Saturday’s 1st Den: Random stuff on a winter night……..

— From 2018-23, Gonzaga posted a 223-24 record, making the Sweet 16 in the last six NCAA Tournaments. Last time Gonzaga didn’t made the second weekend of the tournament? 2014.

But this year, Gonzaga is off to a 10-4 start, 4-3 vs top 100 teams, 0-3 vs top 50 clubs. Their bench is in the bottom 10 in the country in minutes played; they can’t afford any injuries.

The entire WCC is down this year, starting with BYU bolting to the Big X. So far this season, the WCC is:

0-6 SU vs the WAC, 0-6 ATS
6-18 SU vs Mountain West, 8-16 ATS.
4-10 SU vs Big West, 4-10 ATS
7-6 SU vs Pac-12, 6-7 ATS

St Mary’s was picked to win the WCC this year, but they’re 10-6, 2-5 against top 100 teams. There is no guarantee the WCC will get two teams in the NCAAs. 

— SEC teams are 18-12 SU against the ACC this season, 19-11 ATS.

— UConn 88, Butler 81
Butler led by 7 early in the second half.
UConn shot 69% inside the arc.
Huskies had a 33-24 edge on the boards.

— Fairfield 93, Siena 69
Brycen Goodine scored 40 points, made 8-12 on the arc.
Here’s the thing; Goodine didn’t start the game, still scored 40 points.
Siena is 2-12; they played one junior and no seniors.

— New Mexico lost 76-68 at Colorado State Tuesday; Lobos’ star Jaelen House played only 19:00 because of foul trouble. When House and Jamal Mashburn were on the court at the same time, Lobos were +13; they were minus-21 when one/both guys were on the bench.

— ESPN’s Seth Greenberg said he thinks Wake Forest has the best starting 5 in the ACC; so far this season, Demon Deacons are 10-3, winning their last eight games- four of those wins were against top 100 teams. 

Wake Forest’s bench ranks #323 in country in minutes played, something to remember when the ACC Tournament rolls around. Wake Forest is good, but not deep.

Word of the Day: Opportunity- a set of circumstances that makes it possible to do something.

Baseball Fact of the Day: Rockies C Elias Diaz won MVP of the All-Star Game last year; he was first National Leaguer to win that award since Melky Cabrera won it in 2012, as a member of the Giants.

— Seattle Mariners traded P Robbie Ray to the Giants, for OF Mitch Haniger, P Anthony DeSclafani. Unusual trade; all three players are over 30 years old.

Ray won the 2021 Cy Young while pitching for Toronto, then signed a 5-year deal with Seattle for $23M a year- he is under contract through the 2026 season and is owed $73M over that time. Ray had Tommy John surgery last year, is expected back in the second half of 2024.

Haniger previously played five years with Seattle; he hit 39 homers for the Mariners in 2021, but played total of only 118 games the last two years, hitting .209 for the Giants last year.

DeSclafani was 4-8, 4.88 in 18 starts for the Giants last year; he is 54-56 in his career.

— OF Michael Brantley retired Friday, ending a 15-year career; he hit .298 in his career, with a .794 OPS. He made five All-Star games, helped the Astros win the 2022 World Series.

— Los Angeles Lakers won the first-ever In-Season Tournament, beating the Pacers 123-109 on December 9th; since then, the Lakers are 3-9 and are hanging onto the last playoff spot in the West by a half-game.

Indiana went 2-6 in their first eight games after that loss to the Lakers, but now they’ve won five games in a row, are 19-14, the #5-seed in the East.

— Over/under total for Pacers-Hawks Friday was 262 points, the highest total for any NBA game in the last thirty years- Indiana has been involved with the three highest totals in the last thirty years.

— Former Cowboys’ tight end Jason Witten is now a high school coach in Texas; he coaches at Liberty Christian HS in Argyle, TX. Witten’s team won the state title this season, winning all their games by 28+ points- the last two years, Liberty Christian is 24-2.

— Baltimore Ravens are 13-3 this season; they’ve had the lead in the last 2:00 of all 16 games.

Author: Armadillo Sports

I've been involved in sports my whole life, now just write about them. I like to travel, mostly to Las Vegas- they have gambling there.