Both Ken Thomson and Basketball Guy have had excellent seasons. Ken finished the regular season at 179-144-and-5 (55%) and most recently has been on a 54-16-and-2 run (77%). Basketball Guy finishes the pre-tournament campaign at 92-70-and-6 (56%). Join in for the final weekend of the season and the National Championship game right now for just $29!
As we head into final chapter of the 2017 Men’s NCAA College Basketball Tournament, let’s take a look back at what our two specialists at Against The Number, had to say before the season got started and see how some of their thoughts have panned out so far.
This season on paper, the same cast of characters will vie for the title. Kentucky, Duke & Michigan State had the overall top recruiting classes. What else is new? Bill Self tries to keep that incredible Big 12 Title streak intact for Kansas and although Perry Ellis finally finished up his Jayhawks career, I expect Kansas to be an Elite Eight team. This may be the weakest the Big 12 has been, collectively in awhile. Kentucky and Coach Cal bring in another stellar one & done freshman group that has extreme talent but may take a bit to develop chemistry. Georgia & Florida will be highly competitive in the SEC as well. With Nigel Hayes coming back to Madison, a lot will be expected from this Wisconsin group and HC Greg Gard will do things his way out of the gate after Bo Ryan called it a career early on last season due to off the court problems. Michigan State & Purdue will be the other two out of the Big Ten that should make the most noise, at least early on. The ACC will be the deepest Conference with Duke, North Carolina, Virginia, Louisville, Notre Dame, Miami, Maryland & Syracuse all looking like potential Sweet 16 teams and beyond. And then there is the Pac-12, which may be the best it’s been at the top in a long while. What Dana Altman has built in Eugene in a short tenure is impressive. With Tyler Dorsey coming off foot surgery in the summer, the Ducks may go to a 3-guard offense early on until Dorsey returns. The next seven on the roster are as good as any in the country and Altman is in the top 10 mentors to help Oregon possibly take things a step further than last season. HC Steve Alford will turn things around for UCLA after an abysmal 2015-2016 season in Westwood. His son Bryce should help lead the Bruins back to upper echelon in a solid Pac-12 Conference. Arizona & Colorado will also be dangerous to do serious Post Season damage.
College hoops is the greatest sport out there, bar none. What other sport can a Butler, Wichita, or George Mason threaten to win a championship? They must go through the big boys though, and the same old cast of characters are loaded up in the preseason Top 20; Duke, Kentucky, Villanova, Kansas, North Carolina, Arizona, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Louisville, Indiana, etc.. Bottom line is the big programs with all of the money and facilities and TV games get the most blue chippers. That is why it is triple sweet when a Butler or VCU or St. Mary’s makes a deep run in March. It definitely warms the cockles of my heart. That being said, we are just looking for point spread winners. Doesn’t matter if we are backing a 23 point favorite or a 30 point dog, as long as we make that trip to the cashier window. We’re coming off of a fine season last year and I see no reason why the same handicapping principals we applied last year wont work again this year
A couple of teams I’m looking to back early are Rhode Island and Nevada. Love Danny Hurley at Rhode Island and love Eric Mussleman at Nevada. You give great young coaches like these two guys personnel to work with and you should see some real good basketball.
Get in now for the big finale in Arizona! $29 for what will surely be more than just One Shining Moment.
Thank you for joining us for another fantastic college basketball season.
Enjoy the games,
Specialty Sports Group