1ST ROUND NCAA TOURNEY
Bet Jamaica Line Clemson -5 O/U
The Clemson Tigers began the year a perfect 16-0, until running
into the Demon Deacons of Wake Forest. They have garnered a
reputation for starting out fast, and burning out in the late stages
of the season. After reaching the NCAA Tournament for the first time
in ten years last year the Tigers took an early exit in the first
round. They will seek to improve on that effort this year, but the
Michigan Wolverines are going to do everything that they can to stop
This year has been a long time coming for the Michigan Wolverines.
The Ed Martin scandal rocked the program, but they appear to be back
on their feet. They finished the 2009 season with a respectable
record of 20-13 and earned a 10 seed. This team has several nice
wins, but has dropped some bad losses as well. Their best wins came
against UCLA, Duke, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Minnesota. They lost
games to Maryland, Iowa, Penn State, and Ohio State. Their road
record of 3-7 reflects poorly upon them, but they were able to steal
a win at Minnesota late in the year. Michigan is like a golden goose
against the spread. They are 7-3 in their last ten games ATS.
Clemson started out very hot, and has cooled off a bit since then.
That can be attributed to the very tough ACC play. The Tigers were
able to win against USC, Virginia Tech, Illinois, Maryland, and
Duke. I love their 7-4 road record. They have a proven ability to
stay calm in a hostile setting. Iím a bit concerned with their play
of late, because they have lost three of their last four games.
Granted, two of those games were against Wake Forest and Florida
State. Clemson is 4-6 in their last ten games versus the spread.
Clemson is led by junior forward Trevor Booker. He was named All ACC
First Team this year because of his 15.3 PPG and 9.7 RPG statistics.
Connecting at 40.9% from three point land helped too! His best game
of the year was a 21 point and 13 rebound performance at Boston
College. Talk about a road warrior! Iíve watched this team a lot of
the years, and K.C. Rivers always makes an impact. He went wild on
Virginia Tech, with 29 points and 6 rebounds. On the season he was
good for 14.2 PPG, and 5.9 RPG. Rivers is also a reliable three
point threat at 39.8% accuracy. Terrence Oglesby is also pivotal to
a Tiger victory. The sophomore is averaging 13.5 PPG.
Manny Harris is the best that the Michigan Wolverines have to offer,
and he is quite a skilled ball player. The Detriot, MI native is
leading the team with 16.8 PPG, 4.4 APG, and 6.9 RPG. This is
excellent, considering he is only a sophomore. Harris had 27 points
in a win over Purdue. DeShawn Sims is a junior, and he can be
counted on for 15.7 PPG and 6.9 RPG. His best game of the year was
when he put up 28 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in a Wolverine
victory over the Duke Blue Devils. Michigan has several young
players who can be rotated through the lineup.
This game isnít the easiest to pick a winner, but Iím going to go
with Clemson. They have been prepared for this tournament by tough
ACC play, and are used to big games. Michigan on the other hand has
been playing ďsoftĒ opponents and hasnít proved they can beat tough
teams on the road. They will be one to watch next year, but Clemson
should send them packing early in 2009. However, if you like
Michigan it is hard to argue with their record ATS. Iíll take the
Clemson Tigers at -5.5 anyway.