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Home / Articles / Mike Handzelek's Thursday CBB Earlybird/Late Night Gems

Mike Handzelek's Thursday CBB Earlybird/Late Night Gems

By: Point Shaver Handzelek     Date: Mar 9, 2023
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Thursday, March 9th, 2023 With the odds-feed not up for this SEC affair, we'll look @ the Ole Miss-Tennessee game for my earlybird. The 12-20 SU Rebels haven't traveled well in true road games @ 2-9 even though they've won 3 neutral site games this season. HC Kermit Davis (in his 5th season, 76-81 overall & actually graduated @ rival Mississippi State) returns 2 starters but his team had grit in outlasting South Carolina 67-61 @ this venue yesterday. Southern California Academy grad Amaree Abram won't be getting many open-for-3 looks from the Volunteers' "D" that ranks 4th in the country in scoring defense @ a stingy 57.5 PPG. HC Rick Barnes is a fixture in CBB in his 36th season with an overall record of 776-404. His Volunteers won this SEC Tournament last season for the 1st time since 1979 when Don DeVoe had stars like Reggie Johnson & Dale Ellis there. These 2 schools hooked up 1 time in the regular season & that was a close one @ the Sandy & John Black Pavilion in Oxford that went Tennessee's way 63-59. The 22-9 SU Vols have a well-balanced lineup with 4 starters back from last season. I feel the biggest impact here will be contributed by Montevideo, Uruguay product & went to the NBA Global Academy in Cranberry, Australia - shooting guard Santiago Vescovi (12.7 PPG). He won't be alone as PG Zakai Zeigler (10.7 PPG) (correction-out for season) & F Josiah-Jordan James (10.1 PPG) will make their presence felt. Look for a strong finish as we go to the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville to take the TENNESSEE VOLUNTEERS on the ML as my 9 Star Thursday CBB Earlybird! (WIN) Minnesota vs. Maryland (NCAAB) 9:00 PM EST Maryland Premium Pick YouWager Play Title: Big Ten Firestarter Play Selected: Point Spread: -13/-110 Rating: 9* (WIN) Analysis: HC Kevin Willard has the Turtle Power playing some great basketball in his 1st year @ the helm going a current 20-11 SU entering in. They'll now take on a struggling Golden Gophers squad that sit a distant 9-21 under HC Ben Johnson (22-38 overall in his 2nd year). In the 2 earlier meetings, the Terrapins invaded Williams Arena in Minneapolis & blew Minnesota out convincingly 81-46. Meeting 2 @ the Xfinity Center in College Park saw Maryland winning in cruise control in a 88-70 decision. Thus far, the Terps have rolled all 5 opponents ATS who had a winning percentage of .400 or less. Their catalyst is Charlotte grad transfer & PG Jahmir Young (16.3 PPG). Their stability down low is none other than their Chairman of the Boards & standout out of Baltimore, 6'9" C Julian "JuJu" Reese (13.6 PPG-9 RPG). I feel it's a BIG advantage taking on a Minnesota squad (just 6-33 SU in Big Ten play the last 2 seasons combined) with NO starters back & just 2 of 10 scholarship players who saw action last year. Let's ride into the United Center to play the MARYLAND TERRAPINS on the ML as my 9 Star Big Ten Firestarter! Rice vs. UAB (NCAAB) 9:30 PM EST UAB Premium Pick YouWager Play Title: Conference USA Late Steamer Play Selected: Point Spread: -14/-110 Rating: 9* (WIN) Analysis: HC Andy Kennedy has turned his 23-8 Blazers into a consistent winner going 72-23 in 3 seasons thus far in Birmingham. The Forest Green & Old Gold have pasted their opponent, the 18-14 SU Rice Owls in both meetings. They won 70-52 on the road @ Tudor Fieldhouse in Houston before dominating the most recent game of the series @ home winning 85-57 @ Bartow Arena. Kennedy's squad comes in with a big head of steam winners of 10 of their last 11 & have the fireplug of the conference in 5"11" G Jordan "Jelly" Walker (22.6 PPG), a fifth-year senior who Player of the Year & Tournament MVP last season. He put up some bodacious individual feats last season nailing down 116 3-pointers (3rd in country) while also finishing 14th in scoring with 690. Against Middle Tennessee State LY, he broke the UAB single game scoring record when he scored 42 surpassing his current HC Andy Kennedy who held it for 31 years. Walker will also be well-complimented by excellent pickup & LSU transfer G Eric Gaines who finished 11th in the nation with 70 steals last season. The Blazers will be eager to get back into March Madness after their quick early 1st round exit last year. Numbers show UAB is a super-solid 5-0 ATS after allowing 90 points or more in their previous game as well as 13-6 versus the number in their last 19 neutral site games. We're ready to go to Ford Center @ The Star in Frisco, TX to play the ALABAMA-BIRMNGHAM BLAZERS on the ML as my 9 Star Conference USA Late Steamer! Mike Handzelek's 2022-23 CBB Overall Record: 20-0 for a surreal 100% heading into Friday

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