THE NBA is back and mixed in with Senior Day festivities there is another healthy batch of games to pick some winners from. Last week I managed to go 5-0 and with twice as many games in action going perfect is a much harder task. Not an impossible one though.
Last Sunday Picks: 5 – 0
Overall: 465 – 339
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Detroit Pistons (28-30) at Charlotte Hornets (26-33)
DETROIT finds themselves on the wrong side of .500 and outside of the playoff field looking in. Charlotte isn’t the worst team in the league, but the Pistons should find a way to get the win in North Carolina.
Verdict: Pistons W
New Orleans Pelicans (32-26) at Milwaukee Bucks (33-25)
TWO teams with very similar records, two superstar players and two very different injury stories. The Pelicans are trying to stay afloat in life with DeMarcus Cousins on the shelf while the Bucks are hoping Jabari Parker can keep building his performances as he comes back from an ACL tear. New Orleans needs this win to keep their playoff dreams alive and the way that Anthony Davis is playing (42.3 points and 14.8 rebounds in his last four games) gives me faith.
Verdict: Pelicans W
Image from thebirdwrites.com
San Antonio Spurs (35-25) at Cleveland Cavaliers (35-22)
A lot has changed since the Spurs and Cavs last clashed. This time San Antonio is the team in turmoil entering the matchup with four straight L’s and the real possibility that Kawhi Leonard won’t be playing again this season. After blowing up their squad over the trade deadline, the Cavaliers look energised again and are having fun.
Verdict: Cavaliers W
Philadelphia 76ers (32-25) at Washington Wizards (34-25)
IT’S been a long time since the Sixers had a decent winning streak going, but at seven straight now, things are looking up in Philly. They face a tough challenge travelling to DC to battle a fellow Eastern Conference playoff foe in Washington led by a surging Bradley Beal. I’m giving the Wizards the nod due to being at home, but this game could become a ‘must-watch’ affair.
Verdict: Wizards W
Houston Rockets (45-13) at Denver Nuggets (33-26)
HOUSTON is clicking on all cylinders right now, winners of 11 straight and showing no signs of slowing down. Their opponents have won four straight of their own and are eager to improve their playoff seeding. Led by triple-double machine Nikola Jokic Denver should snap the Rockets streak and keep their own one alive Sunday night.
Verdict: Nuggets W
Tulsa Golden Hurricane (17-10) at #11 Cincinnati Bearcats (24-4)
SENIOR day festivities for some notable Bearcats makes this game even harder for Tulsa to win than usual. In Cincinnati’s final home game of the season, I am almost guaranteeing a W.
Verdict: Bearcats W
#2 Michigan State Spartans (27-3) at Wisconsin Badgers (14-16)
A win on Sunday would see Michigan State become the outright winners of the Big Ten title. Ohio State could claim a portion of the award if Wisconsin pulls off the upset, but I don’t think it’s possible. The Spartans are hitting their straps and have won 11 straight since mid-January. Book it.
Verdict: Spartans W
Image from bleacherreport.com
East Carolina Pirates (10-16) at #23 Houston Cougars (21-6)
FINDING themselves in the top-25 for the first time in years after upsetting #5 Cincinnati last week. They lost in their most recent game to Memphis, which means their stay as a ranked team will probably be short-lived. They are still good enough to take care of the 10-16 Pirates though.
Verdict: Cougars W
Minnesota Gophers (15-15) at #9 Purdue Boilermakers (25-5)
ANOTHER emotional Senior Day for the home squad will probably be an unpleasant day at the office for the road team. Minnesota could potentially steal one from Purdue, but with four seniors playing at home for the last time, I can’t see it happening.
Verdict: Boilermakers W
Colorado State Rams (11-18) at #20 Nevada Wolf Pack (24-5)
YOU could be forgiven for missing this game. The Wolf Pack aren’t going to slip up against a Colorado State team that seems disjointed and broken. The win will give Nevada back-to-back Mountain West regular season championships, meaning they have everything to play for on Sunday.
Verdict: Wolf Pack W
Image from nevadasagebrush.com
#25 Florida State Seminoles (19-8) at NC State Wolfpack (19-9)
TWO ACC foes close out Sunday with a lot on the line. Everyone is wary of their NCAA tournament stock and every win matters. My money is with the NC State boys, who at times have surprised and impressed the college basketball world.
Verdict: Wolfpack W