Submitted by Jim Hurley on Thursday, February 7, 2019 at 12:00 AM
NBA TRADE DEADLINE LOOMS - WHO'S GOING WHERE AT CRUNCH TIME? ...
THE COLEGE B-BALL REPORT: OUR TOP SEEDS UPDATE PLUS, TWO OF TONIGHT'S KEY TILTS
Let's just say that in a "perfect world" by 3 p.m. Eastern time today, the Los Angeles Lakers will "have their man" (see New Orleans' mega-star Anthony Davis) and the likes of the Toronto Raptors and Oklahoma City Thunder will have added a key piece or two in their attempts of filling out a championship-to-be roster.
Folks, it ain't ever a "perfect world" when it comes to the NBA and so that's why we believe you'll see some wheeling-and-dealing 'round the league but Davis won't be LA-bound just yet (and maybe never) and neither contenders Toronto nor Oklahoma City will have added any richness to their respective rosters.
However, this is what we do believe will happen prior to the NBA Trade Deadline ...
In the East, the Indiana Pacers - right now sitting tied at the #3 seed but without star guard Victor Oladipo (knee) for the remainder of the year - will make a significant splash or two and so don't be surprised if the Pacers gobble up Washington G Bradley Beal and/or New Orleans G E'Twaun Moore who's been out of action for a few games with a quad issue.
Also, while folks believe the Boston Celtics could be busy at the deadline, we think GM Danny Ainge and Company simply will be looking to add a piece here or there ... how does Cleveland F Kevin Love sound going off to Beantown?
In the West, we may not see the Lakers nabbing Davis or the OKC Thunder landing a big game to put together with stars Russell Westbrook and Paul George, but don't be shocked if short-handed Houston makes a major run at Detroit C Andre Drummond. Also, could see Denver - just a half-game back of Golden State for the #1 seed in the conference - snagging Memphis PG Michael Conley who's very much on the trade market.
Jim Hurley's Network of Handicappers and Bloggers waved bye-bye to the Football Season and so it's time to move on to the hardwood -- cash in big with NBA and College Basketball Winners starting tonight here online or 1-800-323-4453. Keep rollin' in the profits with Jim Hurley and make sure you're getting all the b-ball winners this month of February!
THE COLLEGE BASKETBALL REPORT
Let's get you to our weekly update on the top four seeds in all the NCAA Tournament regions (for now):
EAST - Duke, Michigan, Virginia Tech and Iowa State
MIDWEST - Virginia, Villanova, Louisville and Kansas
SOUTH - Tennessee, North Carolina, Michigan State and Marquette
WEST - Kentucky, Gonzaga, Nevada and Houston
Biggest Bubble Teams - USF, Dayton, St. John's, Minnesota, Fresno State and Alabama
Non-Power Conference Teams that Should Be in (even if they don't win their conference tournies) - Davidson, Hofstra, North Texas and Buffalo
Rating the Country's Top Conferences - ACC, Big 10, SEC, Big 12, Pac-12 and Big East.
On Thursday night, it's ...
#12 HOUSTON (21-1, 8-1) at UCF (16-4, 6-2) - 7 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network
Don't look now but Houston head coach Kelvin Sampson - remember him? - could be a major factor in next month's NCAA Tournament as he was for many years with Oklahoma. These days, Sampson guides a Cougars' club that is tied with Cincinnati for first place in the American Athletic Conference but gotta believe the road folks will have their hands full tonight in Orlando. Okay, so Houston guards Corey Davis, Jr (averaging 15 ppg and shooting 92 percent from the free-throw line) and Armoni Brooks (14.3 ppg and with a team-leading 77 trifectas) are true stars and the Coogs rank seventh nationally in team defense while allowing just 60.5 points a game but UCF's dangerous here with its own stiff defense (yielding only 63.9 ppg) starring 7-foot-6 C Tacko Fall. Spread Note: Houston is a slick 14-7-1 ATS (against the spread) this year including seven of its last 10 games.
#20 IOWA (17-5, 6-5) at INDIANA (13-9, 4-7) - 9 p.m. ET, ESPN
It's more than likely that the Big 10 - considered by many in-the-know folks as the top league in the land (se rate the ACC above 'em, as you can see) - will be placing eight or even nine teams into the NCAA Tournament field next month. Meanwhile, check out the current Big 10 standings and you'll see Iowa is pretty much smack in the middle even though the Hawkeyes come into this prime-time game with a national ranking. If the 'Eyes are gonna have it here in Bloomington, then making mucho trips to the free-throw line will be key - Iowa leads the conference with 575 FT attempts and freshman Joe Wieskamp has really given Iowa a major boost in recent games. Spread Note - Iowa's covered six of its last eight pointspread verdicts including last weekend's 74-59 beatdown of 5.5-point fav Michigan.
NOTE: Catch our College Hoop updates plus lots more in the next edition of Jim Sez.