A couple of days ago, I wrote about the crazy ending of the Boise State/Colorado State game played on Wednesday night. It was not just apparent, it was crystal clear that the officials had gotten it wrong and, in the process, had stolen a win from Boise State.
The next day I received emails, a couple of text messages and some comments on various social media platforms. I was criticized for ripping the refs and the league for screwing things up. That’s because there was a statement published by Dave Hall, the official, as well as another one from the Mountain West Conference, explaining how the call was correct. Therefore people with functioning eyes like myself were wrong.
Well, just in case you missed it, the Mountain West has now done an about face and have admitted the call was incorrect and that the basket at the overtime buzzer should have counted. Of course, they’re not changing the result.
So I’m bothered on two counts. First, I still haven’t heard back from any of the folks who came after me about refusing to accept the possibility I might have been incorrect. No big deal there.
But big deal here. Hey Craig Thompson, MWC commissioner. Show some stones and do the right thing. Boise State won the game. Reverse the call and give the Broncos their win.
On the other hand, it’s somewhat comforting to see the MWC executive decision losing streak maintained. If that sounds nasty, so be it. It’s astonishing how many bad moves have been made over the last several years by the suits in this league. They kissed off ESPN because the late starting times for what would have been nationally televised games were too late. That was the beginning of the negative run, and it was a severely criticized move right from the outset. One of the more recent gaffes hasn’t gone into effect yet. The MWC intends to cut the conference basketball tournament to just the eight highest-seeded teams (not this season, but just around the bend). I’ve already ranted on why this is a stuck on stupid decision that’s strictly minor league.
In any event, the entire Broncos/Rams fiasco is just one more hit to a league suffering through an embarrassingly awful season in basketball.
I managed to produce a profit on Saturday, although as is customary, I had a terrible beat along the way that swung the result from what would have been very nice to just okay. This time it was Idaho State -2.5. Up five late, Sacramento State hits a three, fouls, and of course, my guy clanks the free throw and the game lands on two. Aside from dealing 2-0 at the outset, the Bengals led the entire game, making the hook loser just a little more disgusting. But at least it was still a black ink day.
I’ve landed on a couple of Sunday games, and that might well be it for the day. One of those is the free play on this page. For info on my personal service, which includes all my plays plus whatever one on one consultation that’s desired, email me at email@example.com.
Butler was a bad call as the Saturday free play. They just don’t match up well with Xavier. If these teams happen to meet again in the Big East tournament, expect the same result. I’ll go the scheduling dynamics route with a big underdog for the Sunday comp.
867 NIAGARA @ 868 RIDER
Take: 867 NIAGARA +10.5
First things first, Niagara is not good at all. That means there’s always an element of risk asking the Purple Eagles to do something positive. The team is 6-20 this season and they’re now 21-68 since Chris Casey took over as head coach. So anytime I’m considering this outfit, it’s strictly hold your nose time.
But today, I’m playing against Rider. This is an awful spot for the Broncs. They’re off one of the craziest games I’ve seen all season. Rider put together a stirring second half rally to get what looked like a sweet upset against MAAC frontrunner Monmouth on Friday evening. Rider was up 14 inside the four-minute mark. But they fell apart down the stretch, and I put the blame squarely on the coaching.
This absolutely drives me wild. It’s the college basketball version of the football prevent defense. In this case, it’s prevent offense. Team gets ahead and rather than run the offense that got them ahead, they start milking the clock WAY too soon, end up with horrible percentage shots and allow the other team an opportunity to catch up. When I rant about overcoaching, this is the prime example of what I mean.
In any event, Rider blew the entire lead and then after going back up two, they got burned by a Justin Robinson three and it was game, set and match. Great win for Monmouth when it looked like they were dead, and a truly brutal beat for Rider.
I don’t know how the Broncs get fired up for this game. They’re going from the all-out effort and throughly demoralizing loss against the MAAC leaders to a rematch against a bottom feeder they already handled on the road just nine days ago. It’s always somewhat of a guess to assess what a team’s mindset is going to be, but I just can’t see Rider being razor sharp here. I might not be in love with the idea of taking the downtrodden Purple Eagles, but I feel as though this is a solid play against spot for the Broncs. I’ll take the double digits with Niagara.