Last Updated: 2017-12-05
The college basketball season isn’t quite a month old, but we have already seen a lot of high level basketball played in many of these neutral site tournaments to start off the season. Duke has had a bunch of close calls, but they are still unbeaten and atop the rankings.
I will be doing a weekly college basketball situational spots to watch article for BangtheBook.com. I have done these articles for both college football and college basketball for the last few seasons. The games mentioned aren’t necessarily going to be plays of my own. The goal is to help readers learn to isolate situational spots that could give you an edge on the book.
Wednesday December 6
Wyoming at South Carolina – Wyoming makes a rare trip all the way east to take on the South Carolina Gamecocks. Wyoming hasn’t traveled into the Eastern Time Zone since 2014 when they traveled to take on Ohio State in Columbus. The Cowboys aren’t a bad team. They’ll likely be one of the best in the Mountain West this year. Still, this isn’t an easy spot for them. South Carolina is way down from last year though. They obviously miss Sindarius Thornwell badly on both ends.
Thursday December 7
Elon at UNC Greensboro – An interesting spot for both teams. Elon has played in two straight overtime contests. The Phoenix won at home against South Florida last Thursday in overtime. They followed that up with a double overtime win at home against St. Peter’s on Saturday. UNC Greensboro is coming off a triple overtime win at Liberty this past Saturday. There are likely to be some tired legs in this one.
Saturday December 9
William & Mary at Ohio State – I’ve been really impressed with what Chris Holtman has done with Ohio State so far this year. Despite having a roster that has little depth and no true point guard, the Buckeyes won at Wisconsin and at home against Michigan in their first two Big Ten games. This is a letdown spot for the Buckeyes though. After those emotional wins in the Big Ten, they now host William & Mary. The Tribe have shown they can score a ton of points. William & Mary has two decent wins this year against Old Dominion and Marshall. I wouldn’t lay the big number here. It’s the underdog or pass.
Florida at Cincinnati – The Florida Gators looked very good to open the season. Florida won in double overtime against Gonzaga on November 26. The following game they had a big lead against Duke and wound up losing by three. The Gators then had more than a week off before hosting their rivals from Florida State. The Seminoles stunned them 83-66 in Gainesville.
Cincinnati lost to rival Xavier last Saturday in a highly emotional game. The Bearcats have a week to think about it and get ready for this neutral site game. Florida played on Monday against Florida State and will play Wednesday against Loyola Chicago. The Bearcats have the scheduling edge here and should have the fresher legs. We’ll find out a lot about both teams in this one.
New Mexico State at New Mexico – This is a bitter rivalry, and these teams already played once this season. New Mexico State won at home 75-56. The Aggies played that game at their preferred tempo. New Mexico wants to get up and down as much as possible and force turnovers. New Mexico State beat them soundly in the halfcourt in the first matchup. Look for New Mexico to try to get out and run more in this one. New Mexico has almost no size on the interior and New Mexico State is likely to beat them badly on the boards.
Sunday December 10
Arizona State at Kansas – The Sun Devils have been extremely impressive so far this year, but this is a tough spot for them. Arizona State plays their first true road game of the season here. Allen Fieldhouse isn’t the spot you would want your first true road game to be played. Kansas has been tremendous thus far, and Bill Self’s team has the rest advantage here as well. Arizona State plays a weird Friday game this week against St. John’s at the Staples Center, and then has just one day off before this huge showdown at Kansas.