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College Basketball Picks, Predictions & Best NCAA Basketball Betting Odds [Friday, Mar 10th]

TJ Reeves:

Well, hello there and happy Friday. Who’s ready to go as we head into the weekend? Championship week and eventually selection Sunday on Sunday night for the field of 68 to be announced for the 2023 NCAA Tournament. Can’t wait to talk all about it today on the BetUS College Basketball Show. I am the somewhat rested, somewhat capable, somewhat lucid host of the program, TJ Reeves. You’re here for the handicapping of Kyle Hunter and Corbie Craig who are back aboard here as we embark on a Friday with what, like another 70 games of relevance and interest. It is tremendous. It is the mayhem of March and we’re ready to go. Corbie, you’re back aboard after being with us early in the week. How are things and are you buckled up? We’re in here an hour early by the way. Just for you peeps, we’re here an hour early with the advice so the advice, at least for the early games, gets to you quicker. Corbie, how you feeling as we get going early here on a Friday?

Corbie Craig:

Yeah. It’s a Friday. The Blazers play. Listen, I couldn’t ask for much more, so excited for the day. There’s a lot of really good basketball, so should be a really good show. I think we have like nine games to talk about so a lot to dive into.

TJ Reeves:

We have plenty. Kyle Hunter, you and I ironmanned it yesterday. Tag team partners. I think unofficially we talked about 53 different games between you and I on the program yesterday. Thoughts on Thursday? You were one in one on your official plays and we saw some crazy games all the way deep into the night as well last night. Kyle, welcome back. What are your thoughts?

Kyle Hunter:

Yeah. I mean, a fun day of basketball as we expected. Couple bad performances from teams that really needed a good one. North Carolina, I mean, terrible performance from them. Michigan with that second half. Both of those kind of surprised me.

TJ Reeves:

Let’s go right there at both of them. I don’t mean to interrupt just to interrupt, but are both of them out right now-

Kyle Hunter:

I think so.

TJ Reeves:

… because they did not get it done? You think both North Carolina and Michigan will be NIT bound?

Kyle Hunter:

I do. If they take the NIT. I don’t know that especially North Carolina will take the NIT, but bad performances there in must win spots.

TJ Reeves:

No doubt. Corbie Craig, quick opinion. North Carolina lost to Virginia. Michigan awful in the second half. I think you, me, Kyle, Kevin, and another peep out of the chat could have shot better than Michigan in the second half in Chicago. Are they both out right now and sweating it out? They’re on the outside looking in?

Corbie Craig:

Yeah, a hundred percent. I don’t even think it’s close to either of them are out. They both needed those wins, especially North Carolina game was interesting. Vander Plas is out. Like they have to win that game in most cases and they looked miserable, so I don’t think there’s any argument that either of them are in.

TJ Reeves:

Interesting on that. Again, a bevy of games that we’re going to discuss. Get your questions in in the live chat. The audience has regularly been growing, doubling and tripling after the show begins, so I’ll repeat that a couple of times. Get the live questions ready at the end of the slate. We’ll be here for a while here coming your way at 10:00 AM, and even if you’re seeing us us later in the day, we’re typically here at 11:00 AM. We were just here early today at 10:00 AM. 11:00 AM Monday through Friday. However, because of the mayhem today and we don’t know matchups for tomorrow, Kyle and Corbie know this, typically we sit on Friday and discuss some about Saturday. We’re good, but we don’t have the crystal ball on what’s up for Saturday with games being played everywhere on Friday. So, why don’t we come back tomorrow for a show at 11:00 AM tomorrow?

So, I am anxious to be with Corbie and with MidMajorMatt for a special Saturday 11:00 AM edition tomorrow where we’ll know all of these championship game matchups from the Big East to the Pac-12, to the ACC, to the Big 12. All those title game matchups, we will know that for tomorrow’s show to preview it and handicap it for you, so we’re anxious to be here tomorrow. And guys, just a quick thing on my itinerary. My craziness continues. I will work a third conference title game in six days on national radio. I am headed to Atlantic City for the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championship game. That is Saturday night on TuneIn National Radio. Corbie, I will join you and MidMajorMatt from Atlantic City, God willing, tomorrow morning to do the 11:00 AM Eastern time show and then broadcast the championship game. Is that Rick Pitino and Iona? Do they win the semi-final game tonight? Let’s see what happens with all of that.

So, all of that is in the future for Saturday. We are concerned about Friday, so let’s take a look at our records. Let’s see what we have up on the slate and get ready to pick and prognosticate some games for today. You saw a one in one day yesterday for Kyle Hunter who remains above 500. The show remains above 500. Corbie by far did the best of any handicapper. You see him 12 games above 500 for this season, and now we are ready for the avalanche of games here on a Friday. Let’s get to it with some insights, some official plays from the handicappers and much more. Let’s begin in the SEC with your regular season champion Alabama up on the court in Nashville with Mississippi State at noon, local time, 1:00 Eastern time. Alabama, a seven and a half point favorite. They are a prohibitive favorite to be a number one seed in the NCAA Tournament. Our total is 137 and a half. Let’s get the discussion rolling and underway here on the program. Corbie Craig, you’re going to have an official play, so diagnose this one with Alabama and Mississippi State SEC Tournament coming up.

Corbie Craig:

Yeah, I like the over 137 and a half here. Another one of these shows where I just got a lucky number but I took a 136 last night, 137 and a half for this show. It looks like it’s 139 now, so a 139’s pretty tough. I made this 139 so I’ll probably look to jump in live, but the idea here is simple. This number in the season was 142 and a half and 140 when they played. Mississippi State has troubles. They are a very slow team with really good defense, but they have troubles turning Alabama’s offense into a slower paced offense. Most teams do. They played Alabama to 76 possessions in their first matchup and then 68 in the second, which was actually a really good game, went to 129. So, what Alabama are you going to get, and I think that just the recency bias of this Alabama team looking really bad had pushed this number just a bit too low and we’ve seen the market slowly correct up at this point.

I understand the idea that this is a really early game. It’s also in Nashville, which is a place where others seem to thrive, but I’m not buying anything Alabama basically can do as they want. Also, if you’ve watched a Mississippi State game, I really don’t think they’re slow as the numbers been project. 333rd in the nation in tempo. I don’t believe that they really care to do that. Like watching the Texas A&M game for instance, 69-62 in a game. 64 possessions, but most of that was slowed down just to Texas A&M’s Defense and Mississippi State wanting to pass the ball around. I don’t think that they care to be 300th in the nation in offensive tempo. It’s just they look for good shots. So, Alabama’s defense has a lot of flaws. We’ve seen that basically all you’re in and they’re going to run and gun, so this plays towards Mississippi State also running and gunning, and long story short, 137 and a half. Give me some points.

TJ Reeves:

All right. He wants a lot of offense. Kyle, we keep talking about this as a theme. Mississippi State won a hard fought game in overtime with Florida on the floor in Nashville, so they have played a game. Alabama has not played a game on the floor here. How much, if at all, is that an advantage for the Bulldogs? Alabama also, just fruit for consumption here, did beat Mississippi State in a close three point game back in early February at home for whatever that’s worth. It was a game in the 60s. Kyle, some thoughts on all of that. Mississippi State, Alabama coming up.

Kyle Hunter:

Yeah, I agree with A-Train in the chat. I think the seven and a half on Bama is probably going to go up here before tip time as well. This is a game where Alabama is going to push the pace. Mississippi State does slow the game down in general. Mississippi State, hopefully they don’t take too many three. Just a terrible three point shooting team. 27%. This is a Mississippi State team that is at their best if they’re attacking the basket. This is Alabama is a really tough team for me to bet totals on. I’m going to let Corbie make the play on this one because I’ve usually been burnt by Alabama. They play so fast. It depends on if they’re making their threes. I know they don’t shoot as many threes this year as they have in the past.

Alabama is still a good defensive team as well. Bridgestone is a pretty good under arena. I do think this is too low to take an under. The question is whether you pass or take an over. Corbie’s going to take the over this one moving up the way it is. Maybe, like Corbie said, you even want to see if there’s a live number that you get. Maybe they start slow, you take an over, you might get a better number. But I think that this, it’s going to be a good game. It also sets up as a game that at that seven and a half, eight point spread, there could be some fouling late in the game as well.

TJ Reeves:

Just another thing here, a couple of other things. Brandon Miller obviously lottery pick, believed coming up in the NBA draft. He’s in the middle of this murder investigation that’s going on. He answered questions at the SEC Tournament media availability earlier in the week. How will he do in this tournament? Will he come out firing here and be the same player that we’ve seen? Will he end up getting 30, 40 points in this game with Mississippi State? Will he be a bit distracted? It is interesting. One more quick note and then we’ll move on. Alabama in the last four games since all of this has been going on has been losing in the second half of all of them, including the regular season finale loss at Texas A&M. They did lose that game, but even in the other three wins, losing and losing even deep into the second half of all those games.

Is this ripe for Mississippi State? We will see. The only thing Corbie cares about is offense. He says, “Give me a lot of offense.” He will take the over as we lock him in on game number one. He’ll go over 137 and a half for Alabama and the Tide. Again, noon local time, one Eastern time coming up in Nashville. All right. Let’s continue here. Let’s stay with the SEC theme. Tennessee and Missouri also coming up in Nashville here in the matchup. Tennessee on the neutral floor is a five and a half point favorite. 140 and a half is the number for this one, and I’m just double checking, that’s the game up right after the Alabama Mississippi State game that’s up on the floor in the quarter final. Again, the Volunteers come into this one kind of the same situation here where they played on the opening day with Ole Miss. Missouri had the bye. They’ve not yet played in Nashville. Kyle Hunter, I’m right back to you. Give me a thought here on this matchup. This is the second game on the floor in the SEC Tournament for a Friday.

Kyle Hunter:

Yeah, we’re seeing a lot of line moves today. I don’t think that’s too terribly surprising based on the day of the year that it is. These conference Tournaments, we see quite a few moves to the under usually. It’s interesting that the Alabama game was getting bet up. I think that shows that Corbie did get a good number there. It was a good look. And this one, the number is going down. I see 139 and a half, 139 a lot of spots. Now to me, Tennessee, you can’t bet an over at Bridgestone with Tennessee. The question is can you bet an under. Missouri is such a weak defense and a good offense that I hate to bet an under. Tennessee is a tremendous fade in the postseason with Rick Barnes as their coach. I’ve talked about this before. TJ, they are 72 and 105 against the spread with Rick Barnes from game 22 of the season on. Rick Barnes’ teams are that between 22 and 35 game of the season. So, end of the regular season, postseason, straight fade, about 60% just going against Rick Barnes. I have to lean Missouri because of that. Tennessee lost their point guard as well, so this is a Tennessee team that’s not as good as they were earlier this year. Barnes’ teams have not played their best late in the season, so I’m going to look toward Missouri here in this game.

TJ Reeves:

Interesting. Corbie Craig, how about that? Same kind of question here. Vols won a game on this floor. Missouri’s not played as of yet. Nashville about three hours to the west of Knoxville, Tennessee will have a couple of thousand fans at least in the arena on a Friday afternoon for this game. Any thoughts, Corbie Craig, on Tennessee and Missouri. Missouri could use this game on a neutral floor for their at-large case. May or may not be in. This would greatly help them. Thoughts, Corbie?

Corbie Craig:

Yeah, I was really close to playing this. I think I still might on the Tennessee side through the first half. I know Kyle hates Rick Barnes and understandably so, but this is a Tennessee team who’s played on this court already, as TJ mentioned. I think that helps towards the first half side. Also, something I found really interesting that I think is probably the main reason that I see value on this is Zeigler is out for the season. He tore his ACL. He’s out.

TJ Reeves:

Yep.

Corbie Craig:

Tennessee has been better with him off of the floor, which first, like from the eye test I did not believe, and then seeing the numbers, their defense has better numbers than they have more offensive efficiency when he is not on the court. So, does it really hurt them a ton? I don’t know. Also this Missouri matchup they’ve played once this year. They were a 12 and a half point favorite, so now you’re getting basically two, two and a half in the first half. If I can grab a flat two, I’ll be on Tennessee. Missouri in the game, they were 12 and a half point dog shot, 55% from three. I don’t imagine that that happens again. And so Tennessee, they’ve had legs on this court. It wasn’t a close game. They’re not going to be tired. They won 70 to 55. They got basically an extra shoot around, and in the first half I would like to see them come out pretty quick.

TJ Reeves:

Again, Missouri won on the near mid-court shot in Knoxville at the very end, beating Tennessee, stunning them on the last second shot. All right, so here we go. Saturday semi-final spot is up for grabs. Missouri and Tennessee. No official play, but give that stat again, Kyle. From game 22 on in Rick Barnes’ tenure at Tennessee in any given season, what is that stat again against the number?

Kyle Hunter:

It actually is just Rick Barnes. It dates back to him being at Texas. So his teams in general, but it’s 72 and 105 against the spread.

TJ Reeves:

After the 22nd game of the year, which we’re well after that. Man. All right. Let’s see. It’s a March fade situation here and Tennessee is damaged goods without Zeigler. I mean, I know Corbie, you were quoting that stuff, but he’s only been out for a couple of games. They’re damaged without him. Let’s see what happens on the neutral floor with Missouri. Again, thank you for finding us. The live audience continues to grow. We’re here early today at 10:00 AM, typically here at 11:00 AM. Hit that like button, make sure you’re subscribed. If you were subscribed, you knew the show was coming already because you got notified of that. So typically we’re here at 11:00 AM. We will be here at 11:00 AM tomorrow, Saturday. Prior to all these championship games, SEC semi-finals, we will know. There’s a couple of other ones, the Big 10 semi-finals. We will know and we’ll talk about the title games. ACC, Big East, Big 12, Pac-12. Get all the insight and the analysis and the handicapping, Saturday, 11:00 AM right here on BetUS TV and the social platforms through YouTube, through Twitter, through Twitch. We will be with you tomorrow on the program.

All right. Let’s continue. Let’s go to game number three. More handicapping upcoming. Can’t wait for what’s going to take place in a lot of the bigger conferences, but we got a handicapping play in the smaller conferences including the SWAC. This is Texas Southern and Alabama A&M playing an afternoon game on the schedule on the docket. This one at 3:00 Eastern time, 2:00 local time. It is a pick them game. The total 138 and a half for the over under, and Kyle Hunter, I’m back to you. You have locked in on something for a Friday Handicapping play with this one. I’m curious what it is.

Kyle Hunter:

Yeah, bear with me guys. I know this one’s pretty far under the radar compared to a lot of the other ones that we’re talking about, but Texas Southern was the easily picked number one team in the SWAC before the season. They were very disappointing throughout the course of the season. Texas Southern has played better of late. They’ve won four of their last seven games. They just knocked off the number one seed in Alcorn State. Now they play Alabama State. The thing about this that I like is Texas Southern really tested themselves in the non-conference. While they were playing Houston, Auburn, Kansas, Texas Tech, teams like that, Alabama A&M was playing Tennessee State, Sanford, Norfolk State, not nearly the tough schedule that Texas Southern played. Texas Southern has the better talent. They’re rounding into form.

I think the SWAC is one of those conferences where there’s so much inconsistency that we really want teams with the highest upside come this time of the year. Now, they’ve been inconsistent and maybe they don’t play their best basketball here, but at pick them I have to take Texas Southern because they’re the more talented team. They come into this game with that momentum, like I said. Alabama A&M has to force a lot of turnovers and get quick scores because they’re not good at all on the half court on offense, so if Texas Southern can take care of the basketball at least relatively well here, I think this is a good spot for them. We’ve seen Texas Southern have success here after year. They’ve been in the NCAA Tournament a lot. Alabama A&M has not. I think this is a good spot here at just pick them. Usually you would be laying several points with Texas Southern in the NCAA Tournament or trying to get to the NCAA Tournament. So, here I think we have a cheaper price on a team that’s a more talented team, so I’m going to take Texas Southern.

TJ Reeves:

Okay. Corbie Craig, we talked a lot about the state of Alabama. Even though this is a neutral floor game, it’s on the UAB Campus, Bartow Arena, neutral floor for this afternoon. Any thought on Kyle’s play? Texas Southern, Alabama A&M? Any thought also on the total Corbie real quick?

Corbie Craig:

Yeah, I’m not going to lie. I live two minutes from Bartow. I did not know this was here. So, don’t worry about fans. Don’t worry about fans at all. They will not be in attendance.

TJ Reeves:

The SWAC needed to do a little better job of local promotion. You’re just saying. Just saying on Friday.

Corbie Craig:

There will not be fans in the stadium, so don’t worry too much about that. But, yeah, I’ve watched this Alabama A&M enough for God knows why. I think Garrett Hicks is a really good point guard. He’s kind of transitioned into less of a point guard, more of just like a facilitator. He’s one of the lowest turnover rates in the nation, so I do like Gary Hicks and they have a seven foot center. The issue is that’s basically it, because Alabama A&M’S really beat up and injured. They have two pieces out that bring a heavy part of their offensive efficiency, so Texas Southern the more rounded team and looking really well. That Alcorn Stadium game was a really good basketball game. They lost to Alcorn just a couple days ago. They lost to Prairie View who’s a really good basketball team relative to the schedule by four. So, you’re talking about a team that continues to fight with really good basketball teams, and Alabama A&M Beat a Southern team who is the most inconsistent team I’ve ever watched play basketball, so I’m not putting too much weight on that 14 point win to start conference play and would agree Texas Southern is probably the side here.

TJ Reeves:

All right, so this is a little strange. I just looked it up and we will, I believe… I’m just looking on the slate. We’re talking about a bunch of games. We’re not talking about the other one. The second semi-final is not until 8:30 tonight, and that’s interesting. The first semi-final’s at 2:00 at the Bartow Arena. The second semi-final is tonight at 8:30 with Grambling and Jackson State in the SWAC semi-finals. Again, an automatic bid up for grabs. Again, Kyle Hunter has the play. The play is Texas Southern officially on the side. A pick them game here. He just wants him to win. That’s it in the semi-finals with Alabama and A&M in the SWAC Tournament for a Friday afternoon. Again, thank you for finding us. We see massive live audience. I saw our buddy MidMajorMatt put the comment in there that there’s not a Toledo game up on the slate there for the MAC semi-finals, a Mid-America Conference, so we might get a thought from him in the chat on that if he wants to give us one on a Toledo play. They were playing at the time, Kyle, we were on the air yesterday and rocked and rolled in the quarter final matchup.

So in any event, you see our slate. Thank you for finding us. Hit the like button. Get the questions and answers going. Now Corbie Craig’s about to smile with the next game we go to. Frisco, Texas. Here we go with UAB and North Texas. This is a semi-final game in the Conference USA Tournament. Both of these teams, by the way, leaving the conference to go to the American Conference after this year. For next year, they’ll be in the American with the likes of Memphis and USF and the other teams that are going to be around in the American. Remaining East Carolina, Tulane, et cetera. All right. It is a one point short favorite situation for North Texas. Our total is 124. This is being played at the Dallas Cowboys practice facility, the Star in Frisco, Texas. Guys, as you know, I worked this game a year ago on national radio when UAB won the Tournament, won the title game on this floor. A lot of the same players back. Corbie Craig, I think I know where you’re going. Make it official here. Blazers, North Texas Conference USA semi-final.

Corbie Craig:

See, when I talk about UAB, a lot of people are worried about bias this, bias that, and I understand, but if I was biased I would’ve chose the Blazers outright here, right? It would make a lot of sense. I’m a Blazer guy. I think they’re going to win. But I’m not. I’m going to talk about the over 124, and there’s a couple reasons. So first off, Tylor Perry won Conference USA player of the year. Jelly felt like he was snubbed. He talked about it on all of his social medias. He really thought that he deserved that, which I thought was kind of weird, but at the same time, I mean, we’ve seen what it’s done since last game. He had a fire under his tail, and now getting to guard Tyler Perry, I imagine that he wants to score a hundred if he could, and so that’s the first notion here.

The second one being that in the last game versus Rice, Kennedy’s trying to pull out all the players and Trey Jemison comes up limping. He had, it looked like a knee injury but it was just a hamstring. It was just a cramp. But so if he’s not a hundred percent, that kills defense. He’s the seven foot center that we need down low defensively. North Texas has plenty of bigs to be able to score on a hurt Trey in most cases. But the main thing here is this number was 127 and a half in both matchups this year. The first one we didn’t have Jelly, so why is it a 127, or why is it lower now that we bring Jelly back? The second one was at North Texas. So, you’re talking about two games where the situation is probably worse for a total and yet you’re getting a number three points slower. So, I like UAB to be able to set their own pace. If they set their own pace, I think we can all agree this goes way well over 124. [inaudible 00:23:58].

TJ Reeves:

The chat is all over you, by the way, just so you know-

Corbie Craig:

[inaudible 00:24:04]. For good reason.

TJ Reeves:

… right now while you’re going on and on about UAB. But finish up. Finish up on the total.

Corbie Craig:

Yeah. So if this pace is set by UAB, 39th in the nation, I think we agree that it goes over 124. That makes the most sense. They’ve scored 70 plus in 11 straight games. If this pace is set by North Texas for some reason, it becomes a foul fest at the end in a game that’s a really close game because that’s how they want to play, it has a chance to squeak past 124. So I think in most every case it makes more sense to play the total here than UAB side though obviously the Blazer’s going to win outright and we’re making it to March, so give me the blazers points, however you want it. I’ll take all of it.

TJ Reeves:

And as Corbie mentioned, the most recent matchup was in Denton, Texas early on in the month for whatever that’s worth and it was an 82-79 game. Corbie, was that an overtime game, or that was regulation 82-

Corbie Craig:

Yeah, double overtime.

TJ Reeves:

Double overtime that it got to 82-79. Kyle Hunter, any thoughts here on UAB, the defending Conference Tournament Champion semi-final game, Frisco, Texas, Friday afternoon?

Kyle Hunter:

In general, I don’t like North Texas overs for obvious reasons because they play so slow. Mark was asking what I had this total at. 125 and a half, so I’m even a little bit over this as well. I would’ve thought if you tell me North Texas involved that I would want to bet an under, but 124 is super low, especially because North Texas’s offense is really not that bad either in the Conference. 1.1 points per possession, so even if the game is played slow, I think North Texas can score. UAB, Walker is playing really well here of late like Corbie said. He was excellent in last night’s game. This is a UAB team that’s going to try to push the pace, certainly. If UAB gets ahead, they’re not going to slow down quickly. I mean, if it’s late in the game they probably will. But in this one I think we see good enough efficiency that 124 is pretty low. The only concern is this is an under venue. I mean, this has been good under venue in the past. TJ, you’ve been there. You know it’s not exactly a normal setup for basketball. Having said that-

TJ Reeves:

Just to talk about that, what they do is they use both halves of the practice football field lengthwise, they put a curtain down the middle and the women’s Tournament plays on one half of the field, the men’s on the other. They put temporary stands in on one side with the permanent stands. So it is kind of intimate, but it’s also weird because at the one end you’re looking literally at a curtain when you’re shooting and at the other end you’re kind of looking at stands at the one end of the facility, so it is weird. In terms of an environment, it’s intimate. It can be loud though in there as well. The sound really reverberates in there. So if UAB Corbie gets it going, and North Texas is not far away. Denton not far away from Frisco. North Texas will easily have probably close to a thousand fans in there, maybe more to make some noise. So Kyle, just to follow up on what you were saying, there’s a little bit on the atmosphere. Finish up there.

Kyle Hunter:

Well, TJ, I’ll ask this. You can probably hear cheering from the other games going on, right? So you kind of hear cheering from the game that-

TJ Reeves:

Well, it’s weird because they try not to overlap it by the time you get to now, but if the game runs long, the other team starts warming up and they’re trying to play music while that’s going. It’s weird. It is a weird setup with the curtain down the middle. So yes, you can.

Kyle Hunter:

Yeah, that’s an interesting setup. I mean, it’s worked out pretty well for them. I remember when I heard that they were going to do that, I thought it was a super weird way to go about it, but I mean, they’ve made it work pretty well. In this game, I think this is kind of a coin flip game. That’s what the odds makers are saying. Obviously Corbie’s rooting big for UAB. If UAB wins this one, I would assume… So, UAB or North Texas would probably be an underdog to Florida Atlantic but not significantly. I think either of these teams could win the tournament pretty easily. This should be a great game. I’m looking forward to watching this one myself and I’m going to root for Corbie’s over.

TJ Reeves:

All right. Again, the winner gets the winner, as Kyle just mentioned, of FAU, the regular season champs in Middle, Tennessee. They’re up at 11:30 local time, 12:30 Eastern time. First on the floor. The second game on the floor is UAB and North Texas and Corbie Craig says, “I see over in the future here.” Over 124, we lock him in on that play. We continue on a Friday. Live audience continues to grow. Hit that like button. Hit subscribe. Again, we’re here typically at 11:00 AM. We’ll be here at 11:00 AM on Saturday. We’re back at 11:00 AM on Monday and we’ll have a bracket Monday to go over for the 2023 big dance, and will one of these teams ultimately be the Big East champion before it’s all said and done?

Semi-final tonight, Madison Square Garden, Yukon and Marquette is up next for discussion. Yukon favored by three and a half on the floor. Yukon had a huge lead against Providence, saw it dwindle down, but eventually won the game by seven. Marquette had to escape down by double figures against St. John’s. Down even late. Came back, got the game tied, the game goes into overtime, Marquette wins. All right. So, here’s the matchup for a Friday night in the Big East semi-finals. Total 147 in this one. Kyle Hunter, you have an official play. I’m curious about what that is for Big East semi-final action tonight.

Kyle Hunter:

Yeah. I’m sure if you guys listened to yesterday, you probably have a decent guess as to where I’m going with this one, but I’m going to take the first half under here. This is Madison Square Garden. This has been a tremendous angle. I’m going to read it off again because I think it bears repeating. The first half under in Madison Square Garden games, college basketball games obviously, 183 and 124. 59.6%. This dates back to 2011. So, this is a winning angle for over a decade. Almost every single year it’s won. 11 and 5 under so far this year, first half games. This is a Tournament where you’ve seen a lot of low first halfs. We saw Villanova last night have a really low first half. That second half, they went crazy. I think there were 50 points in the last six minutes of the Villanova, Creighton game.

I think in a game like this, there’s obviously the possibility of even an overtime or a foul fest late, so I’d like to avoid that. This is two teams who are very competitive. Marquette saw a really lower game than what you would’ve expected yesterday against St. John’s. Yukon, a good defensive team every year with Hurley as their coach. 59.6% over a decade. I think that’s such a strong angle I have to look that way to start with, and I do think that this number is pretty good here to take a first half under here in this game.

TJ Reeves:

All right. Just for the benefit of what your play is, Marquette had 26 points down, 10 at the half, 36-26 on Thursday afternoon. Yukon had 35 points in the first half and led Providence by 16. 35 to 19 at halftime. All right. There’s a lot of talk on the first half total. Corbie, any thought on a side or the overall game total, Yukon, Marquette in New York tonight?

Corbie Craig:

Yeah, I was looking towards backing Yukon. I’ve talked about this a couple times on the show, but I just really hate fading Shaka Smart. I think Shaka Smart’s one of the coaches that I give the most praise to. He is one of the best adjusters that I’ve watched in a minute. To Kyle’s point, this St. John game went, what, 142 in overtime on 83 possessions. I think that the venue has a lot to do with that, but also at the same time, St John’s, they had to play twice in a row. They played March 4th and March 9th, so that’s always a good spot to back the under. If you’re going to back an under, I like the first half look due to the idea that it’s probably going to be [inaudible 00:31:59] at the end of the game, and the game is going to be a really good basketball game.

I just like the idea of backing a Yukon team who’s been pressed and looks like they’re not… Like we talked so good about this Yukon team all year and probably too much so, and then there’s this point where they just couldn’t win a game. Talked about how Yukon probably wasn’t as good as they were, and I think you’re getting a number that likely shows that the market doesn’t love them as much as they probably should at this point. They looked really good yesterday, and so they have a good basketball team, they have all year, and they went through a slump. But I made this five and a half. I would lean towards Yukon. I like the idea of the first half under, but Yukon would be my side, and really hate fading Shaka Smart there.

TJ Reeves:

All right. So the official play belongs to Kyle Hunter. It’s a first half under, under 69 for Yukon and Marquette. You see on our slate we’ll talk about the other Big East semi-final in a bit for Creighton and Xavier. Let’s move along. We’re buzzing along. Yes, it was an ugly game. We see you there, Lee. It was an ugly game for a lot of that game and Marquette was able to escape in that one. All right. Let’s move along to the ACC. Very intriguing here. Off of a narrow win by Miami over Wake Forest by two, Duke just pummeled pit on Thursday, so both of these teams now in a semi-final matchup off the double bye. They both won. They both now play each other. They split in the regular season. Duke favored by two and a half against Miami on the neutral floor in this matchup and a total at 145 for tonight in Greensboro in the first semi-final here. All right, Corbie Craig, I’m right back to you. Duke looks like they’re coming on with the way they’ve played at the end of the regular season. Beat North Carolina decisively in Chapel Hill to end the regular season. Looked very impressive against Pitt. A thought on the matchup with Miami. I know you’ve been big on Miami all year long. What is the thought here?

Corbie Craig:

Yeah. I think nobody would argue the fact that Duke has a talent output. They’ve looked rough at times, rough around the edges, but they have the talent output. I love Miami but at the same time I think we’ve seen their ceiling basically all year. They’ve played really good basketball all year. Both of these teams being off games, I don’t look too much in the 96 point performance from Duke. They could not miss a shot to save their life. Also, I just don’t think Pitt’s defense is that amazing. Miami off of a really tough game versus Wake Forest. I’m looking towards the first half under here. I haven’t bet it yet, but once… It’s at 68 and a half.

Duke wants to slow this thing down. Miami off a tough game. I think they have the talent output to stay in front of Miami. That said, Miami blew them out out of the doors last game, 81-59, so probably is in the back of Duke’s mind and know that they need to get this done early and not let this get ugly. Duke won the first match up by two, so I think it’s going to be a really good basketball game. Four and under. I lean towards the first half because the full game, assuming this is going to be close, you’re going to get fouls and both teams have shooters that that will hit their free throws end the game, so give me the first half under at 68 and a half if anything.

TJ Reeves:

All right. Fascinating one here. Kyle Hunter, a thought or two. Lee there chiming in about the Duke defense. Filipowski even got hurt, the seven foot potential first round NBA pick got hurt early on in the game and it didn’t matter. They broke out like 11 nothing on pit. They never looked back in that matchup. Miami did blast this Duke team in the rematch. Duke won narrowly at home. Miami clobbered them in Coral Gables for whatever that’s worth. Now on a neutral floor. Kyle, some thoughts. Friday night, ACC semi-final, Duke, Miami.

Kyle Hunter:

Oh, I think it’s pretty interesting you have a total set this high based on both regular season games were played pretty slow. 63 possessions and 69 possessions, at least relatively slow from Miami. Both games went under this total by a decent amount. I would probably bet under if I had to bet this game. I kind of like Corbie’s thoughts there on a first half under. This is a Miami team that’s been very good all year. Duke’s upside is probably higher than Miami’s upside and that’s what you’ve got here with the line. Filipowski was injured there yesterday. He’s probably their best player. I think he’s going to play here today, but hopefully he’s not hampered too much in this one. Duke’s really good on the offensive boards. I think that’s something to watch here is can Miami get those defensive rebounds, because Duke’s getting a lot of second chances. That’s really helping them.

Like Corbie said yesterday, they didn’t even need the second chances. They weren’t missing any of their shots anyway, so crazy stuff. Not a great look for Pitt to end the season either. I saw they lost like 11 spots in Ken Palm’s rankings yesterday alone. I think they probably still make the Tournament, but that’s not a great final closing argument, we’ll say. I think Duke with the upside would probably be the way I would lean in this game. Not knowing Filipowski’s exact injury and if he’ll be 100% worries me just a bit. I think the under is probably my strongest lean here in this game.

TJ Reeves:

Again, Filipowski only played 16 minutes after the injury, but he still got to 22 points because he hit a bunch of three pointers as well, for whatever it’s worth. And again, I realize youth is a big thing. Corbie’s a lot younger than what I am. Youth is a big thing on being able to recover or whatever, but sometimes the ankle swells. You got to deal with that. How effective will he be tonight? He’s going to play, but how effective will Filipowski be? Will that matter? Let’s see what happens with Duke tonight. As for Pitt, and again, there’s not an official play on this game. Again, Duke is the short favorite at home, or I’m sorry, on the neutral floor in Greensboro, and will it be a home away from home situation for Duke? Will they have 8,000, 10,000 people in the arena in Greensboro? Maybe on a Friday night for this matchup. Let’s see.

One other interesting thing about Pitt. You were talking about them off the loss. They’re now 67 in the net ranking. Here we go again. We’ll talk about this a little more also tomorrow. How much will the committee look at that number? It’s not the be all, end all number. Again, worth noting a couple of years ago while we talk about this, they took a Rutgers team at large that was 77 in the net. So just because you have a net ranking below let’s say 50, that doesn’t automatically exclude you. Now if your net ranking, you guys know this, I’m just saying for the audience, if your net ranking is 90 or 103, you’re not getting in. But you could make an argument for Pitt with some of their wins in the ACC, and they’ve even got an out of conference win that maybe they’re in, but their last impression is getting blown out by Duke yesterday, so let’s see what happens on that.

All right. Let’s move on out of the ACC. We continue hopping all over the place. We’re going to get to your live questions and answers coming up here for a Friday. Let’s continue with the Big 12 now. Iowa State and Kansas. Once again, the big storyline, this was breaking as Kyle and I came on the air yesterday for the afternoon game with the Jayhawks to open up the tournament, that Bill Self now it’s been announced Kyle will not coach the entire Big 12 Tournament with whatever is wrong. The university has confirmed it was not a heart attack, but they’re not being more specific on what it was. He is being treated at the university’s hospital and so the biggest update is he is not going to coach the games this weekend and it’s uncertain if and when he would coach again for the NCAA Tournament for whatever’s going on.

So, we wish Bill Self well. His Kansas team played well in his absence. Iowa State played very well in a back and forth game with Baylor. All right. So Kansas is a four and a half point favorite in this matchup. Let’s get into it here with a total of 130 in the matchup. Corbie Craig, give me a thought here to start this. With Kansas without their coach, but they did lock in and play well in game number one in the Big 12 Tournament yesterday.

Corbie Craig:

Yeah, give me Kansas four and a half. Listen, I can say enough bad things about this Iowa State team, but first let me start. The biggest thing here is I really hope McCullar is back and looking like himself. He played last game, but he didn’t play last game. He scored three points. He had rebounds, he had significant rebounds, but he’s having back issues and so hopefully a day just moving around. He played 26 minutes, so not too heavy of a weight and he’ll be back into his full scheme and routine. I bet this Kansas game last time they played Iowa State and we came back on the show after Iowa State beat him and said Iowa State’s the team that gives Kansas issues because they want to play aggressive bully ball down low. But I just, listen, they lost Caleb Grill. I’m just not buying the rotation this Iowa State team has.

I bet Baylor live yesterday, so call me a hater because I’ve been wrong a few times at this point. But they’re rotating in, what, 8, 9, 10 guys and I don’t think that that 10th guy can match up with the sixth, seventh, eighth guy of Kansas by any means. Four and a half. I really wanted a four, but four and a half is fine. I think this Kansas team is probably top three best teams of the nation and we see that here without their coach. They played really well yesterday without him. I think it spoke a testament to the people that they have on their team and the leaders that they have, even being so young. McCullar’s a senior, Jalen Wilson a junior. They have the pieces to step up and you’re not talking about a coaching staff behind Self that’s just nobody. They look plenty fine and I think there’s probably too much weight on Self being out. Give me Kansas.

TJ Reeves:

Again, Norm Roberts coach at the beginning of the year when Bill Self was suspended for the first four games of the season for the whole NCAA flap. Norm Roberts a former coach at St. John’s, to Corbie’s Point about hanging in there. All right. Jalen Wilson had 22 in the opening game yesterday. Meantime, for Iowa State, Kalscheur had 24 in the win over Baylor. They came from behind in the second half to win it. Iowa State, Kansas. A thought real quick, Kyle Hunter, on this one? Big 12 semi-final game.

Kyle Hunter:

Yeah, I like Kansas in this one too. I agree with Corbie. Hopefully there’s not any big Iowa State fans here tuned in because I kind of think Iowa state’s overrated too. This is a team that plays hard. They’re very physical. I just don’t think their upside’s as high as some people would think. Also, they’re away from home rating so far this year was really low. Obviously they have a great home court advantage. Not playing at home here, clearly. They played great yesterday. Can they do it again? Kansas played the toughest schedule in the country. Iowa State obviously played a good schedule as well.

I think Kansas remembers that game pretty well. They lost by 15 points and I think that kind of motivation with this good of a team with the much higher upside I think is a pretty good thing. Kansas passes the ball really well. I’ve been impressed with the way they share the basketball. Their assist to field goal made rate is 14th highest in the country. You can see that play out just watching their games. All the veteran guys are very good passers. Obviously it helps having Gradey Dick out there shooting 41% from three as well. Jalen Wilson is fantastic. I like Kansas here. I think this is a good bet.

TJ Reeves:

Lot of back and forth.

Corbie Craig:

[inaudible 00:43:04], TJ.

TJ Reeves:

Yeah, go ahead, Corbie. Lot of back and forth in the chat about this game. Go ahead, Corbie.

Corbie Craig:

Yeah. So Iowa State labeled as a five seed currently. If they’re a five seed, they will match up versus the projected 12 seeds currently are Oral Roberts, who I think will beat Iowa State. I will take that 12-5 matchup. Charleston and VCU and then the fourth in Utah Valley, but I think they beat Utah Valley. VCU, Charleston and Oral Roberts give Iowa State hell and I would look for a 12 upset there in basically every case.

TJ Reeves:

Interesting. All right. We’ll see what happens in this one. I do find it fascinating. Here we go back to the net ranking, the whole quad one thing. Is there another game today? Kansas has got 16 quad one wins, more than anybody. Iowa State’s got 10 of them because it’s the Big 12. Is there another game with 26 combined quad one wins? That’s a pretty impressive resume between these two teams. Let’s see what happens in the semi-final coming up in Kansas City. Only about 30 minutes from the Lawrence, Kansas campus. Will Kansas have a good 12,000, 15,000 people in the building? Probably. Let’s see what happens on Friday night in this matchup in the Big 12. A couple of games to go. We’re coming to your Q&A. We’ll cover some more games before we’re done as we came your way early here before the noon and 1:00 eastern time games get underway on a Friday. Again, an avalanche as I keep saying of games to get to and we’re covering a lot of them.

All right. Back to the Big East. Back to Madison Square Garden in the second semi-final. This is Creighton and Xavier where Xavier had to come from behind to beat DePaul, losing a lot of the game. DePaul played valiantly. Xavier came back and beat them. Creighton really manhandled Villanova for a lot of the game. Looked very impressive. So, Creighton laying three and a half on the garden neutral floor. 153 is our total for this matchup here this evening. All right. Let’s begin the conversation with Kyle Hunter. A thought here on Creighton and Xavier in the second semi-final. The winner gets the winner of Yukon and Marquette. Kyle.

Kyle Hunter:

Yeah, I think Xavier did not play very well at all in that game. DePaul was getting some really good shots. Xavier plays like they did yesterday, they’re going to lose this game and Creighton would likely cover. Who gets the pace they want. Xavier wants to run a lot. I think Creighton wants a more average tempo. I like Creighton overall as a team much better. I think their balance is such that they have a lot more potential to make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament than it does a team like Xavier. You might guess that I have a lean on the first half under. You’d be correct on that. I think that’s probably a decent look in a game like this. This is one of those games though that could see some scoring in bunches, so I would think that might come later in the game, especially if we see fouling at the end of the game. One thing that’s good about Creighton is they’re very good at defensive rebounding and they’re second in the nation at defending without fouling. So, I like Creighton as a team. I think they’re a pretty decent team to bet futures on here before you get to the NCAA Tournament. Kalkbrenner really gives them a difference maker inside, and if Baylor Scheierman’s shooting like he was last night, this team’s really dangerous, so I’m going to lean Creighton and first half under here.

TJ Reeves:

Like that. Kind of saw that coming. Interesting here, Corbie Craig, again that Creighton is vying if they get a win to be in the Big East Championship game, the tournament championship game for the third straight year. They lost to Villanova a year ago. They lost to Georgetown in an upset when Georgetown had a losing record. No fans in the building, March of 2021. So, Creighton’s trying to be back there for a third time. Xavier with Sean Miller back now as their coach trying to get into the Big East Championship game. Thought, Corbie Craig, on this one.

Corbie Craig:

Yeah. Xavier’s a really good team. My biggest issue with backing Creighton, and I do like Creighton on the side, but my biggest issue is they’re a three point shooting team. 66th in the nation in percent of points from three playing in Madison Square Garden. So does that affect them, the deep ball? Obviously it’s harder to shoot in an environment you’re not used to. Xavier much more ground and pound in the paint kind of team. But they just scored 87 versus a really good Villanova defense, so I don’t put too much weight on it. I really hate fading Sean Miller. I don’t like going against these good coaches in Shaka Smart, Sean Miller, Bill Self, these type of coaches overall.

But I would lean towards Creighton. I agree with Kyle. Creighton is a team that I’ve probably undervalued all year. I did not pick up futures on them. I still don’t think that they have the core to win a championship, but they are a really dangerous team, a team that definitely can beat Xavier more times than not. So, give me Creighton. I don’t really love it, but I think that the first half under, as Kyle keeps alluding to, is probably the side here.

TJ Reeves:

All right. Good enough on that without an official play in the second Big East semi-final. Guys, we came on an hour early and a lot of people are now going to start finding us here probably in a few minutes, looking for the show to be live at 11:00. We came on an hour early. We have blown away the live audience record for the entire season, so I want to do a little of experiment. Before we get to the Q&A, before we get to the Q&A. Everybody that’s watching us right now, not only hit the like button, but if everybody shares the show out, can the live audience record soar even more with live viewers? That will happen with your help. You see that on the screen. So take a second right now and share out socially that you’re watching this show. I want to see in the experiment if the live audience will grow 200 more, 400 more because you’re sharing it out. Maybe even more than that.

So, we have blown away the live audience record already. Let’s see if it continues, and we’re coming to your Q&A and we’ll have that for a few minutes here coming up. One more game for official discussion as well, and this is back to the Big 12. This is TCU and Texas on the neutral floor in Kansas City. Both of these teams having played on Thursday, both obviously victorious. Texas, the short favorite lane, two and a half, total 147 in this matchup. Texas won in the afternoon over Oklahoma State. Never really challenged. Impressive for the job that they have done since the firing of Chris Beard earlier in the year. TCU equally as impressive. Kyle, we had some questions about them but they put it on Kansas State, outscoring them 43-35 in the second half. O’Bannon had 22 for TCU. They won the last game of the night last night over Kansas State. All right. So, here we go with the matchup on the neutral floor. Total 147. Kyle Hunter, begin with a thought here if you would.

Kyle Hunter:

I think this is a tough game to handicap. Texas is the more talented team. TCU had more talent than did Kansas State even without Lampkin. They can’t really out talent Texas in a game like this, so I think this says more about where they’re at. I like TCU a lot with Miles. I think their upside’s high, certainly. And this one, I think it’s kind of surprising the line’s only two and a half. It shows a lot of respect for TCU. This game should be played fast. Both these teams really want to get up and down. The question is whether they can be efficient enough. I guess I would lean to the over thinking the tempo will be quick enough that this one could get over the total. I also think both teams are pretty good at getting to the line, so we could see quite a few free throws in a game like this. For the course of the season, TCU’s been great at getting second chances. Just the question is, can they get as many second chances without Lampkin? To me, I would lean Texas at this number, lean the over. I think I like the over a bit better, but I think this is a difficult game to handicap, so I don’t think this is one that I’ll be betting personally.

TJ Reeves:

Corbie Craig, thoughts on this? I’m just scanning back on when the last time they played. TCU won the game about a week and a half ago at home with the Longhorns by two and a game in the seventies, 75-73. Any thought on the neutral floor semi-final Big 12 Tournament?

Corbie Craig:

Yeah, it doesn’t happen much and I’m glad that it’s a lean, but I disagree to the over. I like the first half under. Towards a full game I would still kind of lean towards a neutral, maybe an under, but not as much. First half, I like this under a lot. This Texas, TCU matchup that I’ve bet the under both times this year. They were 151 and 152 I believe off the top of my head. Both played fast. Both I believe went under the first game, or the most recent game I know went under after it was like 170 live at one point. The issue here is Lampkin out, plus Timmy Allen was hurt. I don’t know his status. I need to look into that. But the matchup as well. The guard play matches up well against each other and this is all an idea and a theory that Texas isn’t as fast as we’ve seen basically all year.

Oh, and though they continue to do it and it’s at the end of the year, so I am wrong, I still completely from an eyeball test don’t think that Texas wants to be 40th in the nation in offensive possession link. They have really good defense that opens into transition buckets and TCU has the guard play to stop those buckets. Mike Miles is a very good defender, so I think that we see a lot of plays slow down, a lot less bully ball inside and a lot less free throws early in the game. Late in the game, I’m sure they’re going to come, so a first half under I lean and I like that spot a good bit.

TJ Reeves:

Again, for what it’s worth, in the semi-final games, Texas played a game with 108 points total, right? I got public school education. 61-47 is 108 points in the win over Oklahoma State. Meanwhile, TCU played a game with 147 points against Kansas State for whatever it’s worth for the totals on this same floor in Kansas City. Winner goes to the Big 12 title game, TCU and Texas, so no official play there as of yet. All right. We’re getting ready to go to the Q&A. I’m reloading to see how much live audience has grown since I asked for everybody to share it out. Again, if you haven’t done it, share the show out. Let everybody know that you’re watching us live here on a Friday. There’s massive interest obviously in these games and I see that live number growing even more.

Here we go with live questions. Let’s get into it here for a Friday for everything we haven’t covered. We haven’t really talked a lot of western basketball by the way, so we’re going to do that in the Q&A here in a couple of moments. Let’s get into it though with the live questions and what you folks want here. Speaking of the western basketball court, 1024 is watching. He says, “Give me some thoughts on UCLA, Oregon and the under. 134 and a half. Important game. Slow tempo.” He thinks that equals the under. All right, Kyle Hunter, you seem to specialize in the unders and the neutral floor. Any thought on this Pac-12?

Kyle Hunter:

Yeah, I mean this is a court where it’s not really great for unders out there in Vegas. I think there’s been more overs than there have been unders here. The generous rims here have made a difference. Having said that, I would lean under. I guess the only question is Jalen Clark being out. He’s a pretty good defender. Definitely makes a difference there for UCLA. I kind of lean toward Oregon plus the points. I think UCLA will win here, but Altman’s a really good coach. I think they can at least stay in this game. Oregon has at least an argument to be in the NCAA Tournament. Now if you listen to Bill Walton, they’re like flatly in the thing. Washington State’s in the tournament, according to Bill Walton.

TJ Reeves:

Right. According to him, no. I don’t think it’s there for Oregon or for Washington state if they don’t win the tournament.

Kyle Hunter:

No, I don’t mean they’re not-

TJ Reeves:

They got to win the automatic bid. Yes.

Kyle Hunter:

I would agree with an under lien on this game. I don’t know if I can pull the trigger or not. I think that Clark, I want to see how they play defensively without him for another day, but that would be my lean would be the under.

TJ Reeves:

And yes chat, before you kill me, I’m aware that Oregon beat Washington State, so Washington State can’t win the tournament. Oregon can still win the tournament and Arizona State did beat USC late night last night in Las Vegas. That helps their at-large case. They could really help themselves with a semi-final win in this tournament. But we’re back to UCLA, Oregon. Corbie Craig, any quick thought here, Pac-12 semi-final in Vegas?

Corbie Craig:

Yeah, I don’t think that I have Oregon in. Yeah, they’re the first one out on my list, so them and then Nevada. But yeah, I think Oregon has a pretty good basketball team. Obviously this game means more to them. The issue here is I really like this UCLA team. I have totals or futures all over this team and numbers all over from November to yesterday. The issue is Jalen Clark being out. Those really hurt. So, I think that though UCLA’s in trouble and they see some injuries, I think that they take these games a bit more serious to try to find their groove and their momentum heading into what actually matters and try to find a scheme. Like if you’ve ever played basketball, you lose one of your significant players, you have to find a completely different means of playing basketball because they’re so used to leaning on Clark. There are guys that can fill in. UCLA has plenty of talent. But they take these games more serious and then you saw that in the 80 point win versus Colorado. At the end ,they take this game pretty serious. I would lean towards an over just due to the fact that Clark’s defense will be missed, but I don’t think that you see a lack of offense to slow down because they need to play as good as they can so that they can find their groove headed into March Madness.

TJ Reeves:

All right. Arizona, Arizona State will rematch in the other semi-final late night on Friday night. Of course, Arizona State won on the 60 foot shot at the McKale Center back about a week ago. They helped themselves by beating USC. The Sun Devils can really help themselves by beating Arizona. We’ll see what happens. And now do you guys have any quick thought while I’m there on that one? That’s Arizona favored by seven and a half, by the way, on the opening line that I see from BetUs. Any quick thought on Arizona, Arizona State before we move off real quick?

Corbie Craig:

I think seven and a half is probably right. I would take a six for Arizona. Maybe if somebody’s feeling crazy at Arizona, [inaudible 00:56:50]. I don’t think that they lose this game. I’m not insanely high on Arizona State.

TJ Reeves:

All right.

Corbie Craig:

Granted, I had them losing to USC, so I’ll probably-

TJ Reeves:

They played well. They played well beginning to end in that game for what it’s worth with USC last night. Kyle, anything real quick there or you want to move on?

Kyle Hunter:

I was surprised by Arizona State winning that game last night. Full transparency. I bet USC live at a pretty nice plus money price in the first half thinking that they probably come back. Peterson looked pretty hurt in that game for USC. He didn’t look good at all. Arizona State did kind of give them a chance at the end of the game, but I mean, as Arizona State won on the half court shot, I think Arizona’s going to remember that pretty well. Arizona has the much higher upside. If I had to bet a side there, I’d bet Arizona.

TJ Reeves:

Quickly, a couple of more live questions. Let’s get those in. A-Train 33 says, “Thoughts on Ohio State, Michigan State,” with Michigan State laying four and a half. Ohio State’s already pulled a couple of upsets. Kyle, right back to your wheelhouse here. Dangerous spot for Michigan State. Don’t want to stub your toe.

Kyle Hunter:

Yeah. TJ, I have to tell you, so my son’s getting reeled back in on Ohio State. He comes home from school. He sees them when beating Iowa and he is like, “You know, they could still make the Tournament if they win the Big 10 Tournament.” I’m like, “Let’s not do this, man. We don’t need to get your hopes up on something like this.” I honestly think that Michigan State is a pretty tough matchup for Ohio State. This line has moved toward Michigan State. Ohio State’s playing much more competitively here lately. They looked like they were kind of quitting for a while and they’ve definitely looked better the last few games. Having said that, I don’t love betting them in a spot like this. The totals come down enough that I would probably lean to the over at 137 and a half.

TJ Reeves:

Corbie Craig, any thought on that total? Ohio State, Michigan State.

Corbie Craig:

If Ohio State would’ve played like this for the last, I don’t know, two months, then there’s not even a question that they’re in. They look really good now, but I mean they lost what, two to… They were three and 14 in conference play at one point. They ended up bottom 15. But they deserve all that they get. I think they’re a bad match up for Michigan State. Michigan State gets the job done as they did last time. This number seems low relative to what the last game played at Michigan State. It was 84-78, but there’s a lot of really good shooting in there and I think the total’s probably right on the money, but if anything would be Michigan State.

TJ Reeves:

And again, Ohio State has played two games on the floor. We keep saying this. Michigan State yet to play at the United Center in Chicago for this Friday afternoon game. By the way, Jake is asking about Purdue and the side. Purdue laying the seven with Rutgers. Rutgers beat Michigan yesterday. Purdue’s first game on the floor. A quick thought, guys. Give me 10 seconds. Purdue, Rutgers, anything on the side?

Corbie Craig:

I don’t know how Rutgers stops Edey, so Purdue or nothing. I don’t like this Rutgers team.

TJ Reeves:

Kyle?

Kyle Hunter:

I think it’s hard to lay seven points, especially when it was five and a half last night. That’s the problem with this one is the price is just getting a little out of control, especially with the total of 127 and a half. I kind of lean to the under. I think Rutgers has a really hard time scoring in a game like this. I’m not really high on Purdue’s upside in the NCAA Tournament based on their guard play, but I do think this is a spot where Purdue gets some revenge for that loss earlier this year.

TJ Reeves:

Again, that game coming up at noon Eastern, 11:00 AM local time as we’re live on Friday for Purdue and Rutgers at the United Center in Chicago. Real quick. American Conference. Let’s see who asked a question. Thank you Joel for asking about Houston. Houston, East Carolina is coming up guys. I don’t have a number on that but I got to believe Houston’s a double digit favorite even on the neutral floor as the top seed. A thought real quick. Give me 10 seconds on that, Kyle.

Kyle Hunter:

22 and a half, a 23 point favorite in here for Houston.

TJ Reeves:

God almighty.

Kyle Hunter:

You know, TJ, Houston is notorious for covering massive spreads. I think they do try to cover the spread at the end of the game. I kind of think they cover this massive number.

TJ Reeves:

Wow.

Kyle Hunter:

Now do I want to lay 23 points? I really don’t, but I don’t trust East Carolina to keep this game close.

TJ Reeves:

Corbie, any thought including maybe the total? That’s a huge number.

Corbie Craig:

Yeah, I would lean towards an under, but I don’t love it. I mean, East Carolina gave up 84 to Houston. I mean to UCF. So I think they probably in most cases can’t really stop this Houston offense from doing what they want.

TJ Reeves:

Again, I’m headed to the MAC Championship game. Iona is in the semi-final with Niagara, EJ, I believe it is, EJ. EJ is asking about Iona tonight. I’m looking for how big they are favored in the semi-final game as the top seed. I don’t have a number. Go ahead, Corbie.

Corbie Craig:

I believe it was 11.

TJ Reeves:

All right, so double figures. Any thought on that guys, real quick? 10 seconds.

Corbie Craig:

I mean, Iona is going to win the game. Do you want to lay that many points? I’m trying to find an actual number.

Kyle Hunter:

14.

Corbie Craig:

13?

TJ Reeves:

14? 13. 13.

Corbie Craig:

Definitely not laying 13. I think they’re by far the better team, but it’s just too big of a number in any game that matters so much to another team.

TJ Reeves:

Kyle, any quick thought on that or do you want to move on? They beat Niagara badly at Niagara late in the year. They beat them by 17 for whatever that’s worth. Neutral floor, Atlantic City tonight for Iona. Anything real quick?

Kyle Hunter:

Man, people are doing a great job smashing that like button, guys. We appreciate it, certainly. TJ, I think it works when you were talking to the peeps there trying to get them to share this out. Iona with Niagara, Marist and St. Peter’s left? Like who would’ve thought that those would be the teams left in the MAAC? Iona’s going to be a massive favorite in any game here the rest of the way. Boardwalk Hall has been a tough one for shooters as well. The unders done well here, so I can’t lay that many points with a total of 133 and a half.

TJ Reeves:

And again, St. Peters is in the other semi-final. They were the darlings that won the tournament last year then advanced in the NCAA Tournament as well. Let’s see what happens in the Mac semi-finals. Hey, Mountain West, TJ question. How about San Diego State beats Nevada? First of all, point blank, is Nevada now out at large? They’ve lost to Wyoming at Wyoming. Bad loss. They lost at home to UNLV. Bad loss. They lost on a neutral floor to San Jose State. Did that boot Steve Alford’s team out right now? Give me a quick opinion, both of you. Are they out?

Corbie Craig:

Yeah, I think so.

Kyle Hunter:

Yeah.

TJ Reeves:

So at the moment, they’re not good. San Jose State, San Diego State this afternoon or a little later this evening in the Mountain West for the semi-finals of that. Any thought on the Mountain West and what remains including New Mexico still alive in a semi-final as well for the Mountain West? Any thoughts on the Mountain West, guys? Real quick on either of those games.

Corbie Craig:

That [inaudible 01:03:35]. Geeze, that was an incredible shot. But, yeah, I think New Mexico’s the best team available. Well, other than San Diego State, but New Mexico’s playing their way into this Tournament. They’ve shown a lot of heart. I had the San Diego State game and I really was impressed by what I saw in this New Mexico team, though they lost Utah State. I don’t think that they’re in, but I think it’s a lot closer than people would probably give praise to.

TJ Reeves:

I think I made the mistake. New Mexico beaten by Utah State, if I misspoke there. Utah State, Boise State is the late night game. Midnight Eastern, 9:00 Vegas time. Kyle, any thought on that? I see Utah State a short favorite against Boise State.

Kyle Hunter:

I don’t have any strong opinion on that game. Utah State’s much better at home. Boise the better defense, Utah State the better offense. I kind of like the San Diego State and San Jose State under, but it’s been steamed down quite a bit so it’s kind of hard to take it at this low of a number.

TJ Reeves:

All right. Almost, man, we are soaring to the live viewers. By the way, somebody’s asking, Evan is asking about Toledo, just for MidMajorMatt, asking about Toledo in the MAC semi-finals before we get out of here, and guys, you may have the number before I have the number on Toledo and Ohio. I think I found it. Five and a half on the neutral floor in Cleveland. Any quick thought, 10 seconds on the number or the total, Toledo in Ohio.

Corbie Craig:

Hope Toledo wins so Matt can talk about it on the show tomorrow. I have no opinion here, but would love to hear Matt talk about them tomorrow.

TJ Reeves:

Kyle Hunter, anything on that one?

Kyle Hunter:

Yeah, I’m going to root for Toledo too because I want Matt to get to talk about his favorite team. Over is what I would want to take, but it’s 162 guys. A neutral site, 162. I can’t take that high of a total

TJ Reeves:

Akron, Kent State rivals, big hated rivals is the other semi-final there. Winners go to the championship game Saturday night in Cleveland. My goodness, what a show on a Friday. Is this any foreshadowing of what it’s going to be tomorrow at 11:00 AM Eastern time?

Corbie Craig:

[inaudible 01:05:34].

TJ Reeves:

Let’s do it tomorrow at 11:00 AM Eastern time and be back all next week at 11:00 AM Eastern time for what we have. Best bets and then we’re getting out of here. Let’s take a look at the best bets for the program. The handicappers are on five plays. I won’t go over all of it. You see it on the screen, including that Mississippi State, Alabama game that’s about to start here in a little bit. There we go with the best bets, including Corbie having Kansas laying the four and a half without Bill Self tonight in the Big 12 semi-finals. Guys, great job. We’ve got a roll here. Kyle Hunter, good luck with all the plays through the weekend. We look forward to talking with you next week. Great stuff. Corbie Craig, let’s do this again tomorrow morning, Saturday morning.

Corbie Craig:

Tomorrow. Everybody’s here. Listen, y’all got me on a Saturday. You better be here. We got 500 people in here. Listen. You’re getting me up. You’re getting me out. The Blazers, I’m going to be hyped. I get to talk about UAB. They’re going to be in the championship. 500 people. I better see all of you, so I’m excited.

TJ Reeves:

Yeah, we better be back tomorrow at 11:00 AM. God willing. I’m with you from Atlantic City, the MAC Championship game tomorrow night. I look forward to being with you. Kyle, have a great weekend. Corbie, have a great weekend. Kevin and everybody at BetUS, thank you. Thank you to you, the viewers. Great audience today. Be back at 11:00 AM Saturday. We look forward to seeing you then on the BetUS College Basketball Show.

 

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