Submitted by Jim Hurley on Wednesday, February 21, 2018 at 7:24 AM
THE COLLEGE ROUNDBALL MID-WEEK REPORT - IT'S TIME TO CHAT ABOUT TOURNEY TOP SEEDS, OVERPRICED TEAMS AND MUCH MORE IN TODAY'S JIM SEZ ...
NBA RETURNS THURSDAY NIGHT: HERE'S THE TOP STORYLINES FROM HERE TO THE END OF REGULAR-SEASON PLAY
Can we fill you in on a College Basketball fun fact?
The conference tournaments - a/k/a the mini-tournies - will rev up its engines beginning next Wednesday, Feb. 28th with the Big 10 Conference invading Madison Square Garden in New York City.
And did you realize that three of the nation's power conferences will decide their mini-tourney champions in the Big Apple?
The Atlantic Coast Conference will play at Barclays Center in Brooklyn the following week while the Big East Conference is staging its tourney at "The Garden" and so no wonder it seems like real soon New York City - hardly a hotbed for college hoops - will be in the center of the college b-ball universe in early-to-mid March.
Meanwhile, the chase is on for those NCAA Tournament #1 seeds and - as following our weekly reports - here's actually the #1-thru-#4 seeds in each region as we see it right now:
EAST - Villanova, Purdue, Cincinnati and Wichita State.
MIDWEST - Michigan State, Texas Tech, North Carolina and Clemson.
SOUTH - Virginia, Kansas, Auburn and Ohio State.
WEST -- Duke, Xavier, Gonzaga and Arizona.
Meanwhile, as we charge full speed ahead to the remainder of this here-and-now College Basketball season, here's some teams that - we believe - will be "overpriced" down the stretch ...
LOUISVILLE - The fact of the matter is the U of L Cardinals are just 12-11-2 ATS (against the spread) this 2017-18 hoops season and the team's overall lack of quality depth is starting to catch up with this ACC squad. The 'Ville is 7-9-1 spreadwise at home this season, so be careful with the March 1st home finale against road favorite Virginia.
ALABAMA - Sure, the Crimson Tide's a respectable 14-11-1 versus the vig while heading into its Wednesday night rivalry game at Auburn, but 'Bama was only a 4.5-point underdog at Kentucky last weekend (and lost 81-71) and not sure the Tide's deserved respect in recent weeks while splitting its last eight games. Keep in mind Alabama ranks 10th in the SEC in scoring (at just 73.4 points per game) and that lack of pop could cost 'em if only getting minimal road points at Auburn and at Texas A&M (March 3).
SETON HALL - The numbers don't lie and they say that these Pirates are 11-16 ATS this year and that includes a pretty rotten 3-6 ATS road mark ... so why was Kevin Willard's squad a 5-point road favorite at Georgetown back on Feb. 10th (an 83-80 Hoyas win) and why was The Hall a bloated 10-point betting favorite in its 82-77 non-cover win against DePaul last Sunday afternoon? Hey, grab these Pirates at your own risk the rest of the way!
Don't miss out as we continue to pile up the profits in both the NBA and College Basketball as Jim Hurley's Network of Handicappers and Bloggers keep ripping it up on the hardwood - get all the daily winners right here online or 1-800-323-4453.
In other College Basketball Mid-Week Report News ...
Speaking of College Basketball Pointspreads, here are some of the best while heading into Tuesday night's action:
Auburn is an electric 18-7 ATS (that's a .720 winning rate) ...
UC-Santa Barbara is 16-7 spreadwise (a .696 winning percentage against Mr. Vig) ...
Florida International is 14-6-1 against the odds (a .700 winning rate) ...
UL-Lafayette (also known as Louisiana) is 14-6 against the spread for a .700 winning rate ...
Loyola-Chicago is 17-7 ATS (a .708 winning rate) ...
Nebraska is 20-7 against the numbers for a sizzling .741 winning percentage ...
South Alabama owns a tidy 17-6 ATS mark (good for a .739 winning rate) ...
And Villanova is 17-9-1 against the price tags for a .654 winning percentage.
THE NBA NOTEBOOK
The NBA's extended All-Star Game break finally comes to an end with a half-dozen games on the Thursday night docket, but we wanted to spend a few moments here on what will be the late-season storylines as we zoom towards the playoffs:
GIRDING FOR THE #1 SEEDS ... DOES IT TRULY MATTER?
The NBA would love to see a fight to the finish for the #1 seed in the Western Conference where - right now - the Houston Rockets (44-13) hold a slim half-game lead over the defending champion Golden State Warriors (44-14) but both clubs know they are great on the road where Houston's 21-7 SU (straight-up) and Golden State's 22-7 SU. Still, landing that numero uno seed will be important for these super-power squads and so we could see some great down-the-stretch drama.
In the East, don't discount Cleveland (34-22 and 6.5 games back of Toronto / 4.5 games back of Boston) from making a charge at the top spot. If All-Star Game MVP LeBron James needs to remind anyone, the Cavs - albeit a much different Cavs team from the season's first half - are only 14-15 SU on the NBA road and so playing a potential Game 7 in either Toronto or Boston is not advised.
WILL IT BE WISE TO CONSTANTLY WAGER AGAINST THE "TANKING" TEAMS IN THE NBA?
When Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban comes right out and admits that "losing is the best option" for his team these days then you wonder how many other NBA squads will lie down and play dead the rest of the way? Let's just say that if you wager against the quintet of Orlando/Atlanta/Memphis/Dallas/Phoenix from here on out, you'll probably make a proverbial "pretty penny" but the deal is you're gonna have to be laying some hefty prices against this handful of teams ... is that gonna sit right with you?
NOTE: More College B-Ball News/Notes in the next edition of Jim Sez.