Head-to-Head: College Hoops and NBA Take Center Stage
by Jordan Adams and Drew Mangione - 02/23/2007
Each week two of Doc's Sports gambling aficionados will give their alternating perspectives on the key games and interesting issues in the game at both the college and professional levels. You may not agree, they may not agree, but it should be interesting!
Here are this week's topics:
Pittsburgh at Georgetown (Saturday, Feb. 24)
Drew: If 7-foot center Aaron Gray does not come back for this game the Hoyas may just roll over the Panthers. Georgetown has been outstanding this season, showing that little John can coach like his dad-Yeah! Okay! If the senior Gray plays for the Panthers it should be close but I still think the Hoyas will pull out the victory. Home court advantage and a struggling Pitt factor into that prediction, but I think we'll see Pitt go deeper in the tourney.
Prediction: Hoyas 68, Panthers 59
Jordan: Momentum is on completely different sides of the spectrum for these Big East rivals. Right now Pitt looks about as stable as Britney Spears while the Hoyas are approaching the Top 10. Aaron Gray missed Big Monday's clash with Seton Hall, so who knows how his health will be for this weekend? One thing is for sure, there isn't a team in the country comfortable with matching up against G-town.
Prediction: Georgetown 65, Pitt 60
Wisconsin at Ohio State (Sunday, Feb. 25)
Drew: Too bad we never saw this match-up in the college football season. It might have exposed one of these teams for the frauds they were. However, in basketball, Ohio State is legit. They may have trouble come tournament time against Florida, but with both solid guard play and the best low post threat in the nation they far surpass their football alumni. I'm not so sure about Wisconsin.
Prediction: Buckeyes 81, Badgers 63
Jordan: The fact that the Big Ten, as bad as this conference is, occupies the top two rankings in the country is a complete joke. Of course these teams aren't going to falter because they play absolutely no one. They can both get No. 1 seeds for the tourney if Ohio State exacts revenge here and they play a close game in the Big Ten Tournament title game. All I know is that if these two teams have No. 1 seeds in March, they sure aren't making it to Atlanta on my 8 x 11 sheet of paper.
Prediction: Ohio State 71, Wisconsin 67
Which NBA team do you expect to have a big second half of the season?
Drew: I'm going to harp on this forever: If New Jersey recognizes the coach is the problem and fires Lawrence Frank, while keeping Jason Kidd, this team could surge. But that would be a smart move by my beloved franchise, so my pick is Cleveland in the East. LeBron claims he has the killer instinct. Well, the Pistons are a wounded pack leader and the Cavs have the right stuff to push them back, so do it youngster. As for the West, I still believe in the Denver Nuggets with the Iverson and Anthony duo.
Prediction: The Nuggets fall one game back in their division and get a tough first round match-up, while the Cavs take the division.
Jordan: I expect a big second half from my hometown Bulls, and not for the reason that I picked them to be in the Finals vs. the Suns come June. This team has the most talent in the Eastern Conference and they simply find a way to use it only at the United Center. I mean it's not like this is college ball where you have thousands of screaming drunks verbally thrashing you for 40 minutes in hostile environments. What gives?
Prediction: Chicago will play in the Eastern Conference Finals. That's all I am willing to disclose at this juncture. Let's first see how the Heat and Cavs turn things around.
Chicago vs. Detroit (Sunday, Feb. 25)
Drew: Big Ben and The Chicago Five took the first game this season, fairly easily, 106-89. I see these games as imitation being the best form of flattery, as the Bulls strive to build a Piston-like five equal parts approach. Still, if you compare the parts here, Detroit is still the better team - even with the defection of the headband-less Wallace.
Prediction: Pistons 104, Bulls 95
Jordan: Right now these two teams would be my picks for the Eastern Conference Finals. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't biased to think the Bulls could win every game they play. It's just the simple fact that they don't focus on the road and haven't been able to put away bad teams. Until I see Chicago make strides away from the Windy City, I have to be skeptical, especially against a talented Pistons club.
Prediction: Detroit 94, Chicago 90
Buffalo at Ottawa (Saturday, Feb. 24)
Drew: The Senators have a great opportunity here to take a home-and-home and make up the 12-point gap as of Wednesday. I'm in Northern New York, right smack in the middle between Senator and Sabre territory. I'm picking Saturday's game and this might not be up before Thursday's, but I'm going out on a limb and calling both games for the Sabres. If for no other reason, my buddy's girl can name every player on the team by their jersey number. Sometimes my gut trumps facts, but at least I'm going with the favorite.
Prediction: Sabres 4, Senators 2
Jordan: You can't deny what the Sabres have been doing to this point in the season. But as well as Buffalo is playing, the standings don't lie: there isn't much room for error. The Senators, the East's fifth best team, can sneak up on the rest of the conference as everyone eyes Buffalo. The edge goes to the Sabres at home, but I feel Heatley and Alfredsson will be big and lead Ottawa up the standings as the playoffs draw closer.
Prediction: Ottawa 4, Buffalo 2
Jordan and Drew will be going Head-to-Head every week. If you have any comments or questions for them, or any topics that you'd like discussed, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.