Saturday’s Den: Some random thoughts, and some college hoop trends

— Was watching the Australian Open tennis tournament couple weeks ago, and was reminded of something I witnessed several years ago.

This was 2007, 2008, something like that; I’m sitting at a hotel pool outside by myself, reading a college football magazine. There are two people in the pool, a couple that was close enough that I could hear their conversation.

They weren’t boyfriend/girlfriend; the guy was a tennis coach in Florida who was trying to convince the woman to send her tennis-playing teenage daughter to the guy’s tennis academy in Florida. This was in Saratoga, NY, so long haul for the kid to go to school in Florida.

They didn’t know/care that I could hear what they were saying- the daughter was hitting tennis balls off the board on the courts behind the hotel. Always wonder how all that played out, if the young lady wound up playing college tennis.

— Was watching a high school hoop game Thursday, IMG Academy in Florida against some team from California. Juwan Howard’s son plays for IMG; Howard is Michigan’s coach, so the kid is a long way from his family. I’m not a parent, so I’m not qualified to judge, but tough thing for a kid that young to go off by himself, especially since if he is really good at basketball, he is probably going to play for Michigan anyway, seeing how did dad is the coach there.

— We’ll be posting some prop bets for the Super Bowl early next week; prop bets became popular in the late 80’s/90’s, when over a 16-year stretch, only three Super Bowls were decided by less than 10 points. To make things more interesting for bettors,  they came up with prop bets so you can have action, even if the game isn’t so great.

— One of the more interesting teams to follow the rest of the way in college hoop is Marquette, which is 16-7 in their first year under Shaka Smart- they’re experience team #350- 7 of their top 10 players are freshman, but they’re really good, fun to watch.

Here’s the thing: Smart’s VCU team got to the Final Four in 2011 as an 11-seed out of the CAA, making Smart a household name in his 2nd year as a head coach, but since then, his teams are 2-7 in NCAA tournament games- his last tournament win was in 2013, so there’s that. Smart lost his last five first round games; they were the higher seed four times.

— Just found out about this; there is an app called Cameo, where you can access thousands of celebrities and request a personalized video message for any occasion.

I’m talking just about anyone; lot of these people I’ve never heard of, but for a certain fee, they will send someone a personalized message.

Here are some prices:
— Bill Russell (the basketball legend) $650
— Jamie Farr (from MASH) $125
— John Calipari $399
— Loni Anderson (from WKRP in Cincinnati) $125

Imagine getting paid to make a 90-second clip to send to someone you don’t even know? Pretty good racket.

— Auburn’s football team has had 20 players, five assistant coaches leave since the end of their season; word came out this week that the head coach had a fling with a female assistant, so there are rumors that the coach could get fired, but they owe him $18.5M if they fire him, and having an affair isn’t going to let the school fire him for cause.

They already paid Gus Malzahn $21M to take a hike couple years ago, so if they fire this guy, they’d be paying two guys $40M NOT to coach for them.

— I’m assuming there is going to be a baseball season, so I’ve been listening to podcasts trying to get ready for the fantasy baseball season. Owners/players can’t seem to agree on what day it is, though, so spring training will probably be delayed. These people are not geniuses.

Listening to the podcast has been fun; there are several good players who are free agents, so have to speculate on their status— Kris Bryant, Nick Castellanos, Michael Conforto, Clayton Kershaw, Carlos Correa to name a few.

— San Francisco Dons haven’t been to the NCAA tournament since 1998; they haven’t won a tournament game since 1976, but they might get there this year. They’re 18-5, 5-3 in WCC, with some quality wins, fun team to watch- they pass well.

Finally, here are some trends for college basketball teams:

American:
UCF
— 0-3 ATS as an underdog, 4-3 as favorite.
Cincinnati
— 0-2 ATS as road favorite, 2-0 as road underdog
— 2-2 as home favorite.
East Carolina
— Lost last five games
— 1-0 ATS as favorite, 4-4 as underdog.
Houston
— 8-0 SU, 4-4 ATS, 2-2 home and away
— Favored by 11+ points in 7 of 8 games
Memphis
— 1-6 ATS last seven games.
— 1-6 ATS when favored, 0-3 as AF
South Florida
— 2-6 ATS
— Lost last four games SU
— 1-4 ATS as road underdog
SMU
— won last five games
— 4-1 ATS on road, 1-2 as home favorite.
Temple
— won five of last six games
— 6-1 ATS last seven games
— 5-1 ATS as an underdog.
Tulane
— 4-1 ATS as road underdog.
— 2-0-1 ATS when favored
Tulsa
— 1-8 SU in AAC
— 1-3 ATS as road underdogs.
Wichita State
— 1-0-1 ATS as underdog
— 2-3 as HF

ACC
Boston College
— 1-4 ATS last five games as an underdog.
Clemson
— 2-2 ATS home favorite, 3-3 road underdog.
— covered last three games
Duke
— 3-3 ATS home favorite, 3-1 road favorite
— 5-2 ATS last seven games.
Florida State
— lost last three games, by 14-13-11
— 0-6 ATS as favorite, 0-4 as home favorite
Georgia Tech
— lost four of last five games
— 1-4-1 ATS as a home underdog, 2-2 as road dog.
Louisville
— lost seven of last eight games
— 1-3 ATS as an underdog
— 1-6 ATS at home
Miami
— 5-2 ATS last seven games
— covered all four road games
— 4-0 ATS as an underdog
North Carolina
— 4-1 ATS as home favorite.
— 3-2 ATS as road favorite.
NC State
— lost five of last six games
— 2-4 ATS road underdog
Notre Dame
— won eight of last ten games
— 2-0-1 ATS home favorite
— 3-0 ATS road underdog
Pitt
— lost four of last five games
— 2-4 ATS road underdog
— 3-1 ATS home underdog
Syracuse
— 5-1 ATS as an underdog
Virginia
— 3-1 ATS last four home games
Virginia Tech
— 1-4 ATS home favorite
— 1-3 ATS road underdog.
Wake Forest
— covered five of last six games
— 4-1 ATS home favorite
— 3-1 ATS road underdog

Big 14
Illinois
— 4-2-1 ATS home favorite
Indiana
— won four of last five games
— 4-1 ATS home favorite
— 1-4 ATS on road
Iowa
— lost three of last four games
— lost four of five road games SU
Maryland
— 6-3 ATS as an underdog, 0-2 as a favorite
Michigan
— won four of last five games SU
— 1-3 ATS home favorite
Michigan State
— 2-3 ATS home favorite, 2-1 road favorite, 2-0 underdog
Minnesota
— lost seven of last eight games SU
— 0-5 ATS home underdog, 3-1 road underdog
Nebraska
— 0-11 SU in conference
— 3-3 ATS home underdog, 2-3 road underdog
Northwestern
— lost eight of last ten games
— 0-5-1 ATS at home, 3-2 on road
Ohio State
— split last six games SU
— 4-2 ATS as a favorite
Penn State
— 1-4 ATS as road underdog.
Purdue
— won last four games
— 2-3 ATS home favorite, 4-2 road favorite
Rutgers
— 4-0 ATS home underdog, 2-3 road underdog.
Wisconsin
— 5-3 ATS when favored

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.