Join Geno as he gives us his Sweet Sixteen picks and predictions for Thursday night's games.
Hey hoopsters—pardon the 60’s lingo but I am gearing up for the return of Mad Men this coming Sunday night—how about that opening weekend of the NCAA Tournament? I don’t know what was more surprising; that for the first time ever we saw a pair of #15’s knock out #2’s, or that I actually hit three of my four NCAA basketball picks. That’s right, Geno’s Picks continues its hot hand in 2012 as my 3-1 week now places me at 13-7 (65%) ATS in college hoops, so let’s get to who daddy likes this coming weekend in the sweet 16.
As always, the sports picks are below and I always go into further detail in my weekly Geno’s Picks Podcast, but for goodness sakes give yourself four and a half minutes today to enjoy this video and please don’t be shy with the feedback.
Cincinnati +7.5 vs. Ohio State University
Yes, Ohio State has looked impressive in Big 10 play, especially in Buford’s Buzzer beater to split the Big 10 title three ways—but all that really did was awaken Tom Izzo’s not-so-sleepy giant that is the Spartans who this guy has winning his entire Legend’s Bracket.
Anyone who has followed me this year knows I love the Big East and the Bearcats last loss was in that very tourney to Rick Pitino’s Louisville Cards who are also still playing this weekend so look for Yancy Gates and Dion Dixon to answer every shot and every boards as the powerful Buckeyes. And while OSU has an extremely balanced attack led by Player of the Year Candidate Jared Sullinger and stud guard Aaron Craft; if we’ve learned anything about guys nicknamed “Sully”—they tend to cut things close at the end.
Free Pick: Cinci +7.5
Marquette –1.5 vs. Florida
While many had Florida ousted in the opening round at the hands of UVA, the Gators not only handled them but went on to pummel Norfolk State as Billy Donovan’s team suddenly looks like the team that won back to back titles in 2006 and 2007. While that pair of past titles is nice, the Golden Eagles currently have a pair of studs in Jae Crowder and Darius Johnson Odom who—despite the fact that the Gators boast a backcourt as deep as any Kardashian’s—it is the play of elite players like Crowder that will finish them at the end as Tim Tebow won’t be the only Gator packing his bags and moving on this weekend.
Free Pick: Marquette –1.5
Baylor –6 vs Xavier
Baylor has six losses on the year and they are all to fellow Big 12 teams—three to Mizzou, twice to Kansas, and once to uppity Iowa State. But they have made every other conference their bitch and now the Musketeers of the Atlantic 10 come to face them. I mean no disrespect to the Xavier, who boast the highest scoring point guard in the country in Tu Hollway, but to more than offset him the Bears have TWO Quincy’s—Miller and Acy—in the frontcourt along with Perry Jones III and these guys are unlike anyone the X-men have faced thus far in Notre Dame and Lehigh. Putting out money on the X-men’s third game will be a lot like putting out money for the X-men’s third movie. Either way you find yourself saying, after watching the X-men the first two times, I should have seen this flop coming.
NC State +8 vs. Kansas
Free Pick: Baylor –6
The Rock and Chalk of the Jay Hawks narrowly escaped with a win versus Purdue last weekend and now—with Duke eliminated and the Tar Heels wondering who can get hurt next—they face arguably the best ACC team in the tourney right now in the #11 seeded Wolfpack. NC State has only one loss in their last seven games—to the Tarheels.
Had they beaten them in that tourney, who knows where they would have been seeded. CJ Williams and sophmore Lorenzo Brown are leading the hottest team in the tourney that may only be slowed by the fact they have to wait til Friday to play this game. But regardless, they definitely give the Jayhawks a run for their money and this game will end like many a day in the Midwest as a man walks away from a court saying “they sure didn’t look like they were eleven.”
Free Pick: NC State +8