Submitted by Jim Hurley on Thursday, March 17, 2016 at 1:45 PM
THE NCAA TOURNAMENT - HERE'S THE FRIDAY MENU
So, what do we all have to look forward to when it comes to Friday's games in this year's NCAA Tournament? Well, as we swing into action in Brooklyn, Oklahoma City, St. Louis and Spokane there will be plenty of eyes trained on Michigan State - does it seem like half the country's brackets have Sparty winning it all or what? - plus there's lots of sleeper talk when it comes to the likes of Notre Dame, Texas, California and St. Joe's.
We'll get to some Friday "Big Dance" previews and pointspread goodies in a moment but first this message ...
Jim Hurley has all the NCAA Tournament winners right through the championship game on the night of April 4th and you can get it either right here online or at our exclusive toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 - plus don't forget we're banging out lots of winners in the other college tournies such as the NIT, CIT and CBI and there's lots of daily NBA Winners too these days. Join the fun and profits with all the hardwood action - win big starting today!
NCAA TOURNAMENT - FRIDAY'S GAMES
Here's a sampling of what's on tap for this very busy day of the NCAA Tournament ...
EAST REGION - at St. Louis, MO
#10 PITTSBURGH (21-11) vs. #7 WISCONSIN (20-12) - 6:50 p.m. ET, TNT
One year after getting all the way to the NCAA Tournament national championship game, the Wisconsin Badgers are almost a "forgotten" team in this year's tourney ... but is that about ready to change with a "W" here against an enigmatic Pittsburgh team that beat Syracuse three times this year but has lost seven of its last 11 games overall?
In other East Regional action on Friday ...
#14 STEPHEN F. AUSTIN (27-5) vs. #3 WEST VIRGINIA (26-8) - 7:10 p.m. ET in Brooklyn ...
It's said that this year's West Virginia team will press you right off the bus and now Bob Huggins' squad will look to deflate a Lumberjacks crew that's won its last 20 straight games and stars senior F Thomas Walkup (17.5 ppg and 6.8 rpg) - maybe the best player in this Brooklyn region that the country has not heard about.
MIDWEST REGION - at St. Louis, MO
#15 MIDDLE TENNESSEE (24-9) vs. #2 MICHIGAN STATE (29-5) - approximately 2:45 p.m. ET, CBS
Let's forget the fact that the Michigan State Spartans should have been a #1 seed in this NCAA Tourney (Virginia should have been a #2, no doubt about it!) but Tom Izzo's club - as we said - are seemingly everyone's darlings this spring and gotta admit the green gang was better than we thought with a sparkling 22-11 spread log this year and note that includes 12-of-14 covers in its last 14 outings. If Player of the Year candidate Denzel Valentine (19.6 ppg and 7.6 apg) has his way, this will be a 20-point, 8-rebound, 8-assist type game ... but will that even be enough to cover 18 big points?
In other Midwest Regional action on Friday ...
#10 SYRACUSE (19-13) vs. #7 DAYTON (25-7) - 12:15 p.m. ET in St. Louis
Only one of these teams deserve to be playing in these NCAAs - and it ain't the 'Cuse! Now, Jim Boeheim's overrated team (big deal it won five games against top 50 teams!) is hoping that zone defense can handle Dayton G Scoochie Smith who's been known to slice-and-dice his way to the hoop.
SOUTH REGION - at Spokane, WA
#13 HAWAII (27-5) vs. #4 CALIFORNIA (23-10) - 2 p.m. ET, TBS
Okay, so we've been hearing for days/weeks now that Cal has "three pros" in this starting lineup including frosh F Jaylen Brown (15 ppg, 5.5 rpg) but the Bears are secrets no more and the good folks in Las Vegas has Cuonzo Martin's crew listed as hefty 7-point betting favorites here. The numbers-crunchers know Cal is 8-2-1 ATS (against the spread) in its last 11 overall games and should have beaten Utah in that painful Pac-12 Tournament semifinal round overtime loss last week - but will these "pros" get tight here against nothing-to-lose Hawaii (a team that hasn't been in the NCAA Tourney since 2002)?
In other South Regional action on Friday ...
#10 TEMPLE (21-11) vs. #7 IOWA (21-10) - approximately 3:10 p.m. ET in Brooklyn
Truth be told, this Brooklyn bracket isn't the most exciting grouping of teams in the tourney but plenty of eyes will be on floundering Iowa after the Hawkeyes stumbled into this tourney losers of six of their last seven games ... can senior savior F Jarrod Uthoff (18.9 ppg and 6.4 rpg) silence the critics and lead a win/cover over 7.5-point pup Temple?
WEST REGION - at Spokane, WA
#9 CINCINNATI (22-10) vs. #8 ST. JOSEPH'S (27-7) - approximately 9:55 p.m. ET, TruTV
No doubt these clubs - about as close to dead-even as you'll find in these opening-round games - enter the "Big Dance" from opposite ends of the emotional spectrum with St. Joe's fresh off the Atlantic-10 Tourney title while Cincy may still be licking its wounds following that epic four-OT loss versus UConn in the American Athletic Conference Tournament.
Hey, the desert experts say Cincinnati is the 2-point betting favorite but it's the St. Joe's Hawks who are 22-10-1 ATS this year and Phil Martelli's better-than-you-think crew has two super-dynamic offensive stars in forwards Isaiah Miles (18 ppg) and DeAndre Bembry (17 ppg) ... stop one of 'em, Cincy, and you survive-and-advance.
In other West Regional action on Friday ...
#14 GREEN BAY (23-12) vs. #3 TEXAS A&M (26-8) - 7:20 p.m. ET in Oklahoma City
Well aware the A&M Aggies are a near two-TD betting favorite for this clash in OKC but here's what the SEC Tournament runners-up should be concerned about here:
Green Bay averages 84.2 ppg and ranks second nationally with 9.8 steals per outing and could thieve their way to a bunch of easy hoops - A&M better not get lazy with the ball and Billy Kennedy's crew needs to board better too.