23 Mar Thursday March 23rd – Sweet 16
NCAAB YTD: 147-147 50% (-8.88u)
2 Unit: 3-4 (-2.6u)
1.5 Unit: 3-4 (-1.99u)
1 Unit: 142-137 (-4.29u)
Its been a tough year for me in NCAAB but I’ve learned a lot about myself and some valuable lessons in handicapping. Probably pressed a bit too much in the last 2 months and it cost me. Nonetheless, I’m going to finish out the season to the best of my ability, learn from my mistakes and continue to grind out winners. Not going to let one bad stretch run discourage me, I know what I’m capable of, I’ve got my head back on straight, lets get it!
Thursday March 23rd
West Virginia +3 -105 (1.57u / 1.5u)
I have been on the fence on Gonzaga all season, while they do have some impressive out of conference wins, I was never fully convinced that they were a national title contender. After watching them the first weekend of the tournament, my mind hasn’t really changed. I’m still not fully convinced that they are the real deal. They have shown to have long stretches of mental and physical lapses where they basically fall asleep. The 1st half against SDSU and the 2H against Northwestern are prime examples of the Zags falling asleep at the wheel. They can not afford to do that today against West Virginia who have continued to impress me throughout the season. I was in Buffalo last weekend and saw this team in person and they were without a doubt the most impressive team that I saw that weekend (Wisconsin a close 2nd). Seeing their ferocious defence live was so fun and I was extremely impressed. I was also pleasantly surprised by their offence, especially in the half court, which I considered to be their only real weakness. Javon Carter was neck and neck with Broson Koenig as the best player on the floor in Buffalo last weekend without question. I don’t expect Gonzaga to handle this press well, plain and simple. I thought Notre Dame would have little issues handling the press and expose West Virginia, but boy was I wrong. The typically unflappable Matt Farrell looked lost at times and visually frustrated by the tactics and multiple presses that Huggins threw at them. They really got them out of rhythm and Notre Dame struggled to score. I see Notre Dame and Gonzaga as similar teams, with exception to the presence of the bigs inside for Gonzaga. This should be a big help to the Zags as the Mountaineers don’t really have a great rim protector. This is really my only concern in betting West V in this game. I have great concerns about Gonzaga being able to the protect the ball against this press, the likes of which they NEVER see in the WCC. As soon as Northwestern picked up full court pressure, they began to fumble the ball and untimely committed 14 turnovers. If they have 14 turnovers against West Virginia its going to be very difficult to win this game. I know the power rankings have this game priced correctly but I don’t think the market is properly accounting for the style or personnel matchup in this game. I think West Virginia is the better team, stacked with upperclassmen who are used to playing in tight games, against top tier competition game in and game out. The same can’t be said for the Zags who waltzed through the WCC this year. WVU jumped out to a 10-0 lead against Notre Dame and never looked back, and I expect them to do the same here against Gonzaga. Lets see how Gonzaga reacts when they get punched in the mouth, after being the big dog all season long. Gimme the Mountaineers outright, but will gladly take the +3 as insurance.