The 11th edition of the College Basketball Weekly Schedule Spot Fade Picks is ready to go. Last season was the first for this article. I'll be looking at schedule spots that could be bad ones for teams throughout the course of the season and then recommending plays based on those spots. We'll track the weekly results throughout the course of the season. For games that don't have a line at the time each article is written, the Bookmaker opening line will be used for grading purposes. All plays will be one-unit plays.
It's been up and down all year for the schedule spot fade picks. The last couple weeks it has been down. After going 1-4 the previous week, the plays went 1-3 last week. Chattanooga blasted VMI as expected. The rest didn't go well. All three of the other teams lost straight up. I still think UC Irvine was a good pick, and the Anteaters led by more than three for almost the entire game before blowing their lead late and losing to Hawaii. Auburn knocked down 15 of 23 three-pointers to blow up the Arkansas pick. Gonzaga was stunningly bad at home against St. Mary's last weekend, and it's starting to look like Gonzaga will miss the NCAA Tournament this year unless they win the West Coast Conference Tournament.
Play #1- Play on Louisiana Monroe -5 (Fade South Alabama) on Thursday, February 25
The Louisiana Monroe Warhawks played a difficult nonconference schedule, and they slipped up early in conference play in the Sun Belt. Now, the Warhawks are playing some great basketball. South Alabama is in a challenging spot because they haven't played any of the top teams in the league lately. Louisiana Monroe beat South Alabama by 32 points at home earlier this year. I think it will be tough for South Alabama to raise their level to meet Monroe's. South Alabama's last three games have been against Georgia Southern, Troy, and Appalachian State. Those are all teams near the bottom of the standings in this conference. Look for Monroe to win comfortably.
Play #2- Play on South Dakota State -9.5 (Fade North Dakota State) on Thursday, February 25
Paul Miller is North Dakota State's best player, and he isn't expected to play in this one. Miller has a knee injury and is trying to get ready for the conference tournament. South Dakota State is out for revenge after losing to North Dakota State earlier in the year. That time around it was South Dakota State who was dealing with injury problems. Now, the shoe is on the other foot. North Dakota State wasn't close in losses at South Dakota and Nebraska Omaha lately, and this South Dakota State team is better than both of those squads. The Jackrabbits roll to a convincing win.
Play #3- Play on Southern Miss (Fade North Texas) on Saturday, February 27
The North Texas Mean Green have been kicked around all year on the road. North Texas has one win all season on the road, and that was against lowly Texas San Antonio. The Mean Green play Thursday night against Louisiana Tech on the road before travelling to take on Southern Miss on the road Saturday. The game against Louisiana Tech should be a real challenge for a team that isn't deep. Louisiana Tech will press all game long and wear this North Texas team down.
Southern Miss plays their last two games of the year on the road, so this will be their final home game. Another important point is Southern Miss is ineligible for the Conference USA Tournament this year, so this may be the last game that really means anything to them all season. The Golden Eagles will want to take care of business in their final home game, and I think they will in this contest.
Play #4- Play on Long Beach State (Fade UC Riverside) on Saturday, February 27
The UC Riverside Highlanders dismissed star Taylor Johns from the team last week. Their first game without him came last week in a 65-55 loss at home to UCSB. UC Riverside had only 18 points at halftime in that game. The Highlanders are going to be in a brutal spot for this game. UC Riverside plays Thursday night in Hawaii before returning to the mainland for this game. With a team that is short-handed, that's a very difficult spot.
Long Beach State lost 90-67 to a red hot shooting UC Irvine team on Wednesday. The 49ers will be anxious to put that game in the rear view mirror with a blowout here. Look for Long Beach State to win big.
Play #5- Play on Weber State (Fade Montana) on Saturday, February 27
Entering Thursday's action, Montana and Weber State are tied for the top spot in the Big Sky standings. Montana plays at Idaho State on Thursday night in a bit of a tricky game for the Grizzlies. Weber State hosts Montana State in a game where they are favored by 9.5 points. Weber State has the most balanced team in the Big Sky with Joel Bolomboy (likely a future NBA player) starring on the inside and Jeremy Senglin shooting 47 percent from 3-point range.
Montana beat Weber State in overtime in the Big Sky Conference Tournament last year on their home floor, and Weber State definitely remembers that game well. The Wildcats are a much better team this year, and this time around they have the home-court advantage. This one is for the Big Sky crown, and I think Weber State makes a statement here.
Last Week's Results- 1 Win (Chattanooga -20.5) 3 Losses (Gonzaga -6.5, Arkansas -14.5, and UC Irvine -2.5)
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