Add Central Michigan -8.5 To Your NCAA Basketball Picks vs. Tennessee-Martin

Joe Gavazzi

Wednesday, March 16, 2016 5:15 PM UTC

Wednesday, Mar. 16, 2016 5:15 PM UTC

The Tennessee Martin Skyhawks fly north to Michigan to take on the C. Michigan Chippewas in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan tonight. The game is scheduled for an 8:00 pm ET tip.

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Tennessee Martin vs.  C. Michigan (-8.5) 8:00 ET
While this game may generate a bit of excitement in the heart of Michigan, there figures to be little interest on the part of the travelers from the south.  A discussion of their heartbreak follows.    



Two years ago, Heath Schroyer was hired to coach Tenn-Martin.  His work in the last two seasons can only be referred to as “the miracle at Martin.”  The Skyhawks totaled just 21 wins in the previous 3 years before Schroyer’s arrival.  Last year alone, Martin reached the 21-win mark, including a trip to the Final Four of this CIT Tourney.  That’s why a return to this event is a bit of a “bummer,” particularly in light of the fact that the Skyhawks were favored to go to the NCAA Tournament, as recently as the morning of March 5th.  The success for Martin has hinged on the outstanding recruiting by Schroyer, along with his “amoeba-zone defense.”  As you recall from earlier analyses, that is the matchup zone concept that was originated in Pittsburgh, nearly 40 years ago, used by Tarkanian in his Runnin’ Rebels championship seasons of the early ‘90s and now implemented by Schroyer (who learned it from Tark) to turn around the fortunes of these Skyhawks.  On the evening of March 5th, however, the amoeba was ineffective against an Austin Peay team, who was in the midst of a 4-day run, in which they would win the OVC Title with 4 consecutive upsets.  That included an 83-73 win against Martin, when they picked apart the amoeba from the inside out, knocking down (14) 3 pointers.  Along with the Govs’ success, it meant that Martin would not have their ticket punched to the Big Dance.  You can see by returning to the same post-season event would be a downer. 


Central Michigan
Schroyer will have no such defensive issue with tonight’s host, the C. Michigan Chippewas, picking apart his zone.  For, Central is a team, who under 4th year HC Keno Davis, loves to play the 94’ game.  A modest 17-15 SU record for the season, including 10-8 SU in the MAC, means this is a nice reward for this middle of the pack conference team.  With 5 returning starters from last year’s 23-9 SU team, they will be eager for any kind of an opportunity at post-season play.  This team will be especially hungry, after finishing the season with a pair of losses (as favorite) on this court to W. Michigan to close the season and vs. Bowling Green in the 1st Round of the CCT.  Look for the bounce back by the Chips, who were 13-3 SU on this court this season, including covering 6/7 before that LHG loss to rival Western.  I invite you to put the NCAA Basketball odds in your favor and join me in my NCAA Basketball pick on C. Michigan tonight.

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NCAA Basketball Picks: Central Michigan -8.5 
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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