Ladies and Gentleman, I’d like to take a quick moment to welcome back one of our favorites at Three Putt Territory, the point spread! (Deafening applause). It’s been a long six weeks or so since we picked that Super Bowl. Vegas has been a lonely place, but no longer. Of course, the 68-team tournament has already started, is already getting plenty of complaints, but at least you can pick games. The only problem is, they changed the name of the 1st round to the 2nd round. Unacceptable. Too confusing. So, I changed the name again. It’s now called the Subjective Sixty-Four. When reading these picks keep in mind that I don’t watch college basketball. Of course, some handicappers would tell you that isn’t a problem. As long as you know your way around the old spread.
UConn (-10) vs. Bucknell.
I think too much is being put on the notion that UConn will be burnt out. They’re going to get 4 days off before meeting the titans of the Patriot League. Here’s what I know about Bucknell: They don’t have Kemba Walker. They lost to Army by 20. I don’t have to go too deep here. Walker’s on a mission.
UCLA (+1.5) vs. Michigan State.
How many points is Tom Izzo swinging this line? I know the guy has a good track record, but come on. Michigan State has 14 losses. They can’t score. They can’t shoot it. They got throttled in the Big Ten tournament by Penn State. UCLA isn’t exactly a juggernaut either, but getting points in a situation where all the sycophants will be on Izzo is good enough for me.
St. John’s (-1.5) vs. Gonzaga.
I used to like Gonzaga back in the glory days of Dickau, but then I picked them to go the Final Four and they lost in the 1st round. This was a long time ago, and the odd thing is, they really don’t do anything in the tournament. Ever. Is N.C. State still a sleeper because they beat Houston in 1983? And, this isn’t even a good Gonzaga team. St. John’s has rolled some serious teams this year. This one’s a walk.
Penn State (+2.5) vs. Temple.
Temple isn’t in position to give anyone points, Sorry Dunph. The Owls have injury issues, they have a recent history of first round exits, and Penn State is just this ugly monolith that brings the worst out of their opponents. It’s a hell of a strategy. Penn State also has the best player in the game, and that has to count for something. Pepe Sanchez isn’t walking through that door. Nittany Lions….outright.
Wisconsin (-4) vs. Belmont.
Wisconsin’s last game was one of the ugliest in the entire shot clock era I would imagine. Thirty-three points in a loss to Penn State. The problem is, Belmont is WAY too trendy. Thirty wins. Everyone loves their shooters, but no one has ever really seen them play, right? What is the A-Sun conference anyway? Where is Belmont? Is that like right next to the horse track? Looks like they played 3 legit teams all year and lost all three. Wisconsin’s defense is their nightmare. Game over.
Villanova (Pick) vs. George Mason.
When was the last time Villanova won? January? The problem with this game is, Villanova is the worst team in the country with a lead. The absolute worst. So, even if they do jump out quick, don’t get comfortable. But, they probably won’t jump out quick. I think this is going to be an anxious affair for the Wildcat faithful, but they’ll pull it out. Then, they’ll talk themselves into beating OSU, and get totally throttled.
Arizona (-6) vs. Memphis.
I’m warming to Arizona. I like their squad. I read an article about Derrick Williams and that’s how easy I am, I was swayed. Memphis is garbage, still trading off some name recognition from a couple of years ago. The Wildcats are going to announce their presence with authority ala a Nuke LaLoosh fastball. Sorry former Caliparis it’s going to be one and done.
Kansas (-22.5) vs. Boston
You have to pick at least one of the big lines, right? That’s part of the fun of the
first round “Subjective Sixty-Four”. Boston University has 13 losses. They lost to Harvard. They lost to Maine. They lost to Kentucky by 34. They lost to UMass without Lou Roe by 17. Kansas is probably the most talented team in all the land. This isn’t the Beanpot. Kansas by 40. I’d be comfortable laying 40.
All right, there you go. Eight free winners. Some people fret about pools, other people just take a select number of Subjective Sixty-Four games and totally sharpshoot them. Best of luck to everyone.
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