Unlike the Ivy League Tournament, this column remains on schedule.
Howie Hoops returns, from a minimum of 6 feet away from all players, coaches and essential personnel, for the 10th consecutive year, promising to deliver college basketball bettors a memorable March — or a convenient scapegoat.
George Washington (-2½) over Fordham: There’s a reason no one ever complains about Fordham receiving a hometown advantage in the Atlantic 10 Tournament. Jeff Neubauer hasn’t won in Brooklyn in any of his previous four visits to the event, and despite the season sweep of the Colonials — accounting for the Rams’ only two wins in conference play this season — the coach, who likely will be departing, will suffer once more against a highly motivated opponent.
Minnesota (-8½) over Northwestern: The Gophers’ season was sunk by a series of close losses to teams heading to the NCAA Tournament, but they’ve dominated the bottom of the Big Ten. In addition to its 32-point win over Nebraska in the regular-season finale, Minnesota won both meetings against Northwestern, which included a 26-point beatdown barely two weeks back. The Wildcats have no answer for Brooklyn-born big man Daniel Oturu, who is averaging 20 points, 11.4 rebounds and 2.5 blocks this season.
Boston College (+9½) over Notre Dame: The teams split a pair of one-point games this season and the Fighting Irish have provided little reason to believe they’ll cover a big number. Of Notre Dame’s 10 Atlantic Coast Conference wins, only one has come by more than 10 points.
Washington (+4) over Arizona: The Wildcats have the edge in talent, but coach Sean Miller has made a nice living off of underachieving at Arizona. Momentum and the matchup will be the culprits this time. The Wildcats have struggled to navigate Mike Hopkins’ zone defense in two meetings with Washington — including the Huskies’ victory in the regular-season finale on Saturday — and have lost four of their past five games. The Huskies, meanwhile, have won three of their past four since starting 2-12 in league play.
2011-19 record: 259-221-9
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