-0 has beat Wofford 74-59, Dayton 67-57, Baylor 60-58, and Murray State 81-74. They have one of the best post players in the conference and a slew of talented underclassmen to support him.
Air Force 5-0 is ranked last in the Mountain West and #139 per kenpom. As always, Air Force is a well disciplined team, but they lack any exceptional players and they're adjusting to a new coach. They have, however, gotten off to a great start, but these wins are against very bad teams. Army 76-65, Citadel 77-70, Montana State 86-72 and two local colleges. This will be a real wakeup call for the Falcons and I don't think 10.5 pts is too much to lay here. In fact, I expect this to be a rout, especially when one considers this as an interstate rivalry. I expect Air Force to come out fighting, but Colorado is just too strong and too deep for the Falcons.