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Mike Handzelek's CBB Championship Weekend Analysis/Review/Notes

By: Point Shaver Handzelek
Date: Mar 13, 2022
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Saturday, March 12, 2022 Northern Colorado vs. Montana State (NCAAB) - 8:00 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Money Line: -165 Montana State Rating: 10* Mike's 10 Star March Madness Thunderstruck Play (WIN) HC Danny Sprinkle (an excellent recruiter) enters his 3rd season @ his alma mater where he was a freshman on the last team to make it to the NCAA Tournament back in 1996. He's now looking to earn his 1st Big Sky Championship, a crown that eluded his Blue & Gold last season in a loss to Eastern Washington Eagles. They take on a Northern Colorado team that jetted to the championship game via an easier path with wins over 6th-seeded Eastern Washington & the #7 seed Portland State Vikings. HC Steve Smiley & his 20-14 SU Bears will be heavily relying on Combo-Guard Daylen Kountz (a Denver East HS product averaging 20.9 PPG) whose fresh off a 36-pt. performance versus Portland State. Bodle Hume (11.3 PPG) & Dru Kuxhausen (11.2 PPG) round out a good backcourt. I believe the more-motivated & hungry team falls on the OTHER sideline with the thunderstruck Bobcats. They are led by speedster guard Xavier Bishop (hails from Lanphier HS in Springfield, IL) whose averaging a solid 13.7 PPG. He'll have tremendous support from F Abdul Mohamed (a 6'7" transfer from North Texas whose averaging 7.9 PPG) who can rule the boards underneath. Guard Amin Adamu (11.5 PPG) compliments Bishop well, plays excellent pressure defense & also had a career-high 36 points versus these same Bears last season. All 3 of these players are seniors who elected to return for an extra year of eligibility due to the NCAA ruling on the COVID-19 epidemic. These 2 teams have played twice this season with Northern Colorado winning an early-December 77-75 OT thriller @ Bank of Colorado Arena in Greeley while Montana State came back for the equalizer with an 87-85 win @ Worthington Arena in Bozeman last Saturday. My bottom line says with 4 starters back, being 4-0 SU on neutral floors & having the better defense, rebounding & a sharper free throw percentage down the stretch, the Cats' have the right tools to earn their 1st March Madness trip in 26 years. Let's get pumped & ready as we travel to the Idaho Central Arena in Boise to play the MONTANTA STATE BOBCATS for the "W" as my 10 Star March Madness Thunderstruck Play! NOTES: The Bobcats played excellent defense versus Northern Colorado throughout holding the sharp-shooting Kountz to 20 points on 5-for-15 shooting from the field. On the flip side, Montana State got some major contributions from its supporting cast with guards Nick Gazeles pumping in 15 points & Tyler Patterson firing in 14 (led the team with 4 of its 10 FG's from beyond the arc). Sprinkle's squad were definitely thunderstruck as they shot a torrid 52% from the field which earned them a ticket to March Madness. Back on Monday. Mike Handzelek's 2021-22 CBB Overall Record: 4-3 for 57% Mike's Last 31 Plays (all sports): 26-5 for 84%

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