I predicted that there would be a big upset in college basketball last week, unfortunately, I picked the wrong game. Just seven games are on offer this week for a lean schedule, giving me a greater chance at going 7-0 right?
Last Sunday Picks: 7 – 5
Overall: 428 – 322
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Milwaukee Bucks (22-19) at Miami Heat (24-17)
DESPITE Miami confirming Dion Waiters will miss the rest of the season with an ankle injury, the Heat have been rolling lately. Winners of six straight they play host to the ‘Greek Freak’ and friends in what should be a good game. Even though they are hot I think the Bucks can extinguish the Heat (see what I did there).
Verdict: Bucks W
Image from theringer.com
New Orleans Pelicans (21-20) at New York Knicks (19-23)
THIS game will be decided by whoever stands up as the 4th best player. DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis and Kristaps Porzingis are going to get theirs, but with both teams struggling to establish solid options outside of that, where will the rest of the points come from? A Tim Hardaway vs. Jrue Holiday storyline doesn’t really scream ‘must watch’ basketball.
Verdict: Pelicans W
Indiana Pacers (22-20) at Phoenix Suns (16-27)
WITH Turner and Sabonis potentially sidelined, this presents a great option for the Suns to reel off their 17th win if the season. Don’t read too much into the shorthanded Pacer woes though, this will be a cruisy W.
Verdict: Pacers W
Portland Trailblazers (22-20) at Minnesota Timberwolves (28-16)
MINNESOTA is a dangerous team right now and a battle with their divisional rivals shapes as a good test for their winning credentials. After seeing what they did to the Cavs and Thunder in the Target Center, it’s hard to find a way this overachieving Trailblazers team causes an upset.
Verdict: Timberwolves W
#3 Jacksonville Jaguars (10-6) at #2 Pittsburgh Steelers (13-3)
I’M not ruling out the Jaguars entirely. Even though Blake Bortles put football back 10 years with his play last weekend, Jacksonville still possesses the talent to make this interesting. Don’t read too much into the last time these two played, Pittsburgh is a very different team now. A healthy Antonio Brown mixed with Le’Veon Bell’s dominance should set up a date with New England for the Steelers.
Verdict: Steelers W
#4 New Orleans Saints (11-5) at #2 Minnesota Vikings (13-3)
EASILY the best game of the divisional round gives us two very different teams competing for a visit to Philadephia. This will come down to a battle of strengths, with the Saints offense clashing with perhaps the best defense in the league owned by Minnesota. For as much credit that New Orleans got last week they were still just one dropped pass away from losing that game, so I’m siding with the home side in a clash of the titans.
Verdict: Vikings W
Image from vikingsterritory.com
NC State Wolfpack (12-5) at #3 Virginia Cavaliers (15-1)
JUST one top 25 team takes to the floor on Sunday, but this matchup is far from an afterthought. NC State is chasing their third straight win over a ranked opponent, which included an upset W over Duke last weekend. The Cavaliers have impressive wins of their own and I don’t see them conceding the top rung in the ACC tonight.
Verdict: Cavaliers W