Friday, December 28, 2012

Basketball Preview: Purdue vs. William & Mary - December 29th - 2:00 pm - ESPN3

Tomorrow is a celebration of lasts:
- The last game of 2012!
- The last game before Big Ten Season starts!
- The last choppy internet feed of the year!!!

Let's hope it's also the last time we have to worry about a so-so mid-major potentially beating us at home for many years.

Not the same Tribe, but I couldn't resist!

Why Purdue Will Win
Rest does a body good.  It also lets it stew.  The Boilers, picked by many to be a bubble team, haven't even begun to make the soapy mixture yet.  After 5 close losses and one blowout, expect the players (especially senior DJ Byrd) to have spent this long break thinking over and over about how the season has got away from them.  All is not lost though as the Boilers will be given plenty of chances to knock off top teams in the Big Ten season.  They just can't afford yet another loss to a marginal team.   

Luckily, William & Mary has nobody to match up with AJ Hammons.  Tim Rusthoven will most likely guard Hammons, but he typically struggles with foul trouble.  If Rusthoven gets a few fouls early, the Tribe will need to dig deeper than their normal seven-man rotation, leaving Purdue with a sizeable talent advantage.  The Boilers should be able to dominate the boards and come up with a win.

Why William & Mary Will Win
This isn't a bad mid-major.  The CAA is down this year, but the Tribe is definitely in the top half of the conference.  The Tribe doesn't have any good wins, however they don't have any horrible losses either (they've lost close games to Richmond, Wake Forest, and Miami-OH).  Also, add Purdue's poor shooting to the fact that William & Mary holds teams to 24% from the three point line and Purdue will definitely not be able to shoot themselves back into the game.  If William & Mary gets out to an early lead and keeps the game low scoring, Purdue could be in deep trouble.

One thing you absolutely need to know before the game 
According to Yahoo! Sports, William & Mary is coming off an 82-47 win over Salisbury St.  I'm not positive what the "St." stands for, but I can only assume it stands for Steak.  The only type of steak that was ever served in my school system, salisbury steak always had the stigma of being pretty disgusting.  However, further research shows that they actually changed their name from Salisbury State to simply Salisbury University in 2001, mainly due to people making stupid salisbury steak jokes like myself.  Seriously.  This is from the news release about the name change taken directly from Salisbury's website:
On a more visceral level, the University's name has long been the butt of the Salisbury "steak" jokes. Christine Pelletier, SSU SGA president, was affronted by the "sophomoric" play on words at a recent student leadership conference she and several student senators attended in Texas. "Salisbury State has a growing academic reputation which is unfortunately somewhat compromised by stupid jokes about its name," said Pelletier. "I heartily endorse the change to Salisbury University."

My memory of salisbury steak.

Somebody should tell Yahoo! that they're using a name that's out of date by eleven years.  And somebody should tell Christine Pelletier that "sophomoric" should be more like "3rd-gradic".  It won't keep me from making fun of them though.

Also, two William & Mary players are from Bloomington, Indiana.  Ben Whitlatch (Bloomington South) will most likely not play except in garbage time, but expect Julian Boatner (Bloomington North) to get a couple minutes on the court.  Boo them both. Loudly.

Our Picks - We like to think we're better than Vegas.  So throughout the season, we'll be "betting" a whole dollar amount versus the spread between $1 and $32, but we can't repeat the same value twice. The spread for this game is Purdue -11.5.

Erik's Bet: $17
Erik's Pick: Purdue 63 - William & Mary 55

Kirk's Bet: $19
Kirk's Pick: Purdue 66 - Ball State 52

Erik +219 (11-2 Against The Spread)
Kirk -68 (6-7 Against The Spread)

Values already bet
Erik 3, 6, 11, 12, 13, 14, 17, 21, 25, 26, 27, 30, 31, 32
Kirk 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32


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