Throughout March Madness, Covers.com NCAA features writer Chase Ruttig will be breaking down his picks for the conference tournaments, the NCAA tournament, and maybe even the NIT. Check in daily for Chase’s selections.
The conference tournament schedule is finally heating up as semifinals in the major conferences tip off tonight and a feel for how the tournaments are playing out has been established. With that being said let’s cut to the chase and check out Friday’s card.
All bets are for entertainment purposes and it is suggested if you do gamble you do it where it is legal.
VCU Rams/Syracuse Orange/Duke Blue Devils/San Diego State Aztecs moneyline parlay (+163)
It can be risky to take favorites in the conference tournament, but these four teams are just a cut above their opposition on Friday night. If you want to play it safe take SDSU off the list as they will be taking on UNLV in the Runnin’ Rebels backyard of Vegas. Any combination of these teams should be a value bet if you want to stick to straight up winners.
Colorado Buffaloes +11.5
After losing 88-71 in their last meeting and after the Arizona Wildcats‘ throttling of the Utah Utes last night the Buffaloes are getting no love as 11.5 point underdogs in the Pac 12 semifinals. Arizona had no problem dealing with Utah’s size and hustle, which are strengths Colorado generally relies on after Spencer Dinwiddie’s ACL injury. Still Colorado presents a challenge for the Wildcats and a team that can physically match up with one of the best teams in the nation. Conference tournament games are usually hard fought affairs so I have faith that the Buffaloes will be able to keep this interesting tonight.
Northwestern Wildcats +14.5
For the same reasons as I like the Buffaloes I think that Northwestern is great value at 14.5 points. I am a sucker for underdogs and the Wildcats win over the Iowa Hawkeyes yesterday I see the 14-18 underdogs being game for one more thriller in a likely loss to the Michigan State Spartans.
Baylor Bears -1
Baylor and the Texas Longhorns both blew out their first opponents in the Big 12 tournament on Thursday, but this game likely means much more to the Bears than it does for the tournament locks in Texas. Dealing with a high scoring Sooners team last night, Baylor has the size to deal with Texas’ rebounding presence. With a bit more top end talent the Bears should be able to keep their conference title hopes alive into the weekend with a win to ensure their spot into the field of 64.
Ole Miss +1
Ole Miss has more talent than Georgia Bulldogs, but could always get outworked on the glass. Needing another SEC weekend run to get into the tournament I expect the high powered Ole Miss offense (and the infamous Marshall Henderson) to outrun Georgia to victory and a spot in the tournament.
Check in tomorrow morning for Chase’s early picks
Follow Chase on twitter
Follow Busting Brackets on twitter