TOM STRYKER’S FREE BASKETBALL SELECTION FRIDAY, MARCH 18TH
#768 HOUSTON (-8′) over UAB at 9:20 PM EST
The Cougars just picked up the AAC Championship with a 71-53 blowout win over the Tigers and they’ll have no trouble extending the margin against the pesky Blazers in this Field of 64 battle. UAB enters this contest with the C-USA Championship in hand and head coach Andy Kennedy will struggle in this NCAA Tournament contest.
Since the start of the 2020-21 season, Houston has been a cash cow inking a tremendous 57-9 SU and 41-23 ATS record in its last 66 games. In this run battling an opponent that enters off a pointspread victory, head coach Kelvin Sampson’s boys improve to a sensational 31-4 SU and 25-10 ATS including an outstanding 21-1 SU and 18-4 ATS provided their opponent busts in off a conference game. Also, since 1991, NCAA Tournament First Round teams that take the court off a 3-0 SU and ATS run or better hold a respectable 79-53-4 ATS mark provided their opponent arrives off a straight up victory. The Cougars fit that sweet situation perfectly.
Checking in on a 7-0 SU run in its last seven games, UAB won’t exactly be an easy out. Fortunately, as a single-digit non-conference underdog, the Blazers have struggled financially posting a woeful 22-59 SU and 33-47-1 ATS record in their last 81 games. In this situation competing in postseason play, Coach Kennedy and his kids slip to a dismal 4-13 SU and ATS. To make matters worse, in the Big Dance, the Blazers hold a soft 4-7 SU and ATS tally in their last 11 battles including just 2-7 SU and ATS provided they are not grabbing double-digits.
Ranked No. 1 in field-goal percentage defense (37.1), and No. 4 in both scoring margin (+16.9) and scoring defense (58.9), Coach Sampson’s warriors will advance to the Round of 32 with a strong performance here. Take Houston. Thanks and best of luck, Tom.
TOM’S 18-3 ATS NCAA TOURNEY ROUND 1 GAME OF THE YEAR
After cashing both of his Best Bets on Wednesday, Stryker fell with all three of his selections yesterday and looks to flip switch with his strongest release in the Round of 64. Major motivation backs this top-rated release along with one solid angle that holds a reliable 18-3 ATS mark. Grab Tom’s NCAA Tourney Round 1 Game of the Year for $30.