Well that was an eventful Saturday. The last Saturday of the year delivered. There were a ton of upsets and some winless teams finally got on the board. In the first window of the day Syracuse beat Pittsburgh and Notre Dame came out of nowhere and blew out Virginia. That loss will not look good come Selection Sunday. Rutgers narrowly escaped Stonehill. Lipscomb beat Florida State. Marquette beat Creighton, Wake Forest blew out Virginia Tech and Michigan State continued their winning streak and beat a good Indiana State team.
Some games stood out. DePaul finally got a win and beat Chicago State. Georgia Southern and Lehigh got their first Division 1 wins. Florida Gulf Coast beat Florida Atlantic, which is a huge win for that program. Ohio State needed overtime to dispatch West Virginia. Oregon beat UCLA to move to 2-0 in the Pac-12. The most surprising result of the day is that Northridge beat Long Beach State to move to 2-0 in the Big West. That is a huge result given how bad that program has been over the last handful of years.
Yesterday I went 56-22. That gives me a 53 day total of 1,530-533 overall. The last day of the year brings us more conference play and more tune up games for power conference schools. Horizon League, Pac 12, Ohio Valley, and the Summit League all have conference games. There is not much for quality games but this is a day that is usually reserved for football. Picks for day 54 December 31, 2023 are below.
Green Bay over Robert Morris
Iowa State over New Hampshire
Colorado over Washington State
Fort Wayne over Detroit Mercy
Cleveland State over IUPUI
Youngstown State over Oakland
Oklahoma over Monmouth
Mississippi State over Bethune
Oklahoma State over South Carolina State
Milwaukee over Wright State
South Dakota over Omaha
South Dakota State over North Dakota
St Thomas over Kansas City
Arizona over Stanford
Ole Miss over Bryant
Southeast Missouri State over Morehead State
NJIT over Morgan State
SIU Edwardsville over Western Illinois
Denver over Oral Roberts
Utah over Washington
California over Arizona State
There is not much on the slate today but like I mentioned earlier this is a date dedicated to friends and football. The game of the day is Utah and Washington in the Pac 12. Washington is playing very well and has a win over Gonzaga on the resume. Utah has made a heck of an impression this year and looks like a top half of the Pac 12 team.
The best mid-major game of the day is Youngstown State over Oakland. The Penguins are the far and away favorite in the Horizon League. Oakland has been tough this year and they will keep the game close for a while. Enjoy your New Year's and Be safe.