Key Sunday Matchups and 2011 QB Talk

Cashline Hoops Goes 2-1 Saturday!
New Mexico (+3.5) BYU 86-77 WON
SD State (-21) Wyoming 96-57 WON
UConn (-3) Louisville 78-79 lost



By Jim Hurley:

You know the deal - they really ought to be playing Super Bowl XLV this Sunday as everyone 'round the land has the itch to watch the "big game" but alas we all must wait another week but the good thing is there's loads of high-quality College Basketball and NBA tilts on this last weekend in January menu plus the NFL's Pro Bowl (back in Honolulu after a one-year trip to Miami) will keep you company come Sunday night.

So, here's our advice:

Sit tight. Enjoy the hoops and remember you get a whole 'nother week to chat about the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers - trust us, Super Bowl XLV will be here before you know it!

Jim Hurley and his Handicappers and Bloggers will release the Side & Totals Winners for Super Bowl XLV on game-day morning and so that means for the next several days and then deep into the spring too you can get all the 2010-11 College Basketball Winners and the NBA too as the hoops season remains in full swing. Just go ahead and join Jim as he crushes the Las Vegas and the off-shore books in these coming days/weeks with nothing but hoop winners  and you can go ahead and cash in when you give us game-day calls at our exclusive toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 or else when you just log online right here.


etic Harbaugh must sort through the likes of Alex Smith, Troy Smith or someone else not named Smith for the starting role. Expect the Niners to spend their first-round pick on a signal-caller that Harbaugh can mold in his way.

SEATTLE - Veteran Matt Hasselbeck is a free agent and who knows what the NFL labor wars will do with such players but we say it's better than 50-50 that Hasselbeck will return for anot


#3 DUKE (19-1) at ST. JOHN'S (11-8) - 1 p.m. ET, CBS
The third-ranked Dookies still won't have the services of star guard Kyrie Irving here as he continues to sit it out with a toe injury but one thing worth watching here is how freshman G Seth Curry plays on the big stage at Madison Square Garden.

Curry - the kid brother of Golden State Warriors G Stephen -- really has been blossoming lately and he finished with a career-best 20 points in Thursday's 84-68 win against 16 ½-point underdog Boston College. Here the smooth-stroking young star should get plenty of open looks against a St. John's team that doesn't exactly play lights-out defense.

On the flip side, the Red Storm - losers of three straight and five of their last six games - come off Wednesday's debilitating 25-point loss at Georgetown when the Johnnies shot a putrid 20-of-59 from the floor (that's 33.9 percent) and G Dwight Hardy was a major culprit while nailing just 4-of-16 FG tries en route to a sub-standard 10-point game.

Maybe the Steve Lavin Era - okay, we're talking not yet 20 games - has hit a proverbial brick wall with a crew that couldn't win for out-of-work boss Norm Roberts.

INDIANA (11-10, 2-6 Big 10) at #25 MICHIGAN STATE (12-8, 4-4 Big 10) - 6 p.m. ET, Big 10 Network
It's still hard to believe that "Sparty" is floundering so badly this 2010-11 season - the 61-57 home loss to 11-point underdog Michigan on Thursday night was truly rock-bottom stuff for Tom Izzo's club and so now Michigan State goes into this clash on a three-game losing streak and assured of falling out of the national rankings.

The $64,000 question is can Izzo's guys show some life before it's too late?

Now that G Korie Lucious has been dismissed from the squad there are other Spartans that must step up their games but only G Kalin Lucas (27 points in 37 minutes against Michigan) really showed some pep in his step while connecting on 10-of-18 field-goal tries - otherwise the rest of this M-State squad shot a shabby 11-of-30 from the floor and how about the fact the Wolverines out-boarded 'em 28-to-26?

Now that's not very Spartan-like, is it?

If Indiana wants to steal this one in East Lansing, then F Christian Watford (16.8 ppg and 5.8 rpg) must be a stat-sheet stuffer plus Tom Crean's Hoosiers must show a bit more consistency after a real up-and-down campaign.


ARIZONA - Now that the Cardinals went through a gazillion quarterbacks in the first year of the post-Kurt Warner Era, they must ask themselves whether or not former Fordham star John Skelton is the answer. Don't be surprised if the Redbirds choose to keep Skelton in a backup role while opting for a more experienced starting signal-caller and one name - even if it's a one-year band-aid - to watch for here is Oakland's Jason Campbell who most assuredly won't be part of the Raiders plans anymore.

CAROLINA - No doubt that 2010 rookie Jimmy Clausen was a major bust plus he wasn't all too popular with teammates (especially with superstar WR Steve Smith) but odds are Clausen will be the #1 slinger come next season even though the Panthers have the numero uno pick in this upcoming NFL Draft. Maybe Matt Moore can give Clausen a run for the starter's spot in training camp but tough to believe Carolina will spend the top pick on another quarterback and tough to believe anyone but Clausen is the now-and-immediate future answer here.

CINCINNATI - Now here's a really interesting situation as Bengals' long-time QB Carson Palmer has demanded a trade and it's better than 50-50 that the AFC North accommodates him. Cincinnati could not have liked what they got from Palmer last year with all those interceptions and bad reads and ownership is said to be anxious to turn the page on his Cincy career and give someone else a shot. Count on the Bengals dealing Palmer on or before this year's NFL Draft and than snapping up either Florida State's Christian Ponder or Arkansas' Ryan Mallett in the draft.

CLEVELAND - The Browns pushed Eric Mangini out the door (and rightfully so) and brought in new offensive whiz kid Pat Shurmur and no question he's looking to duplicate the model the St. Louis Rams have in place with QB Sam Bradford now set to run the show there for years to come. If Shurmur can get his mitts on the aforementioned Mallett than the Browns can stop all this silly juggling at the quarterback spot - now who can really live with another year of Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace?

DENVER - Everyone's waiting for Tim Tebow to take command at this position in 2011 but new head coach John Fox - no stranger to quarterback controversies in his nine years in Carolina - might give Kyle Orton at least an even shot at winning the top spot and so look for this to be one of the great summertime duels this year. No doubt the Broncos fan base will be clamoring for Tebow but we say he's gonna have to play well in the NFL Preseason games in August to nail down the #1 role.

MIAMI - It might be the most-asked question along South Beach:  Who's gonna be the Dolphins starting quarterback next season? It appears that the organization has run out of patience with erratic slinger Chad Henne and so expect the Fish to be in the market for a veteran and/or a rookie slinger this spring and maybe Washington Huskies star Jake Locker might be a good fit here. Stay tuned.

MINNESOTA - Don't expect Tarvaris Jackson to be manning the number one spot at quarterback unless the Vikings simply are unable to pull the trigger on a trade or get who they're after in the draft. Minnesota could be eyeballing the likes of Locker or Ponder here in Round One

OAKLAND - Good luck ever getting a handle on what the silver-and-black will do at the quarterback position but new head coach Jackson knows enough that he doesn't want a whole lot of life with either the aforementioned Campbell or journeyman Bruce Gradkowski.

SAN FRANCISCO - New head coach Jim Harbaugh would have loved to stuff his Stanford QB Andrew Luck into an equipment bag with 'em and taken him to the Golden Gate City but luck decided to stay put for another year in college and so the energher year under head coach Pete Carroll.

WASHINGTON - Wonder what quarterbacks out there have the best cardiovascular system?

    NOTE: Be with us as we crank up Super Bowl XLV Week with our next edition of Jim Sez.

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