Happy Thursday. Yesterday was a really good day. The NBA record was 8-4 with a hit on the Knicks at +148. The CBB record was 4-4-1 with the three-unit play, Boise State, hitting. Let’s keep it rolling tonight. But first, a look at last night’s action…
- Zach LaVine and Coby White combined for 60, but it wasn’t enough to get past the Pacers in Indiana. The Bulls have lost an incredibly discouraging five in a row to fall a game and a half out of the play-in not long after rising to a pretty decent position in the 9 seed. Their offense is really poor, and it might just cost them a chance at the playoffs. Indiana pulls within a game of Chicago with the win. They have a good bit of work to do to turn things around, but they’re not dead quite yet.
- LaMelo produced a 28-point triple-double, and the Hornets pulled away from the Spurs in Charlotte. That’s fourteen straight losses for the Spurs, who have won just four times since Christmas. They’ll stick at half a game ahead of the Rockets and the league’s worst record. Charlotte has now won two straight, and they’re back to a game and a half ahead of the Pistons and that last spot in the bottom three.
- Mikal Bridges dropped 45, and the Nets got past the Heat in Brooklyn. This was a really nice win for Brooklyn; this puts them two games up on the Knicks and two and a half up on the Heat. They avoided what would have been a significant blow to their hold on the 5 seed. Miami falls back into the 7 seed with the loss. It doesn’t look like the Hawks will be much of a threat from behind, but the race for the top 6 between the Knicks and Heat may just go the distance.
- The Sixers held on to beat the Cavs in Philly despite Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland combining for 60 points. Philly pushes their lead over Cleveland to two games, avoiding a tie for the 3 seed heading into the break. They’ll sit three games back of Boston for the next week and could pull within a game and a half of the Bucks and the 2 seed if Milwaukee loses tonight.
- Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle combined for 53, and the Knicks rolled in Atlanta. They’re now 17-12 on the road, the second-best road record in the league (Boston). The Knicks will hold the 6 seed over the break, and they’ll stick within two games of the Nets. The Hawks are three games back of Miami after the loss, and they have some work to do down the stretch. The Wizards and Raptors are only one game back.
- Jayson Tatum dropped 38, and the Celtics rolled past the Pistons to lock down their hold of the East 1 seed for the next week. The best the Bucks can do is pull within half a game tonight. Detroit is now a game and a half back of the Hornets and has a much more secure hold on the bottom three than they did a few days ago.
- The Grizzlies got off to a good start and held on to top the Jazz in Memphis. They’re going to go into the break five games back of Denver at the top of the West. On the bright side, they have a solid three game lead over the Kings and the 3 seed. Utah will fall half a game out of the play-in with the loss. They’re tied for the 11 seed with the Trail Blazers.
- The Thunder smoked the Rockets to grab sole possession of the West 10 seed. They’re just four games back of the 3 seed. The West standings could look entirely different in two months. Houston has lost seven in a row, and they’ve needed all of them to stay behind the free-falling Spurs.
- Luka dropped 37, but the Nuggets, even without Aaron Gordon and Jamal Murray, had few issues with the Kyrie-less Mavs as they kept their lead at the top of the West at five games. Three straight losses have dropped the Mavs into a tie for the 6 seed, and they will hold either the 6 or the 7 seed over the break depending on the outcome of tonight’s Wizards-Timberwolves game. Murray has now missed six straight games with his knee injury. He’ll be evaluated again after the break, and we should have a better grasp on the exact details then. But this isn’t an ideal turn of events for Denver. They need Murray, and they need him to be at his best, not just present and available.
- The Lakers rolled past the Pelicans in Los Angeles. New Orleans is all alone in the 8 seed, though they could move up into a tie for the 7 seed if the Timberwolves lose tonight. With Zion’s absence likely to continue well after the break, there’s not a whole lot the Pels can do outside of treading water. Stability would be a good outcome given their recent slide down the standings. The Lakers will enter the break two games out of the play-in. They have twenty-three games left.
- Tennessee knocked off Alabama to pick up a huge win that might just resurrect their shot at a 2 seed for the national tourney. The Vols are done in the SEC race, but their win keeps Texas A&M alive. The Aggies are just a game back of Bama, and they get a home game against them in the season finale.
- Marquette snuck past Xavier to take a game and a half lead at the top of the Big East. If they win at Creighton on Tuesday, the conference title will almost be theirs with St Johns, Butler, and DePaul closing out the schedule. Xavier has now lost two straight and three of five. They have two or three weeks to regain their form.
- Virginia just barely beat Louisville to tie things back up at the top of the ACC. UVA, Pitt (tied with UVA), Miami (half a game back with one extra game played), and Clemson are all within a game of each other.
- Northwestern crushed Indiana in the first half, only to see it all crumble away before a game-winning floater saved the night. The Cats are 19-7 (10-5). They’ll certainly be returning to the Big Dance, which is the first time we’ve ever been able to say anything about Northwestern returning to the NCAA Tournament. Go Cats.
- Iowa State got past TCU in Ames. They’re 13-1 at home and 4-7 anywhere else, which might not be the greatest sign for their tournament prospects. Of course, they’re 2-1 on neutral courts. The problem has been the road atmospheres more than the lack of a home one. TCU has now lost four straight without Mike Miles. They’re not exactly a lock yet. There will be some questions to start asking if they can’t stop the slide.
- San Diego State just barely edged out Fresno State to move to 21-5 (12-2). They’re closing in on the Mountain West title. They’re a game and a half up with four games to go.
- Virginia Tech lost to Georgia Tech. It’s been a really disappointing season for the Hokies.
- Colgate will be a mid major to watch. They’re 20-8 (14-1) after beating Army, and they have a win over Syracuse from the non-con.
- Clemson beat Florida State by 40. They needed it. Taking care of business at Louisville this weekend would put them in a good spot heading into a tough closing stretch.
- VCU beat Rhode Island at the buzzer. The A10 is probably going to be limited to the one auto bid this year, but winning the regular season conference championship still matters. The Rams are a game up on Fordham, St Louis, and Dayton with five games to play.
- Samford is all alone atop the Southern after knocking off UNC Greensboro and seeing Furman lose a bad one to Citadel. Furman visits Samford in nine days for the season finale. Buckle up.
- Drake (Northern Iowa) and Bradley (Missouri State) both won to improve to 13-4 in MVC play. Belmont, Southern Illinois, and Indiana State also all won to improve to 12-5. We have quite the finish coming up here. All five teams have three games left. Drake hosts Belmont this weekend before visiting Bradley next weekend. Bradley visits Southern Illinois this weekend. Indiana State visits Belmont on Wednesday. Chaos in the Missouri Valley!
- Texas A&M is 11-2 in SEC play after pulling one out against Arkansas with a huge second half. They just keep winning. They’re probably pretty close to safe now. Arkansas is in fine position too, but I just don’t like the Razorbacks. It’s been an underwhelming season.
- Kentucky knocked off Mississippi State for a huge road win. This was pretty close to a must-win for both teams. Props to the Cats for getting it done.
- Boise State held off Colorado State to move to 20-6 (10-3). They’re closing in on a bid, but their last five games won’t be easy.
- Washington knocked off Oregon in OT. That’s a tough loss to take for a Ducks team that’s squarely on the bubble.
NBA record: 148-130-5 ATS, 26-45 ML, 76-55-1 O/U, 1-7 parlay, 0-1 props, -6.34 units
- Bucks -7.5
- Bucks Bulls O228.5
- Clippers Suns O221.5
- Clippers ML (-110)
CBB record: 151-141-6 ATS, 32-53 ML, 4-3 O/U, 8-17 parlay, -25.82 units
- Purdue -1
- North Texas -3.5
- FAU -4.5
- Charleston -13.5
- UNC Wilmington -1
- Southern Miss -1.5 – THREE UNIT PLAY
- Iowa -7.5