Friday, February 03, 2006

Four Corners

Every Monday-Thursday (and occasional weekend games) renowned college basketball expert, Money will be handicapping the games for you. Picks and thoughts will be posted prior to tip-off, typically by 3:30 pm pst.

And my favorite, “The TRUTH is you suck!

These were all compliments that were thrown my way the last couple of days. Money has finally hit a rough spot, and The TRUTH is people care. “You like me, you really like me.”

I still have a positive record and a world class reputation. Just the other day, I was stopped in an international airport and asked for my prediction on the outcome of the World Baseball Classic (I think that is what he said. It was not in English). I told him the Dominican Republic would win.

If nothing else, you seem to be reading this and keeping track (at least of my losers). That is a pretty easy thing to do; hit somebody when they are down. So I will take the high road and not insult my brother (glass eye), my bookie (unemployed) and my estranged best friend (absolute loser with no endearing qualities) from college who has now come back into my life. He probably wants some cash. I don’t any of that, but I have the next best thing.

Money’s trip to the Bank: (Money’s Cash cow to date – 16 wins, 11 losses)

NOTRE DAME +5 at Louisville (winner)
I was inspired to pick this team after some of the comments thrown my way.

UCONN -5 at Indiana (winner)
A hot team playing a cold team.

VIRGINIA -3 vs. Wake Forest (loser)
Virginia is an underrated team with a fantastic backcourt.

MARQUETTE +12.5 at Villanova (winner)
Both teams like to shoot the threes. This will be a very close game.

KANSAS STATE -2.5 at Oklahoma state (loser)
A down year for the cowboys

KENTUCKY +7.5 at Florida (loser)
The Gators are banged up and Kentucky plays better on the road.

NOTE: There is a comment field at the end of each article if you feel like expressing your anger publicly.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

4 Minutes of Hell

Each Thursday we will look at the AP top 25 with our eye on the prize, the tournament, and examine who is heading in the right direction and who is not. We will also project our top 4 seeds each week, leading up to the Big Dance.

AP Top 25

1) Uconn – They are just going to get better.
2) Duke – Relying on too many freshman. This will burn them.
3) Memphis – Won’t lose again until the NCAA tournament. They have a #1 seed locked up.
4) Villanova – Not a dominant team, but a very, very good team.
5) Gonzaga – They won’t lose either, but probably need help to gain a #1 seed. No help necessary in my seedings.
6) Illinois – Strong road win at Wisconsin.
7) Texas – The losses are starting to pile up on this national contending team.
8) Florida – They have company in the SEC now with LSU and Tennessee.
9) Pittsburgh – Quietest top 10 team in the country. I’m buying
10) George Washington – They are not even the best team in Washington D.C.
11) West Virginia – “Slight” hiccup losing at home to Marshall.
12) Michigan state – Here come the wins.
13) Tennessee – This team scares me more than Florida. I get scared pretty easily though.
14) UCLA – Rising in spite of injuries.
15) Boston College – Played Duke tough at home. No victory though.
16) Washington – They should have been kicked out of the top 25 in the manner they lost to Stanford.
17) Georgetown – The best team in Washington D.C.
18) North Carolina state – Barely beat Virginia at home.
19) Oklahoma – Salvaged their season by beating Texas at home. Locked up a tournament bid.
20) Ohio state – These guys will be a tough opponent in the tournament.
21) Michigan – Peaking at the right time. Not buying it.
22)Indiana – Unlike UCLA, not able to overcome the injury bug.
23)Iowa – Tremendous threat. One of the best defensive teams in the country.
24)LSU – Money’s dark horse; Finally cracked the top 25. Now they are overrated. I discovered them though.
25)Northern Iowa – Another member of Money’s fan club. Losing their first game while being ranked will bring them back to obscurity, where they will thrive again.

The Next team? Kansas

Seeds Wash. D.C Atlanta Minneapolis Oakland
1 Duke, Memphis, Uconn, Gonzaga
2 Pittsburgh, Villanova, Illinois, Texas
3 Florida, Michigan St., Tennessee, UCLA
4 Iowa, West Virginia, Georgetown, LSU

Comments: Villanova probably should have replaced Texas as my last #1 seed, but Gonzaga will win their division and their conference tournament, and Villanova won’t. Plus, I want to keep a west coast team on the west coast. I expect to keep lowering Florida as time goes on. I think the 4’s are solid, with West Virginia being the likeliest to leave the dance early. Who did I miss? George Washington is a fraud and I am not ready to commit to Boston College.

Four Corners

Every Monday-Thursday (and occasional weekend games) renowned college basketball expert, Money will be handicapping the games for you. Picks and thoughts will be posted prior to tip-off, typically by 3:30 pm pst.

It has been four days now and I am still thinking about the Stanford/Washington game played on Sunday night. I do have other hobbies and interests, and it is not completely consuming all of my time, but I do admit, it is still on mind.

Stanford was down 3 points with 2.1 seconds left in the game. They inbounded the ball, made a couple of passes and Chris Hernandez was fouled on a three point attempt (or prayer) by freshman point guard, Justin Dentmon.

Hernandez calmly walked up to the line and made all three free throws, even with a timeout being called by Washington after the second made free throw, sending the game to overtime. I cannot think of too many college players that could have done that. J.J. Redick could do it. Dee Brown of Illinois probably could as well. The funny thing is that everyone expected Hernandez to make those shots. Before he stepped up to the line, the game clock said 5:00 for overtime. The man has ice in his veins.

On the flip side, Lorenzo Romar should have spent less time yelling and embarrassing poor Dentmon, and more time thinking and preparing for overtime. His team, who did not score a basket in overtime, was not prepared and had no chance in overtime.

Neither one of these teams are very good. In fact the entire Pac 10 is pretty pathetic this year. But at least that game was entertaining

NOTE to Stanfurd: Please don’t rush the floor after beating Washington. Yes, it is a big win for your program, this year, but you are better than that.

Money’s trip to the Bank: (Money’s Cash cow to date – 13 wins, 8 losses)

LOUISIANA TECH -1 vs. Nevada (loser)
Nevada’s top 25 ranking at the beginning of the season is gone. Their tournament chances after losing this game will follow that trend as well.

GEORGE MASON -9 at Delaware (loser)
It could be argued that George Mason is the best team in Washington D.C. I am not going to make that argument, but somebody might. Georgetown is better, but George Mason is a very good team. Delaware is not.

USC +3 vs. Arizona (winner)
I had to put a game in here that my readers have heard about. I need to keep you coming back.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Four Corners

Every Monday-Thursday (and occasional weekend games) renowned college basketball expert, Money will be handicapping the games for you. Picks and thoughts will be posted prior to tip-off, typically by 3:30 pm pst.

Congratulations. Today is February. We are inching our way closer to March Madness. I am beginning to salivate thinking about watching Kentucky (yes, they will get in) tip off Thursday morning March 16 vs. some Mid Major team. Incidentally, that Mid Major team will beat Kentucky. In fact, if there was ever a reason to watch those dreadful early week games of “Championship Week” on ESPN, this is the year to do it. This tournament is going to be wild, and by wild, I mean upsets.

Uconn is the best team in the country. They have the fewest holes. I see them as the favorite. Duke has two of the best players in the country and the best coach to boot. The supporting cast is not as good as recent years. Memphis has the best players, but that does not translate to a national title. Villanova does not have a big man. Texas has that 30 point loss (no team has ever won the national title when suffering a 30 point loss). As good as these teams are, the notch below them is not very far off. And this notch runs very deep.

It is tough to predict final four teams without knowing the brackets and where they play, but these are four teams that I think have the intangibles to make it there.

Money’s Dark horse Final Four:

Northern Iowa

Money’s trip to the Bank: (Money’s Cash cow to date – 12 wins, 6 losses)

TEXAS -11.5 at Missouri (winner)
Bounce back game for the Longhorns. They have owned Missouri recently and I look for this trend to continue

VIRGINIA +10.5 at nc state (winner)
Too many points. Virginia is not this bad.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Super toiletBowl Sunday

What a stinker. I love watching the superbowl, but this one does nothing for me. Jerome Bettis is coming home to Detroit and all of the steelers are going to win one for the BUS. Please. Do you think Ben Roethlisberger really cares about winning this game for Jerome Bettis, a guy who he has played with for 2 years? He is thinking about how much his beard will fetch on eBay after he shaves it. The steelers arrived a day late to Detroit. How is this going to affect their performance? Who cares? Will Seattle be able to move the ball against the vaunted 3.14 defense of Pittsburgh? They better, as they will have 2 weeks to prepare for this.

I guess I am looking for more than just “two good football teams” or 2 “hall of fame coaches” battling it out. There are no compelling storylines. Where are the hookers? Do they not have them in Detroit? They could spice this thing up.

With all that said, I do think Pittsburgh will win, and I don’t think it will be close. I don’t think Seattle is that good of a team. They really have not been tested all year! They won 13 games this year. 3 of those games were to teams with winning records. They beat Dallas in Seattle, but Drew Bledsoe handed them the game, throwing an interception with :25 seconds left in a 10-10 game. Seattle kicked a field goal on the next play and won. They beat the Giants, again at home, but AJ Feeley missed three kicks at the end of the game and in overtime that would have won it for the Giants. Their third victory against a winning team was in Seattle against Indianapolis in a meaningless for both.

In the playoffs, they beat 2 mediocre teams at Seattle. Washington had a good defense but their offense was incapable of scoring points. Carolina was using their fourth string running back, due to injuries. Seattle simply had to stop or contain one guy, Steve Smith, to win the game.

The Seahawks have not been challenged this year and were fortunate to have home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. At a neutral site, they will be exposed as frauds. I don’t even think Pittsburgh is that good. But, it is the superbowl, so I will watch and bet on it.

Money’s trip to the Bank:
Pittsburgh -4 vs. Seattle
Seahawks suck.

Prop Bets
Heads (coin toss) -105 (I hear the coin is weighted)
Will there be a safety in the game? YES +700 (Good odds, worth the gamble)
Alternate game line: Pittsburgh -17.5 +390 (Seahawks suck)
First scoring play of the game will be: Any other Pitt TD 7/1 (Troy Polamalu interception return for TD)

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Four Corners

Every Monday-Thursday (and occasional weekend games) renowned college basketball expert, Money will be handicapping the games for you. Picks and thoughts will be posted prior to tip-off, typically by 3:30 pm pst.

Being on the west coast, and a graduate of CAL, I spend a lot of time following the PAC 10. It is time to get a new hobby? I think I am going to start collecting stamps. The PAC 10 is an incredibly frustrating conference to watch this year. Usually there are some great teams to watch and outstanding players to follow. While, there is still some outstanding individual talent, Hassan Adams of Arizona and Brandon Roy of Washington, to name a few, the team play is just not there. The view from the top changes from week to week. At one point, Cal was leading the division. Most followers of the league knew this would not last. Arizona was once the team to beat, but has since fallen off the map (dramatically). UCLA has been riddled with injures and remains competitive. Washington has been up and down. Where does this leave us? Confused? Not really. This league is not very good. So don’t expect much more than one team to advance to the sweet 16, most likely UCLA, if they can get healthy.

Money’s trip to the Bank: (Money’s Cash cow to date – 10 wins 6 losses)
WEST VIRGINIA at St. John’s -2.5 (winner). One of the best offenses against one of the best defenses. I pick the offense.
Georgia Tech at BOSTON COLLEGE -13 (loser). I have ripped on the Eagles all year, but they seem to have righted the ship, perhaps, just in time.
WASHINGTON at Stanford -2 (loser). This pick could burn me, but I don’t see Washington losing to both bay area teams.