We’ve defined several situational spots below and their respective matches in Saturday’s college basketball rotation. While we’re not necessarily advising to blindly bet these spots, here are some useful tidbits when placing your weekend wagers in college hoops. Despite last weekend being another rough one for our spot bets, I've identified some value for us to bounce back for championship weekend. Before we get to those, here's a quick recap of our situational spots from last weekend, March 6th-7th:
Flat Spot: Texas @ TCU. Our pick was TCU, but Texas won and covered on the road.
Letdown Spot: Oklahoma State @ West Virginia. Our pick was West Virginia, but Oklahoma State pulled out an impressive upset on the road despite being shorthanded.
Revenge Spot: Michigan @ Michigan State. Our pick was Michigan State, and the Spartans won outright as an eight-point home underdog.
Get-right Spot: Illinois @ Ohio State. Our pick was Ohio State, but the Buckeyes choked down the stretch and lost at home as a short favorite.
Flat spot: A game in which a team might not be fully motivated for given a lackluster opponent and other scheduling circumstances that do not result in full intensity.
Georgia Tech vs Florida State: ACC Tournament Championship - Saturday at 8:30 PM ET on ESPN
Line: Florida State -4
Analysis: While this is certainly not a lackluster opponent for the Georgia Tech Yellowjackets, the last 48 hours for Josh Pastner’s team have been interesting, to say the least. Georgia Tech trailed at halftime in its quarterfinal against lowly Miami on Thursday and sleepwalked its way to a four-point win, never coming very close to covering as 10-point chalk. Yesterday’s semifinal with Virginia was called off due to COVID-19 complications within the Virginia program, and all of a sudden here the Yellowjackets are in the championship game despite having played one average game all week. Granted, they did pick up a win in the regular season against Florida State - and they had covered seven straight spreads coming into the conference tournament - but I’m betting on some of the air having been sucked out of the balloon and backing the Seminoles in this one.
Letdown spot: The next game for a team after its previous one was closely contested, and often a win, against a marquee opponent.
- Georgetown vs Creighton: Big East Championship, Saturday at 6:30 PM ET on FOX
- Oregon State vs Colorado: Pac 12 Championship, Saturday at 10:30 ET on ESPN
Lines: Georgetown +8 and Oregon St. +8.5 (Projected Line)
Analysis: We’re giving you a two for one here because the handicaps are identical for us in the Big East and Pac 12 conference championship games. In each game we have potential bid stealers in Georgetown and Oregon State squaring off against teams that just played highly competitive semifinals in Creighton and Colorado. Creighton just dispatched of UConn in a tight 59-56 game, and certainly, the Blue Jays had to have entered the Big East Conference tournament hoping for Villanova in the championship game in a battle for conference supremacy. At the very least, a matchup with bubble team Seton Hall would have sufficed. After a highly intense semifinal, Creighton now gets a far inferior Georgetown team in the title game. Since the Blue Jays are in the NCAA Tournament regardless, do they really care if the Hoyas steal a bid? Ditto for Colorado, as the Buffaloes are cemented in the field of 68 and just won at the buzzer against Southern Cal. It would have been a pretty tasty conference championship game with Oregon had the Ducks taken care of their own business against Oregon State. But I'm not sure Colorado matches the intensity it had in the semifinal against the Trojans.
Revenge spot: The second game between two relatively evenly-matched teams in which we expect the team that lost the first meeting to return the favor.
Ohio State vs Michigan: Big 10 Semifinal, Saturday at 1 PM ET on CBS
Line: Ohio State +6
Analysis: While it’s only been about three weeks since Michigan traveled to Columbus and pulled out a 92-87 road win against Ohio State, a lot has changed since. The Wolverines won by double digits against Iowa and at Indiana, and now Michigan is primed to be a No. 1 seed in the Big Dance. Granted, the Wolverines have lost two games recently, but last Sunday’s loss in East Lansing against Michigan State was all but irrelevant as Michigan had already locked up the Big 10 regular season title. Ohio State followed the loss against Michigan on February 21 with three more losses against Michigan State, Iowa and Illinois. But it now appears the Buckeyes are figuring things out again. Ohio State really should have beaten Illinois last weekend, as it choked in the final minutes of the regular season finale. The Buckeyes’ first two games in the Big 10 Tournament were close, sure, but Ohio State held double digits at halftime in both of them. Of course, Ohio State must play a complete game to beat Michigan, but we’ve already seen enough to trust that the Buckeyes are getting back to being a team that appeared to be flirting with a No. 1 seed themselves earlier in the season.
Get-right spot: A game in which a struggling team with expectations for more should find a way back into the win column.
Wichita State vs Cincinnati: American Athletic Conference Semifinal, Sunday at 3 PM ET on ESPN2
Line: Wichita State -4
Analysis: The Shockers survived a scare in the quarterfinals against South Florida, as they trailed by nine points at halftime and rallied to escape with a 68-67 win. Wichita State has been one of the surprising stories in college basketball this season, as it was picked seventh in the American Athletic Conference preseason poll, went through a coaching change midseason and then ended up winning the conference’s regular season title. With Memphis and Houston - two of the better teams The AAC has to offer - squaring off in the other semifinal, look for the Shockers to find their footing and for this conference championship game to be a fun one on Sunday.