I was 3-1-1 yesterday, and I’ll take that with a smile, especially because the team that handed me my lone loss just happened to be the only team I really care about in Sports. That’s right, I trotted through the first 5 games of the ACC-Big 10 Challenge and I won 3, pushed won, and lost the only game I was hoping to lose. (Maryland won and covered against the Hoosiers, Northwestern easily defeated that underdog spread by winning outright over the Wolf Pack, Virginia Tech covered easily – the Tar Heels slapped the Spartans around early and held them off late, while Wake Forrest let a first half lead get away from them as the Boilermakers fought back for a push). That was my Tuesday Night in the college hoops’ ranks.
Illinois Fighting Illini @ Clemson Tigers (-4): Everybody likes the Tigers here, but since I can’t blame them, I’m going to go ahead and join them. The Illini have something, some bigs that can rebound and fight, but I still think Clemson has the fire to take Illinois down, plus this is the challenge, the ACC always wins the challenge.
Minnesota Golden Gophers (+2) @ Miami Hurricanes: It looks like, if you can out-rebound the Gophers, then you’ll have a pretty good chance of handing them an L. But I don’t think the ‘Canes can out-board Minnesota, so I have to take the small road dogs here.
Boston College Eagles @ Michigan Wolverines (-5.5): The Wolverines have struggled early, but I like them here. They are too athletic and will be looking to win for the first time in 3 games – I think they are certainly due, and I don’t see BC doing enough defensively to stop Michigan.
Duke Blue Devils (-3.5) @ Wisconsin Badgers: You always take Duke early. You always take Duke when they are the better team. You always take Duke in the challenge. This Blue Devil team may not be the in your face get right by you team they’ve often been, but they have some bigs that have a high effort gas pedal all the way down to the floor.
Florida State Seminoles (+7) @ Ohio State Buckeyes: The Buckeyes have only lost to one team, the Tar Heels. FSU has a loss to Florida, a Gator team that has surprised some folks. Both have a good win or two, and both can hit you with quick guards and give a little power down low – but I think FSU’s rebounding is worth a bet here as a 7 point dog. I’ll go that way.