We love college basketball. We love the month of March. We love gambling on college basketball in the month of March. Because of all of this love, we decided we’d spend most of March Madness giving you all a running list of all the things we noticed from our couches.
First up, in today’s Big Ten Tournament we have the No. 9 seeded Wisconsin (+2) against No. 8 Maryland. You’re damn right I gambled on one of them:
- Quick story from last night: I had a three team teaser working with Iowa +6, Xavier -5.5 and Villanova -1.5. After nailing the first two without much thought, I closed my laptop, ignored the Rutgers/Minnesota game (admit it, you did too) and hunkered down for some Big East basketball in New Jersey and what should have been my first gambling win of March. After all, Nova doesn’t lose two games in a row. Not when they are still shooting for a share of the Big East Championship with Xavier still. Or so I thought. From the jump, Jalen Brunson and the Big Ragu decided they didn’t want to play offensive basketball in what turned out to be an old school Big East slugfest against Seton Hall. I was in trouble.
- Fast forward to the final seconds of overtime. With only a few seconds left on the clock and the Wildcats up three, Mikal Bridges fouled Khadeen Carrington before he launched a desperation triple. PHEW! I was totally Gucci. Down three, Seton Hall was going to have to make the first free throw and intentionally miss the second for any shot of winning. My -1.5 was right on the GD money. Carrington made the first and was setting up his miss with his coaches and teammates. The second shot (of which had every intention of missing, BTW) launched off the side of the rim, skipped up instead of sideways, hits the backboard and falls through the net. 69-68, ball game. I wanted to throw myself off my patio.
- What does that have to do with Wisconsin and Maryland? Well, because I’ve got mad huevos (and refuse to have a bad beat like that start off my March), I laid down an all Big Ten Tournament three team teaser, starting with Wisconsin +7. Let’s go Buzzcuts.
- I haven’t watched too much Badgers basketball this season, but Maryland has a HUGE advantage in the backcourt compared to the most buzz-cutty buzzcuts in the history of buzzcuts that Greg Gard is deploying. Brad Davison looks like he should be a Badgers safety, not their second leading scorer… although, I’m kinda falling for him a little.
- Texted my buddy about Davison, here was his response: “I’m having a small crisis with him. On the one hand, he’s good and he’s a Badger and I like that. On the other hand, he flops like a mofo and has a little Draymond-y/whiney streak when calls don’t go his way. I fear it will only get worse across his four years. He’s also got a cut on his nose that won’t heal and he plays with a bum shoulder that pops out of the socket every once in a while. He goes to the locker room, pops it back in and returns.”
- The Badgers missed eight straight threes and went nearly ten minutes without a field goal… and are still, somehow up at the half, 28-26. It doesn’t matter if the Badgers are in the running for a Final Four or absolutely terrible, when it comes to March, their games are always the same. They mucked this first half up like only Wisconsin can (if you’ve ever watched the Badgers play before, you know exactly what I’m talking about).
- An important tidbit out of half: Under Coach Gard, Wisconsin is 43-5 with a halftime lead. That’s damn impressive considering the team/injuries he’s had this year. As an Iowa alum, I’m extremely jealous of Wisconsin and their football and basketball programs. I often feel like Iowa and Wisconsin were born as collegiate twins. They look the same and are both very successful, but Wisconsin (at least recently) seems to work just a little bit harder in the weight room and in class.
- Ethan Happ is the Wisconsin version of Tyler Hansbrough.
- I really hope this New York experiment is over. I’m already tired of seeing an empty Garden. I’m already tired of Michael Rapaport yelling at me about how much greater the Big Ten “Tourrrrrr-na-mint” is in New York.
- We have a tied game with a little over three minutes left. Neither team has had any interest in pulling away from the other. This is going down to the wire. Dare I say that I’m Gucc…?
- It has to be infuriating to be a Maryland fan. This team should be a lot better than what they’re playing like this afternoon. Hell, this team should be a lot better than the 8th seed in the Big Ten Tournament. Though, I will say, Kevin Huerter can ball. He’s taken over these last five minutes and is the only reason Maryland is still tied with Wisconsin with 46-seconds left in the game. He’s got 19 on the night (so far) and has scored in three straight possessions by killing Brevin Pritzl and Davison with the dribble drive.
- If Donte DiVencenzo is the Big Ragu, what is Huerter?
- Maybe I spoke too soon? With 9-seconds left, Huerter was fouled attacking the rack but missed the front end of his two free throws. That has to be the ball game…
Wisconsin wins 59-54 and moves on to play Michigan State tomorrow for the second time in a week. The Badgers (despite an injury plagued season) are going to win four games and make it into the tournament for, like, the 30th year in a row, aren’t they?
Damn that twin brother.