Well, ladies and gentleman, it’s time to cheer. Because college basketball is finally back! There was no March Madness last year, so the season abruptly ended in the beginning of the month, conference tournaments still underway.
College hoops will be played today, and the ACC slate has the likes of Clemson, North Carolina and Boston College hitting the court. Keep reading as we preview a few of the games that will be played in a matter of hours. It’s going down!
Virginia Cavaliers (-19.5) vs Towson Tigers
Coming off another fantastic season, Jeff Bennett’s Cavaliers should be ready to play. They’ll miss Diakite this year, but have a lot of talent returning. This is a team that more than made up for being the first #1 seed to ever lose their opening game in the Men’s tournament.
Towson on the other hand shouldn’t have extremely high expectations. Just being able to play a game given the state of things should be a nice consolation. The graduation of leading scorer Brian Fobbs leaves a bit of a hole, so look for the likes of Allen Betrand and Nakye Sanders to take on larger roles this season.
Make sure that Virginia -19.5 is the bet made here. They’ll dominate the opener.
Delaware State Hornets vs Wake Forest Demon Deacons (-21.5)
Though they finished in fourth in the CAA last year, this Delaware State team is no joke. They went 11-4 in non-conference games last season, and will hope to find a way to pull the upset today. Leading scorer Nate Darling (21 ppg) did graduate and will be missed, but three of the team’s juniors averaged 10+ ppg a season ago. They’ve got some nice depth.
Wake Forest meanwhile made a coaching change after another poor ACC finish last season. Danny Manning was canned, and Steve Forbes was hired. A win is likely for the Demon Deacons to kick the Forbes era off on a high note. Their top three leading scorers from last year are all gone though. Two by way of transfer, and one by way of graduation.
The bet to make is Hornets +21.5. They’ll make it interesting, but likely lose.
Villanova Wildcats (-14) vs Boston College Eagles
Saddiq Bey declared for the NBA Draft, and now has a home on the Detroit Pistons. He’s a guy that the Wildcats will miss, though there is plenty of talent still on Jay Wright’s team. Collin Gillespie will be the team’s top guy this season, along with the young guns Jeremiah Robinson-Earl and Justin Moore. A big season is in store.
BC’s program meanwhile has been trending in the wrong direction. A few losing seasons in a row may have put some added pressure on Jeff Christian for this year. While it’s great to see Ky Bowman thrive in the NBA, he wasn’t exactly leading the team to wins when he was here. They’ll lean heavily on Jay Heath.
Villanova by two touchdowns (-14) would be the wise bet here.
Saint Francis (PA) Red Flash vs Pittsburgh Panthers (-15)
This promises to be a closer game than the spread projects. The Red Flash won a program-record 22 games a season ago, and may have added a few more if the year was able to be finished. Rob Krimmel’s team is looking to compete for the NEC title. They’ve got great size up front and shooting on the wings. Pitt will be tough, though.
Even though things have been tough for Pittsburgh in recent years, there is optimism for a good season. It’s a very young team, where the four leading scorers last year were all underclassmen. Jeff Capel’s Panthers project to have a winning record finally, in 2020-21.
The bet to make here is Saint Francis (PA) +15. Don’t sleep on them.