March 17, 2016

College Basketball Betting: Pittsburgh vs. Wisconsin

College Basketball Betting:  Pittsburgh vs. Wisconsin&h=253&w=372&zc=1

Very entertaining 7 vs. 10 matchup. The Pitt Panthers are about as nasty of a 10 seed as you’ll find in any NCAA tournament. Wisconsin might not be as good as their seed would suggest. The winner will play the Xavier/Weber State winner–the Musketeers should prevail but Weber is no joke and coach Randy Rahe is one of the more underrated in the country.

Reading sports quotes and listening to press conferences and sound bites is usually a complete waste of time. Every now and then, however, you’ll get a very valuable nugget of wisdom about a team. If you paid attention to the Big Ten tournament you saw Wisconsin get eliminated by a Nebraska team that they should have handled with relative ease. Now consider this quote about that flameout from Badgers’ guard Bronson Koenig:

“They just played tougher than us, and that’s kind of what’s been our identity the past couple months. For us to come out like that, against Nebraska, a team we feel like we should have beaten, we were just pretty disappointed. We haven’t played our best basketball yet… now would be a great time for us to start playing up to our potential.”

There you have it. Koenig correctly stating that his team isn’t playing up to its potential. If you’re betting on teams based on the hope that they all of a sudden regain momentum in the NCAA tournament you’re going to have a hard time.

Quality Big Ten teams in particular need to be ‘playing up to their potential’ since they often have a liability in athleticism when they start playing out of conference. That appears to be the case in this matchup against Pittsburgh. The Panthers might not be much of a team and we sure don’t expect them to go far in the tournament. But in this matchup they have a lot of individual personnel edges. And that’s likely all it will take to get the outright win over a Wisconsin team that pretty much outlined their poor current form. If you want to bet on the prospect that a team will turn around on a dime and play ‘up to their potential’ go right ahead. We’ll be on the other side.