The Big Ten catches our attention

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(EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the first free throw in our 2017 college basketballl edition of the Dirty Dozen, which emphasizes the very worst in Division I over the past week from a betting perspective. By unpopular demand look for the NFL Dirty Dozen on Fridays).

There are 313 listed Division 1 schools in men’s college basketball, which gives bettors ample opportunity to dig deep for ringers in trying to beat that point spread.

Full disclosure – our Dirty Dozen panel (me, myself and I) hasn’t watched a college basketball game in its entirety this season. I, along with me and myself, usually don’t give the sport much thought until football ends and the conference season begins. But the Big Ten chose now to play league games so that caught our attention. Thus, here is our initial plunge leading to March Madness.

Before we get to the losers, let’s praise the ones covering spreads. Of the top 7 out of 313, three we consider exotic. Translation, who are these guys? No. 2 is Portland State at 6-0, No. 5 is UC-Davis 5-0-1 and No. 7 is Southern Utah at 5-0. Covers.com lists Nevada at No. 1 with an 8-1 ATS mark and our own UNLV Runnin’ Rebels are 10th at 7-2.

As for the losers we have such powers as SIU-Edwardsville, UC-Irvine, James Madison and Illinois-Chicago. We have a policy here at the Dozen to bet against hyphenated schools. It’s really an unfair stereotype and we should apologize for such prejudice. But then Nevada-Las Vegas would rather be called UNLV and Nevada-Reno goes by Nevada.

Just sayin.’

Before we reveal our first Dozen loser list, a shout out to the Ivy League. Our panel loves Ivy League basketball. Harvard just played Kentucky at Rupp Arena. The only thing better would have been seeing Calipari show up at Harvard. But that’s not going to happen in my lifetime.

What does happen is Princeton, which has been a prominent Ivy power ever since Dollar Bill Bradley led them to a Final Four berth in 1965. Well, 52 years later the Tigers are off to a 0-4 start against the spread. Princeton has scheduled a game Jan. 28 against Rowan Profs.

Who dat?

Is Rowan in the same conference as Faber College. We’re checking to see if Otter and Flounder are on the roster. The chances of finding a Vegas line on this game – 0.00. But we’re definitely looking forward to that one.

And the envelope please for our Dirty 12.

12. Princeton (0-4 ATS): Rowan barely missed the poll.

11. Oregon State (2-6): Apparently a hangover from football.

10. Santa Clara (1-5): Looking forward to Christmas date vs Santa Claus.

9. James Madison (2-6): A presidential pardon, please!

8. Illinois-Chicago (0-5): The first of 3 hyphenated teams in the poll.

7. Charlotte (0-5): Like Princeton they also made a Final Four in 1977

6. Ole Miss (1-6): Do they play basketball in Oxford?

5. SIU-Edwardsville (0-6): On double secret probation.

4. Arkansas State (0-6): This is like Georgia State?

3. Stanford (2-8): We finally found a sport the Cardinal aren’t good at.

2. UC-Irvine (1-7): We love any team called the Anteaters.

1. Vanderbilt (0-7): We are at a loss for words.

Encore: Congrats to Charlotte, which lost Tuesday night as an 8-point home dog to neighbor Wake Forest, 80-57. If you didn’t take the Deacs, shame on you.

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