Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 2/18/12

Thoughts on a couple of games today…

In the BRACKETBUSTERS, there are several nice match-ups, so let’s start with the best one.

St. Mary’s at Murray State (6 p.m. ESPN)  Too bad the Gaels have dropped two of their last three games and too bad Murray State is not undefeated any longer.  When the game was announced, both teams were playing just so well…For St. Mary’s, their best player, guard Matthew Dellavedova is doubtful.  The Racers feature good perimeter defenders who could take the three-point shot away from St. Mary’s.  Murray State is a senior-dominated team that does not lose its poise.  I think Murray State wins easily due to the lack of Dellavedova and the fact that the game is being played at home.  Nationally-televised game in front of a packed, fired-up crowd…MURRAY STATE -2 is the PICK.

Wichita State at Davidson (Noon, ESPN)   Right now, Wichita State looks like they are the best mid-major team out there.  They are coming off a 21-point win at then-No. 17 Creighton.  they are building for a March run in the tournament.  This is coach Gregg Marshall’s return to the Carolinas.  He was the head man at Winthrop when the Eagles were dominating the Big South Conference.  He knows what it takes to get to the NCAA Tournament, and a win at Davidson today will certainly help their seeding.  Even though Davidson is formidable at home, WICHITA STATE -3 is the PICK.

Nevada at Iona (4:00 p.m. ESPN)   Going out on a limb here…Iona is a good team but every time I pick them, they lose.  It’s that simple.  I think the Gaels are a better team than Nevada, who had to travel across the country to play in New Rochelle, NY, and that could take something out of them.  Unless they want to make a real statement.  Neither conference will get two teams in the Big Dance, so this really is important for both teams.  I just have a hunch…so I am picking against the second Gaels’ team in the Bracketbusters (See St. Mary’s above)…NEVADA +7.5 is the PICK.

In REGULAR SEASON ACTION, a huge rivalry game and others should make it a good weekend.

Ohio State at Michigan   If OSU wants to make a statement in the Big 10 and to the Selection Committee, it starts today.  If they beat Michigan, they take down a team that is undefeated at home.  The Buckeyes feature the best point guard in the nation, Aaron Craft, and some guy named Jared Sullinger.  I think there is a lot on the table here, and it will be a CLOSE GAME.  Defending home court at Ann Arbor is what the Wolverines will do.  They may not win this one, but I think they keep it close.  That’s why I think MICHIGAN +5.5 is the PICK.

Missouri at Texas A&M   Mizzou is ranked third in the country.  This is basically the same team as last year.  The difference is coach Frank Haith, who has come in and completely changed the way the Tigers play.  Last year they couldn’t win on the road.  They were undisciplined.  This year, they are playing with confidence and I expect them to cover and win in Aggieland.  MIZZOU -7 is the PICK.

UNLV at New Mexico   I know, the Lobos lost by 17 points when they played in Vegas.  Payback time tonight.  The Pit is a tough place for any visiting team to come in and steal a win.  UNM, not UNLV nor San Diego State, is in first place in the Mountain West…and this game is huge.  I like UNM -4.5 at home as the PICK.

Enjoy the weekend!

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