It’s often the little guy who can carry you big bucks at the window. Case in point: Marist.
The Red Foxes improved to 11-4 for the season with a 71-55 win over Rider as a 12Â½-point favorite in Metro Atlantic Conference action this past weekend.
Here’s a short course for anyone interested in the Metro Atlantic: Conference members are Loyola (Md), Siena, Canisius, Niagara, Marist, Fairfield, Manhattan, Rider, St. Peter’s and Iona. Don’t confuse IoNA with IoWA. The Gaels are a lowly 0-13.
Here are some other teams (good and bad) to consider from leagues looking for ESPN respect. In the Butler is 13-1, while Cleveland State is 3-11.
Air Force is 15-1 in the Mountain West, while Bethune Cookman is 0-10 in the Mid Eastern Athletic.
The Missouri Valley has six teams that could well make the NCAAs — Northern Iowa, Bradley, Missouri State, Southern Illinois, Wichita State and Creighton. UNI heads the group at 12-4 and none have fewer than nine wins.
In fact, the MVC is what the Mighty MAC is to college football. Indiana State and Evansville each has nine wins and very tough at home. More tidbits in later weeks.
Duke at Georgia Tech: Tech came within a point of knocking off Clemson on the road. Duke will be up against it in Atlanta. GT.
UNLV at Wyoming: The Rebels held their own at Air Force and should be ready for the Cowboys and that Laramie altitude. This is not one of Wyoming’s better teams. Kruger is doing a fabulous job with the ”˜defensive’ Rebs. UNLV.
Xavier at Fordham: Nobody gets up for Fordham except maybe Hofstra and Manhattan. The X-men are probably counting this one as a win. The Rams could surprise here. FORDHAM.
Oregon St at Arizona: Tough spot for the visiting Beavers. The host Wildcats are great at home and come at you in spurts. This isn’t Corvallis, so expect a blowout in Tucson. ARIZONA.
Memphis at Houston: Tigers are the class of C-USA and could well run the table during the regular season. The host Cougars will put everything into this one, but just don’t have the talent to beat Calipari’s bunch. MEMPHIS.
St. John’s at Seton Hall: You never know with St. John’s, but on the road and probably getting points has us interested. The Pirates are at the bottom of the Big East, which is again top-heavy in nationally ranked teams. We see a close game. ST. JOHN’S.
FRIDAYCreighton at N. Iowa: A nice matchup on a very small card. UNI is tough to bet against at home, even thought the visiting Blue Jays are on equal terms. We’ll take a chance that the line will be more than 3 and take the points. CREIGHTON.
West Virginia at Marquette: The Mountaineers off a great week of home wins against UConn and Villanova get slapped back into reality. MARQUETTE.
Tenn at Ohio State: Big Oden will reject Tennessee’s transition game and the young Buckeyes will run wild, especially pumped off a big road win at Illinois. OHIO ST.
Florida at S.Carolina: The Gamecocks had a nice setup game at home with Kansas and failed miserably. Noah and the Gators will dominate the boards. FLORIDA.
Okla St at Nebraska: Upset Saturday always produces a couple per week and this Big 12 clash is a likely candidate. The Huskers ride a raucous home crowd to the cover. NEBRASKA.
UCLA at USC: With the Bruins coming off a loss at Oregon, expect a focused effort against the Trojans. USC is capable, but comes up a little short here. UCLA.
UNC at Virginia Tech: Tech pulled off a shocker at Duke, winning in OT. No. 1 Heels killed FSU on the boards in easy win. If Tech gets enough points, look out. VT.