Once again it’s a toss-up between Michigan State and Virginia as the top team in the nation. We will stay the course and maintain that the Spartans are the fairest in the land as we check out this week’s Fab Five.
- Michigan State (26-3 SU, 14-14 ATS) – The Spartans have played two games since we last ranked our top five, both road wins, as they devoured Minnesota 87-57 but then eked past Northwestern 65-60 in a game that many believed would be a blowout for Michigan State as 9 ½ point favorites according to SBR Odds. Although this team has been a money burner as of late, failing to cover the number in seven of their last eight, all they do is win and right now look like the best team in the nation.
- Virginia (24-2 SU, 17-6 ATS) – Had it not been for that pesky loss to Virginia Tech earlier this month, I would happily put the Cavaliers in the top spot. However, they did lose 61-60 in overtime to a crosstown rival that had no business beating the best, particularly when one considers Virginia was installed as 12-point home chalk over Virginia Tech. That said, they rebounded with a 59-50 victory over Miami in hostile territory and own a defense that is more suffocating than a rear-naked choke.
- Villanova (24-3 SU, 18-9 ATS) – After the Wildcats dropped a 76-71 decision to their Big East foes, the middling Providence Friars, there was no way they weren’t tumbling out of my top five. Nope, the bread I thought I was going to make on that game turned out to be burnt toast and Villanova was officially on my sh*t list. But then a funny thing happened. Three days later I began my daily consumption of pregame analysis of Saturday’s college basketball betting card at SBR Picks and found that more than one respected industry handicapper was bullish on Villanova to bounce back against then No. 4 Xavier that afternoon. The Cats absolutely pummeled the X-Men on the road to the tune of 95-79. Needless to say, Villanova is back in my good graces and still at No. 3 this week.
- Duke (22-5 SU, 16-9 ATS) – You can always tell a man from Duke, unfortunately, you can’t tell him much particularly when it comes to college hoops. But this week we must relent and place the Blue Devils at No. 4 in our college basketball rankings. After a stunning 81-77 loss to St. Johns as 11-point road favorites, the Devils showed a lot more heart against North Carolina in Chapel Hill but ultimately it was another setback as Duke fell 82-78 as one-point road dogs. But since that inauspicious beginning to the month of February, Duke has buckled down and reeled off three consecutive wins with the most impressive being their 66-57 road win over Clemson on Sunday. The Devils may just be peaking at the right time.
- Gonzaga (25-4 SU, 11-15 ATS) – Unless you’re from the Spokane area chances are you never would have heard of Gonzaga University but thanks to that school fielding a top-notch Division 1 basketball program year after year, you can’t help but be crazy about the Zags. This week I am ga-ga for Gonzo, as the cream of the West Coast Conference has now dribbled its way into our Fab Five. The knock on the Bulldogs is that they routinely rule a weak conference but wilt against the big boys. Such was the case earlier this season when Villanova defeated them by 16 points but that was then and this is now. The Zags have been winners over their last nine contests including an impressive 78-65 victory over No. 11, and fellow WCC entry, St. Mary’s. Keep an eye on the Bulldogs because Gonzo gonna make some noise at the Big Dance.