It was a crazy Thursday night in college basketball with several big favorites getting beat outright. The Minnesota Golden Gophers handed Indiana the Hoosiers second loss of the year winning 77-74 at Bloomington. Wisconsin snapped their three game skid with a 69-62 win at Purdue. The Badgers jumped out to 1a 17-4 lead and never looked back winning for just the third time in 30 tries at Mackey Arena. In mid-major action, Iona had a 17-point halftime lead over Manhattan but the fast improving Jaspers stormed back to win 75-72. St Marys put an 83-62 beatdown on Gonzaga in late TV action to give themselves a leg up in WCC. The Gaels are unbeaten in Moraga.
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(CBB) Columbia -1.5 over Penn
Friday night used to mean Ivy League in college hoops until TV took over the NCAA. We still have Ivy on Friday and Columbia over Penn is our first stop. The Lions have 11 of 12 beating up on teams like Swarthmore, FDU, and LaSierre … probably schools I still couldn’t get in. Penn has faced much better but this isn’t the same program that it was early in the last decade with Dunphy. The Quakers are 7-1 outside the Top 100 but don’t do well on the road and have lost their last two visits here. We’re basically asking Columbia to win straight here. They will.
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(CBB) Youngstown State +5.5 over Valpo
We’ve done pretty well guaging the Penguins this year so we’ll use them here in what figure to be a pretty good spot. YSU is 4-1 in the Horizon with the loss by a point at Wright State. The Pens are 8-2 vs teams ranked below 120 and can get a nine-game Valpo monkey off their back with a win here. The Crusaders can shoot the rock but are #277 in the country in defense. Valpo is 3-2 in the conference with all three wins by three or less so we’ll grab five and a hook here in what figures to be a high scoring game ending in the 150s.
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(NBA) The New Jersey Nets/Phoenix Suns Under 197.5
This new version of the Phoenix Suns is 8-2 to the Under and plays defense despite giving up an uncharacteristic 101 to the Cavs. Seven of the eight prior never made it to the century mark and the homies should get back on track tonight vs a Nets team scoring just 89.5 ppg. If you throw out Nets last two (101, 115 on 20 3’s) vs Atlanta and Denver, this is a team avgg 84 ppg having reached 97 just once. With Nets coming off the Nuggets bounce and the Suns having played last night, see this one closer to 180 than 200.
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(NHL) Florida -122 over Pittsburg
The Penguins have played themselves out of the Eastern Conference playoffs if they were to start tonight having lost six straight games scoring just six goals. Pittsburg deperately needs Sid the Kid back and he is in fact traveling with the team and skating in live no contact drills. The Panthers are 5-2 in their L7 home winning three straight including gutcheck 2-1 win over the Canucks in their last. Pitt is 8-2 in the series over the L10 but the Panthers are a solid 17-10 in the series on this ice. Barring big form turn around by the Penguins, Florida should be able to defend home ice.
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