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Mike Handzelek's Pre-Madness CBB Analysis/Review


By: Point Shaver Handzelek
Date: Mar 12, 2020
   
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Wednesday, March 11, 2020 California vs. Stanford (NCAAB) - 9:00 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: 9.5/-110 California Rating: 9* Pac-12 Donnybrook Play (WIN) Stanford MAY have the upper hand with the better SU record. However, this rivalry trumps ANYTHING when the conference tourney comes into play. Let's buy to +12 & take the CALIFORNIA GOLDEN BEARS! Boston vs. Colgate (NCAAB) - 7:30 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: -7/-105 Colgate Rating: 10* Mike's Rare 10 Star Patriot League Final (LOSS) It's once bitten & twice shy for us here as we under-estimated the Raiders' momentum when facing Lafayette earlier. Let's play what the veteran home team has been focusing on & getting of late -- the conference championship! We'll grab the COLGATE RAIDERS as my Rare 10 Star Patriot League Final! Tuesday, March 10, 2020 Maryland Eastern Shore vs. Delaware State (NCAAB) - 6:00 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: 0/-110 Delaware State Rating: 9* Mid-Eastern Earlybird Ugly Pig Play (WIN) You might think it's tough to find value for teams having a combined 10-51 record. However,I feel the latest installment of this series back on February 29th @ the Hawks is indicative of what could happen here. 2nd-year HC Eric Skeeters may not be going to any tournament beyond this (they're no NC Central) but he's made the necessary adjustments from the 1st meeting which he lost 68-66. Guard Pinky Wiley should take control of this game for the Hornets who have the deeper bench (especially Myles Carter) & size down low to keep their starters fresh down the stretch. I'm looking for another double-digit win by the "Boys From Dover". Let's roll to the Norfolk Scope Arena to hop on the DELAWARE STATE HORNETS as my 9* Mid-Eastern Earlybird Ugly Pig Play! St. Francis PA vs. Robert Morris (NCAAB) - 7:00 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: -1.5/-110 St. Francis PA Rating: 9* Mike's Northeast Conference Advancer (LOSS) Loretto has something to cheer about this season as the 22-9 SU Red Flash under the direction of 7-year HC Rob Krimmel. His team is peaking @ the right time just in time to qualify for a spot in The Dance. This will be the rubber match after both teams traded double-digit victories on their home floor. The difference for me has to be the way 6'5" senior guard Keith Braxton (reigning NEC Player Of The Year) can take over a game. When he's not tearing it up, 1,000-point scorer & guard Isaiah Blackmon is there to pick up the slack. St. Francis has ALSO proven it can get it done on the road compiling a nifty 9-7 record away from Loretto. It's been a nice season for Robert Morris (Moon Township, Pa.) but the familiar surroundings @ this venue won't be enough! This SFU team is actually better than the one I saw in person when then Division 2 Kings College (Pa.) played Division I teams under the direction of HC Ed Donahue. Let's hop to the UPMC Events Center to play the ST. FRANCIS RED FLASHES to punch their ticket as the Northeast Conference Advancer! Canisius vs. Iona (NCAAB) - 7:30 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: -3.5/-110 Iona Rating: 9* Mike's Metro Atlantic Survivor (WIN) It appears the latest momentum belongs to the Canisius Golden Griffins as they've won 2 & face an Iona team on a current 3-game losing skein. With these 2 sub-.500 teams, that won't be the case. Iona won a close one @ home earlier in this series. I'm judging what has happened lately which was a lopsided 86-65 Gaels win on Canisius hardwoods just 2 weeks ago. There will be answer for E.J. Crawford ofr the perimeter shooting of Isaiah Ross as we'll go to Boardwalk Hall to grab the IONA GAELS on the ML as my Metro Atlantic Survivor! Sunday, March 08, 2020 Lafayette vs. Colgate (NCAAB) - 2:00 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: 10.5/-110 Lafayette Rating: 8* Mike's Patriot League Spreadbeater (LOSS) Jon Q. Public is over-reacting to the home court advantage & Lafayette guard Justin Jaworski being lost for the season with a torn ACL. What they're NOT taking into account is the slack has been picked up nicely by 6'7" freshman forward Leo O'Boyle (Scranton Prep, Pa. product). Yes, it's hard to beat a team 3 in a row in the same season if the opposition is equal or better than you. You have to consider the coaching angle as in 25th year HC Fran O'Hanlon (the dean of Patriot League coaches) adapting to the circumstances. It wasn't by chance they beat Colgate 71-67 @ Easton in mid-January or winning a nail-biter 80-78 @ this venue in late January (O'Boyle played a key role with 12 points in just 18 minutes). In fact, the Leopards shot 52% here that included netting 13 treys. With O'Boyle gaining about 15 or minutes a game playing time since Jaworski was lost, he's stepped up his game tremendously on Thursday when he scored a road career-high 20 points in a 73-68 upset @ Army. Lafayette has been more than worthy turning in a road warrior 10-6 SU record to date. We're going to Hamilton NY's Cotterell Court to play the LAFAYETTE LEOPARDS (buying to +13) as my Patriot League Speadbeater! Michigan vs. Maryland (NCAAB) - 12:00 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Total: 139/-110 Under Rating: 8* Mike's Sunday CBB Totality Play (LOSS) Where's the odd-makers going with this number? It's Sunday where we'll see the crowd & player personnel ease into this one. Upon further examination, it clearly reveals these 2 have grinded it out the past 2 where the game total averages out to 124. When we take into account the home (Maryland) & away (Michigan) game totals, it averages out to a shade under 130. I'm not a daily totals player. However, when something stands out, you must take full advantage. Average both of these out & it come to about 6 baskets under the number. Are you ready? I'm certainly ready to go the XFINITY Center in College Park to play UNDER as my Sunday CBB Totality Play! Iowa vs. Illinois (NCAAB) - 7:00 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Money Line: -160 Illinois Rating: 8* Mike's Big Ten Revenger Play (WIN) Don't think this one isn't personal when HC Brad Underwood's bunch (just 11-21 a year ago) hit the hardwoods this evening in Champaign. Even though both come into this fracas with identical 20-10 records, Iowa's struggles on the road are well documented (4-6 SU). This situation fits like a glove for the Fighting Illini (currently 2nd in the Big Ten) as a SU win here almost assures them of a double-bye (for the top 4 only) when the Big Ten Conference Tournament tips off March 11th @ Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. I love the home motivation factor as Illinois comes in off dropping a 72-65 decision on Feb. 2nd in Iowa City where Hawkeyes' scoring leader in 6"11' center Luke "Chairman of the Boards" Garza pumped in 25 (Iowa shot a red-hot 50% for the game). Look for Iowa's 5-game SU winning streak versus Illinois to end abruptly. My bottom line says Iowa should run into depth issues with 2 forwards playing hurt as well as 4 players out for the season. Get pumped as we head to Champaign, IL's State Farm Center to play the ILLINOIS FIGHTING ILLINI on the ML as my Big Ten Revenger Play! Saturday, March 07, 2020 Auburn vs. Tennessee (NCAAB) - 12:00 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Money Line: -145 Tennessee Rating: 8* Mike's SEC Momentum Grabber (LOSS) Yep, the Tigers have been more successful overall in the SEC this season than the Volunteers. However, the momentum clearly sits on the OTHER side. Auburn has been over-rated on the road as witnessed by their dismal 1-6 ATS mark when traveling. This has been a home series over the long haul as 16 of the past 23 went to the home team versus the number. Hats off to Bruce Pearl for an excellent season but it's HC Rick Barnes & Co. who grabs the SU win in front of a rowdy Senior Day crowd. John Fulkerson will make his presence known here! Let's get comfortable as we go to the Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville to play the TENNESSEE VOLUNTEERS as my 8* SEC Momentum Grabber! Virginia Tech vs. Notre Dame (NCAAB) - 2:00 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: -7.5/-110 Notre Dame Rating: 8* Mike's ACC Play Of The Day (WIN) I had these Gobblers predicted for dead last in the ACC when the season started. They've certainly played higher than those expectations to date. They still have many holes to fill to take them to the next level. HC Mike Young (1st season here since spending close to 3 decades @ Wofford) & Co. will remain a work in progress for a few years as they've shown some vulnerability on the road going 0-5 ATS of late, come in 1-5 ATS their last 6 Saturdays & have dropped 6 of their last 9 SU traveling. I'm pulling the lever on Mike Bray's bunch who are 4-1 ATS as a home favorite, 5-2-1 versus the number on Saturdays & have double-revenge for those 2 losses to the Hokies last season. I'm more than ready to the Joyce Center to enjoy 6'9" forward & wearing jersey #33 John Mooney (leads the NCAA's in double-doubles with 25) to rule the boards as we take the NOTRE DAME FIGHTING IRISH (buying to -3 1/2) as my ACC Play Of The Day! Oklahoma State vs. Texas (NCAAB) - 4:00 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Money Line: -165 Texas Rating: 8* Mike's Big 12 On The Bubble Survivor Play (LOSS) The Longhorns look pretty iffy right now in their push toward qualifying for the Big Dance. Further examination reveals HC Shaka Smart has his charges pointing in the right direction as they teeter with win #20. Despite the backcourt tandem of Courtney Ramsey & Andrew Jones scoring a total of 4 points, Matt Coleman stepped it up with 21 points in a one-point win over rival Oklahoma Tuesday. They now take on a OSU Cowboys' squad of HC Mike Boynton who have gone a ticket-ripping 3-8 versus the number when installed as dogs. Texas come in riding a 5-game winning streak but that success was predicated by an excellent defense that's yielded just 58 PPG during that span. We're flying down to the Frank Erwin Special Events Center to grab the gusto with the TEXAS LONGHORNS on the ML as my 8* Big 12 On The Bubble Survivor Play! Mike Handzelek's 2019-20 CBB Weekly Record: 5-6 for 45% Mike Handzelek's 2019-20 CBB Overall Seasonal Record: 19-15 for 56% (Tied for 3rd in Winning Percentage @ VegasTopDogs.com)
 


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