BANKER (Harvard vs. Brown)
Harvard has been an up and down team out of the Ivy league this season, but I think this is a good spot to back the Crimson. They have already faced Brown on the season and lost at home where they were 3.5/4-point favorites and think this is a good revenge spot for them. Harvard has struggled in their last 2 games against Cornell and Penn, but one thing Harvard has done well this season is not let their bad play continue for long as they haven’t lost more than 2 games in a row on the season to this point. They have bounced back well from losses and think this is a perfect bounce back/revenge spot against a team who knocked them off earlier in the season. Brown has really struggled over the course of the last 2 months as well as they have gone 2-8 over their last 10 games including 0-3 at home during that stretch. One thing Harvard has done well this season is force turnovers on defense.
They are ranked 58th nationally in defensive turnover percentage and Brown is loose with the ball as they are ranked 180th in the country in offensive turnover percentage. On the other side of the ball, Harvard has done a good job of not turning the ball over as they are ranked 45th in lowest turnover percentage on offense. Bottom line for me in this game is that Brown has not been playing very well at all lately and don’t think this line should be outside of a possession. I think Harvard can force brown into live ball turnovers leading to easy transition buckets which is the type of game Harvard wants to play. I also think there will be added motivation given that Brown went into Harvard’s house and beat them earlier this year so for this game I think Harvard will get the win, but I am still taking the points. Score Prediction: 78-71 Harvard.
Colorado State has been a very impressive team out of the Mountain West this year who may even have a shot to get an at large tournament bid but they have been scuffling a bit lately. They have dropped 2 games in a row and lost their last game in OT after their best player missed a free throw to win in the final seconds. In this game, they get to go back home and face a San Diego St team who is stout defensively and absolutely dismantled this CSU team back in early January by a score of 79-49. San Diego St has struggled on the road this year as they have dropped games to BYU, Michigan, and Utah St all on the road. In those games, they only averaged a total of 58 points per game. That is not going to get it done against a very prolific Colorado St offense who scores nearly 80 points per game at home. CSU also has revenge on their mind, and I think they get it here. Score Prediction: 74-63 Colorado St.
Oakland is a very solid team out of the Horizon conference who looks to be the eventual champion as they are currently 10-1 in Horizon play and pass the eye test in nearly every category. In this matchup, they face a northern Kentucky team who has been coming on strong lately winning 5 games in a row but 3 were against some of the worse teams in the conference including IUPUI, IPFW, and Illinois Chicago. Oakland has also played an incredibly tough non-conference schedule to prepare them for these types of road conference games and I think that experience will greatly help them here. Bottom line for me here is that Oakland is the better offensive and defensive team and has also played the tougher schedule to this point and I think they are poised and prepared to go on the road and get a win tonight vs a surging NKU squad. Score Prediction: 81-68 Oakland