“You are ugly” *clap. clap. clap clap clap. “You are ugly”. Maryland went full high school student section last night as they chanted “you are ugly” at Michigan forward Iggy Brazdeikis. Thankfully, this chant wasn’t directed at me this time.
Brazdeikis was already balling out when it came time for him to shoot two free throws early in the second half. The chant started as Iggy made both free throws, cupped his hand to around his ear and pumped up the crowd asking for more. Maryland coach Mark Turgeon directed to PA announcer to tell fans to stop with the chant. Some stopped and apologized (soft) while other kept it going.
It continued until the 5 minute mark. Maryland was on a 7-0 run that put them down by only 3. Iggy drains a dagger of a three that put and end to the Terps run and their chances at winning. He follows up the shot with a kiss blown directly to Maryland’s student section.
This is a terrible look for Maryland. First, leave the high school chants back home where they belong. Next, maybe don’t try to get inside the head of the most confident guy on the court. Iggy bodied Maryland all game and finished with 21 points. Maybe pick a weaker target especially when you are Maryland of all teams.
Welcome back to the Morning Juice, Part 3. Just as a recap, I went 5-1 week 1, 3-3 last week, for an overall of 8-4. I’m telling you, bet these games. They’re easy money. Let’s get to it.
Let’s start in Ann Arbor. This game will be a huge bore. Both teams average around 71 points a game while giving up 57. The only interesting part about this game will be Ethan Happ who has come to be one of the most electric college basketball players in the country. Not only is he the cousin of Yankees pitcher JA Happ but also this past week he blew a kiss to the student section of Minnesota and said “thanks for coming out.” Electric. He leads the Badgers in points, rebounds, and assist. So essentially, they’ll live and die with him. Ignas Brazdeikis is who needs to stop Happ. If Brazdeikis can handle Happ, I don’t see an issue for Michigan. First and foremost….BET THE UNDER. These teams will produce a horrific product on the court, so make sure you at least win there. Wisconsin beat them 64-54 (the under hit) the last time they played, so I expect a little different outcome. I’ll take Michigan 61-53. So, take the under 124 and Michigan -6.
Kentucky brings their 9 game win streak into Starkville where they’ll be playing a team that has hit a major drop as of late. Having lost to LSU and Alabama, Mississippi St looks to rebound against a top 5 team. This game will be fun to watch, mainly because Kentucky won 76-55 in Rupp just 2 weeks ago. In that game, PJ and Herro went off for a combined 39 and everyone contributed. Since then, Kentucky has been flying high and hasn’t really shown any sign of stopping that trend. PJ is an absolute beast, EJ is coming off his first double double, Reid just played his best all around game of the year and fought for every single minute that he was in, Herro is consistent (right now), Richards is giving key breathers to PJ and Reid, and lastly, Keldon is finally turning his slump around. Mississippi St needs Weatherspoon and Holman to pick it up this time. If they let Kentucky win the rebounding battle again, they have no shot. I think Kentucky rolls 78-70. Right now, I’d say take Kentucky !!!! and go ahead and sprinkle the over in this game. Every game Kentucky plays, someone is bound to go off on the other team, especially at home. This could be a fast paced, high scoring game. Kentucky -3.5 and the over 144
Louisville is coming off a huge win at Virginia Tech on Monday. After a let down against UNC last Saturday, they bounced back and played probably their best game of the season at Virginia Tech. I’ve said it every week and I’ll say it again: Louisville is one of the most underrated teams in the country. Week in and week out, they improve. Chris Snaccc has this team playing their hearts out, but at some point it has to end. Louisville is full of scrubs that just seem to be clicking right now. Unfortunately, I think it ends either this weekend or next. Florida State was just 2 seconds from beating Duke a few weeks back, but since then, they have been finding their groove. Nwora has to carry Louisville otherwise they do not stand a chance against FSU. I think FSU wins this game 77-68 and it shines a spotlight on Louisville. If they do not win this game, Tuesday will be much harder against Duke. I’ll take FSU -2.5
Well, we had this game 3 weeks ago and it’s back. Duke won this game by 2 points the last time, but they were without Jones for it. I think people have finally found out that Duke has a weakness which is foul trouble. Duke’s frontcourt is atrocious without Zion in the game and I think if Virginia can attack him and get him out early, they stand a chance of winning this game. Another focal point for Virginia, is get Hunter, Jerome, and Guy involved early and often. If they knock down their shots, they’ll be fine. RJ leads Duke in scoring and Virginia could slow him down, but they need to keep him within the 3 point line. They do not need to get into a 3-point battle, because they’ll lose. I think this will be a back and forth like the first one. If Duke continues their streak of slow starts, it’ll be over quick. But, I think it’ll be a battle. Virginia wins 65-63 and I’ll take Virginia -1.5.
Michigan made it all the way to their second National Championship game in 5 years last season. Again, it ended in heartbreak as they got obliterated by the closest thing to the Monstars, Villanova. Making the championship game is always a feat and I don’t want to take anything away from the Wolverines, but I don’t feel bad for any Michigan fans. They had easiest road to the finals. The highest seed they played until Villanova was Houston with a 6. Even in the Final Four they got Loyola Chicago. Again, I don’t want to take anything away from Michigan. At least they capitalized on their easy road *cough Kentucky*. This year won’t be as easy, but they will still be a force to be reckoned with. Let’s take a look at last year’s runner up, Michigan Wolverines.
Head Coach: John Beilein
Key Returners: Charles Matthews, Zavier Simpson, Jordon Poole, Jon Teske
Key Additions: Ignas Brazdeikas, Brandon Johns, David DeJulius
Key Losses: Moritz Wagner, Muhammed Abdul-Rahkman
Key Games: @Villanova, North Carolina, Purdue, Michigan State, @Michigan State
Just like the Gonzaga team that had Kyle Wiltjer, this Michigan team will hold a special place in my heart this season thanks to Charles Matthews. I always hate to see great players leave Kentucky, but it is hard to get playing time with 9 other Top 50 recruits, so I understand. Last year, this team was so much fun to watch. Abdul-Rahkman was electric and that Kool-aid lipped German dude had the silkiest spin move in the NCAA. Even without them, I still think they will be good. Maybe not return to the championship good, but you never know how lucky you’ll get in the tourney. This team will get a ton of attention this year. One because they were runner ups last year. And two because Ignas Brazdeikas and David DeJulius are some fun ass names to say. Every announcer is a sucker for a cool name. Why do you think Hamidou Diallo got some much attention? It wasn’t because of his basketball ability. This will be a good chance to get back on their feet. A National Championship loss can be debilitating and cause a season hangover, but luckily their schedule isn’t too bad. Michigan also has the experience needed to make another tournament run.
Prediction: 24-6. For most Big 10 teams, they play a lot of garbage in a row which can cause them to get complacent. When this happens, it leaves them vulnerable to get beat by some easy teams. Either way, they will still get second place in the Big 10 Regular Season and Tournament to Michigan State. As for the NCAA Tournament, they will make some noise and make it back to the second weekend before getting bounced in the Sweet 16.