Ivy League: Columbia Will Roll As Our NCAA Basketball Pick vs. Dartmouth

Joe Gavazzi

Friday, January 29, 2016 4:52 PM GMT

Friday, Jan. 29, 2016 4:52 PM GMT

Let's focus our attention on Ivy Friday Night's, as the Columbia Lions will visit Dartmouth Big Green. Join us inside as we breakdown this game and present our free NCAA basketball pick.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Columbia -3.5
Best Line Offered: at The Greek

 

Columbia vs. Dartmouth 7:00PM ET
For the next 6 weekends, Ivy action will take center stage Friday nights, followed by the road team traveling on the prescribed schedule. As “the Prince of the Ivies,” I will be right there to guide you through the Friday night action with many top plays. 

 

Betting Analysis
We tip off the action with a play on the Columbia Lions, as they visit the Big Green. Last year, Columbia fell twice to this team by double digits by counts of 12 on this court and 13 in Manhattan.  Along with the Big Green upset of Harvard last week, there is no way that Columbia, the superior team in this matchup, will take the Green for granted.  Let’s take a closer look at the programs to see where our edges might lie.

 

Dartmouth
In the late ‘80s, current Dartmouth HC Cormier coached the Big Green for 7 seasons. After a nearly 20 year hiatus, Cormier returned to Hanover in an effort to lead Dartmouth hoops to Ivy League prominence. An inspection of his work to date has shown, he is on the verge of doing just that. In his 5 years, he has lifted the Green from winning totals of 5, 5, 9, 12 to 14 victories last year and their first post-season appearance in 56 years.  Along the way, they defeated the co-champions of the league, Harvard and Yale. The future looked bright led by Alex Mitola, the team’s best player. His shocking transfer to George Washington in the offseason could have left a giant void in the program. Rather, it has galvanized the team. Stepping into the place of Mitola as leading scorer is the unexpected contribution of frosh sensation, 6’8” Evan Boudreaux, who is averaging 16/9 for the season. Boudreaux turned down an offer from Iowa to come to tiny Hanover.  He is joined in the lineup by 6’4” sophomore, Wright, who was last year’s Ivy Rookie of the Year and is averaging 12/5. Last year’s top returning scorer, Boehm, a 6’7” senior, rounds out the trio of double digit scorers averaging 11/5. With 6 seniors and 5 juniors filling out the roster, the Big Green is for real this season despite the loss of Mitola. 

 

Columbia 
Tonight, however, they will face a very focused Columbia Lion team. As mentioned, the Lions will be well focused as they play with double revenge and respect for the Green after their victory over Harvard last week. Now in the 6th year of HC Kyle Smith (the former St. Mary’s Asst.), the Lions look to challenge for Ivy supremacy.The Ivy League is one that rewards strong guard play and senior leadership. Last year, Lions suffered a year of injury and defections. This year, with two of those injured players returning, the Lions have in effect 6 returning starters. They are playing at a faster pace with arguably the league’s best guard corps, they are averaging 78 PPG on 45% shooting, including over 10 triples per game at 38%, averaging 16 assists per game and knocking down 73% from the foul stripe are strong reasons for their offensive excellence. The fundamentals are in place as well with positives in rebound margin, assist/TO margin and TO margin. Leading the way is senior point guard Maodo Lo, a German import, who is averaging 16/4/3. He is joined in the backcourt by 6’3” senior, Mullins, who is averaging 13/4 and 6’4” senior, Castlin.  But, the Lions have plenty of interior excellence to offset the thrusts of Boudreaux and Boehm. 6’9” senior, Rosenberg, has returned from an injury plagued season of last to average 14/4. He is joined by 6’10” junior, Petrasek, who is averaging 12/6. 

With more upper-class depth, superior perimeter play and the motivation of double revenge from last year, I invite you to put the NCAA basketball odds in your favor and join me in my NCAA basketball pick with the Columbia Lions.

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