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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Monday, March 4, 2019 at 12:00 AM



Okay, so if you've been paying real close attention to the world of College Basketball this year - and especially these past couple of weeks - than you know that more than a dozen teams have popped up on various "on-the-bubble" lists and so needless to say there are a batch of hoop squads that face what we'll call "gotta-have-it" games this week.
We'll concentrate here in today's Jim Sez column on a quartet of teams in "gotta-have-it" games this Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday nights and we'll toss in some key pointspread info on all the clubs ... but first now hear this:

Jim Hurley's Network of Handicappers and Bloggers will keep beating the Las Vegas and offshore books with more College Basketball and NBA winners plus don't forget it's Week 5 comin' up in the AAF (Alliance of American Football) here on this Saturday and Sunday. So, let's cash in big all this week right here online or or at 1-800-323-4453. Just keep rollin' in the profits with Jim Hurley's Network!

Here's our short list of College Basketball's "gotta-have-it" teams ...

N.C. STATE (20-9, 8-8) - Last time we checked the gentleman at CBS Sports (see Jerry Palm) had the Wolfpack on the outside looking in at an at-large NCAA Tournament berth despite the 20 wins in the bank already and the solid 18-11 ATS (against the spread) mark that - in our opinion - gives N.C. State the proverbial benefit of the doubt should they be ranked at the same exact level with another team. Still, State has to beat visiting and going-nowhere Georgia Tech (13-17, 5-12 in ACC play) this Wednesday night in Raleigh ... no ands, ifs or buts about it. Note the Pack is a dead-even 5-5 SU (straightup) and 6-4 ATS in its last 10 overall games, so the committee folks need to see an "answer-the-bell" win from them here. Last time out it was a close-but-no-cigar 78-73 loss-but-cover at 7-point favorite Florida State last Saturday afternoon ... the Wolfpack needs better here.

SETON HALL (16-12, 7-9) - Here's another team that, at last check, was on that "Last 4 Out" list by Mr. Palm but better believe the Pirates still have a pulse providing they can beat Marquette at the Prudential Center in Newark this Wednesday night. Folks, Kevin Willard's squad is a disappointing 12-16 versus the vig overall this year and the Bucs don't exactly storm into this mid-week game as Seton Hall's dropped three in a row - including last Saturday's stomach-churning 77-71 double-overtime loss at 2.5-point fav Georgetown. Note that back on January 12, "The Hall" lost 70-66 at Marquette ... one of many close losses that will haunt the Pirates if they fail to make it to the "Big Dance".

ALABAMA (17-12, 8-8) - Nothing like having to beat your archrivals to prove you belong in this year's NCAA Tournament: When the Auburn Tigers invade Coleman Coliseum on Tuesday night, it'll mark the biggest "gotta-have-it" game all season long for the erratic 'Bama bunch that's split its last 10 games SU and is a rather underwhelming 13-16 ATS this 2018-19 campaign. Did you know Alabama has failed to cover five of its last six games including last Saturday's 74-69 home loss against 3-point fav LSU? Okay, so that's no way to head into all these crunch-time games but the Tide could sway the committee's mind with a win here and a road win this weekend at Arkansas ... so let's see what you guys got and whether this SEC crew can be galvanized by the horrific tornadoes in the area.

SAINT MARY'S (20-11, 11-5) - For the past two weeks or so, the Gaels have been on bubble lists here and there depending on who you're checking with. No matter whether Saint Mary's is considered on the "Last 4 In" or "Last 4 Out" lists - and believe us, the West Coast Conference crew is on one of them right this very minute! - the fact remains that Randy Bennett's squad needs to win at least one game in this week's WCC Tournament that begins Thursday night in Las Vegas. The Gaels are a decent 17-14 against the odds this year but upon closer inspection they've failed to cover eight of their last 11 games and Saint Mary's has struggled mightily away from their home floor. Right now, we believe Saint Mary's needs to win two games just to get on the "right side" of the NCAA Tournament selection process but one at a time, guys, one at a time.



Here's the lowdown: The Orlando Apollos are - still - the only unbeaten team in Alliance of American Football (see 4-0) following last Saturday's 20-11 win/cover against 4-point underdog Salt Lake and this past weekend Steve Spurrier's squad was the lone betting favorite from the AAF to cash as San Diego (- 5.5), Birmingham (- 8.5) and Arizona (- 14.5) not only all failed to cover but none of the chalk sides even won their games in straightup fashion ... and Jim Hurley cashed big on Sunday afternoon with San Antonio's 12-11 upset win at the TD-plus favored Birmingham Iron - a team that plays rock-solid defense (especially down by the goal line, as we all witnessed) but doesn't have a whole lot of offensive pop.

So, AAF Week 4 turned into a big weekend for the pups and the "unders" too as three of the four games played went under the totals prices. Make sure you're part of the Alliance previews later this week right here at Jim Sez.

NOTE: We've got NBA and NCAA Basketball coverage later this week right here at Jim Sez - plus there's Alliance of American Football action too -- so don't miss out and make sure you're rollin' up all the winners at 1-800-323-4453 or right here online.

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