By Greg Dempson
I fondly remember when March Madness was all about the “BIG Dance,” 64 teams in a true playoff format, plus the “We almost made the tourney teams.” Those bubble teams that had their bubbles burst and thus they were slotted into the NIT tournament, (and every NIT team had a winning record!)
I also remember when ESPN launched ESPN2 and everyone had twice the betting options on College sporting games. Back in the day ESPN Big Monday featured three games. Now ESPN has, (sorry I am confused,) as there are so many ESPN options, am I doing a 360 or, perhaps an ESPN-U turn.
Not to be outdone by this sporting giant we now have the BIG–10 Network, SEC, CBS, NBC-S, PAC-12, and I know I’m leaving some of the networks out, but you get my point…or perhaps I should say…. Do we lay rather than take the points?
Well, all this additional CIT, CFI, etc. tournament addendums has not gone unnoticed by the sports books, because, if it’s on TV, and you’re going to watch it, you will more often than not…. like to “have some action,” on the game(s.) The bonus is, an opportunity to bet on every total as well as the side, such was not the case many moons ago.
Way back in the day, Oakland to me was the poor sister, (a city just across the bay from San Francisco.) In the early days of the NFL such was not the case when it came to championships as the Raiders ruled, John Madden was their guru. At season’s end often it was the Raiders vs. the Steelers to see who would play the NFC champions in the Super Bowl.
Oakland today has a different ring to it, and that ring is “The Golden Grizzlies,” As this Oakland team that’s featured at 9:00 ET this evening on CBS-C Sports isn’t from the bay area but from the state of Michigan. (If you are not aware of this fact, do not gamble on College hoops, (Smile.)
The Golden Grizzlies travel to the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas to tangle with the Townson Tigers. This new tournament is the brainchild of Jim Livingood, (a former director for UNLV.) Originally there were supposed to be 16 teams but there are only eight combatants in this three day event, maybe next year Jim!
What You Need to Know
· The Oakland Golden Grizzlies average 86.3 PPG, (#1 in the nation,) and ranked #66 for offensive field goal percentage shooting 45.9%. They also make 76.8% from the free throw line as well as 39.6% from beyond the arc this season.
· The Towson Tigers are ranked #258 for offensive field goal percentage shooting 42.1%. The Tigers shooting percentages includes 67.8% for free throw percentage and 32.7% from beyond the arc this season.
· The Golden Grizzlies were 2–1 vs. teams ranked in the Top–50 while Townson did not face any opponents ranked in the Top 50.
· Oakland’s Kahlil Felder is the grease that turns Oakland’s wheel as he’s ranked #4 in the nation averaging 24.2 PPG, (as long as he doesn’t turn in a performance like Perry Ellis did,) the Grizzlies should get the win and cover as they are solid at the free throw line.
· Oakland plays an up-tempo game, (the O/U in this game is 161.5,) and they’re 12-3 ATS this season when playing vs. poor pressure defensive teams who are forcing 14 or less turnovers per game.
· The Golden Grizzlies have 5 players that score in double digits and if it comes down to free throws to get the cover at games’ end they make 77% as a team.
Towson at Oakland Pick
Let’s hope the Grizzlies are “Golden” tonight as my Every Edge selection is on Oakland at –6 or less points.