High/Low Picks For Wednesday, March 1

Matthew Jordan

Tuesday, February 28, 2017 9:49 PM UTC

Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017 9:49 PM UTC

Wednesday is the first day of March and that means it’s time to really get serious about NCAA basketball! The highest spread on the opening NCAA board for Wednesday is Maine at Vermont, while the smallest is GW-Fordham. Here are my picks.

Maine At Vermont (-24.5)

It’s the America East Tournament, and every game in that event is held at the gym of the better-seeded team. This is such a mismatch because Vermont was the America East’s regular-season champion at 16-0 in the conference (26-5 overall). Vermont and Princeton of the Ivy League are the only two schools in the country without a conference loss (Princeton has two games left). The Catamounts have the nation’s longest winning streak at a school-record 18 in a row, which started right before America East play. Vermont took sole possession of the longest streak after then top-ranked Gonzaga (29-1) lost to BYU on Saturday night. Eight different Catamounts have led the team in scoring during the winning streak. Vermont hasn’t played in the NCAA Tournament since 2012; it lost last year’s America East title game to Stony Brook.

To little surprise, Vermont swept every major America East regular-season award. Junior guard Trae Bell-Haynes was named the Player of the Year, Anthony Lamb was Rookie of the Year, Darren Payne as Sixth Man of the Year, Dre Willis was Defensive Player of the Year and John Becker Coach of the Year. Maine tied for last in the America East at 3-13 with Binghamton but lost the tiebreaker even though the Black Bears rallied to beat Binghamton 72-71 in the regular-season finale on Saturday. Maine’s leading scorer, Wes Myles, remains suspended after punching teammate Marko Pirovic in the locker room on Feb. 14, breaking Pirovic’s jaw and ending his season. Myers averaged 16.9 points and Pirovic 6.1.

Vermont beat Maine 90-77 on the road and 74-53 at home during the season. The Catamounts don’t get a lot of games with spreads but have failed to cover their past six at home when they do. They'll win by plenty but not by that big number below. 

NCAAB Free Pick: Maine +24.5Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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George Washington At Fordham (Pick’em)

Atlantic 10 Conference regular-season game and Fordham’s home finale. The Rams (13-16, 7-9) are tied for ninth in the A-10 with Davidson. George Washington (16-13, 8-8) is in a three-way tie for sixth, one game ahead of Fordham. The A-10 regular-season crown will be won by either Dayton or VCU – they play Wednesday in Ohio. Fordham had a three-game winning streak snapped in a blowout home loss to Richmond, 70-48, on Saturday. In the three victories, the Rams had held their opponents to shooting just 35.5 percent from the field and 16.3 percent from 3-point range. Richmond shot 50.0 percent from the field and hit nine 3-pointers.  It was also just the seventh time this season in which Fordham committed more turnovers than its opponent.

George Washington enters on a three-game winning streak following an 83-74 home win over George Mason on Saturday. That GW is .500 in league play is solid considering it started 1-4 in the A-10. The Colonials are the A-10’s top three-point shooting team and hit eight of 20 from long range vs. George Mason. Tyler Cavanaugh lead GW with 22 points, his 12th game this season with at least 20. He’s the team’s star, leading in points (17.4 ppg) and rebounds (8.0 rpg) along with 10 double-doubles. GW is 7-2 in games decided by five points or less and has won two with a basket in the final 10 seconds. Cavanaugh hit a game-winning three with 8.2 seconds left at Temple.

This is the only scheduled meeting between GW and Fordham. The Rams are just 1-4 ATS in their past five home games so I’ll lean against them.

NCAAB Free Pick: GW At Pick’emBest Line Offered: Heritage

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