TOM STRYKER’S FREE BASKETBALL SELECTION THURSDAY, MARCH 17TH
#732 MURRAY ST (-2) over San Francisco at 9:40 PM EST
Since losing to Auburn back on December 22nd, 2021, Murray State has been on fire posting a strong 20-0 SU record (10-9-1 ATS) in its last 20 games. Matched up against a San Francisco squad that checks in with a 24-9 SU mark and off a loss to Gonzaga in the semifinal of the West Coast Conference Tournament, the Racers will have no trouble extending the margin in this contest.
Ranked No. 3 in the NCAA in scoring margin (+17.0), MSU is definitely a team that can do some damage in the Big Dance. The Racers won 30 games this season and they are one of the most efficient in college basketball on both sides of the court. It is important to note that No. 7 seeds that hold a team won/loss percentage of .770 or better own a solid 20-10 SU and 19-10-1 ATS in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament. If our “play on” side is fighting a foe that owns a team won/loss percentage of .640 or better, this technical situation improves to a healthy 11-4 SU and 12-3 ATS. Also, when running the floor against a foe that arrives off a double-digit straight up loss, Murray State owns a respectable 47-28-4 ATS record.
Off three consecutive ATS wins over San Diego, BYU, and Gonzaga, San Francisco will have problems in this First Round battle. Since December 13th, 2020, the Dons have been a touch above average notching a 30-21 SU and 20-30-1 ATS record in their last 51 games. In this run hitting the hardwood off a pointspread win, USF falls to a disturbing 8-12 SU and 4-16 ATS. Even worse, West Coast Conference teams that are fighting in the Big Dance own a disgusting 16-30 ATS mark provided they bust in off a pointspread victory. In this situation facing a foe that enters off two or more straight up wins, these WCC squads slip down to a pitiful 7-20 ATS including a nasty 1-12 SU and 2-11 ATS if they are priced as an underdog or a favorite of -6 or less.
With this being the Racers 18th appearance in the NCAA Tournament, head coach Matt McMahon has his kids prepared to make some noise with one of his best teams ever. Take Murray State. Thanks and best of luck, Tom.
DAN’S 5* NCAA TOURNAMENT FIRST ROUND GAME OF THE YEAR
The TSPC is serving up one play in the NCAA Tournament on St. Patrick’s Day and Danny Boy is prepared to deliver with his strongest release in the First Round of the Big Dance. This computer crusher is loaded with technical support and backs a team playing some of its best basketball of the season. Grab Dan’s 5* NCAA Tournament First Round Game of the Year for $30.