Posted 01/31/2008 at 02:28 PM
The schedule last night presented tough spots for the top two teams in the nation with Memphis and Kansas both going on the road against strong conference opponents. Though we backed off using either game as a rated pick as the line value was not there we had a hunch one of the underdogs might play a great game and possibly deliver the upset. Houston played a great first ten minutes but Memphis cruised to another win in one might be the toughest spot on the road to an undefeated regular season. The Tigers took a commanding lead in the second half getting up by as many as 19-points but the finish was still a nail-bitter for those playing the spread with Memphis winning by twelve.
In Manhattan a back-and-forth first half gave way to Kansas State taking over about halfway through the second half. Turnovers and rebounds were likely the difference as the Jayhawks actually shot a much higher percentage in the game. The rematch in Lawrence is just a month away and a lot more could be on the line depending on how the Big 12 shakes out. Our most recent article discusses the rise of the Big 12, a conference that is arguably the strongest in the nation after a few recent down years.
In the NBA trade-buzz is getting a lot of attention today. Jason Kidd is at the center of most discussions and LeBron James has vocally lobbied for a deal. The financial realities make it unlikely to happen however as the Cavs would likely have to include the awful Larry Hughes contract to match the salaries and the Nets already have enough bad contracts on their payroll. The three team trade involving Dallas, Portland, and New Jersey may actually have more steam with Devin Harris and Jerry Stackhouse being the key players in a possible deal. The Spurs made a move last night to pick up Damon Stoudamire to help out with the recent injury to Tony Parker. Several other teams were interested in the well-traveled veteran point guard and he may actually be a big lift to a struggling Spurs team.
No one is noticing but check out the monster numbers Al Jefferson is posting for the Timberwolves in the past two weeks. Minnesota seemed to be on pace for a historically bad season but the Wolves have won four of the last six games and actually were in position to win two other games in the last seven, losing narrowly to Boston and Denver. Jefferson is averaging over 26 points per game in that span including monster 39 and 40 point performances.