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TJ Reeves:

Well hello there and happy Friday. We are ready to roll towards another weekend on the Bet US college basketball show. I am the somewhat competent host of the program TJ Reeves. The handicappers are back. Friday regular mid major Matt back aboard. Matt, good to have you as we head towards a Friday night that has some interesting mid major games as well as a weekend upcoming. How you feeling right about now?

Matt:

Then, especially in my neck of the woods, a big one tonight. VCU hoping to help out there at large cause, taking on Richmond who has no cause other than trying to prevent VCU from making it that large tonight.

TJ Reeves:

Alright, more on that game coming up. And look here, a Friday appearance from Bobano Ian Cameron, in place of the big man on campus Jeff Nate. The big man rolling, he got a couple more wins last night. I believe he is six and one for the week. So he got Friday off. We’re here in his stead with Ian Cameron. Old Canada. How you feeling? You’ve got snow. I’ve got 81 degrees in Tampa. I’m not sure what Matt has meteorologically. But anyway, we’re glad that you’re here to brighten us up for Friday Bobano.

Ian Cameron:

Yeah, it’s good to be with you guys. I haven’t been on on a Friday in a while and Metro Atlantic Friday, which is always interesting for me. That conference has horrible basketball but good profits. I always say that. So hopefully that’s more of the same here today. Shout out to the state of Montana by the way and the Big Sky last night. Couple of overwinters with the two Montana schools last night. So I’m actually kicking myself. I haven’t bet more Big Sky totals this year. But I finally did last night and it worked out well.

TJ Reeves:

Shout out to the Dakotas as well because the big man on campus had both South Dakota State team total for a win and North Dakota on the money line with Oral Roberts. The darlings over a year ago with Max Asmuss struggling a bit in the Summit League at the top of the Summit League. They’re in that conference. So he got the Dakotas, you got the Montana’s. I’m not sure if we had any other western states that were involved. I did want a quick comment from both of you. There were a couple of interesting games. Michigan bowed their back, they rebounded from a loss against Ohio State, they won at Iowa kind of a wild game, where Keegan Murray, the top Iowa player was battling cramps in the second half, leg cramp. In the game, out of the game. Michigan made a lot of big shots, missed a couple of free throws, it may have opened the door for Iowa but made the ones that mattered. Any thoughts on that guys watching that Michigan underdog cover?

Ian Cameron:

I’ll just say that I don’t want to hear about cramps for Keegan Murray and all this other excuses. And I don’t want to hear the excuse machine. Iowa’s just totally overrated, as they always have been. They don’t play defense when it matters most. And again, we saw that last night. You know what their wins were going into that game against Michigan last night? The recent wins were Nebraska, Maryland, Minnesota, Penn State, Minnesota again, one decent win against Indiana and then Maryland again. That’s the Sisters of the Poor, from a scheduling standpoint right there, in terms of the victories that Iowa’s had. Michigan had played a pretty tough schedule lately. I thought they were more battle tested. I never understood the concept of people wanting to lay points with Iowa last night, that was just me. I’m not surprised by the result. Iowa continues to just disappoint as far as I’m concerned. If they’re in the tournament, just like every year I’m looking to fade Iowa right away off the hop.

TJ Reeves:

Alright, and Matt, any thoughts on that one? I know there’s a couple other ones too of interest last night.

Matt:

So last night, I mean, I added a bunch of teams to my list of teams that are going to beat the SEC and I can say all this stuff because Jeff’s not here. Because I can drag and bash on the SEC, LSU all those teams. But Murray State last night look great once again. I mean, this is a really good Murray State team, a sweet 16 team at the least. I also like the WCC, we’ve talked about the top teams, but the middle’s starting to get better too. And a team like Portland who bashed San Diego last night is it [inaudible 00:03:48]? They won by 32, they were two point favor in that game. So the middle of the WCC is going to be good too. That’s a really fun conference tournament in a couple of weeks.

TJ Reeves:

St. Mary’s beating San Francisco, I watched a lot of that game. A lot of that second half of that game last night. It was everything that we thought it was going to be, in terms of what we talked about on the show. Low scoring, defensive minded, deep into the shot clock on a lot of possessions. San Francisco did not get their revenge after they blew a 24 point lead in the first game [crosstalk 00:04:19] They couldn’t score enough against them even in that in that game. But again, they had blown a 24 point lead at home to lose to St. Mary’s, this was a revenge spot for them. They didn’t get it done in the revenge but by the way, do we have the missing persons report out for the Oregon Ducks?

TJ Reeves:

That one was in Tempe against Arizona State Oregon with everything to play for on the bubble. Absolute no show real quick guys. I know Arizona state made some shots early on in the game but I mean it’s the game we’re on. Oregon in a fog in that game last night that a lot of the country saw on ESPN. Any quick thoughts before we roll on to the Friday card?

Ian Cameron:

Yeah for me I mean, for Oregon, that’s disappointing. And the one thing you haven’t been able to accuse these teams, coached by Dana Altman over the years is letting go of the rope and not really showing up to compete. And that was clearly an issue. Yet it wouldn’t surprise me. They’ve got Arizona on tap on Saturday. Would it shock you, if they go into Arizona, give them a game and maybe even win? They seem to elevate this year against the better teams, and they’re going to have to, because now they were in a position a month ago where they’re probably in the tournament. Now they backed themselves off probably maybe even into the bubble, and they’re going to be off the bubble pretty soon if this keeps up. So [crosstalk 00:05:32] all of a sudden an important game against the Arizona Wildcats for them tomorrow.

TJ Reeves:

Pardon me and Matt says something about that because they lost to an awful Cal team and whatever you want to say about Arizona state they have a losing record and they just lost to them too, for Oregon. So just in general terms, this is not what you want to be doing at the end of the year, losing to bad teams no matter who you are.

Matt:

No, especially not in the Pac-12. Especially with the Mountain West, the WCC and some of these other conferences moving up in terms of bids. You don’t want to be the conference that they’re stealing from and the one thing I’ll say is Arizona State was supposed to be good entering the season. They had injuries, the Marcus Bagley injury, they had some COVID issues and things like that. They’re a team you might want to play on of course as I say that tomorrow they’ll probably lose to Oregon State at home. It’s a terrible team in the Pac-12.

TJ Reeves:

Oregon State almost lifeless. Alright, good enough. I know the peeps are probably saying in the chat already that I don’t pay attention to these guys who are in the chat. They’re looking at, where are the picks? Where are the picks for Friday? And we’re going to look ahead a little bit to Saturday as we like to do for the weekend as well. Let’s get to it. Let’s get first with our records. You will see here on the screen. The big man on campus is not here but again he had another 2109. It is six and one over the course of this week for him so he did get a deserved Friday off. Ian is back. He had a couple of wins. What did you have Ian, two or three wins last time you were up on the hill? Yeah, splitsville for you. We’re looking for more today mid major Matt, you see right at the 500 mark.

TJ Reeves:

Let’s get into it. Let’s get into the Friday card. We’ll have some time for some Q&A for some games that you may not be seeing on our schedule. Game number one is a Big East game. It is St John’s hosting Butler tonight. Friday night game. St John’s laying seven and a half points. 141 and a half is our total. Bobano you are up first here. What’s the play? What do you like?

Ian Cameron:

Well, St. John’s is a favorite. So you know I’m not on St. John’s, simple as that. I like Butler here. Now there’s questions about Bryce Enzi. There’s questions about Bo Hodges. Are those two guys going to play tonight for the Bulldogs? Well they beat DePaul and they beat Marquette without those two guys. So I think they’ll be okay. And St. John’s is starting to play good, they’re covering numbers. But I’ll still dare them as seven and a half point favorites to get the job done. It’s a revenge spot for Butler, they lost at home earlier this year to St John’s. And if you look ever since they got crushed and back to back games by UConn in mid January, all Butler’s done in every big east game since then, is hang right in the game and be right there at the end. Every loss by what, six points or less for the most part. They’ve been right there in every single game. I don’t trust St. John’s on the defensive end of the floor just yet, to be able to cover a number of this size, Butler with revenge.

Ian Cameron:

I think there’s a chance both of those guys may return. NC and Hodges they’ve been listed as questionable the last few days, but certainly be helpful to them if they play, but even if they don’t, this is just too many points. And I like these spots where you get the home team losing the first matchup, and then they are in revenge in the second matchup. They’re on the road and they’re catching points. It’s been a pretty good angle long term over the years for me at least in college basketball, so I’m on Butler here plus the points.

TJ Reeves:

Alright, man, any thoughts on this one? If no official Play With St. John’s currently 78th in the net ranking, they got a lot of work to do. What about this, if anything?

Matt:

Well, I think it was interesting. The first game was a 75-72 game and a 62 possession contest which clearly Butler wants to play. I don’t think St. John’s is going to be able to speed up Butler, I think that’s Butler’s best chance. You look at the St. John’s team and you look at the games last year, they played the 74 possession game in overtime last year. And then they played a 67 possession game in New York too. So Butler has been able to instill their pace and if they can manage to slow down St John’s, I don’t disagree. One thing is, if Butler’s off they’re way off and they’ll get blasted. They’ll lose like 75 to 50, but how often lately has that happened for this offense?

TJ Reeves:

And again, this game is coming earlier, we should point that out. Television dictating a lot of this. This is a five Eastern time Friday special. New York traffic, they’re trying to get somebody to St. John’s for this matchup at five on a Friday. Good luck with that. Loads of fun no matter what you do with the traffic in New York but especially at that time. The Johnny’s again are laying seven and a half in this one, we lock Ian Cameron in for the official play. He is on. Butler for tonight and the seven and a half points for this matchup again. St John’s did defeat Xavier in their last game. They’ve got Creighton, DePaul. I mean even wins against them are not really going to help them that much. They’ve got Xavier again and then at Marquette to finish the season. They’re going to probably have to win two or three games at the garden even if they don’t win the tournament.

TJ Reeves:

They have an at large case, St. John’s. We’ll see what happens with the matchup with Butler tonight. Let’s move on, on the Friday card. And we’ve got another matchup here in the Northeast, it is Monmouth and Rider. Monmouth laying six and a half in this one, total 136 and a half. Do I smell an underdog theme beginning to form Ian Cameron, what do you like?

Ian Cameron:

You do. Riders on the store, a little doors here. I really like Ryder here in this one plus the points. Ryder is storming right now. They’re playing better, they’ve won for their last five, the only loss was Siena in their last game in overtime, 76-75. I can’t figure out Monmouth this year. I really can’t. They’re up and down. They’ve had some great wins and some decent performances like Iowa in their last game. They hung tough, covered the number and defeat. They’ve had some awful losses too. They lose at home to Niagara as eight point favorites in overtime. They end up getting blown out by Marist 83-58 on their home floor just a few games ago. They’re a very talented team, King Rice done a phenomenal job there. I like George Papas, McClary, Miller, [inaudible 00:11:17]. I mean, they’ve got guys that can score for them, but I like Rider here and the way they’re playing. They’re playing really good defensively of late. They’ve been covering numbers and you look at series history these are rivals.

Ian Cameron:

They don’t like each other. These two teams have been competitive matchups. Dating back to the beginning of 2019. We had a four point Monmouth win. Rider won by nine in the next matchup, Monmouth by six. Rider then beat them by 12. Last year two meetings on Riders home floor, Monmouth won both of them but one was a three point win in overtime, and the other was a three point win in regulation. There is no evidence, not zero, the last three years of Monmouth being able to beat Rider by margin. I think we’ve got a close game, they’ve been terrific as dogs lately 5011 ATS last six as road underdogs. It’s a rivalry situation. It’s revenge for Rider as well. They lost to a Monmouth in the conference tournament last year in the Mac Metro Atlantic. So I think you look at this spot here as Ryder plus the points. I think at the very least they take this game down to the wire.

TJ Reeves:

Well again you’re not typically here on Friday, we should just go ahead and put this out there while you’re interested in this. I know Matt is not usually interested in these teams, in these plays. Anything on this at all Matt or you want to move along?

Matt:

Let’s move along, the Metro Atlantic does not get any of my money this season.

TJ Reeves:

He just has no interest in that. So we lock Ian in again. It’s a second straight underdog. It is Rider plus the six and a half here on the matchup tonight at Monmouth that went against seven Eastern Time. Look here, we’re going to stay around the same conference. St. Peters and Fairfield will be up next on a Friday night as well. This one a pickup game, that’s a rarity on the show. I’m not sure there’s been a little line movement. The total is at 125 Guys so fairly even game here again. You can already tell Matt doesn’t have the place. So Ian Cameron, we’re back to you. What is the play on this matchup?

Ian Cameron:

This is by-law for me on St. Peters. I know they’ve lost two in a row against Rider and Rider’s playing good basketball though as I just mentioned. And Iona’s the best team in the Metro Atlantic by far with Rick Pitino and company Tyson jolly who of course has played major conference basketball in the past as well. That’s a good Iona team. There’s nothing wrong with losing to them. So it’s two straight losses for St. Peters, that should ensure that they’re focused they’re ready to bounce back here. They actually have a little small edge because they played February 15th, whereas Fairfield played the night after that, the 16th. So slight advantage in terms of a little bit more time to prepare for this game for St Peter’s. Fairfield’s just been bad as home favorites. They’ve been bad pretty well at home just in general. But Monmouth they lose at home, they don’t cover. Siena five point home favorites, lose outright. Quinnipiac five point home favorites, Fairfield loses out right. Manhattan in their last game, they were four and a half point favorites, they lost outright. I think St Peters can beat them here in this game, as far as I’m concerned.

Ian Cameron:

They lost in the tournament last year, the conference tournament 52-47. That was that crazy Metro Atlantic tournament last year where Fairfield basically came out of nowhere essentially, and got all the way to the conference championship game before losing the Iona. I mean, it took all of us by surprise. I mean, we didn’t see Fairfield making that kind of run. They were hideous offensively last year. They are a little bit better offensively this year, a lot better actually. But as you can see against good teams, they can still struggle to score and the losses to Monmouth, Sienna, Quinnipiac. They got held to 56 in two of those games, shot below 40%. Quinnipiac they only scored 60. They’re going to be hard pressed. I mean, I would think St. Peter’s their strength is the defensive end of the floor anyway. They’re going to bring it strong after two straight losses. It’s going to be difficult for Fairfield to score. I could see this game staying under the total for sure. But I’m going to play the St. Peter side. I think they’re the better team and I think they’re certainly the better defense.

TJ Reeves:

Alright, then major Matt already put it out there not much interest in the… You want to go ahead and say it the way that you normally say it on Fridays? [inaudible 00:15:03] Yeah, not much interest in that conference. So why don’t we go ahead and officially lock Ian in again. This is on the pick, pick them line of St. Peter’s only to win the game. There you go for that matchup tonight. The game that Matt can’t wait to talk about is the one that is coming in the Atlantic 10 between VCU and Richmond. A rematch game that VCU already won at Richmond. Now they’re laying two points tonight. 133 and a half is our number. Alright man, pretty good one on a Friday night. What are your thoughts here?

Matt:

So look, I would have loved to have made a play in this game. But so there’s a bunch of things I was considering. First off, the Seagull Center sold out tonight. It’s been a disappointing atmosphere this season. But it won’t be tonight for this game because this is the one or two dating game they get up for and the Richmond game of course, and it’s a sellout tonight, which they had a long [inaudible 00:15:57] streak and it was ended because of the of the pandemic. And you go back to the first meeting VCU wins by two and the things that stuck out to me there… First off, Tyler Burton went one to 12. That’s probably not going to happen again. VCU plays great defense, they cut off the three pointer and, Richmond shot for 22, that could happen once again. Richmond shot the three ball terrible in a 10 play. If you remember from that game early on his son Ward had a bunch of the early baskets, like three of the first four, four of the first five. He’s not 100%. He’s questionable for the game tonight.

Matt:

It looks like he’s going to play but he’s not 100% which is not good because this team doesn’t have a ton of size. And Richmond, who’s a terrible rebounding team actually managed to get 17 offensive rebounds against VCU in that game in the Robin Center. So that’s a definite concern, because Richmond’s as I said, are a horrendous rebounding team. I always lean to the Rams at home. But what scares me here is Richmond plays a whole lot better on the road. If you look this year, they’ve been losing at halftime at home six or seven times. And they failed to cover two other times when they were winning at halftime. But if you look at their road numbers, they play so much better on the road and have some solid road victories here. So I actually don’t and I know Ian’s going to talk about why he likes Richmond here. I don’t hate Richmond. This is their season right now. Because this whole thing has been a free roll for them. They’re not going to make the NCAA tournament.

Matt:

They’re right now playing for a 10 seating, so this is the game of the season for them. And I expect them to put forth their better effort tonight. I think Richmond can win this game. I’m going to probably end up bending it live though and kind of get a feel. Because remember there’s one thing, and I’ll let Ian have this, it depends on the officiating crew tonight. If it’s a tight calling crew, VCU is having style of defense. Very handsy, very touchy. There are crews where they’re in the foul trouble very quickly. So if there’s a crew tonight that’s going to call a lot of 1000 them early, I definitely like Richmond and potentially the over because we could see a lot of foul shots. If they let them play, that’s going to benefit VCU more. And then I think they win this game outright tonight.

TJ Reeves:

I like the whole let them play mentality. Okay, so you get a feel of what Matt is looking at, although he doesn’t have an official play. Ian Cameron, you do have an official play and the underdog theme is going to continue here, my friend?

Ian Cameron:

It sure is. And I think Richmond’s playing their best basketball right now. I really do. I mean Grant Golden, Jacob Gilliard, Burton. This is a senior laden team, we forget that. This is a very experienced team that the Richmond Spiders have. And look early in the year they had some head scratching, I remember they didn’t show up for a game against St. Joseph’s early in conference play. I couldn’t believe it, how bad they were in that game. And that was on their home floor. And to Matt’s point, he said it, they haven’t been necessarily as good at home at times. But on the road, they’ve been consistently getting the job done aside from their last road game against George Mason. That was a revenge game for Mason. Mason got beaten at the buzzer by Richmond… At Richmond, in the first meeting, and George Mason beat him at George Mason in overtime and keep in mind they also got Josh Oduro back from injury. George Mason in that second meeting, and that made their offense a whole lot better when they played Richmond in the rematch. Richmond bounced back, beat La Salle at home over the weekend.

Ian Cameron:

The thing that I look at in the first meeting because this is that spot that I said just with a couple other games. You got a home team that lost the first meeting, Richmond 64-62 to VCU. Now there are a road underdog in the rematch. I like those betting situations. But you look at the first meeting, Richmond didn’t turn the ball over a lot. And that’s key when you play VCU, you’ve got to take care of the basketball. What was the problem? Couldn’t shoot. It was a terrible shooting night for Richmond. Many of their best players didn’t shoot the ball well. You’ve got to expect that to change a little bit here. But Richmond’s one of the best teams in the Atlantic 10 in turnover rate and not turning it over, that is offensively. So in theory, that should bode well for them here against VCU. What I’m banking on is, if they take care of the basketball, which they did actually believe it or not in the first meeting against VCU. You’ve got to trust them to shoot the ball better. I’ll let Matt answer this question because I’ll throw it back to him on this. They’re expecting a sellout tonight at VCU. Because I took Dayton at VCU earlier this year in a similar spot, revenge spot for Dayton, they lost at home to VCU.

Ian Cameron:

They went into VCU, and they crushed VCU in that game on the road. And I don’t think it was full capacity though that night, like it’s going to be here. So that is something to keep in mind. But I still think this is a very similar spot for Richmond at VCU, just like it was when I cashed on this show with Dayton, at VCU earlier this year getting points in revenge. Like I said, Richmond did take care of the ball against VCU. They just couldn’t shoot the ball well at all. I’ve got to hope those percentages go up tonight, I think they will. I think you’ve got a team that’s playing well on the road. A team that’s definitely going to come in here with knowing that they could have beaten VCU the first time. I think they can beat them this time. I’ll take the points with Richmond.

TJ Reeves:

Right. He’s on the Spiders. Mattie, you have clarification? Was it full capacity for the Dame game and they just had nothing to cheer about, or what about that?

Matt:

Well, it was pretty close. The big thing was they didn’t have Vince Williams and they ended up Jalen DeLoach. And Vince Williams is like their offense. I mean VCU’s offense has been really good lately. I don’t expect them to keep scoring 75-80 points like they have the past couple times. To touch on real quick about the turnovers. Richmond’s been really good about the turnovers against VCU’s pressure. And when they do have the turnovers there of the dead ball variety, which allows them to set up their defense and actually Richmond started to press a little bit their own. So look, all the logic that he just gave is what’s been out there for Richmond. But the problem is, time and time again, the seniors, the stars, all that stuff, they’re not mentally tough. Like this could be a close game at the end, and then they start turning the ball over, they start breaking threes, and then they lose. That’s my one worry about that. My lean is to Richmond here. That’s my lean, but I can’t trust them.

TJ Reeves:

Alright, good enough. Ian’s on the official play as we said. He is taking the points with the Richmond Spiders, there it is, plus two that is a [crosstalk 00:21:50]

Ian Cameron:

[inaudible 00:21:51] with Richmond. There’s been some money coming in on VCU since I sent this in, so you can get plus three on Richmond. So we’re getting a bad number for the show, sorry.

TJ Reeves:

Well, it’s okay. Look at it there on the BetUS line as it goes along. And Matt even said he might be interested in a live bet for this game coming up once he learns about the officiating crew. Just real quick on that point. You’re absolutely right. There are stats and metrics out there about officials in particular because they don’t always work the same crew, that blow the whistle more than others and call the fouls more than others. And you need to pay attention to this coming down the stretch, in February and into March, about are you going to get a couple guys in there that blow their whistle? If Ted Valentine, for example, who’s been around for 30 years. He’s known as TV Teddy. If he is working a game in late February or March, he’s going to blow his whistle and he’s going to blow it a bunch. So just look out for that. If he’s one of those names, just as an example. Reminder, as you’re seeing us go along here we’re here Monday through Friday, one Eastern Time. Spread the word, hit the like button, hit the bell, subscribe. More and more of you have been finding the show, we continue to soar with the audience numbers here at the end of February.

TJ Reeves:

We want much more obviously for March with the NFL season done. Baseball is on hold. I know everybody down here in Florida guys, where I am. The same in Arizona is saying what the hey here on spring training and no baseball right now. And are we going to have some economic boost or not? No baseball, NBA headed to the All Star Weekend. You’ve got the NFL done. College basketball folks. We are here Monday through Friday at one Eastern time. Make it a point to be with us. And a lot of you watch later on in the day, etc. If you are with us live, we’ll try to get to some questions and answers which we’ll do here in a couple of minutes, after we get to the next two official plays for the Friday schedule. Alright, the next one is an Ivy League game for a Friday night. Friday night always a big night for the Ivy League. Harvard laying 15 against Columbia tonight, with a total of 145 and a half. Mid major Matt has zeroed in on this one. What do you like and why, sir?

Matt:

I mean, it’s the over. And actually I was also going to play the Harvard team total over too. I mean, it’s simple when it comes to Columbia, and this is the thing. This is the theme this year, at least when you play team totals and overs. You find the consistent bad defenses and you hammer the over. Columbia has allowed 75 or more in all but one game this season. They’ve allowed 80 or more and all but two games this season. 84 to Yale, 88 to Cornell, 85 to Princeton, 81 to Penn. They lost the game at home to Harvard 91-82 and a 73 possession game. I mean look, I don’t expect this one to be 91-83 but Harvard’s gonna get over 80 in this game. And if they get over 80, all I’m asking for essentially a 60 ish, low 60s from Columbia. And Harvard’s defense isn’t that good either. They’re seventh in two point defense, they’re seventh in three point defense. The pace numbers concern me a little bit because Harvard is a slower paced team. But Colombia’s defense is so bad, they have no choice to just take the easy baskets here.

Matt:

So I like the over here. You’re not as comfortable with the over, take the Harvard team total over, because I definitely I think Harvard’s scoring over 80 in this game. Columbia falls out of bed and gets out 50 in the first half probably, it feels like. So give me the over in this game. If you also want, take the Harvard team total over in this contest.

Ian Cameron:

You are muted TJ couldn’t hear you.

TJ Reeves:

My mistake Ian, I was asking again, any quick thoughts from you on this Ivy League game?

Ian Cameron:

Yeah, you are right. Columbia is second in the Ivy League and Tempo. But you are right. Harvard is definitely going to slow things down there is no question but they are very good offensively, Matt said defensively, both sides, a little bit shaky. Columbia just gave up 84 to Yale 88 to Cornell, and Cornell plays just at a blistering pace. And I like the over by the way in that Cornell game against Dartmouth, it has gone up. But you look at Cornell, they gave up 88 points in that game. And you look at series history, how are you going to argue with an over bet in this game if you look at that. Eight straight overs head to head between Columbia and Harvard. Now there are a couple overtime games in the mix as well. But still last meeting in January 91-82, for Harvard 173 points, and that total was right where this one is 145 and a half. So I have no argument here with looking at over.

TJ Reeves:

One interesting thing, and this is just a bigger picture thing, I thought it was interesting that Coach K has got a new book that is coming out. And it may already be out about here in the final season and whatnot. And he mentions in the book that he had been considering Tommy Amaker as his successor at Harvard, he ultimately went with John Shire. There is a lot of respect again Amaker played for Coach K much longer ago, Shire obviously much more recently. Any reaction guys to that because Amaker traditionally has had this team in and around the NCAA Tournament and even winning games at Harvard. Any reaction to Coach K making that admission that really his top two were Amaker and Shire. He elected to go with Shire that was currently on staff with him as elevating him to the full time coach.

Ian Cameron:

Yeah, Shire has been his guy. They have been lockstep together since he brought him in at Duke and made him the assistant to him so it is not a shock. He has been with the program for years. Apparently, everyone says that John Shire is a great coach, is a great communicator, he has worked hard, he has been good on the recruiting trail helping out Coach K. And I guess, because they have had those close ties all these years, he decided to go with the younger guy that has been working almost like his pupil, as mentor if you will, rather than Amaker. It is interesting, but Amaker would have been a good choice. Amaker has done a great job here at Harvard, there is no doubt.

TJ Reeves:

I really thought Matt Joseph was going to get that shot because he had proven himself a couple of other places, including at Michigan and at Seton Hall, and again, got into a sweet 16 one time and I think on another tournament game as well in another year at Harvard in the Ivy League.

Matt:

I hope Shire fails. And, I’m just saying, North Carolina with the whole family thing, if they had an actual coach with experience, they might have been able to get out of this little tailspin but Hubert Davis, going through all this stuff, moving a couple chairs over from where he was, I feel like sometimes we stay in the family too much, I’m hoping Syracuse when BAY-hyme leaves, doesn’t just say, “Gerry McNamara here is the job for you.” They actually conduct a real search instead of just handing it to somebody.

TJ Reeves:

It is a good point that you make because in North Carolina’s case, they obviously went through that struggle with Matt Doherty because this has been a while, that was in the North Carolina family, etc, and it turned out to be a disastrous hire. You can screw it up in that regard too. It worked out Eventually though with Roy Williams to replace him out of the Dean Smith tree in the Dean Smith family on that. Okay, the official play again for this game is Mid Major Matt on the over for Harvard and Columbia Tommy Amaker’s team tonight in a Friday night Ivy League game. Questions and answers come in here in a moment one more game on an official play on our Friday card. It is in the big 10 and I automatically, when I saw it on the court I’m going, “We must really have an angle here on Marilyn and Nebraska. Marilyn laying the two going into Lincoln tonight. The total at 146 and a half Ian Cameron. What are we like here for this big 10 matchup?

Ian Cameron:

Yeah two pretty bad basketball teams at the moment, they are not much defense or intensity defensively. That is what I’m expecting in this game. So I like points to be scored. It would definitely help the over if Eric Ayala plays for Maryland, he missed the last game, he is their leading scorer but they have got Fatts Russell, they got Dante Scott and to be honest with you, they could put multiple guys off the bench in the starting lineup for Danny Manning screw, they could probably still get to 80 tonight against this Nebraska team. Nebraska has given up over 80 points per game in conference play. But I think if you are Nebraska, you are going to come into this game saying, “We have a legit chance to win a basketball game and wins have been few and far between for the Cornhuskers but they did win their last home game against Minnesota 78-65. Their defense has been absolutely dreadful, Michigan, Northwestern Iowa they give up 85, 87, 98 in those games. They did slow down Minnesota but Minnesota is not the greatest offensive team.

Ian Cameron:

I think Maryland too, when you look at their recent games 62-61 loss to Purdue. I know there are a lot of people I see on Twitter liking Maryland, I think it is a tricky spot. They are laying points on the road, we don’t know if Ayala is going to play and they are coming off a heartbreaker against Purdue where they battled tooth and nail with the Boilermakers and they fell short at the end. So it could be tricky spot here for Maryland. But do you trust Nebraska to win is the question. What I trust is points to be scored. You look at Maryland, they gave up 110 to Iowa, 82 On the road to Ohio State, 83 On the road to Michigan, 87 On the road Northwestern, they had one game where they had a good defensive effort on the road and it was against Rutgers, who are not the greatest offensive team.

Ian Cameron:

The one thing Nebraska will do especially on their home floor here in Lincoln, is find their way to scoring some points, you are going to get obviously a very fast paced game from Nebraska. Maryland has not increased their tempo leaps and bounds since Manning took over as the interim coach and after Turgeon stepped down, but they have played with a few more possessions at least. And hopefully Ayala plays, even if he doesn’t, they are good enough to score a bunch on Nebraska, Nebraska gets theirs as well. So totals reasonable mid 140s, I think it goes over the number and the last time they played, it got into the 150s head to head.

TJ Reeves:

Right. So he has got the official play again, these two teams are a combined robust four and 24 in the big 10. But again, it is the spot, it is the angle, as Ian just explained, Matt do you have anything or do you want to move along?

Matt:

I consider the over last night when I first looked at this and then I looked at Maryland’s offense and I’m like “Boy! They are pretty bad but their defense is okay and Nebraska’s offense isn’t very good. And so this is one of those classic cases where you have Nebraska, Omaha and North Dakota playing each other and neither’s offenses are great but their defense is terrible so maybe they score. Of course those games have gone over this year so that is a good case for Ian here but their offenses aren’t very good and so can bad offenses beat bad defenses? We’ll see, so I did not actually play the over but I don’t mind it.

TJ Reeves:

Ian is officially on that over, the over total. Tonight for these two in Lincoln Nebraska out of the big 10 Okay question and answer time and we will bleed a little bit into Saturday. I might even sneak in a little fought or pick from the guys about Memphis SMU on a Sunday with the Tigers having won seven games in a row at this point. Matt is watching us on the live show on Friday and says thoughts on Cleveland State Lane seven at Milwaukee, we are all going to talk a little Horizon League with the other big game, the bigger game that is in action but Cleveland State near the top of this league. They’ve already lost a game in triple overtime earlier this week as one of the top teams in this conference. Milwaukee a losing record but they also pulled a dangerous upset recently. Guys a any thoughts from either one of you here on Cleveland State coming in and laying the seven at Milwaukee tonight?

Matt:

So I thought Milwaukee was dead, no water after the Northern Kentucky game. I thought that they were and I believe unfortunately one of my losers on Friday, that next was when I took something involving Wright State and then they go they beat Wright State. Now if they beat Wright State, they kept the game at 63 possessions and it was a 60-57 game which is not what Wright State wants to do. And then they beat Green Day although that’s not really much of a feat, but they are playing better without Patrick Baldwin and they are keeping games close and they are keeping games low. And you just mentioned the triple overtime game. Lean to Milwaukee here especially at home. Now Cleveland states can be mad but if you look at their road games, they only won by one at Robert Morris, they only won by six at Youngstown, they only won by four at Wright State, they lost at Northern Kentucky. Cleveland State nice strong on the road, small lean to Milwaukee here as the home dog.

TJ Reeves:

Ian real quick because I want to talk about the other game in that conference, which is Wright State and Oakland and a second real quick on this game, though with a triple overtime loss for Cleveland State to Purdue Fort Wayne earlier in the week. Now they are on the road at a bad Milwaukee team. It’s won a couple games recently real quick.

Ian Cameron:

Yeah, so Matt feels lean Milwaukee not strong enough to bet it, I lean Cleveland State but I’m not strong enough to bet it as well. But one thing I like though about Cleveland State is awful loss this year. They’ve been terrific. They crushed Indiana Purdue IPFW after they lost to UIC which was a shocking loss after Northern Kentucky, that loss they crushed Green Bay 85-69. They look down the list. They’ve had good results after a loss Cleveland State. I still think they’re one of the best teams in the conference. But I don’t want only six and a half but I do lean to the road favorite.

TJ Reeves:

Alright, the other game that will have much more interest and it’s on ESPN too. So the whole country will see it. Wright State and Oakland tonight at the zoo as they call it. Wright state getting four points in this matchup, Oakland laying the four. Any thoughts here guys to the perennial top teams in the Horizon League?

Matt:

So if you watch the first meeting, Oakland was in control at Wright State, they were playing a good basketball game, they led midway through the second half and then they went on this crazy offensive drove. I think they scored barely a couple of points the rest of the way and the last seven or eight minutes they just went ice cold from the field, I think there only point came at the free throw line that’s about it. And Wright State shut them down. They turned a five point deficit into 11 point win. So revenge for Oakland. I like Greg Kampe as a coach to have his team ready to go. I know Wright State the money is coming in on them. This is like Cleveland State as well, where they are one of the best teams in the Horizon League, but they’ve had their stumbles here and there. And I think you are going to absolutely get Oakland’s best year in this game tonight. So I know that some money is coming on Wright State. I’m in a little bit of disagreement with that. I would look at Oakland minus the four here in the spot.

TJ Reeves:

Okay. Another viewer, we’re sticking with Friday night. Some of you got questions about games tomorrow, we’ll stick with Friday night real quick. Ryan watching us says, “Ohio and Kent State, Kent State is the short favorite in this one.” We’ve talked a lot of Mack on Fridays Mid Major Matt, I know you don’t have an official play any thought on this?

Matt:

By my maxscale anybody who beats Toledo is pretty good in my book, and they beat Toledo twice and not only they beat Toledo, they played really good defense in both of those and it’s tough. I don’t know necessarily, look Ohio is really good, it’s a road game, they’ve proven themselves on the road for the most part. They lost at LSU, lost to Kentucky, lost to Toledo. The lean here is to Kent State the home team, I don’t love it. I’ll just say this real quick. We’ve talked a lot about the Toledo team total overs. Three are not Saturday, they’re hosting Central Michigan, they’re going to score 100, the train is getting back on the tracks. So let’s go Toledo team total over again on Saturday against Central Michigan. I know it got derailed briefly this week. It’s starting back up tomorrow.

TJ Reeves:

Interesting. You mentioned those trains because we’ve been talking about IUPUI in the Horizon League, and the team total unders they played a bad Robert Morris team on the road and actually hit the over in that game. But as you guys keep saying just because there’s one game in the whole train, that doesn’t mean get off the train completely here. The train has not completely derailed off of that and so you’re going to go back to Toledo I like that for Saturday. Bobano did you have anything real quick on this match game or can we move on?

Ian Cameron:

Yeah, it’s a great game. It’s definitely one of the games I want to be watching. You know what it’s like with these teams that are on the straight up and especially these ATS streaks. I don’t like stepping in front of them when they’re in this kind of streak like Kent State is right now and they’re playing with revenge for an 80-72 loss to Ohio back in January. They’re coming on strong at both ends of the floor. When you hold Toledo to 59 points, that’s incredible. Matt, you guys have been talking about it for weeks on this show the Toledo team total over streak and here is Kent State holding them to 59 points in that victory, that was extremely impressive. They’re playing some defense, they’re going to need to tonight because this is as good a trio offensively as there is in the Mac for Ohio when you talk about Mark Sears, Jason Carter and the big guy Ben Vander Plaats there’s like a stretch for, he can fill it up close to the rim, he can step out shoot the three, he is just a fun player to watch.

Ian Cameron:

They’re going to need to bring that defense tonight Kent State but they’re in revenge, they’re at home, they played great. Wouldn’t surprise me to see them win this game. I just don’t feel comfortable stepping in front of Ken State. Maybe you can look over the total, the total has gone up to 137 and a half, five for the last six meetings have gone over between these two teams so I would lean in that direction with the money move toward the over.

TJ Reeves:

Alright, let’s move along to Saturday with the understanding again we do not have lines as of yet as we do the live show. So some of these are going to be educated guesses. Mike wants to know, a viewer says, “Texas in a major revenge spot at home tomorrow against Texas Tech.” Guys, what do we think here? Texas Tech maybe a short favorite off the win over Baylor what’s the educated guess here? And what are your thoughts about revenge? You want to take that here for the Longhorns.

Matt:

KenPom sky that one, so Texas minus one. It’ll be around them pick them I’m guessing. It’s funny because you look at these big 12 schedules and you see you want to say, “There is a letdown spa.” Every game is top and this stretch and you look at Texas Tech and they had Baylor in the last gamre. Texas Tech’s defense travels, now I think Texas is going to be a little extra motivated considering the hostile atmosphere they played at. I don’t trust Texas’s offense, I trust their defense. This could be a good under first one to 60 wins type of situation.

TJ Reeves:

Ian real quick anything on this before we move on?

Matt:

Yeah, and Bart Torvik and Kyle Hunters, a proponent of Bart Torvik because he factors in a lot of current form to his numbers more so I think than Ken Pomeroy and they’ve got it at Texas minus two for this game on Saturday. If Texas has picked them or a slight home dog, I’m a little bit interested in Texas in the revenge spot. And you feel that at some point the meat grinder, teams are just not going to be able to bring their best every single game and optimum effort, optimum performance every game in the big 12 It’s just such a tough, grueling schedule. And I worry about that for Texas Tech after the big win against Baylor at home that’s now sweeping Baylor this year for Texas Tech. Do they have it in them to go on the run?

Matt:

Keep in mind McCullar didn’t play in that game for Texas Tech. Yeah, they beat Baylor without Baylor’s Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua, and another key cog for them missed that game against Texas Tech and Tech took advantage. So there are things I like about Texas but it’s going to depend on where the number is. I lean Longhorns right now.

TJ Reeves:

And again McCullough is the point guard, he has got an ankle injury. He’s going to be a game time decision, probably as he has missed their last couple of games. And again, Chris Beard is going to have that Erwin center jacked because they were all over him in Lubbock for the previous matchup. This is the return game. It’s an early start on Saturday. Let’s see what happens on that one guys. I’m interested real quick Auburn at Florida. Auburn has had some trouble on the road, barely getting by Georgia, barely getting by Missouri. This is a Florida team that desperately needs this game. Yes, Auburn did beat Vanderbilt the other night, but Vanderbilt scored the first 11 points of the game at Auburn, was winning the whole first half. Is this a live dog spot maybe for Florida Saturday afternoon in Gainesville about 90 miles from where I am? Either of you have an opinion on that real quick?

Ian Cameron:

I’m just going to say that it is a game Florida is got to have. I don’t trust Florida to win a big game. I just don’t, I’m sorry, I’m not a big Mike White guy. I think I’m in the same camp as Jeff with that. I think this team is disappointed every time they’ve had a chance to do something big against a good team. I don’t know if I’m going to take Auburn in this spot necessarily either. So this is likely a game I’m passing.

TJ Reeves:

Matt any thought there you want to move along to a mid major game or two?

Matt:

You want me to try and change Ben to believe in Florida? No, thank you. Auburn has had some close games on the road and this is a perfect spot for Florida, they get one but I don’t actually think they’re going to do it.

TJ Reeves:

What do we think the line will be like three or four maybe? Auburn by three or four in the matchup with Florida probably?

Matt:

KenPom has six, then Auburn minus six. That is a little steep but once again if the wrong Florida shows up that’s not steep enough.

TJ Reeves:

A game on Saturday

Ian Cameron:

Torvik almost did minus 3.8 to be exact. Which to me I’d be more interested in Auburn if that’s going to be the number

TJ Reeves:

Alright a mid major game that we are very interested in, Conference USA we haven’t talked a lot about them. Only here and there UAB and North Texas two of the top teams inC-USA both of them are actually departing the conference though coming up two before long but anyway, final year in the conference for them. This one in Birmingham we don’t have a line but North Texas at 12 and one leading their division by a couple of games here over UAB. Guys any thoughts, Major Matt is in the wheelhouse here, what about C-USA?

Matt:

So UAB has won three straight in a series, they beat North Texas 69-63 on the road and a 60 possession game you know UAB wants to get up and down, North Texas is not going to allow it. Last year’s two games were 64 and 57 possessions, that’s the impressive thing about UAB is if they’re not winning these games by their pace they’re winning at North Texas’s pace. But North Texas is just so good when you look at their defense. The problem is also once again a close game. North Texas shooting 62% from the free throw line in Conference USA play, that’s always leery when you’ve got these tight games that makes me want to lean towards the UAB here especially if the spreads tight because North Texas can’t hit free throws late.

TJ Reeves:

Ian quickly because I want to move to a couple more things before we get out of here. Anything else on UAB, North Texas?

Ian Cameron:

Yeah, so tough. I like that North Texas is in revenge for that home loss against UAB. I like that they’re undefeated on the road, they can win in hostile environments, they’ve shown that Grant McCasland has done a phenomenal job. They’re playing terrific defense. I think they could get this one, I’m leaning mean green. I mean they gotten the piece they wanted in the first meeting but, they only shot 27-57 and some turnover issues and missed free throws, that was a bit of an issue. The rebounding battle was a bit of a problem for them. They got a boarded by nine in that game minus nine rebounding margin. Things I think are correctable here for North Texas. I lean to the Mean Green here. UAB by the way has been an over machine and I cashed in over with them and rice last night. 92-68 it was. Conference USA overs guys.

Ian Cameron:

I was on a bunch of these last night, Western Kentucky, Texas San Antonio, Southern Miss which I thought was a little low. There was another one too, Florida International, no that one fell short and then Florida International Middle Tennessee, but there were a couple overs I cashed within that conference and UAB has been trending to the over, they want to get it up and down. Will North Texas let them is the big question.

TJ Reeves:

Matt, real quick. You wanted to say something about North Carolina, Virginia Tech on Saturday that went in Blacksburg, thought real quick.

Matt:

Virginia Tech is a net darling which I don’t understand. Now they are hot right now. They’ve won six straight but their first legitimate win during that stretch was Virginia. The problem here is you’re getting a North Carolina team off again and you get embarassed by Pittsburgh. They’re going to dominate the boards of Kiev, a Illuma gets foul trouble early. That could be a big issue. I think there might be some small value in North Carolina here coming off of a terrible loss against Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech needs a win to stay in tournament contention here but there might be some value with heels in this one.

TJ Reeves:

I’m just going to say just for me watch out Florida State Duke in that same conference for the State won the overtime game the first meeting, Duke has played several narrow games where they’ve lost two of them to Miami in conference play. Last second shot loss to Virginia collapsed the other night and almost got to the game was tied with seconds to go against wait for his keep an eye on Florida State that will probably get a few points in that matchup with Duke and then was there one more Western game I’m just looking at the full slate for Saturday. There’s a bunch of Pac 12 Arizona in Oregon you already touched on were Oregon is in must win mode. [crosstalk 00:45:58]. Anything else? Yeah, go ahead.

Ian Cameron:

But that’s a good West Coast quick scheme. BYU and St. Mary’s. I’m interested in watching that game play out. So I tried taking San Francisco, I thought it was terrific. And they said all the right things, the Dons, we were crushed, losing that game to St. Mary’s, we want this one. And they still couldn’t get it done, and you got to give St Mary’s credit. They made the plays when they had to, every time San Francisco got close, St. Mary’s pulled the lead back out again and got a big win there in that game last night. BYU won the first meeting 52 to 43. Now they got to go into St. Mary’s where St. Mary’s is undefeated in this mirage. Just 14 to know it’s tough to go against them at home their defense is phenomenal. BYU is just so talented, Barcello and company, to John Lucas, that’s a very good basketball team. But boy they’ve had some inconsistencies in their game. St. Mary’s has been so tough at home it would be hard for me to look anything but gales there.

TJ Reeves:

Alright real quick I want to get to your best bets in a second, Memphis and SMU. Speaking of trains getting derailed, Penny Hardaway’s team has won six straight, third straight road game because of the makeup road game was Cincinnati. Any quick thought here? SMU gonna bop Memphis? They’re basically going to put themselves into the tournament conversation now if they win that game Sunday.

Matt:

Well, it all depends on Kendrick Davis is playing because we saw what SMU you look like without him. Their offense just wasn’t very good. Now credit to Temple, Temple plays really good defense and held him to 57 points and a 72 possession game. But you gotta tell me, if Kendrick Davis plays I like SMU at home. They’re really tough at home. If he doesn’t play Memphis has a shot.

TJ Reeves:

Alright, good enough. Gentlemen best bets. Let’s get to that for Friday. Here’s what we’re on for Friday night. For the audience that’s watching us here, Ian again has a bevy of picks I won’t go over all of them but an underdog theme, as you see. And he also has an over total in a big 10 game Matt has one official play, Columbia and Harvard. But you’re going back to that Richmond VCU game and interested maybe in a wager later in the day depending on officiating crew line movement, that kind of thing for Richmond, going to VCU. VCU trying to get the season sweep there in the A 10. I think that’s a full show for Friday. Boys any final thoughts before we’re done for the weekend to be back on Monday? Anything else?

Matt:

Just remember we’re starting to see teams clenching their NIT bars. Vermont was the first one to do so in the America East we may have South Dakota State do so this weekend. Just remember that these teams are playing for NIT bids and so they might give a little extra and also keep your eye on the Oral Roberts team. Who knows if there might be some suspensions after what happened at the end of that game yesterday?

TJ Reeves:

Yeah, a mess at the end of that last night. And again, what you’re pointing out is the regular season champion of conferences guaranteed to go to the NIT, like clinching. And that’s a big deal obviously in the mid major ones. Ian any final thought we got to scoot here in a sec.

Ian Cameron:

Final thought is, I’m looking forward to the weekend. Matt talked about the West Coast Conference. I wanted to echo Portland thoughts briefly. Sean Taylor Hagen’s we saw what he did at Eastern Washington, great job got him into the tournament last year. He had a completely revamped roster. He had nothing to work with going into this season at Portland. Look what he is doing there. They’re playing their best basketball right now. I’m convinced you just ride the pilots now, game in and game out and I’ve started taking them as well the last couple games you’re going to make money with that team. I think you’re going to make money with that team in the WCC tournament as well. I think they could wreak some havoc and make some noise there. And the WCC and the Mountain West, follow these conferences. These are solid conferences this year. There is great races near the top. The people are sleeping on those two conferences.

TJ Reeves:

And in the Mountain West UNLV rematch with Colorado State coming Saturday night. Some people were questioning about Kevin Kruger getting the job because he’s lawn Kruger’s son and being elevated. They’re not questioning any more. They’ve won some key road games including beating Fresno State earlier in the week. Let’s see what they do after they won at Colorado State in that matchup. Guys that’s a full show for Friday, Ian Cameron thank you, Mid Major Matt thank you, and we thank you for watching us on a Friday. Good luck with the bets on Friday and this weekend. Here on the bet US college football odds show. Don’t forget to check our sportsbook.

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