Awards Time For the College Ballers -- And We Don’t Flub It!
NO OSCARS BOTCH JOB HERE, FOLKS –
WE PRESENT OUR MANY
COLLEGE BASKETBALL AWARD WINNERS
OFF A WILD WINTER WEEKEND …
NBA NEWS & NOTES
Wow, talk about a wacky Hollywood ending!
No doubt everyone – including non-movie guys/gals – still are yapping about the humungous Oscar screw-up at the end of that marathon show Sunday night (did it even end yet?) but we’re gonna flip our own script here and hand out a batch of awards based on some of what just happened this past weekend.
What happened, you ask?
Well, #1 Gonzaga and its unbeaten season went down the tubes with a home loss versus 20.5-point underdog BYU;
Michigan State pumped up its NCAA Tournament hopes/seeding with Sunday’s gigantic 84-74 win against 3-point road fav Wisconsin;
And the likes of UCLA, Butler and Virginia landed critically-important conference road wins on this final weekend in February as they all improved their NCAA Tourney seeds, for sure.
And now hear this …
Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers keep rollin’ through this College Basketball and NBA season with loads of big-time winners right here online at www.jimhurley.com or at our exclusive toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453.
Get in on the fun/profits with all the hardwood action and remember the conference tournaments or so-called mini-tournies heat up this week and next week with lots of day-time action all throughout the month of March and we shall keep you posted. In fact, make a note that the mini-tournies swing into gear this Wednesday, March 1st with the Ohio Valley Conference ramping things up with the Missouri Valley Conference and Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference joining in the conference tournament fun the next day.
The (correct) envelopes, please …
BEST SUNDAY SHOW-STOPPER – Kelan Martin, F, Butler
Hey, this dude had some week – not just one Sunday afternoon, if you want to know the truth. Martin poured in 25 points and snagged 7 rebounds in the Bulldogs’ 88-79 win at 2.5-point underdog Xavier and wagerers take note that the Butler price crept up from 1.5-to-2-to-2.5 points and so public money was “right”. Martin’s prior game was a 22-point/8-rebound performance that included 9 points during a late-game 18-zip run in the mid-week win at Villanova.
BEST UPSET NOT NAMED BYU 79, GONZAGA 71 – We’ll give it to Arizona State for its 83-82 triumph over 5-point favorite USC on Sunday night as the Sun Devils somehow/some way overcame a 6-point deficit in the final 30 seconds and thus bumped the SC Trojans down to sixth place in the Pac-12 … still a lock for the NCAAs? Probably but don’t be losing home games this week/weekend versus Washington State and Washington.
BEST BUBBLE TEAM TO WIN A MUST GAME – Providence 73, Marquette 69
In Saturday’s Big East clash, on-the-bubble Providence roared back from a 12-point deficit with 7:20 remaining in the game and basically saved its season in terms of a potential NCAA Tournament bid. Consider that the PC Friars (18-11, 8-8) were on most first-four-out list but the late-game 14-1 run might go down as the biggest late-game spurt for any bubble team this late February/early March.
Momentum can be a fickle thing, y’know.
Take the Washington Wizards who zoomed into last weekend’s NBA All-Star Game break riding high and with dreams of finishing the regular season as the #2 seed (behind Cleveland, of course) en route to the NBA Playoffs but faster than you can say Jack Marin (google ‘em, kiddies!) the rug’s been pulled out from beneath this D.C. bunch with last Friday’s 120-112 loss at 9.5-point pup Philadelphia followed by Sunday’s 102-92 home loss against 2-point underdog Utah.
Don’t look now but the Wizards could wind up heading into this week’s games – home to Golden State on Tuesday night, at Toronto on Wednesday night and then home to Toronto on Friday night – fearing they will fall out of the top four seeds and maybe not even having home court for the opening round of this post-season.
The Wizards got 45 points between guards John Wall (23 points) and Bradley Beal and don’t you get the feeling that unless Washington gets more bang for their buck from the front line – only 6 points in 40 minutes from Otto Porter? – than the decline could continue.
Finally, the new-look New Orleans Pelicans – just as we predicted in one of last week’s Jim Sez columns – haven’t exactly embraced this co-superstar front-court deal starring holdover Anthony Davis and former Sacramento Kings star DeMarcus Cousins. The Pels are 0-3 SU (straightup) and 0-3 ATS (against the spread) since the All-Star Game break including a 30-point home loss to Houston, a 13-point loss at 2-point home dog Dallas and then Sunday’s 118-110 loss at 6-point favorite Oklahoma City. Yes, Davis rang the bell for 38 points and 7 rebounds and Cousins produced 31 points and 10 boards but the bottom line has been a disaster and any shot of climbing back into the Western Conference playoff picture is slip-sliding away, right?
Sacramento GM Vlade Divac claims his Kings will be much better in “two years” but wouldn’t it be a tad ironic if the Kings were better the rest of this year?
For the record, Sacramento has split SU and ATS verdicts following last week’s break – obviously, not a major body of work, we understand, but the Davis/Cousins tandem has hardly been magical thus far and better believe all the folks that handed out “A’s” to New Orleans and “D’s” to Sacramento for trade grade might have a change of tune.
Note: March Madness is straight ahead and we’ll be all over the College Basketball landscape in the next edition of Jim Sez. Lots of mini-tourney quickie previews/forecasts for the next two weeks.
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