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Home / Articles / Mike's March Madness NIT Firestarter

Mike's March Madness NIT Firestarter

By: Point Shaver Handzelek     Date: Mar 24, 2022
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Tuesday, March 15, 2022 Belmont vs. Vanderbilt (NCAAB) - 7:00 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Money Line: -175 Vanderbilt Rating: 9* Mike's NIT Firestarter Play (WIN) This game won't feel like a real road game to 3rd-year HC Casey Alexander & his Belmont Bruins since they'll travel less than a mile to take on Nashville neighbor Vanderbilt in the NIT. The 25-7 SU Bruins hail out of the Ohio Valley Conference & are led by 2nd-year starting guard Ben Sheppard (16.4 PPG, 3.9 RPG), 6'11" center Nick Muszynski (15.9 PPG, 5.2 RPG) & guard Will Richard (1.8 PPG, 5.9 RPG). Belmont only made it to the conference semi-finals where they were nipped by the Morehead State Eagles 53-51. In the numbers, the Bruins are just 1-4 versus the number on the road, 1-8 ATS their last 9 games & a perfect 0-5 spread-wise their last 5 versus winning teams. They're set to take on the Commodores of 3rd-year HC Jerry Stackhouse (played for UNC 99') 17-16 SU squad (9-16 a year ago) is led by the SEC's leading scorer Scotty Pippen Jr. (played @ L.A.'s Sierra Canyon HS). Pippen (by-passed the NBA draft for his NCAA junior season) averages 20.2 PPG & 3.6 RPG, 4 APG & 2 SPG & is eager to erase a 2-for-17 shooting performance versus the Kentucky Wildcats (lost 77-71) in the SEC quarters. Rounding out an excellent backcourt for the Black & Gold are Jordan Wright (12.2 PPG, 6.5 RPG & is an excellent perimeter defender) & UT-Chattanooga & Dayton transfer (played on last year's 29-2 Flyers' squad) comb-guard Rodney Chapman (7.8 PPG, 2.5 RPG). They have size on defense (play a tenacious man-to-man) with 7'0" former Drake & Minnesota graduate transfer Liam Robbins (6.9 PPG, 3.7 RPG & is the nephew of Vandy's associated head coach Ed Conroy) plugging the paint. Analytics show a Commodores' team that's been excellent versus winning teams (9-1 ATS), 8-1 versus the number against +.600 winning teams & are a strong 5-1 ATS @ home. My bottom line says "Nashville's Finest" have depth & are excited to join their 1st post-season tournament bid in 5 years. Look for Pippen to consistently penetrate the paint on offense & the defense to cash in on a clump of turnovers using a full court man-to-man trap resulting in a "W" in the end. Let's go to the 14,000+ seated Nashville Memorial Gymnasium to play the homecourt VANDERBILT COMMODORES on the ML as my 9* NIT Firestarter Play! Sunday, March 20, 2022 Ohio State vs. Villanova (NCAAB) - 2:40 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Money Line: -220 Villanova Rating: 8* Mike's Sunday Quick Pick Win On the Villanova Wildcats on the ML to advance to the Sweet 16. Michigan State vs. Duke (NCAAB) - 5:15 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Money Line: -290 Duke Rating: 9* Sunday Quick Pick #2 Win Feeling Duke is not finished yet as they advance to the Sweet 16 ---laying it on the ML. Iowa State vs. Wisconsin (NCAAB) - 6:10 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Money Line: -180 Wisconsin Rating: 9* Sunday Quick Pick #3 Loss Taking the defensive team versus a team that turns it over & is in a scoring slump. It's Wisconsin on the ML. Notre Dame vs. Texas Tech (NCAAB) - 7:10 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: -8/-110 Texas Tech Rating: 8* Sunday Quick Pick #4 Win ND is stepping out of the league here! Grab the Red Raiders but on the ML. Miami Florida vs. Auburn (NCAAB) - 7:45 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: 7/-110 Miami Florida Rating: 8* Sunday Quick Pick #5 Win Rolling with Coach L & the Miami Florida Hurricanes but let's buy to +10 1/2. Texas vs. Purdue (NCAAB) - 8:40 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Money Line: -160 Purdue Rating: 10* Sunday Quick Pick #6 Win Purdue is a Final 4 Pick so of course we'll grab the Boilermakers versus physical Texas on the ML. Mike Handzelek's CBB Sunday 6-Pack: 5-1 for 83% Mike's 2021-22 CBB Overall Record: 13-11 for a subpar 54%

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