NCAA Basketball Picks: Grab Brown +13 Against Uninspired Columbia

Joe Gavazzi

Friday, March 4, 2016 3:28 PM UTC

Friday, Mar. 4, 2016 3:28 PM UTC

The Brown Bruins travel from Providence to Manhattan to face the Columbia Lions at fabled Levien Gym at the Morningside Heights Campus of Columbia. See my NCAA Basketball pick for tonight's game.

Brown Bears vs Columbia Lions
When these teams met earlier this season, Columbia prevailed at the Brown Pizzitola Arena by a score of 77-73. It seems like just yesterday that the six weekends of Ivy League basketball every Friday and Saturday night were commencing the 2016 season. Other than the total collapse by Harvard (not completely unexpected), the Ivy League has played to form.

Princeton and Yale, who will be favored in all remaining games, are headed for a one game playoff next week to decide the regular season Ivy title, and automatic NCAA bid. Brown has ambled through a fourth consecutive losing season under Mike Martin, standing 8-18 for the year and 3-9 in Ivy play. 

A “no show” the final weekend by Brown would not surprise, as in their five road games to date they have been clubbed by 9 at Yale, 16 at Harvard, 17 at Dartmouth, 5 at Penn, and 11 at Princeton. With arguably the worst defense in the league, the Bears have allowed at least 77 PPG in all those games for an average of 82 PPG on the Ivy League road. Other than the 61 points allowed in a slowdown vs Harvard last Saturday night, that is sadly the same number they have allowed at home as well.

The Bears are basically a two man team, with Kuakumensah manning the middle with an average of 14/9. Blackman is solid at point, with 13 PPG and 6 APG. But Spieth is the only other double digit scorer. In short, with their poor defense it is no surprise that they are a solid 7 in the league, with their game tomorrow night against Cornell most likely deciding the cellar dweller in the Ancient Eight this season. With all that being said, what could make me believe that the Bears could come in under this number tonight.


Betting Analysis
This is one of the best Columbia teams in recent memory. Sixth year HC Kyle Smith has done an outstanding job molding (in effect) six returning starters into a Lions team that has truly roared. But they fell by identical scores of 88-83 to Princeton, and lost 86-72 at Yale, leaving them solidly at third place, but with only hopes of the NIT as a post season reward.

This is the Ivy’s deepest team who regularly plays nine Lions. They are led by the back court tandem of Lo and Mullens, with Rosenberg and Petrasek doing the heavy lifting up front. But the sight of the Bears will do little to inspire them. That comes tomorrow night when they host the Eli with a chance to play spoiler in what will surely be the Columbia Lions’ Super Bowl. After the loss to Princeton last Saturday night, the Lions could have tossed the towel, but the 93-65 romp at the Palestra proved otherwise. Tonight’s game is a throw away; tomorrow is the real deal. Stay tuned! 

I invite you to put the NCAA basketball odds boards in your favor and join me in my NCAA basketball picks on the Brown Bears as they come in under the number vs a disinterested Columbia team.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Brown +13
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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