Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim got himself in hot water this weekend. He told ESPN, in a report about him maybe contemplating retirement, that college basketball is in an "awful place" and commented about Wake Forest and Miami -- among others -- "buying" their teams. Wake and Miami of course didn't take that well, and Boeheim has already issued an apology for what he said.
Which, fine, I don't care. What confuses me about the entire thing, though, is that the crux of the story is about how it's Boeheim's choice whether he wants to retire or not, and he hasn't made his decision yet. All of which is perfectly fine. Boeheim has been at Syracuse since 1969 (as an assistant until 1976) and won a national title. He put the program on the map and deserves to decide when he wants it to end.
But, like, if you think college basketball is in an "awful place," how are you not sure if you're going to retire? What's the thought process? It makes no sense. Granted, being cranky and thinking everything is terrible seems to be Boeheim's entire persona, but man, comments like that make it seems like Boeheim's made up his mind, but he's scared to go through with it. Considering that he's 78 and has spent 58 years at Syracuse as a coach or player, I understand why leaving would be scary. It's essentially everything he's ever known.
But there's still time to know a few more things. Some of which can be found in these stories.
- Pete Prisco ranked every starting player on the two Super Bowl teams.
- The Arizona Cardinals are down to three finalists for their coaching vacancy.
- Ja Morant's friend has been banned from attending Grizzlies home games for a year.
- Manchester City could be in serious trouble.
How about that action, boss?
All times Eastern, and all odds via Caesars Sportsbook
🔥 The Hot Ticket
Duke at No. 19 Miami, 7 p.m. | TV: ESPN
- Key Trend: The underdog has covered the last four meetings.
- The Pick: Duke +2.5 (-110)
"What's wrong with the ACC?" is a popular question these days. The conference was long considered to be the class of college basketball. But when North Carolina and Duke played on Saturday, neither team was ranked. It's a reflection of the conference as a whole.
What's happened? I don't think there's one answer. Part of it is likely coaching turnover. There's also been a greater emphasis on basketball in the SEC, which has eaten into the ACC's "market share" of talent. Still, tonight we're looking to take advantage of perception. Duke beat North Carolina Saturday, which was not enough to get the Blue Devils back in the AP Poll. However, Miami remains ranked, but you want to know a secret?
Duke is better than Miami. It may not have a better record and may not be ranked, but those power ratings we like to use when it comes to gambling all have the Blue Devils ahead of the Hurricanes. KenPom has Duke as the second-best team in the league (behind Virginia), ahead of the Canes. Hell, it has North Carolina ahead of the Canes too, and my numbers suggest the wrong team is favored here tonight.
We already saw Miami lose to Duke earlier this season, and while that was a close game at Cameron Indoor, Duke's been on a solid run since. Miami shot well from three in the first meeting but struggled to score inside as it had trouble dealing with Duke's size. I expect the Canes to struggle on the interior again tonight, but I'm not nearly as optimistic a team that's shot 36% from three this season will shoot 48% from three again as it did in the first meeting. We're taking the points because, well, it's college, but there's a very good chance Duke wins this one outright.
Here's what SportsLine is saying about the game: The Projection Model sees some value on the spread but thinks the better play is the moneyline.
💰 The Picks
No. 5 Texas at No. 9 Kansas, 9 p.m. | TV: ESPN
The Pick: Texas +3.5 (-110) -- Kansas fans made the mistake of relaxing. They thought order had been restored. Then the Jayhawks were run out of the gym by Iowa State over the weekend. Now panic has set back in, leading to a massive game tonight against Texas. It's one I anticipate will be highly stressful for both sides.
Chris Beard's firing and the circumstances surrounding it could've easily derailed the Longhorns' season, but the team has done a good job of maintaining its level of performance. The Horns are 8-2 in the Big 12 and remain in the hunt for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. A road win against Kansas would increase those odds. If I had to guess, I'd say the team that shoots better from three wins, but either way, I wouldn't anticipate either team pulling far away from the other. That makes taking the points with Texas enticing.
Green Bay at Milwaukee, 8 p.m. | TV: ESPN+
The Pick: Under 142.5 (-110) -- The biggest game of the night, as Milwaukee and Green Bay battle for Horizon League bragging rights in Wisconsin. I do not anticipate this game to be close. A Milwaukee win would put the Panthers back into a tie for first place in the league with Youngstown State. A win for Green Bay would be a tremendous upset, as the Phoenix are 2-22 on the season and 1-12 in conference play. They've lost 14 straight.
However, the total for this one is too high. Green Bay is horrible offensively and defensively, while Milwaukee has a solid defensive foundation. The Panthers rank second in the league in defensive efficiency in conference play but only sixth offensively. They're turnover-prone and are not a great shooting team. There's a chance Green Bay turns them into one tonight, but if that's the case, the Panthers will pull away and likely slow things down from their usual tempo.
🔒 SportsLine Pick of the Day: Have you heard about this Super Bowl game they're planning to play on Sunday? It seems to be a big deal, and SportsLine's prop expert Alex Selesnick has his eyes on some prop bets for it.