College Mini-Tournies Plus Key Mid-Week Games

THE COLLEGE B-BALL MID-WEEK UPDATE:
HERE’S SOME QUICK-HITTER PREVIEWS FOR TUESDAY/WEDNESDAY GAMES PLUS THE CONFERENCE TOURNAMENTS GET ALL REVVED UP …

NFL DRAFT REPORT
WILL DEE-FENSE, DEE-FENSE DOMINATE THE TOP 10 PICKS?

As the song used to say…

It’s gettin’, it’s gettin’, it’s gettin’ kinda hectic!

The race is on for the 68 vacancies in the upcoming NCAA Tournament and sure as the sun sets in the West there will be some controversy come Selection Sunday (March 12) if only because there’s a gaggle of power conference teams gasping for air while coming down the stretch.

Note that TCU (17-12, 6-10) will stagger into Wednesday night’s home game against Kansas State – the Horned Frogs have lost their last five consecutive games and that 60 RPI ain’t great either. More likely than not, TCU’s playing itself out of the tourney these days and that could be great news for a non-power conference club such as UCF (19-10) – fresh off Sunday’s big upset of Cincinnati – or Rhode Island (19-9).

Then there’s Alabama (16-12) which has dropped five of its last eight games and appears headed for an NIT berth at this stage – will the committee folks reward the Crimson Tide for a winning record (right now) in the SEC as ‘Bama is 9-7 in conference play or will the late-season slide KO ‘em? A team such as Boise State (18-9) from the Mountain West Conference could benefit from Alabama’s backwards moonwalk.

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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.

Here’s a little sampling of what’s on the Tuesday/Wednesday menu:

On Tuesday, it’s…
OKLAHOMA STATE (20-9, 9-7) at #24 IOWA STATE (19-9, 11-5) – 9pm ET, ESPN2

If you missed Monday night’s Big 12 action on ESPN – that was Baylor 71, West Virginia 62 followed by Kansas 73, Oklahoma 63 – then you didn’t see Joe Lunardi’s latest bracket goodies that had both Oklahoma State and Iowa State sitting with projected #7 seeds in the NCAA Tournament. Maybe that’s a bit too low for the I-State Cyclones and a bit too high for the Okie State Cowboys (just our opinion, folks!) but nevertheless this is an important game for Big 12 Conference Tournament seeding and gotta say the visiting Pokes have revenge on their minds following the 96-86 win by ISU back on Jan. 14th when Monte Morris poured in 30 points to go along with 5 rebounds and 5 assists.

On Wednesday, it’s…
MICHIGAN STATE (18-11, 10-6) at ILLINOIS (17-12, 7-9) – 9pm ET, Big 10 Network

Don’t look now but Tom Izzo’s guys from Michigan State are – finally – starting to play big-time ball. Note that Sparty has won four of its last five games since Feb. 10th as they’ve long since escaped the bubble that everyone had ‘em on for weeks. Now, if Nick Ward (22 points, 9 rebounds in Sunday’s 84-74 win against 3-point favorite Wisconsin) and friends can own the boards here, then Michigan State will win just its third conference road game of the year and maybe even scoot upwards to a #6 or #7 NCAA Tournament seed.

Okay, so we mentioned up above that the conference tournaments – a/k/a the mini-tournies – are beginning this week and it all starts Wednesday with the Ohio Valley Conference.

OHIO VALLEY CONFERENCE – Wednesday-thru-Saturday
Municipal Auditorium – Nashville, TN

THE FAVORITE: Belmont

DARK HORSE: Murray State

PLAYER TO WATCH: Six-foot G Jacolby Mobley (UT-Martin) averages 19.4 ppg for the OVC West champion Skyhawks and he just canned five trifectas in a win versus Murray State last weekend.

NFL DRAFT REPORT

If you’ve been perusing the NFL Draft stuff on the various web sites out there than you know that “Dee-fense” figures to be the order of the day in the first 10-to-12 picks.

In fact, one sports site we’re reviewing today claims six of the top seven prospects play defense including presumed #1 draftee DE Myles Garrett from Texas A&M.

If Florida State RB Dalvin Cook and Clemson WR Mike Williams somehow fall out of the upper part of the draft than it’s entirely possible that you could have nine or 10 defensive players in succession nabbed right at the very start of the April 27-28 draft.

What’s really gonna be interesting is to see if any or the 2016 playoff teams selecting at or near the bottom of Round One make an aggressive move to trade up into the top handful of picks – reports are the Green Bay Packers (who hold pick #29) would like to package that pick plus a body or two and a future high pick to get inside the top five and then gobble up the best available cornerback (see Ohio State’s Marshon Lattimore).

There’s also some thought that the Super Bowl 51 losers – you remember the Atlanta Falcons – will be actively pursuing a trade up the board with secondary help a real need. If the Falcons can deal away its #31 pick plus a warm body (maybe RB Tevin Coleman) it might climb into the top 6 or 7 and then have a shot to grab Michigan’s Jabrill Peppers.

NOTE: More College Basketball goodies plus NBA and NFL Draft news all this week right here at Jim Sez.

24
Sep

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