By: Mark Scarlett
It’s conference tournament time. In less than 7 days, we will have a bracket to fill out. That’s one of the most exciting feelings in the world. Having a bracket in hand, ready to carefully think out every single matchup. Then erase all of your work and rethink it all. For 4 days.
On the flip side, it’s the most deflating feeling when your champion gets knocked out in the round of 64, like Michigan State for me last year. What makes it worse? When your sister, who couldn’t name a single player in college basketball last year, had Syracuse in the Final Four. That actually happened to me. I almost lost my mind. The point is that sometimes, especially in March, logic is the worst way to approach college basketball. Just ask my sister.
Before I make my picks today, I want to do a very quick recap of yesterday. Apparently a fighting camel is not all that intimidating. Campbell got worked by Winthrop in one of the more uneventful conference finals we’ll see. Purdue pushed with Northwestern, so hey, we avoided losing money. And Omaha, my most logical bet, won, despite being the underdog.
So, the picks today are going to be interesting. There are a lot of conference tournaments going on, but none of the major conferences have any games going. That means I’m picking some fun small conference games that I know very little about. Also, I should be on a beach, 4 piña coladas deep, but I’m not. Because life is brutal. So I’d say I’m in the mood to say, “fuck it.” What can go wrong?
In the first round of the MEAC tournament, we see North Carolina A&T take on Maryland-Eastern Shore. If you have nothing to do at 5 o’clock, throw some money on this game and throw it on Maryland-Eastern Shore. North Carolina A&T has 3 wins this year. 3. And they are coming off of a W, which means they have almost no shot at being in this game. NC A&T’s leading scorer is Sam Hunt, who is much better off singing country songs than playing basketball for the Aggies. UMES -8.
There’s a very interesting matchup between New Hampshire and Vermont. A matchup between the Wildcats and the Catamounts (a fancy word for cougar). A cougar clearly has the size advantage and is built for battle much better than a wildcat, but I think we should look at heart. Wildcats are indigenous to Africa, Mongolia, and other parts of Asia. This tells me that wildcats have some heart. They compete with tigers and lions. They survive with the most impressive big cats in the world. Meanwhile, cougars are found in North America. North America has very little big cat competition, so I don’t know if the cougars have the heart of a wildcat. Not saying the Wildcats will win, but they have the heart to fight. New Hampshire +11.
At 8 pm, Bowling Green plays Toledo in the MAC’s first round. The spread is 9 in favor of Toledo right now. I know one thing about Bowling Green: Richaun Holmes went there. Richaun Holmes is a high motor backup big man for the Sixers, for those of you that are not avid followers of the Process. I can’t imagine the school that gave me a hero like Richaun Holmes would let a game get to double digits when their NCAA Tournament future is on the line. Bowling Green +9.
My taste in music has remained the same since yesterday. Omaha plays IUPUI today. Clearly whoever is setting the line in these games has an iffy taste in music. Give “Omaha”, by Counting Crows a listen and throw your money on Omaha here. Omaha +1.
That’s all I have today with the beginning of conference tournaments. I should now be wrapping up my fifth piña colada, and swimming to the bar in the pool that will serve me another delicious island beverage. But I’m not. I’m in South Jersey where I still need a sweatshirt, even when I’m inside. The only thing getting me through this day is small conference tournaments, so I urge you all to bet against the country singer of NC A&T, bet on the heart of the Wildcats, trust Richaun Holmes’ alma mater, and bet on the school that’s somewhere in middle America.