Game One of the NCAA Basketball Season

The NCAA Basketball season is back! November basketball doesn’t mean much in the long landscape of college basketball.  Teams that struggle on the first night mostly can regroup  when crunch time hits in February and March but as a sports community we are always quick to judgement so let’s judge away.

The Good- The ACC

As a Duke fan I try and keep my ACC biasis in check most of the time but this league is just to good to ignore.

Syracuse and Virginia will most likely be the most boring teams in basketball but their defensive ability will smother teams of all leavels.  Combined they both gave up just 76 points.

North Carolina avenged their loss to Wofford last year (they also covered -10.5).  Wofford is veteran team that gave them all they wanted.  North Carolina has a very underrated freshma class to compliment Luke Maye and Cameron Johnson.  This team is good.

We will get to the biggest statement win at the end of this article, don’t ignore the domination that Florida State showed last night. Florida is a solid team out of the revamped “basketball” conference the SEC.  Florida was never in that game.

The ACC showed how dominate they could be last night,  even Pittsburgh won!

The Bad- The Atlantic 10

The A-10 was set for some regression in 2018-19. Rhode Island lost their big stars and their coach.  St. Bonaventure lost a litany of starters, VCU has not been able to return to  since Shaka Smart moved on to Texas and the SLU Billikens are still transitioning into relevance under Travis Ford but opening night for this league did not go well.

George Mason, took a loss at home to the Ivy League’s Pennsylvania Quakers, traditionally not a terrible loss but for a team many saw as a top three contender in the Atlantic 10 this was very surprising.

George Washington continued its irrelavane after a dismal 2017-18 seaosn falling at home to American East’s Stony Brook Seawolves.  A game that saw George Washington blow an earyl 22-0 lead! George Washington is not good but this was a game that they were suppose to cruise to a win.

The Temple Owls were able to pull out a victory over La Salle but they did not look impressive to say the least struggling to keep the lead against a very unimpressive Lasalle squad.

Finally conference preseason favorite the SLU Billikens won but showed their potential issues in a ten point victory of Southeast Missouri State.  The Billikens could not find any shooting stroke making just 4-25 three point shots.  In today’s game lack of shooting will come back to haunt them.

Davidson and Rhode Island looked good beating two lesser teams but overall this was not a night to remember for the respected Atlanic 10 Conference.  Luckily for them they were over shadowed by a few games that had a bit more media draw.

THE SEC also had a pretty rough night.  Cough, Kentucky, Cough, Florida.

The Zion

There is a belief that Zion is the Holy Land and it truly exists.  Duke’s Zion Williamson, Cam Reddish, RJ Barrett and Tre Jones are the Zion of college basketball. The domination of the number two ranked Kentucky Wildcats was the tip of the iceberg of what this team can be.

While the four freshman bring the flash, role players Jack White, Marques Bolden, Alex O’Connell and Javin Delaurier complemented them perfectly on Tuesday night.  Talks of this team going undefeated are premature in the loaded ACC.  Games against defensive minded Syracuse and Virginia will give the Blue Devils trouble this season, but they established themselves as the true contenders, potentially the favorites to win it all.  There is a lot of basketball to play anything can happen over these next few months but as you watched the destruction of an extremely talented Kentucky team you could almost hear a collective groan from the rest of the college basketball world.

Fantasy Football- Players we hate

The NFL season is half way over, which means that fantasy playoffs are right around the corner.  If you are a playoff team you probably avoided these players. Let’s list off the top five players we hate (that we drafted).

This list is based on guys that have been playing but not producing.  If they are injured I give them a pass.  If they are LeVeon Bell I refuse to speak his name out loud in public.

Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans

Derrick Henry was suppose to have his coming out party in the playoffs last year.  Damn was I wrong.  The Titans left DeMarco Murray walk in the off season, which meant that Henry would be the guy right?? Nope Dion Lewis has taken over the bulk of the carries in the backfield.  Henry is averaging a staggering 3.3 yards per carry so far in 2018.

Henry also gives you nothing on the receiving end with eight catches the entire season! Henry is trending in the direction of fellow Alabama alumni Trent Richardson, I would look for him to be moved in the off season unless things change drastically. I hate you Derrick Henry!

LeSean McCoy, RB, Buffalo Bills

McCoy has had a great fantasy career, but currently I have the same amount of Touchdowns as he does this season.  It’s zero in case that wasn’t clear.  I know the Buffalo offense is a joke.  Nathan Peterman is the equivalent of a dumpster fire while on the field, but McCoy is still only averaging 3.1 yards per carry this season.  Chris Ivory has become more relevant out of the backfield.   I really don’t need to say much more than that.  I may not have drafted you in any leagues LeSean but I hate you for those who did.

Kenyan Drake, RB, Miami Dolphins, Kenny Stills, WR, Miami Dolphins

Drake has had his moments this season, especially when I have had to face him.  But overall he has been a bust this season.  The ageless Frank Gore has taken away carries from the 2017-18 fantasy surprise.  Miami has had their issues at Quarterback, starting Brock Osweiler (not sure that’s how you spell it but who cares).  The QB situation has caused problems for the Dolphins but they should still be able to utilize Drake out of the backfield in passing situations but for some reason they refuse to do it consistently.

I added Kenny Stills to this list because I am tired of hearing about his potential.  Stills disappears in games to the point where he literally gets no targets.

Kenyan and Kenny I hate you both equally.

Nelson Agholor, WR, Philadelphia Eagles

Nelson had a great start to the season then the return of Alshon Jeffery made him basically disappear. Agholor had 8 Touchdowns last year, half way through the season he is sitting at one.  He has been so bad that literally the Eagles went out and found a replacement for him at the deadline, adding Golden Tate.

Has Agholor forgotten how to run a route?  Has Carson Wentz forgotten that he is on the team.  Why do you suck now Nelson?  I hate you!

 

 

NCAAF Picks ATS- Week 10

Season Record: 21-22

Nebraska Cornhuskers at Ohio State Buckeyes -18

Nebraska is in rebuild mood under first year Head Coach Scott Frost.  This team will not always stink, but this season they do.  They are going to be running into an angry buzzsaw on Saturday when they face the Ohio State Buckeyes

Defensively, Nebraska allows an average of 272 passing yards per game, which is the 20th-most in college football and could be an issue against the likes of Dwayne Haskins. Despite the loss to Purdue two weeks ago Haskins was still good throwing for 470 yards against Purdue.  This will be an offensive onslaught from the Buckeyes early and late.  Ohio State wants to make a statement after their upset loss to Purdue and have had a whole week to sit a stew over the loss.  This will be ugly.

PicksOhio State -18.5

Georgia Bulldogs -9 at Kentucky Wildcats

The Georgia Bulldogs have won eight straight meetings with the Kentucky Wildcats by an average of 20 point per game.  Wildcat fans should be proud of the way their team has played this season.  Pulling off the victory at Mizzou in the final seconds has kept their teams SEC title dreams alive.  Beating Mizzou is great but this is the Georgia Bulldogs.  A team that fell just short of a National Title and knows they have work to do after suffering an embarrassing loss two weeks ago to LSU.

Any chance to a Georgia let down was wiped away two weeks ago.  The Bulldogs will be gas on the pedal full adrenaline the entire night.  Sophomore QB Jake Fromm will limit the turnovers and keep the ball in their hands.  Georgia will stack the line to make sure Benny Snell will not be a factor.  Bulldogs not only need to win but need to win convincingly.

PicksGeorgia -9

Memphis Tigers-13 at East Carolina Pirates

This one is simple to me.  I began this article when the line was a -13 fro Memphis, I have seen it go as low as -11 on some sights.  This almost seems to easy, Memphis will have the best player on the field in Darrell Henderson.  UCF ran wild on the East Carolina defense, look for Memphis to ride Henderson early and often.

East Carolina will get a few big plays in but they won’t be able to keep up with the Memphis offense.

PicksMemphis Tigers -13

Boston College Eagles at Virginia Tech Hokies +2

The return of AJ Dillon has made a huge difference for the Boston College Eagles. But they have a matchup against a team that will have the tools needed to defeat them on Saturday beginning with Virginia Tech QB Ryan Willis.

Boston College’s two losses came on the road against teams that throw a bit. The Hokie O line might not be amazing, but it should be able to give Willis just enough time to operate.

The Eagles will need to create turnovers to win and that is not easy to do against Virginia Tech.  The home field advantage will play a large role in this one.

PicksVirginia Tech Hokies  +2

South Alabama Jaguars at Arkansas State Red Wolves -15

I always like to pick a game no one is going to watch in case I am losing.  Arkansas State can score, I have covered two games I have bet on with them.  I’m gonna let it ride.

PicksArkansas State Red Wolves -15

Other Picks:

Florida State +9

Penn State Michigan over 53

Charlotte +22

SLU Billikens can take over St. Louis

High expectations.  They are hard to live up to in the sports world.  The Saint Louis Men’s Basketball team will face that during their upcoming season.  With high expectations comes excitement.  The city of St. Louis has a hunger for sports, but a thirst for winners.  You can live a lot longer with no food then water. The Billikens are set to provide the city with all of the refreshment they want in 2018-19.  They may even take over the sports scene in this city. I can be as bold as to say in three months SLU Basketball could take over the #2 role in the city behind the Cardinals and a head of the Blues.

Most polls have the Billikens as the team to beat in the Atlantic 10.  Lead by stars and Preseason All Conference Second Team selections Javon Bess and Jordan Goodwin the Billikens will look to take a step forward in the exciting A-10. If rising sophomore Hassan French continues his development, the Billikens will be an A-10 title contender for the next several years. From a talent perspective, this is the best team on paper in the conference. But with there being so many new faces, there may have been chemistry concerns in the preseason.  Those concerns were wiped away after game one of the preseason as SLU dismantled Quincy with a dominate 85-42 victory.  Transfer Tramaine Isabell lead the way with 19 point and 7 assists.

St. Louis is a city that loves its sports, despite not having an NBA team the city still shows its passion for basketball every year during the Arch Madness Tournament (Missouri Valley Conference Championship) held at the now Enterprise Center.  Fans also made their passion for the game very evident when the SEC tournament made its way to St. Louis in 2018.  It is also hard to find a fan base that takes a basketball rivalry as serious as the Bragging Rights Game between Illinois and Missouri. I know most North Carolina basketball fans will rightfully argue their rivalry is bigger but from a midwestern standpoint there is very little that lives up to hype of that game.  As good as that rivalry is though both Illinois and Mizzou have not been conference championship contenders for a few years now.  SLU is a legitimate contender in a conference known for shaking up  March Madness.  Dayton and St. Bonaventure just last season made an impact in the tournament of basketball Goliath’s.  Why can’t SLU be next? Since the exit of the Rams just two years ago there has been a gap in the sports community.  The Cardinals have struggled for relevancy in the NL Central, the Blues have broken our hearts on more than one occasion and the dream of a soccer team is still a few years away.  This is the perfect time for the Billikens to take advantage of a city that still feels abandoned.

The talent of this team is great but their charismatic leader is the perfect person to lead them to victories on the court and victories in the local media.  Ford has a knack for recruiting high level talent going back to his days with Oklahoma State when he convinced Marcus Smart, now of the Boston Celtics, to not only come there but stay an extra year.  Ford has begun to work his magic on the transfer market with Tramaine Isabell, as well as the local market convincing local 4-star recruit Cart’Are Gordon to join his already rising SLU squad.  Ford is what the city needs after dealing with a litany of coaches whom have personalities that are not exactly media friendly or attention grabbing. Cough, “Mike Matheny”, Cough “Jeff Fisher”, Cough “Ken Hitchcock”.

For a good example of the personality of Travis Ford check it his role in the comedy movie “The Sixth Man”.

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=sixth+man+travis+ford+funny+moments

 

The Blues have not lived up to expectations. Mizzou Basketball just lost its best player Jontay Porter. Mizzou Football is a mid-level SEC team, that’s being polite. The Billikens have a chance to take this city by storm and create a new love for the sport of basketball.  We early season matchups with Florida State, Seton Hall and Butler will show us what this team is really going to be all about.  They have the potential to be great.  The expectations are high, isn’t that where we want them to be.

Check out the next SLU preseason game against UMSL Thursday November 1 at Chaifetz Arena.