Wednesday’s Den: Mid-week musings…….

— Maui Classic:
Purdue 71, Tennessee 67- Purdue was 29-48 on foul line in a very physical game.
Marquette 73, Kansas 59- Marquette shot 59% inside arc.

championship game is 5:00 Wednesday.

— Florida State 77, Colorado 71 OT
Seminoles have won their last 14 overtime games, which apparently is a record.
Colorado had 20 turnovers, shot 38.5% inside arc.

— James Madison 82, Southern Illinois 76- JMU is 5-0 for the first time since 1982.

— So far this season, teams from the WCC (Gonzaga/Saint Mary’s league) are 2-10 against the spread as a favorite. It is possible the league is a little bit down this season.

— This is modern college basketball- UNLV has 14 guys on its basketball team; three freshmen, and 11 guys who transferred into UNLV. Handicapping early season basketball is a crapshoot.

November is about coaches figuring out who/what they have, and what they want to do with it. Teams with excellent continuity have a big advantage right now.

— Teams with most continuity right now:
Florida Atlantic
North Dakota State

— Teams with least continuity right now:
New Mexico State
Utah State
Notre Dane
Southern Utah

— Jackson State doesn’t have a home game until January 6th; they play 11 road games, two more on neutral floors before that. After an 0-5 start, they upset Missouri Sunday.

All the road games pay the tab for their program: trips to San Diego, Memphis, Mizzou, Los Angeles, Houston, Georgetown, Northwestern- lot of guarantee games. Winning is a bonus.

— Pretty sure I watched Bill Vinovich officiate an NFL game Sunday, then late Monday night, he was a ref at the Cal-UTEP basketball game, somewhere near Los Angeles. Vinovich turns 63 years old next week; he is officiating on back/back days, but lot of guys in the NBA who are half his age and are making a boatload of $$$ can’t play on back/back nights. Go figure.

— Good to see former Memphis/Georgia Tech coach Josh Pastner working on ESPN; long time ago, I crossed paths with coach Pastner on the AAU circuit couple of times, once in Florida, once in Las Vegas. We were watching games, and I was asking him lot of questions, picking his brain.

He had no reason to be nice to me, but he was, both times. Hope he enjoys his time in the TV studio, and then gets himself another coaching job next season.

— Word of the Day: Rejuvenate- giving new energy or vigor to something.

— St Louis Cardinals signed two starting pitchers this week:
Lance Lynn was 7-2, 4.36 in 11 starts for the Dodgers LY, after they acquired him from the White Sox, where he was 6-9, 6.47 in 21 starts. Lynn started his career in St Louis (2011-17).

Kyle Gibson was 15-9, 4.73 in 33 starts for Baltimore LY.

Cardinals are rebuilding after a dismal 71-91 season this past year.

— San Diego Padres hired Mike Shildt as their new manager; he went 252-199 managing the Cardinals, was surprisingly fired after a 90-72 season in 2021.

— Odd stat: the last 12 years, Dallas Cowboys are 5-7 SU/1-11 ATS on Thanksgiving Day.

— Pittsburgh Steelers fired offensive coordinator Matt Canada, despite their 6-4 record; this is the first time the Steelers have made a midseason change at head coach or coordinator since 1941- they’ve only had three head coaches since 1969.

Steelers missed the playoffs three of last five years; they haven’t won a playoff game since 2016.

— Over their last three games, Denver Broncos are +9 in turnovers; they were minus-4 in their first seven games.

— Carolina Panthers are 1-9 this season, playing a rookie QB on a team that has an offensive coordinator in his first year in that job. I’m not sure what the point of playing QB Bryce Young is right now; maybe sitting back and watching veteran Andy Dalton would be beneficial, in the long run.

Dalton started one game this year; Carolina lost 37-27 in Seattle, but they scored 27 points. In their last four games, they scored 15-13-13-10 points. 

Patrick Mahomes didn’t start a game until the last game of his rookie year; sometimes the old way of doing things is still the better way.

— Random NBA trends:
Golden State is 0-6 ATS as a home favorite
Minnesota is 6-0 ATS at home.
Over is 12-1 in Indiana Pacer games.

Speaking of which……….

— Indiana 157, Atlanta 152
Hawks led 86-73 at halftime, this was like an old ABA game.
Atlanta led by 20 points in the first half.
Tyrese Haliburton scored 37 points, dished out 16 assists.

— Happy 79th birthday to Earl (the Pearl) Monroe, one of the best basketball players ever; he was a great player for the Baltimore Bullets, then got traded to the Knicks, where he helped them win the 1973 NBA title, their second (and last) NBA title.

Happy birthday, sir. 

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.