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TJ Rives:

Well, hello there and welcome back in to the BetUS College Basketball Show. Great to be back with you. TJ Rives here with Matt Josephs and also Corbie Craig here on the program as we get rolling for another week. We are now inside of 21 days before selection Sunday and before those automatic bids get firmed up and then we find out the other at large teams in the field of 68, cannot wait for all that to unfold. We’re going to be here Monday through Friday at 11:00 AM Eastern Time. Good to have you with us on BetUS TV. Gentlemen, good to be back with you. Mid Major Matt, how was the weekend? Everything good? What stood out off this weekend to you?

Matt Josephs:

Well, we had the first 16 from the committee, which I thought was rather interesting finding some of the teams and seeing some of the squads that got left out. I was happy to see the Gonzaga’s listed up there, Gonzaga with another good win this weekend, but you now get an idea of the four ones. And even though we got those top 16, I still think there’s about 12 teams who could win the championship this year.

TJ Rives:

I think that’s fair and I think it’s fair to say that maybe in another week to 10 days, out of that 16, there might be eight new teams in and eight new teams out of that 16. That’s just how this goes. Corbie Craig, how was thy weekend and thoughts off of anything from this weekend as we get ready to roll with another week?

Corbie Craig:

Yeah, it was a fun weekend to college basketball. The main thing for me is this Baylor team, amazing first half, but geez, what a second half let down. I think this is probably one of the better teams in the nation. If you’re going to buy low, it’s after what, a 16-point loss to a Kansas team. Baylor looks legit, but that second half could have fooled you otherwise.

TJ Rives:

Well, this is interesting because I think obviously Kansas fed off of the crowd at Phog Allen Fieldhouse and we see this all over college basketball. We’re coming to the point now where you’re about to play neutral floor games at a conference tournament and then the NCAA Tournament, and yes, the bigger programs, your Kentucky, your Duke, Carolina, Kansas, Michigan State, they’ll travel a bunch of people. Syracuse. UCLA’s in the west. They’ll travel a bunch of people, but the whole feed off the home environment, that’s about to come to an end here in a week to 10 days and it starts going to tournament play, but clearly Kansas fed off of that. Indiana I think fed off of it too in a great win over Illinois, Saturday afternoon, that they had to have Kentucky to an extent at Rupp Arena. They complete the sweep of Tennessee.

Just a quick thought here, Tennessee, what do we make of Tennessee that’s now been swept by Kentucky? Yes, they beat Alabama, but they’ve lost some other games in the SEC to teams like Vanderbilt, Missouri, Florida that may not even be NCAA Tournament teams in Missouri and Florida’s cases. What do we make of Tennessee? Mid Major Matt, a thought on where they should be slotted right about now.

Matt Josephs:

I was never a buyer on Tennessee as it was, but I also think that not having Josiah-Jordan James and not having the Phillips kid, I think that hurts them because they’re limited scoring-wise as it is. But I’ve never been a buyer on Tennessee. I’m just not going to buy Rick Barnes teams when they get to March. It’s just somebody must have put the calendar up and shown them that was March and made them think it was because they’re just doing what they do then now.

TJ Rives:

Yeah, again, they got the win over Alabama and they have three or four tremendous wins outside of the SEC, so I get that on strength of schedule, but right now, in terms of playing good ball headed to March, I don’t know about that. And Corbie, along those same lines, North Carolina, are we looking at, it is believed, they’re still doing the research, but I believe this is correct, North Carolina preseason number one in the AP poll, that would be the first time ever with the exception of a probation year where a team couldn’t go by rule that the preseason number one doesn’t make the NCAA Tournament. They are now 0-9 against net top 50 teams, 0-9 with another lost to NC State? How much jeopardy is Carolina in, real quick, Corbie, before we get to some handicapping of Monday games?

Corbie Craig:

Yeah, I think that them opening preseason number one was goofy overall. Obviously, it still will go on record because the AP decided to make them one, but they were one run from being a number one. They should have been top 20 but nowhere near one by any means. So I think we’re seeing the team that most people expected to see the AP coming out at one was quite ridiculous and I don’t think anybody was buying high that they were the best team in the nation even in the preseason.

TJ Rives:

Well, and clearly, right now, it’s a struggle at a place where they get heated and venomous quick. And remember, North Carolina put it together this time last year. They won eight of the final nine regular season games including winning at Cameron. This team doesn’t look like … Even though Bacot is back, Caleb Love is back, they don’t look like a team capable of going on that kind of run right now. They can’t win a game against the better teams on their schedule. All right, so lots to get to including some time for Q&A for you folks. Get into our live chat if you haven’t done so on all the social media platforms. We’ll get some questions out of the live chat going. Hit that like button and you’re going to get some good handicapping on some games and there’s even a couple of more that aren’t necessarily on our schedule here that we’re still going to end up talking about for this Monday night.

Let’s get into it first with our records off the weekend. We had a 2-0 Friday that again has the show creeping back up towards 500. We see Corbie Cox remains above 500, Mid Major Matt right at it as we get ready to begin for a Monday. Let’s do it. Let’s get Monday underway and go with game number one. Again, it’s a lighter card on Mondays right now at the end of the regular season. Howard and Morgan State make the show here with Howard laying 6.5 in this one and a total of 147.5. Mid Major Matt, we come to you for the first official play of the week here on the Monday show.

Matt Josephs:

So I’ve had a really good read on the MEAC so far this season, I feel like. A lot of the wins that I’ve had had on the Mondays have come from the MEAC. Unfortunately, I have not been able to do what I wanted to do and that’s take the team total over against South Carolina State because their defense is horrendous and Delaware State’s just bad. So I had to go to another place. Another team has been friendly to me and that’s Howard. And you take a look and I’ve tried a couple of times to play overs with Morgan State involved. Their offense just isn’t good enough, so I’m just going to do what we’ve done and isolate one team in this one.

And you’ve got a team with the fifth longest win streak in the nation in Howard and they’re winning nine games in a row. And you look at what they’ve done over this stretch, they score a ton of points. They’ve gone over this number that we’re given out in the show in all but one of those games that they’ve won that includes road games, that includes home games, that includes neutral court games and whatever. They’ve just been a really good offense. They’re the best three-point shooting team in conference, the third best two-point shooting team, the second best free-throw shooting team. They scored 88 points at home against Morgan State and Morgan State plays pace.

They foul a lot. They don’t rebound very well. And look, I just see that this one’s going to have a lot of pace here, so I’m going to fade Morgan State and play the Howard team total over here. The Bison are one of those teams right up there with Norfolk State that I think are the class of this conference right now.

TJ Rives:

As Mid Major Matt’s laying out, Howard nine 9-1 in the MEAC as the road favorite. Corbie Craig, anything on this one?

Corbie Craig:

Yeah, tempo plays to agree with Matt here. Morgan State’s a defense so it basically hasn’t stopped anything for some pretty bad teams. South Carolina State last game scored 74 on them. So this isn’t by far a stretched by any means. Howard can shoot the lights out of a ball. The worry is that they’re going to a second road game, and as Matt talked about, they’ve done this plenty sufficiently to believe that they can continue to do this on the road. This is a pretty good overall Howard team. They’re laying six for good reason. Morgan State, tempo, tempo, tempo, but that’s basically all they’ve got. So I think Howard also rebounds much better than Morgan State.

So even on these missed shots that Howard’s taking because they take a lot of threes, they probably have second, third chances because Morgan State just really doesn’t do much well and it shows in their ranking. They’re 3-10 [inaudible 00:08:08]. So I don’t think you see a good game on Morgan State by any means. And if Howard’s hit their shots on the road, by all means, this should go over overall.

TJ Rives:

We saw a Toby cautioning Mid Major Matt, “Be careful about taking off the gas,” paraphrasing here like Oral Roberts sometimes does in the second half. Nonetheless, undaunted, Mid Major Matt begins the week here, we saw your comment there, Mike G. as well, and he says, “Give me Howard’s team total over 77 tonight in the road game with Morgan State.” Let’s stay with the official plays in game number two that will come here out of the SWAC and that is Florida A&M and Alabama A&M teeing it up. Alabama A&M laying nine in this one at home, total 127.5 of the official play. Corbie Craig, we are coming to you here for the official play and what is this one tonight? We got a three … Well, let me get the records correct. We got a 4-10 Alabama A&M team, but we got Alabama A&M team at 8-6 if I can get it right. Florida A&M comes in at 4-10. What is the thought and the official play on this matchup?

Corbie Craig:

Yeah, the SWAC is always going to be decently high tempo, even though Florida A&M doesn’t like to play tempo. Alabama A&M is going to force tempo. They always do. Fouling is always going to happen in the SWAC. The issue becomes efficiency every single time. These teams suck. And the main thing for me here is Alabama A&M is at home. It’s going to be senior night, the last home game of the year. Hicks and EJ Williams have been here. They’re seniors. This is their time to shine on a Florida A&M defense that is just miserable. So tempo I think is not going to be an issue. Fouling towards the end, usually going to help out and over in these small totals in SWAC games.

Florida A&M, they got the same number versus Alabama State. There were 127-128 and we bet you over there. Alabama State is not as potent with offense, potent being a relative word for then Alabama A&M and tempo should be up. So relative to market, I think this number is low. I’ve made it 131, so I’ll take an over at the 127.5 we got on the show, I believe.

TJ Rives:

Yes, so again, potent is relative to not being pathetic, maybe in this case Mid Major Matt, a thought on Alabama A&M as a favorite at home on a Monday night late in the regular season in the SWAC.

Matt Josephs:

This just shows how the card is today. Corbie and I go over all the games here because there’s not many games to go over. It’s just I’m worried for Corbie in terms of, usually if you’re a team that plays fast and you can speed up a slow team, Florida A&M just doesn’t get sped up. Yeah, they got sped up by Florida and they got sped up by Miami in two other faster possession games and they got sped up by Portland, but it’s not like Alabama A&M is any of those three teams. So if efficiency goes his way, I would think that this one’s going to be an easy over. The market hasn’t moved at all, so I don’t know if people are either not touching this game or just not in agreement or whatever, but I wish Corbie good luck in this game, but yeah, it’s an interesting selection. That’s for sure.

Corbie Craig:

There’s not too many weirdos checking out the Alabama A&M this early, I guess, on a Monday.

TJ Rives:

Right, there’s not a lot there, I understand that and you bring up the senior day thing. I’ll go back to a Sunday game. Was it a Sunday afternoon game? I believe so, with Purdue Fort Wayne on senior day, the senior left-handed guard hits the 30-foot shot on the broken play in the final two seconds to beat Wright State. Wright State hit a shot to go up by one. They come to the other end with the desperation three. Senior day, weird things can happen and we’re going to see a lot of that senior day, senior night this week, this weekend, etcetera. All right, Corbie Craig’s looking for points any way he can get them on a Monday night in the SWAC. He says over 127.5 for Florida A&M and Alabama A&M tonight.

All right, we’ll get to your live questions, we’ll get to your comments here in a few moments. I think there might be a little more national interest in Kansas and TCU that’s coming up tonight. That’s just the hunch for this evening with TCU hosting Rock Chalk after that great comeback that Corbie referenced in the second half against Baylor. They flipped around a, what, 13, 15-point deficit into a 10-point lead in a hurry on Saturday. Now they’re on the road, Kansas. It is not easy in the Big 12, going two TCU. You’re getting points with the Jayhawks on a Monday night. You’re getting two on the road. The total is 149.5. Corbie Craig, I’m right back to you. Some would argue that maybe that comeback against a hard-fought Baylor game in revenge takes something out of you on the road two nights later, you buying that if no official play?

Corbie Craig:

Yeah, situationally, it’s a really tough spot for Kansas. That said, we’ve talked about on this show what Kansas is good and not good at and I don’t think TCU has the pieces to really hit Kansas’ soft spots. They match up pretty well, 6’9″ big man, 6’8″ with Jalen Wilson down low. So I really don’t think that it’s too much of a matchup issue. Kansas is a better team overall. Situationally, how much weight do you want to put on that? Yes, and they’re on the road, but I think if you put in a vacuum and you’re talking better team, better philosophy, better schemes, Kansas is the better team here.

I would like to get three if I was obviously to play it at all. I do think that situationally. You have to look into that Baylor game. It’s a really good game. It was a comeback that is worth noting for sure. But again, these are kids who’ve been playing basketball at this high of a level for a very long time. So to assume that they’re just going to come out dead, I think probably isn’t right. I think Kansas is a better team overall and will lean that way.

TJ Rives:

Kansas is still looking to be a number one seed. All right, big story here, Mid Major Matt, is that Mike Miles is back after missing several games. They had lost three in a row or four in a row. They played Oklahoma State on the weekend. Miles got 15 and a couple of assists playing 35 minutes. They won easily over Oklahoma State and now TCU remains at home. Kansas got to travel to them from Monday night. Any thoughts if no official play, Matt Josephs?

Matt Josephs:

My concern with Mike Miles is he played 35 minutes 48 hours ago. Is there going to be … Is he going to play a little bit less coming off the injury? I don’t know. I assume that he’ll be full go and everything, minutes-wise. The other thing that’s out there is the revenge factor. TCU embarrassed Kansas at home, so you know that Kansas has their attention. Certainly, I would almost look at a TCU first half maybe, riding the momentum being at home, Kansas with the travel and everything. Maybe like a TCU first half, Kansas live situation if TCU gets up big on them, but that’s where I would be leaning.

Obviously, as you mentioned, the travel is there and the revenge factor is there. I think Kansas potentially ultimately wins this game, but I think TCU starts fast, so maybe a TCU first half, Kansas live for this one.

TJ Rives:

Yeah, somebody was putting that the first half live in the chat. They were saying the first half line is -1 for TCU in this one. And clearly, Bill Self makes tremendous adjustments. Let me go back to that North Carolina national championship game they were losing at the half, I believe of that one significantly and came roaring back in the second half. You got to have the horses, you got to have guys like Gradey Dick, Jalen Wilson, the guys that can get it going. This one will be a lot of fun. 8:00 Local Time in Fort Worth, 9:00 Eastern Time tonight for Kansas and TCU this evening in the knockdown drag out Big 12. What was it? Five Big 12 teams in the top 12 of that committee reveal, Matt Josephs, if I have that right. I may have that wrong, but I think it was five in the top 12. Certainly, five in the top 16 were Big 12 teams. So that tells you the respect for that conference right now and the job that they have done to this point. I see the nod of the head.

Again, this is the toughest conference metrically and with the eyeball test right now in the country. All right, so let’s get to it. Let’s get to some live chat questions. You folks can fire them away as we’re here live at 11:00 AM Monday through Friday. Love the interaction. Love what some of you have to say. It’s a light card except for … We’ve got a Duke game. We’ve got another Big 12 game. We’ve got some big west games which are interesting, which we’ll get into in a few moments. Carlen is watching us. Carlen asks first about Oklahoma State-West Virginia. This is in Morgantown where the Mountaineers right now are favored by five in this one. Texas Tech did come in and beat West Virginia on Saturday. So now West Virginia remains at home. We mentioned Oklahoma State got rolled in Fort Worth. Now they got to travel to Morgantown. Any thought if no official play, Corbie Craig, any thought?

Corbie Craig:

Yeah, I think Tre Mitchell has gotten absolutely exposed for this West Virginia team. He is soft, big and I talk about matchups-wise and scheming. He matches up really bad verse Kalib Boone. Kalib Boone is very athletic, would love to shove him around. The issue is Avery Anderson being out. He’s been out for a minute now, but I think this cannot go unnoticed. He is a major part of their offense. They lost 100-75 last matchup. So I think the situationally, it’s a decent spot for Oklahoma State to bounce back, but without Avery Anderson, I’m not looking to be on their side. By any means, on the other side, West Virginia, I just don’t love this team by any means. Tre Mitchell is just too soft for me, too light down low by any chance at all. And I think that, if West Virginia was … What are they ranked? 26. So they’ll get into March. If they do, they’re going to have a tough time over. I don’t think they’re one of the 25 best teams in the nation by any mean.

TJ Rives:

Matt Josephs, I’m propping up Texas Tech that made all the big plays at the end of that game with West Virginia. I saw some of that. They’re going to be a very interesting debate. What were they? 1-9 to start the Big 12. If they get to a fifth win, a sixth win here going to Kansas City, they’re going to be a very interesting debate, Texas Tech. And for the purposes of this discussion, they beat West Virginia Saturday. Now West Virginia back home again on Monday night with Oklahoma State. Any thought, Matt, if no official play real quick?

Matt Josephs:

Well, the problem with Texas Tech by the way is they’ve beaten nobody out of the conference. Their nonconference schedule is ridiculously easy. You would figure that a win over Louisville would have helped in most years, but it didn’t help. So that’s the problem that they’re going to have. But with regards to this game, it’s so funny because West Virginia’s a Ken Pomeroy darling here. They’re in the top 30 because a lot of their metrics are good, but they’re 15-12. I don’t trust them at home. I would lean Oklahoma State in this situation coming off the 25-point loss at TCU. Obviously, they’ve won at Iowa State. They won at Oklahoma. They hung tough at Kansas State. I lean towards the road team in this one.

TJ Rives:

All right, good enough, some good discussion there. Let’s continue on the live questions. We will get to Duke and Louisville eventually here. Trevor says, “UNC Central, Maryland Eastern Shore.” We remind you by the way to hit that like button. Make sure you’re subscribed as you’re with us here live. What about UNC Central and Maryland Eastern Shore? That is Maryland Eastern Shore … That’s UNC Central favored by two at Maryland Eastern Shore. Any thought, guys, if no official play, Matt Josephs, anything on this?

Matt Josephs:

I liked Maryland Eastern Shore at home or excuse me … Yeah, Maryland Eastern Shore at home and I was surprised to see this flip favorites because Maryland Eastern Shore went to NC Central and won. Maryland. Eastern Shore plays good basketball. Look at some of their wins. They beat Temple. They beat Marist and Lehigh. There’s some decent wins there. They’re really good. They’re top 15 in forcing turnovers and NC Central has a bit of a problem with turnovers. I think that, obviously, NC Central is the better defense of the two and probably the better coach, but I think now that they’re underdogs, I would like the home dog in this one.

TJ Rives:

Corbie, any thoughts here if no official play on this one in the MEAC?

Corbie Craig:

Yeah, my worry is that home court advantage gets pushed too high. I’ve talked about this a ton, but I don’t know that Maryland Eastern Shore is the 140th toughest place to go play in the nation as projected by Ken Pomeroy and probably weighted in the markets. So I usually lean towards the away team in these kind of games. I don’t really love it here, but this Maryland Eastern Shore team is the last team to beat Matt Howard’s team. So I think don’t take them mighty. They’re a pretty good basketball team overall, but NC Central, more relative wins. They did lose to Maryland Eastern Shore last match up, I won, which was a weird game. 71 possessions, yet 59-58. So I think you get a really good matchup and not one that I would want to be on by any means.

TJ Rives:

The good nugget get there from Jefferson that Maryland Eastern Shore is 10-1 at home. Most teams do better at home and Maryland Eastern Shore has been good. So some good discussion on that as well. Keep the live questions coming. Tim watching us says, “Thoughts on Hawaii and Cal State Bakersfield?” Guys, what’s going on with the Big West playing a bunch of Monday games? Typically, this conference is like a Thursday, Saturday, but they’re getting a slew of Monday games. This a President’s Day special. They even have a matinee who is at this afternoon in the Big West that is playing at 3:00 Local Time. That’s UC Davis and UC San Diego. They’re playing at 3:00 Pacific Time. Hawaii and Bakersfield, any thoughts on that game? Hawaii off a win Saturday night at the Pyramid at Long Beach. Good road win from Eran Ganot’s team. Any thoughts on this game, guys, with the Rainbow Warriors and Bakersfield? That’s a 5:00 Local Time game. Hawaii favored by five on the road. Corbie?

Corbie Craig:

Yeah, this game is going to be … The total is 122.5, 123 I believe. And those numbers, usually, it’s over or nothing for me. You’ll see me on a lot of overs on those low numbers, but geez, these two teams, 308th and 340th in tempo. Both really inefficient offenses, both pretty decent defenses. I would take as many points as I could get. Probably give me the dog. I would lean towards an under even at this really low number, but I would not enjoy it by any means. If you get fouls late on a 122, you’re in trouble. So this being a five-point spread, fouls make a lot of sense here, but I would lean towards the dog at home and then under overall.

TJ Rives:

Matt Josephs, Hawaii won the meeting in Honolulu by three for whatever that’s worth about three weeks ago. Any thought on Hawaii-Bakersfield on a Monday?

Matt Josephs:

I enjoy Bakersfield as a home dog. I would like them morph the Lithuanians. They had a pair of Lithuanians who were really good, who both got injured. Their number one guy, Kaleb Higgins got injured a lot earlier in the season, but you look at how they’re playing. They’ve won four of their last five games. They nearly knocked off Hawaii on the islands, which was 48 hours after they played UC Davis, so they had to travel to get there. And Hawaii’s been on the Mainland and one of the things that at least in the past you look at is when Hawaii has those weekends when they’re away from home, sometimes you look to fade them. It’s a big win whenever you can win at Long Beach State.

So I really like Bakersfield in this situation. It was really close to an official play on the show. It was 6.5 last night. I would’ve liked the 6.5 a little bit more, but this Bakersfield team plays solid defense. It’s going to be a slow-pace game, and look, that giant blue court that they have or at least a lot of it is blue, it’s very blindingly blue on TV. I like Bakersfield in this one. It was really close to an official play.

TJ Rives:

All right, shout out to Kamaka Hepa and the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors. They’re playing well, one of the top teams in this conference. This is their third game on the Mainland. They’ve now played two from last week and this past weekend. They stay and play on Monday here against Bakersfield. Along the same lines real quick, Mark is saying, “What about that UC San Diego-Davis afternoon game at 3:00 Pacific Time?” In particular, he’s interested in the side on UC Davis laying the nine here. Any quick thoughts guys? Matt, anything on that?

Matt Josephs:

I don’t ever lay nine on the road with anybody or any sort of number like that. I just don’t do it. I know some people be like, “Well, how can you not do that ever?” I just don’t. UC Davis coming off of a loss, you would think they’re going to get a better effort, but then there could be a hangover because it was a really tough game against Irvine on the road and Irvine’s one of the class of this conference. So San Diego stinks. UC San Diego’s not very good, but I never lay that many points on the road.

TJ Rives:

We always have to clarify, you’ve got the University of San Diego, that’s where Steve Lavin is. That’s in the West Coast Conference. You’ve got San Diego State, one of the premier teams in the west right now, year in and year out. This is UC San Diego, which has now gotten its accreditation. It’s in Division I. It’s in the Big West Conference now. For that matchup, Corbie Craig, anything real quick or you want to move on?

Corbie Craig:

Yeah, nothing on the side. I lean towards an under on the total. UC San Diego shot 66% in the last matchup and still lost by eight. So struggle with the side, but they’ve just played slower in the possession range than it did in last matchup and I can’t imagine that San Diego shoots 66% again, so lean towards an under.

TJ Rives:

All right, a game again that we’ll have just a little more interest will be Duke and Louisville, an awful Louisville team, but a team that has come around a little bit in keeping games close against the number and even got an outright win against Clemson. Duke is favored in this one at Cameron, 7:00 Eastern Time by 18.5. TJ Nugget for the peeps that Louisville is now covered as a double-digit or more dog, a couple of them were … One was a 20-point line. They’ve covered three times in a row, now getting 18.5 Thoughts on this guys, either one of you on Duke laying a boatload of points against Louisville?

Corbie Craig:

Do you have the first half line by chance? I’m trying to pull it up as we speak.

TJ Rives:

I don’t have that. One of you may find that before I have it. The total is 137.5 if you’re interested. Go ahead.

Corbie Craig:

You can find a 10, 10.5. That’s pretty close. I would lean towards Duke in most cases. I think that Louisville game over Clemson, listen, I’ve been saying that Clemson is not that great for a minute now, but that’s not the issue here. The issue was they shot 4-24 and Louisville went 26-28 from the free throw line. I don’t think that happens in most cases. The biggest issue here is that Duke has every piece to match up with Louisville, then some by a lot and I don’t think that Louisville can really stop Filipowski down low at all. And so I’m not sure what they’ll do. 10 points is a lot to lay in one half. It’s for sure. I was really hoping it would be like eight, but if anything I would lean Duke for sure.

TJ Rives:

Mid Major Matt, I know they roughed up your guys at the Carrier Dome or what was the Carrier Dome for 45 years on Saturday. Any thought on Duke and Louisville and maybe Louisville coming around to keep games close here?

Matt Josephs:

This is their third Saturday-Monday turnaround of the season, Duke. They lost by three at Virginia Tech after beating Miami at home. They lost at Miami after beating North Carolina at home. Not that it says much, I’m just telling people that it’s the quick turnaround. It’s the third time they’ve had the quick turnaround. There’s a couple schools of thought. A, does Louisville rest on their laurels after their big win? Are they all really excited and they don’t really show up and this gets ugly and they get blown out here or is there some sort of momentum here? Maybe it’s a close game early and then you can get Duke at a cheaper number live. If you can find it, maybe a Kyle Filipowski prop bet, whether it’s points and rebounds or whatever, because as Corbie just said, they have nobody who could cover him. He was not great against Syracuse. Maybe he blows up here and has a pretty big game, but I expect Duke to eventually get focused. It’s just how long will it be.

TJ Rives:

The question from Carlen was on the total, which I see on the BetUS line, 127.5. Corbie, you got anything on the total on Duke-Louisville before we move off it?

Corbie Craig:

I would want to be on an under but not at 127.5. I don’t want to be on an over with this Louisville team, but 127.5, geez, that’s very low. I would lean softly towards an over there. I would like an under at 134.

TJ Rives:

Ninja 13 watching, says, “Mid Major. Matt, you think Ohio State’s coach is gone after the season, meaning Chris Holtmann? He is clearly under fire here. Opinion, Mid Major Matt?”

Matt Josephs:

I would think so. It’s Ohio State. Now granted, it’s a football school, I play basketball. It’s not like Chris Holtmann’s had the couple of bad years. This is his first bad year. So the question is, has he lost the team? And it seems like he somewhat has lost this team and I guess we’ll find out if there’s a lot of transfers and people leaving the program, whether or not he’s still there. But if the roster likes him and it’s just a bad season, I would keep him around. I thought he had a couple bad seasons, but 20 wins, 21 wins, 21, 20, 25, you don’t get rid of a guy because of one bad season. Usually, there’s a couple there.

TJ Rives:

You can do a lot worse. The only thing I was thinking when you were just saying that is Boston College was winning like 18, 20 games. You know where I’m going in, Major Matt, with Al Skinner? They would get in the tournament. They’d win a game or two. They’d do all right in the ACC. They got rid of Al Skinner. Has Boston College been relevant for a decade? Sometimes, you got to be careful on what you wish for on, “We think we should be better. We think we should be Elite 8, Final 4. We think we should win the Big 10.” You could be Boston College in the ACC and-

Matt Josephs:

Well, I will counter on that. The last three years with Al Skinner, they went 14-17, 22-12, 15-16. So two of his last three seasons weren’t great, but to your point, yeah, if you expect better. And Steve Donahue actually was very good the first year he was there. It’s just since then it’s been a disaster.

TJ Rives:

How many years has since then? A decade? How many 20-win season?

Matt Josephs:

2011, so 12 years. Yeah.

TJ Rives:

In the 12 years, since that one good Donahue year, have they even had an NCAA Tournament team? I don’t even think they have. So-

Matt Josephs:

No, they’ve had one winning season 2018 when they went 19-16.

TJ Rives:

The host says again, “Be careful what you wish for, Buckeye fan.” Let’s see what else in the live chat. Jeremy watching us, says, “How do we feel about over 154 in the Coppin-Norfolk State game? Debating about it or a team total maybe for Norfolk State?” We’re in the weeds, boys. Corbie, any thought for Jeremy?

Corbie Craig:

Yeah, one second. I’m pulling it up. Coppin is 10th in the nation in tempo. Norfolk should beat the lights out of them, but the issue is if they do, I think that it’s more towards their pace, which is not as fast. 154 is a number that you have to expect everything to go right and tempo to be high. It wouldn’t surprise me with the Coppin team. I think there’s only a few teams in the nation that you should look towards an over in these numbers in the 150s and Coppin is one of them. So I don’t hate it by any means, but if you think that’s going to happen, you would probably have to think that Coppin goes over their team total as well, which is 71 and I would lean towards that more often than I would the over overall because Norfolk’s projected 89 points, so I don’t see often that they get over that number.

TJ Rives:

I just look, guys, and the live audience continues to grow. We’ll stay here with some live questions for a few more minutes. By the way, there’s an excellent poll going on in the live chat on, “Do you think Louisville hangs in with the spread with the number? Do you think Duke hangs in or are you messing more with the total?” Interesting that most of the savages in the live chat think that Louisville hangs in on the +18.5 for that tonight. Mitch watching us, says, “I’m looking at the under for the Cal Poly game.” We’re going in the weeds again inside. What is that total for Cal Poly? I’m double checking here. That is Cal Poly-Irvine tonight, 7:00 Pacific Time, 130.5. He’s asking about the under for Irvine, one of the better teams in the Big West at 12-3 at the 115 Cal Poly San Luis Obispo team. Cal Poly’s slow. Any thoughts, Matt Josephs? Matt Josephs, anything here?

Matt Josephs:

Well, let me just go back real quick to the Norfolk State game and I’ll let Corbie take the Cal Poly game. I think and I’ve tried the unsuccessfully several times to play over with Norfolk State in this exact situation. I go back to the game last Monday against Delaware State where it was probably a higher total and it might have just gone over, but you’ve seen Norfolk State score 97. I actually think Norfolk state’s team total might be the way to go there because they play really good defense, so you might see a lopsided score in this game. Last year, this went over this total, but it took some things to get there in this exact situation. So I’d look to isolate Norfolk State more than the game total for that one.

TJ Rives:

Fair enough on that. Cal Poly total with Irvine, the Anteaters, this is bad team at home against good team that can’t really help themselves. They just don’t want to slip up here in UC Irvine. Corbie, quick thought?

Corbie Craig:

Yeah, so I bet the Cal Poly over in their last game versus Fullerton, and at halftime, I hedged out strictly and it went way overs 145. I hedged out for no reason. But let me just tell you, if you’ve ever watched Cal Poly play basketball, I don’t care if they scored 62, I don’t care if they scored 80 last game. They do not run an offense that has made to score any points. They are miserable. They’re awful. I hedged out and I was as happy as could be when I saw the initial bet would’ve won. Irvine beats the brakes off this team. I think Irvine team total over. I would probably look towards the Cal Poly team total under 62. I don’t think that they get to 62 by any means.

The total itself, I don’t know. Irvine should be able to do whatever they want. Do they want to push pace? We’ve seen this team push pace basically all year, 112th in tempo. So I think Irvine does as they please. This Cal Poly team, this offense, Jesus, they’ve lost what? 15 in a row at this point. So deservingly so, they’re bad.

TJ Rives:

Interesting. We mentioned Irvine leads the Big West regular season. They’re about to wrap up the regular season here and get ready for the Big West Tournament. They’re a game in front of Santa Barbara. UC Santa Barbara, the Gauchos, they are 11-4. They host Cal State Fullerton, who’s 10-6. These are two of the upper echelon teams in the Big West. I keep saying, pay attention here. If you see Santa Barbara gets in the NCAA Tournament like as a 12 seed, they could be a dangerous team in a 12-5 game. They still got to finish up strong. Gaucho’s favored by six. Again, the whole conference seems like they’re playing on President’s Day. They don’t typically play on Monday, but they’re all playing today. Santa Barbara favored by six at 7:00 Pacific Time against Fullerton. Any quick thought, guys, or you want to move off of that?

Matt Josephs:

I feel like I said the exact same thing you said in 2021 with Cal Santa Barbara and they nearly be Creighton in that. I think it was a 5-12 game and a lot of those guys are still there. There’s some seniors that are on this team. It’s a very senior-laden team. Obviously, you’re getting a Santa Barbara team off two losses in a row coming home, so you would expect them to put forth their best effort in this one. They played Cal State Fullerton back on December 29th, so you really can’t take too much from that one because it was almost two months ago, but I expect the team at home to take care of business.

TJ Rives:

And they lost to Riverside and that’s where they had Kelly Wright, the suspended player from the fight, got ejected from the previous game with Irvine and then suspended for the next game. He should be back. Ajay Mitchell is 16 points and five assists per game. Just saying, file it away for a couple of weeks from now, Cal Santa Barbara if they get there. They got to win the tournament. It’s a one-bid league. They got to win the tournament and the automatic bid to get there. Will they be able to do so? Anything else of consequence in the live chat? A lot of people are going back and forth on Louisville and Duke in the live chat in particular. It is Duke after all. So we’ll see what happens with that matchup this evening. It’ll get a lot of attention out of the ACC. With that, let’s get to our final look at the best NCAAB prop bets here. Let’s see what the guys are on for tonight.

Corbie Craig is on and over in the FA&M U-Alabama A&M game. Meanwhile, Mid Major Matt has a team total for Howard in their game this evening. Anything else in closing that we did not cover? We didn’t mention of Houston beating my Memphis Tigers yesterday. Houston looks like they’re solidifying themselves as a contender to maybe be a Final 4 team. Depends on the draw, etcetera. Memphis I thought was valiant. I’m not just being biased here. They didn’t have Kendric Davis. I see you nodding Corbie and you and I were conversing off the air. Houston could have easily beaten them by 20, but Memphis hung in the game and had chances without their best player, without really good guard play at all.

So there’s no such thing as moral victories to get you in the NCAA Tournament, but Houston could have bludgeoned them yesterday. Corbie Craig, just real quick?

Corbie Craig:

Yeah, I thought it was more of a bad take on Houston. Memphis scored 64 on the scene without Kendric Davis. Kendric Davis warmed up, looked fine. I had the under, and after Kendrick Davis warmed up, I hedged off thinking that he was going to play. So without him-

TJ Rives:

What do we keep saying? What do we keep saying? The next time you get true and accurate injury information will be the first time you get the true and accurate. And they love to warm these guys up and then not play them, right, Corbie?

Corbie Craig:

Yeah, I still think that, in most cases, usually, that’s like a soft warmup. Kendric Davis went through a whole workout, so it was a little different. But still, nonetheless, I think that Houston shouldn’t have allowed 64. So less on Houston, props to Memphis and I take away less from Houston than I do look down on Memphis by any means.

TJ Rives:

Anything else in closing, Matt Josephs, before we’re done and gone?

Matt Josephs:

I would look at that potentially pairing the Texas A&M-Commerce is playing at Nicholls State. I think that Commerce is coming off the really tough overtime loss at home to Southeastern Louisiana, maybe pairing NSU’s money line with something else. I think they win at home. You certainly get a Commerce team that plays really slowly, but coming off in overtime 48 hours and traveling, that could be a bad situation for them. And we’re seeing the markets start to jump a little bit more on the home team in this one.

TJ Rives:

Nicholls playing in Thibodaux, Louisiana at the Stopher Gymnasium for this matchup tonight at 7:00 Local Time in the Southland Conference and Nicholls at 9-5 in the Southland Conference. Again, it is all going to start to narrow down here over the next week or two, especially in the smaller conferences and we get ready for championship week and then the NCAA Tournament coming up. We’re going to be here for you. Good stuff here today, guys. Good luck with your official plays. Thank you, Matt Josephs. Thank you, Corbie Craig. Thank you to Kevin and everybody at BetUS. Huge live audience today. Thank you. Hit the like button, share us out, make sure you’re subscribed. We’re here Monday through Friday at 11:00 AM for the duration. You see us on social media there on the bottom of the screen. Follow that as well. Don’t forget to check our sportsbook website. Be here live at 11:00 AM for the BetUS College Basketball Show.

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