St. Mary’s (+9) vs. #2 Gonzaga
North Carolina (-4) vs. Virginia Tech
North Dakota vs. North Dakota St. over 141.5
It’s conference championship week in men’s college basketball. It’s a week that I absolutely love and wait for all year. Not only do you get all of these great conference championships where teams are punching their tickets for the NCAA Tournament, you also have the anticipation of the tournament starting next week. It’s like this is the appetizer for the giant three-plate dinner that you’re about to be served over the next three weekends. I love it, and I learned years ago that making brackets simply isn’t enough. I love to put some money on these games as well. So this whole week, and the next four weekends, all you’ll be getting from me are college basketball picks. Let’s see how we do.
I’m going to start with St. Mary’s. The Gaels have lost two games since February 2. Both of them were to Gonzaga and they had a combined losing score of 40. To put it simply, that’s not good. But this is their conference championship with a chance to punch a ticket to the Big Dance. Vegas seems to think they’re going down easy with a 9 point spread on the game. I don’t see it. Especially since Gonzaga nearly lost to San Francisco last night. San Francisco! I love St. Mary’s here at +9.
I’m going to the 13-16, 14th seeded North Carolina Tar Heels in the ACC Tournament for my second pick. This Roy Williams coached team is going to make at least a little bit of noise to cap off what has been the worst season of his coaching career. North Carolina is slight favorites in this matchup against Virginia Tech, and I expect them to win easily. I’m taking North Carolina -4 in this one.
The toughest part about trying to pick over/unders in a conference championship game is the free throws. Teams will start extending games around the three minute mark, and if the opposition can hit their free throws, the score skyrockets. It happened in Hampton/Winthrop, and I expect to see the same thing for the North Dakota/North Dakota State game. North Dakota State is the better team, but North Dakota is going to score points and hang around until the end. I’m taking the over of 141.5, and I think there will be about 20-22 points scored in the final 3 minutes of game time.
Yesterday’s Record: 2-1
My 2020 Record: 13-10-1