Bracketbuster Saturday, Gary Carter dead of brain cancer at 57
It was a crazy Thursday night in college basketball, especially in the ACC where #5 Duke came from 20 points down in the second half to beat North Carolina State. Florida State saved their NCAA tournament bacon by scoring 11 points in the final 1:37 to beat unlucky Virginia Tech 48-47. Gonzaga beat Santa Clara 73-62 in the only other action involving ranked teams. Cal continues to lead the Pac 10 after an 86-83 win over Oregon. Vandy dropped 102 on Ole Miss and and West Virginia got a big road win at Pitt to help their at large resume.
This is bracketbuster weekend in college basketball where the tip mid-majors as matched against other top mid-majors in hopes of getting one last quality win to help RPIs and resumes for at large bids. Bracketbuster games are risky businees because wins may not mean all that much and actually hurt you in late conference play. A loss in some cases is a certain dagger. Road wins are huge. An under-the-radar conference to keep an eye on is the MAAC who has been money in this event the last two years. Stay posted here at SP3 for a Saturday morning update. Here are a couple of key matchups.
St Marys at Murray State at Cleveland State State at Davidson at Oral Roberts at Iona
Long Beach State at Creighton
RIP Gary Carter. Hall of Fame catcher Gary Carter has passed away from complications of brain cancer, He was 57. “The Kid” players 19 seasons primarily with the Expos and Mets and was an 11-time All-Star. Carter will be primarily remembered as the lichpin of the World Champion ’86 Mets. Carter was inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame in 2003 and in recent years was the head baseball coach at Palm Beach Atlantic University.
(NBA) Orlando -7.5 over Milwaukee
Both teams play their third game in five nights so no real edge in legs for this one. The Bucks have lost six of eight but have covered four straight as a road dog. The Magic have won and covered four of five so the real question is whether this is too many points. SP3 doesn’t think so. The Magic look to be over the shooting woes that plagued them during their losing streak and in their last nalied 15 trifectas. Dwight Howard should have his way in the paint with no Bogut and the Bucks just don’t have the firepower to trade points and hang with the Magic. Lay them.
(NBA) Sacramento +3 over Detroit
Both teams play their third game in four nights. The Kings have covered five of their last six road games, the Pistons have won five of seven and have covered seven of eight so something has to give here. Sacto is off losses to Phoenix, Chicago, and the white-hoy Knicks and match up well here. The Kings are 5-0 ATS off 3+ losses and have won their last two trips to Motown straight up. Looking at recent Pistons wins we see New Orleans, Washington, the Nets 2X. Sacto is not much better than those but they are somewhat better and have the better talent here. Worth a look.
(CBB) Princeton -6.5 over Columbia
The Tigers have won the last five games in the series but have failed to cover the last two here. Princeton played at home last week for the first time since November 30th and swept the weekend winning by 12 and eight points. Historically, Princeton always plays well on Friday and is a crap shoot on Saturday. The Tigers won by four (-1.5) at Columbia back in early January and face a Lion team that is just 3-10 vs the points vs winning records. Princeton 66-53.
(NHL) Detroit -160 over Nashville
SP3 is not exactly going out on a limb with a call on the Red Wings who have won an NHL record 21 straight home ice games. That run won’t go on forever but at just 60 cents, this one is hard to pass up. You can actually make a case for Music City is 7-8 in the last 15 games in the series and a respectable 3-4 in their L7 visits to Joe Lewis Arena. These two are a combine 29 games above .500 so there isn’t a bad tech to be found. In the end, the Wings won the only meeting on this ice this year 4-1 and have crushed their last six opponents with winning records. Wings more ripe for the picking after playing the night before, not with two day rest. Take Detroit.