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Michigan State and Virginia have been battling as the top teams in the nation but the Cavaliers have emerged, at least for this week, as the gold standard in college hoops. Let’s check out SBR’s Fab Five for the week of February 26th.
Virginia (26-2 SU, 18-7 ATS) – I’ve been one of the few lone holdouts in giving Virginia their due as the best team in the country. I snarkily insisted a few weeks ago that Cavaliers’ fans should enjoy the good times while they lasted because they ain’t lastin’. Well, it’s time for me to admit I was wrong and that their loss to Virginia Tech a few weeks ago was a blip on the radar against a team that has a penchant for upsets (just ask Duke). Virginia laid waste to a lousy Pittsburgh team over the weekend by suffocating them in the first half and holding the Panthers to a mind-boggling seven points in the opening frame. Virginia drew away to a 66-37 victory against a bona fide D-1 team and, according to SBR Odds covered the 19 ½ point impost with ease. This D is devastating.
Michigan State (28-3 SU, 15-15 ATS) – The Spartans traveled to Badger Country to meet their conference rival Wisconsin on Sunday and did what they needed to do. Michigan State wound up a 68-63 victor and captured the Big Ten title. An hour before tip-off star forward Miles Bridges was given the green light by the NCAA to suit up after he was cleared of a pay-to-play MSU scandal. Bridges was a non-factor and it was a rather workmanlike win that added another notch on the Spartans’ holster but cost all of their backers their hard-earned dinero, flaming as eight-point road chalk. Good for them but not good enough to keep the top spot in this week’s rankings.
Kansas (24-6 SU, 14-13 ATS) – Sure the Jayhawks have six losses on their regular season record but these rankings reflect the here and now. And as of this moment, Kansas is the third best team in the nation after defeating a top–notch Texas Tech team on the road and covering as 2 ½ point road hounds and then defeating another Big 12 foe in Texas by the score of 80-70 two days later. I wrote a pregame preview on Monday night’s game in which I thought the odds were a bit soft on the home favorites. But the thing is, that preview was written in the morning when the betting markets were offering Kansas -9. That number vanished and soared to as high as 12 at game time. That proves you need to shop around and do your homework early to get the sharpest number because it could be the difference between covering and flaming.
Xavier (25-4 SU, 20-9 ATS) – The Musketeers were drilled by their Big East rivals from Villanova 10 days ago but they rebounded with a dominating win over Georgetown. Meanwhile, the Wildcats were defeated by unranked Creighton over the weekend which means the X-Men get the nod at No. 4 by default. This team may wither in the Big Dance but those who are betting on them this year are making bank as Xavier has covered the number on 20 of 29 occasions. If you’re new to the game and want to know how to bet on sports then just click the link and get in on the action!
Gonzaga (27-4 SU, 12-16 ATS) – I’m just ga-ga for Gonzo. The team doesn’t get the love it deserves because they toil in the middling West Coast Conference which doesn’t lend itself to street cred. However, all the Zags have done is reeled off 11 straight wins and captured the WCC crown by hammering BYU on their home court 79-65 and bringing home the bacon for all those who backed the Bulldogs as 5 ½ point road faves. Watch out for Gonzaga in the Big Dance.
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