Saturday, January 13, 2007

It can only get better....

After last week's 0-4 in the MWSF Hoops Challenge, I can only get better. Only one of these games should be an easy pick this week, but then again, Butler/UIC last week was supposed to be easy, until an overtime victory made me winless.

The games!

#20 Tennessee @ #5 Ohio State - Sat.
IUPUI @ Valparaiso - Sat.
Illinois @ Michigan State - Sun.
Purdue @ #4 Wisconsin - Wed.

So three of my four picks will be decided by the time the new polls come out. Now, on to the picks!

The "locks"

I say that of course, tongue in cheek.

Game 1: #20 Tennessee @ #5 Ohio State - Noontime tip

This one makes me nervous. Tennessee is a pretty high powered offense, averaging 85.6 points per game, and they're led by two junior guards who seem to be lighting it up. Ohio State, however, is the more talented team and has home court. OSU's recent struggles(losing to Wisconsin, only scoring in the 60s at Illinois, despite walloping them overall) can probably be accounted to a lot of freshmen playing on the road in a rough conference to get road wins. Tennessee has beaten some good teams in Oklahoma State and MEmphis, both ranked teams, but they got walloped by one of those top tier teams in North Carolina. In writing this, I've almost talked myself into taking the upset, but I can't do it. Ohio State, at home, will pull this one off.

Game 2: IUPUI @ Valparaiso - 7:05 tip

The two most well known teams in my alma mater's conference, the mighty Mid-Con. Valpo is the usual league champ, but IUPUI has the most fun name, and everyone remembers wanting to pick "ooey-pooey" a couple years ago when they made the tourney. This year, IUPUI is the better scoring, better rebounding team, but that might be misleading because their toughest game was against unranked Illinois. Valpo meanwhile, matched up with Ohio State, Butler and Marquette, all ranked teams at the time of the game. Due to lack of a true favorite here, I'll go with the home team and say that Valpo gets themselves back to .500 in Mid-Con league play.

Game 3: Illinois @ Michigan State - Sunday, 12:30 tip

Both teams are 1-2 in the Big 10 after starting off with two losses in league play. Illinois squeaked by Iowa after letting a reasonable size lead slip away. Michigan State looked dominant against lowly Northwestern, beating them by 21. Iowa is not a team Illinois should struggle with at home. I can understand on the road, but at home, you have to take care of business and stick that dagger in when you have a chance. Illinois seems incapable of doing this right now, AND they're on the road. As much as I hate to do this, as a fan, I'm going with the third home team out of three games so far, and picking Michigan State to beat the boys in orange and navy.

Game 4: Purdue @ #4 Wisconsin - Wednesday, 7:00 tip

Purdue is having one of their best seasons in a long time--so far--and are currently projected by Bracketologist Joe Lunardi to be in(although only a #12 seed) the field of 65. However, they're already 1-2 in Big 10 play(not a shock to me), and my guess is they're on their way to about a 6-10 Big 10 season, with this game against Wisconsin being another of those 10 losses. Wisconsin right now is the undisputed best team in the Big 10--although maybe not by the end of the season, check Ohio State still--and they're at home, where they're virtually unbeatable. That of course is a lesson I ignored last week, but fool me twice... shame on me! Wisconsin should win this mid-week game handily.


All home teams win!

Ohio State over Tennessee
Valpo over IUPUI
Michigan State over Illinois
Wisconsin over Purdue



Post a Comment

<< Home