NCAAB: Under the Radar
Every team not in the Big East, Big Ten or ACC yearns to be the next Butler. Players dream of getting a long look from NBA scouts, coaches can't wait to walk away from their contracts and get big-money deals at the next level. And administrators can’t wait for the big checks that will arrive if their team suddenly and unexpectedly finds its way into a Final 4 appearance or two.
Here are a few teams that are on fire and off the radar right now that could be this year’s Butler:
LOUISIANA TECH (24-3)
Not much will remain of the Western Athletic Conference after this season when half the league sprints for greener pastures, but the Bulldogs are making an impression before they themselves depart for Conference USA. At 14-0 going into Thursday night’s game at home against Utah State, Tech has just about wrapped up the league title. And they’ve done it with only one double-figures scorer (Raheem Appleby 14.7). The Bulldogs take opponents out of their games with full-court pressure defense reminiscent of Nolan Richardson’s 40 Minutes of Hell Arkansas teams in the 1980s and ‘90s. LAT has 16 wins in a row and probably will enter tourney play with a 20-game winning streak.
ST. LOUIS (20-5)
The Billikens have gone on a tear since a back-to-back mid-January losses to Temple and Rhode, and are peaking as the season grinds to a close. They have 8 straight wins and 8 straight covers heading into Friday night’s huge game at Butler which could determine top seeding in the Atlantic 10 Tournament. The Billikens (9-2 in the A-10), crushed Butler (9-3) three weeks ago, but the Bulldogs rarely lose at home. St. Louis has momentum to spare after its huge win over VCU on Tuesday in which the Billikens held the best offensive team in the conference scoreless for 10 minutes and raced to a game-deciding 32-9 lead.
The Zips haven’t lost since mid-December and will take a 17-game winning streak (longest in the country) into weekend action. They haven’t yet locked up the Mid-American Conference, but can pretty much do that next week by taking care of Miami of Ohio at home. Akron has a nice blend of size and experience, led by shot-blocking 7-foot center Zeke Marshall, who has brashly predicted a national championship. Interestingly, the city’s most famous athlete says he keeps a close eye on the team. "They're on top of the MAC and they're playing some really, really good ball right now,” notes LeBron James.
- San Francisco
- Al McMordie
- October 2, 2016 - 4:25 PM
- Offered at:
- sportsinteraction @ 3 -115 San Francisco
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At 4:25 pm, on Sunday, our complimentary selection is on the San Francisco 49ers + the points over the Dallas Cowboys. After shutting out the Los Angeles Rams in Week 1, the 49ers’ defense has sprung some leaks, and has given up 46 and 37 points the past two weeks. The knee-jerk reaction might be to play against the defensively-challenged 49ers, but consider that home underdogs are 63.4% ATS off a loss in which they failed to cover by more than a touchdown, if they gave up 37+ points in that defeat, and their opponent is off a straight-up win. San Francisco has gone 8-2-1 ATS at home vs. Dallas since 1980, while the Cowboys have covered just 48 of 123 on the road off a win, dating back to 1985. Take San Francisco. Good luck, as always…Al McMordie. And don't miss any of my red-hot winners, as I'm currently on a 53-27 RUN. Among our plays this week is a 100% Perfect 10 Club NFL play, backed by a 100%, 15-0 ATS System which hasn't lost in 30 years. Join for a week or month today to get all of our award-winning plays.