First Fantasy Deep Dive: Michael Gallup

First off, make sure to follow us on Twitter at Fantasy Unfiltered!

After a year of Unfiltered Sports I have decided to take this website down a new path. I have always been enamored with fantasy football and have been playing it for about 15 years. It’s always been simple redraft leagues or daily fantasy tournaments though. This summer I have gotten into Dynasty for the first time and boy what a fucking rush! There is so much more that goes into drafting and assembling your team when considering what may happen in 5 years. Since I have started down the dynasty road, I have decided to focus all of my content on fantasy football because in dynasty there is no stoppage. You are constantly trying to make your teams better by trading future picks, players and whatever else you can do to get your team ready for the upcoming season.

For the upcoming season, one of the most intriguing players to me is Cowboys WR Michael Gallup. Gallup is a 6’1″ 200 pound freak going into his third year out of Colorado State. Anyone who has watched this guy knows he has all the tools to become an elite receiver in this league.

He had somewhat of a breakout in 2019 as he finished the season as he finished as WR20 in standard leagues, and WR22 in PPR leagues. The impressive part is he did all of this while ranking 29th in snap share and 30th in target share amongst wide receivers.

With the departures of Randall Cobb and Jason Witten, the Cowboys vacated the second most targets in the NFL with 190. Initially this seemed to skyrocket Gallup’s value as he would be one of the main beneficiaries from all of those vacated targets. After Dallas drafted Ceedee Lamb with the 17th overall pick in this year’s draft, Gallup’s value to some people took quite a hit. It really shouldn’t have though.

First I’ll mention that he has the yips. He led the league in drops last year with 11, but that is something that can easily be cleaned up and that is exactly what I think will happen. Now we can get onto everything that will make him elite this year.

Big Play Ability

In 2019 Michael Gallup finished 7th in the league in yards per reception out of every receiver in the league. He also finished 12th in yards per target and 16th in total target distance. Target distance is to receiving yards as targets are to receptions. You always look for players with a high volume of targets, but you should also be looking for players with a high volume of target distance, or air yards. The Cowboys vacated over 1,700 air yards after last season and it is reasonable to believe that Gallup will improve on his 1,400 air yards in 2019.

For reference, Chris Godwin went from 95 targets in his 2nd year to 121 targets in his 3rd year playing alongside another WR1, Mike Evans. That is an increase of 27%, so let’s assume Gallup only hits a 15% target increase in his 3rd season (Godwin played with a straight gunslinger). That puts him right around 130 targets which would translate to roughly 1,700 air yards. That would have had at 7th in the league in 2019 in total air yards.

Gallup also finished 9th in the league with 18 receptions of 20+ yards. Out of every receiver in the top 14 in that category, only one had less targets than Gallup: Stefon Diggs. Now his overall catch percentage (receptions divided by targets) is only 58%, but we already talked about how his drops should improve and that rate overall should improve this year. His big play percentage though is 27%, which means that if Gallup gets up to about 80 receptions next year, it would be fair to project that around 22 of those catches would go for over 20 yards. His ability to get downfield, and catch balls in tight windows (45% contested catch rate) cannot be overlooked heading into 2020.

Gallup’s Opportunities

Like I mentioned above Gallup finished 29th in snap share and 30th in target share among WRs in 2019. Last year Dallas ranked 12th in 3WR sets. According to Warren Sharp, Dallas trotted out 3 WRs about 69% of the time last year. That number was with Randall Cobb as their WR3 and having both Jason Witten and Blake Jarwin as TEs who can contribute. With Cobb and Witten gone, I expect the Cowboys will run a lot of 11 personnel sets leading to an even higher percentage of 3WR sets in 2020. This should lead to a hefty increase in Gallup’s snap share at the very least.

I eluded to the increase in target share that Gallup could see based on a similar situation in Tampa Bay. Based on that model, Gallup is looking at a minimum of 130 targets and probably more if he can play a full season. If you don’t like that model, you can also look to another third year breakout WR, Mike Williams. Williams finished his sophomore season with 65 targets across 16 games, but he saw that number jump to 90 in his third season in 2019. That is good for a 38% target increase over the course of 1 season. That was with the Chargers having only 117 vacated targets from the year before. Gallup is not the size or athlete that Williams is, but the situations as WR2s seem similar enough to compare the potential breakout for Gallup.

Wrap-Up

Michael Gallup is not an elite athlete (his workout measurable all rank in the 66th percentile or worse), but his talent is unquestionable. People back away from receivers all the time based on athleticism, but some of the best athletes the NFL has ever seen do not pan out to be elite WRs in the league. That is the path that Gallup is on right now.

Gallup is currently being drafted in dynasty leagues on Sleeper as WR33 with an ADP of 67. Some guys that are going ahead of him are Jalen Reagor (rookie), Justin Jefferson (rookie), Deebo Samuel, and Stefon Diggs. All of those, plus a few more will not outscore Gallup this year or over the course of the next 3-4 years. Michael Gallup is a stud and I currently have him as my WR 23 and more than likely, barring injury, he will finish as a top 20 WR this year.

I Finished My First Dynasty Draft!

Aaaaannnddd I think I totally fucked it up.

I have been playing fantasy football for about 15 years now. Never have I played in a dynasty league though. For those who don’t know, a dynasty league is a continuing fantasy football league where you play for the present and the future. You have a startup draft where every player is available. During that draft though, you also have your future picks as assets to trade. The future picks are draft picks for NFL rookies. The league I am in has a 4 round draft every year for those rookies and those are the picks you can use as assets.

Well my first draft didn’t start great as I got the 11th pick, but I got a stud in Davante Adams. I felt like I was having a real good draft until around the 11th round when I was talked into trading Adams.

Personally, I kind of undervalue Adams because of his injury history and Rodgers’s situation in Green Bay, so initially I thought the trade was good for me. After doing some research though, I didn’t get back NEARLY enough in the deal.

I gave up Adams and received the following:

  • 2020 10th (N’Keal Harry)
  • 2020 13th (Robby Anderson)
  • 2020 16th (Tyrann Mathieu)
  • 2021 1st Round Pick
  • 2022 4th Round Pick

On the surface, I really didnt hate it given the situation in GB and the possibility of studs with what I got. The Pats love Harry, because they didn’t take a WR in the draft this year. Robby Anderson is solid WR2-3, and that 2021 1st has all kinds of possibilities.

Then I did more research. The ceiling for Adams is WR5 or better for the next 4-5 years if he stays healthy. There are not guarantees like that on my side of the deal. The uncertainty on my end is why the deal was not friendly for me.

Outside of that I had a solid draft. I got Josh Jacobs who is a 22 year old stud, and I got 2 of the young talented QBs in Baker and Darnold (SuperFlex league), plus I got 25 year old Amari Cooper on top of that. I got some rookies with a lot of upside too: Tee Higgins, Jerry Jeudy, Ke’Shawn Vaughn, Anthony McFarland, and my most intriguing rookie, Antonio Gandy-Golden.

I feel like I have a solid team, but the way I drafted allowed for me to compete in the future, even if my team doesn’t pan out like I planned this year.

The NBA at Disney World Is Happening!

We finally had some live, watchable sports yesterday! It couldn’t have come at a better time either. Memorial Day Weekend, when people can’t really go anywhere, was the perfect setting for Tha Match 2.0. I now had an excuse to day drink and I was fucking into it. Brady and Manning really added a dimension to this match that was missing the first time around. Watching it live made it move though, and now I’m ready for more!

Don’t forget, we also had the male version of Janet Jackson’s nip slip!

Well it looks like we may have it, in the form of the NBA playoffs at Walt Disney World! Woj reported that it looks like the NBA will go straight into a 16 team playoff at a bubble site in Orlando.

Now, I honestly don’t care if they did a play in for the last two playoff spots, or if they went with the current top 16. It doesn’t fucking matter to me. Give me some NBA action!

There have been some date ranges thrown around on Twitter too that have a mini training camp at the end of June and the Finals ending in September. This timeline would have the draft a week after the Finals, and Free Agency a week after that. What I have not seen is a timeline for next season.

This seems like the PERFECT opportunity for the NBA to finally move their schedule to December through July/August to avoid competing with the NFL. Every year the NBA starts in October, but nobody really starts talking about it until the NFL is over. This is their chance to really own the 8 month timeframe that they are playing in. Like I said though, I have seen no rumblings of anything like that, I just think it makes the most sense.

With this on the horizon, it’s time to dust off the DraftKings app and my FanDuel SportsBook account and get back to winning some fucking money!

Cheers to live fucking sports everyone!

The Match of the Century is Happening Today!

Back in 2018, Tiger Woods faced off against Phil Mickelson in one of the most anticipated golf matches of all time. Well today we have an even better one for you. Tiger Woods has a playing partner that goes by the name of Peyton Manning, while Phil is partnered with some chode named Tom Brady. 4 of the greatest athletes of the last 20 years will all be on the same golf course today and it is going to be glorious!

A year and half ago, Phil won a nailbiter beating Tiger in 22 holes. Not only was the match unbelievable to watch, but the side bets made on the side were fucking awesome! It is crazy to see athletes intereacting on a level that you don’t see during their normal competitions.

What-The Match 2.0-Tiger Woods/Peyton Manning vs. Phil Mickelson/Tom Brady

When-Sunday May 23rd at 3PM ET on TNT, TBS, and TruTV

Where-Medalist Golf Club, Hobe Sound Florida

Head To Head

Brady vs. Manning

Now during their NFL careers, Brady dominated Manning head to head winning 11 of 17 total matchups, including the playoffs. Peyton though, definitely has the edge on the golf course. Peyton is currently carrying around a 6 handicap while Brady is carrying closer to a 9. Peyton is retired and has been for a few years so it makes sense that his golf game would be a little more polished than Brady’s . We also have to wonder, did Tom Brady ever get a new driver after this incident?

I wonder though, if Brady’s total fucking dominance over Peyton during their NFL careers is going to have any impact on Peyton’s mental game today. If Tom comes out talking that shit, then he might have a real edge over Peyton.

It seems like Peyton has gotten over that and I think we see Peyton “Shooter McGavin” Manning get the best of Tom today.

Tiger vs. Phil

Now it’s not secret who has dominated between these two. Tiger has 83 career PGA tour wins which is good for the most of all time, while Phil has almost half of that with 44 wins. Tiger has dominated the rivalry between these two for years, but he did lose ‘The Match’ back in 2018.

I think Tiger is coming for blood. Phil has been talking that shit on social media and Tiger is just putting in the memory jar so he can come out and embarrass Phil today. The time off is in Tiger’s favor and look for him to play some his best golf against one of his biggest rivals.

Tiger also has home course advantage this time around. The first match was in Las Vegas and Tiger was obviously not a fan of it. This time around he is in his home state of Florida and that is a huge advantage for Tiger this time around.

Winner

I was really back and forth on this because both teams have GOATs on their side. Brady has 6 rings and is the GOAT QB while Tiger has been in the golf GOAT conversation since he was 20 years old. I am officially taking old ass retired Peyton Manning and Tiger to win this match in 16 holes. It may happen earlier than that because I really think both of those guys have a fire lit under their ass. Peyton getting dominated by Tom for his whole career and Tiger losing to Phil in 2018 is all the motivation they need to go out and fuck some shit up today.

We May Have Baseball and Basketball Soon!

March 11th. That was the day that the NBA officially suspended their season.

March 12th. This was the day that MLB suspended Spring Training.

Since those dates, we have not seen either of these sports, nor have we heard any solid news regarding whether or not they will start at any point.

Well that may be changing. This week the MLB owners proposed a plan for an 82 game season starting in July. This plan was sent to the MLB Player’s Association, and it will be reviewed and voted on at some point in the near future. This plan has many changes in it, but it seems like the biggest hold up will be money.

Before I get to the money, here are some of the ideas within the proposal:

  • Fourth of July start date
  • 82 game season
  • Universal DH
  • 3 regionally located divisions
  • 14 team playoff

On the surface, this doesn’t seem so bad. The players won’t be asked to play 7-10 games per week and they will avoid the non-stop travel associated with a normal regular season.

Then we get to the money portion of this proposal and that is where it gets iffy for the players. The owners have proposed a salary cap for this season which includes a 50-50 split in revenue. Not only will the players play for a pro-rated salary, but now they are also being asked to give up even more to ensure the teams are pulling in their fair share of revenue. It has been specialted that there is no chance the players approve this proposal, but we shall see.

I am obviously hoping that this gets approved because I selfishly want baseball back. Asking these players to risk their safety at an extremely discounted rate is something that they will not like though.

The NBA on the other hand is a star run league and it pretty much goes: if the stars want something, they get it. A conference call was held yesterday with the superstars around the league including Lebron, Chris Paul, Giannis, Kevin Durant, Kawhi, Anthony Davis, Stephen Curry, Dame, and Russell Westbrook.

These stars got on this call with the intention of showing a united front with one thing in mind. Starting the season back up.

After the phone call it seemed like their was some positivity about the league restarting here in the next 2-3 months. Adam Silver came out and said he would have a decision within the next month and we are all now in limbo as the internal discussions continue.

I was optimistic until I saw this tweet,

Obviously, the health and safety of the players come first, but let’s not forget who is responsible for the league. The commissioner, Adam Silver. If the league returns to play and people start getting sick left and right, Silver will be held accountable. If the league comes back and everything goes perfectly, Silver will look like a genius. No matter what happens, Silver’s rep is on the line, and he has to take that into consideration when making this decision.

Selfishly, I obviously want sports back as soon as possible, but I know that the health and safety of my family and myself is paramount, and I completely understand both sides of this argument.

I will follow this and I will continue providing updates on any news I hear.

Mekhi Becton is the Real MVP!

Mekhi Becton is a mountain of man that was selected with the 11th overall pick in this year’s NFL draft. He is going to make a living protecting Sam Darnold for the foreseeable future, but right now he is making headlines for other reasons.

During this pandemic the outlook has been oretty grim everywhere you turn. Well Becton made sure it wasn’t too grim at the Goryeb Children’s Hospital on Monday. Becton took a virtual tour of the New Jersey hospital and met some of the kids during the visit.

During an uncertain time for many people, Becton took the time to make certain that these kids had somebody rooting for them. A 21 year old professional athlete who understands the impact that he has on these kids is a breath of fresh air. He is genuine in the video and it is an unbelievable experience for everyone involved.

Melhi Becton, you are the fucking man!

3 Shows to Watch to Get Your Sports Fix

It has been almost two full months since we have had any of the four major sports. We had some UFC this past weekend, but that just doesn’t make it move like the rest of them. It seems like MLB might be getting close, but the NBA and NHL seem destined for unfinished seasons. Without sports, everyone has had to find something to occupy their time and peak their interests. Well lucky for you, I have the three shows that will do just that for you.

1-The Challenge

I started watching The Challenge about 5 years ago and let me tell you…it is absolutely fucking electric! It has everything you want as a sports fan. It has competitions, player drama, and it is overall extremely entertaining.

I know, I know, you’re thinking that it’s just a stupid ass MTV show, but you could not be more wrong. It is probably the most entertaining of the reality game shows and it has characters that return every season so you always have someone to root for. Let me introduce you to some of the players still left…

Johnny Bananas

If you don’t know Johnny Bananas, you should look him up on YouTube and familiarize yoursef real fucking quick. He is the winningest person in Challenge history while also being one of the most entertaining people on the show.

In short, he is an antagonizing asshole who stirs all types of shit up in the house. He is the best. He knows it, and everyone else knows it. I root for him every season and if you know me, then you know why.

Wes Breggman

Wes is one of the best strategists in the history of the Challenge. He is conniving and manipulative as fuck and most of the time, he is running the game behind the scenes. He is usually who I root for if Bananas goes home, but at this point, his reputation preceeds him and he is always a target.

CT

All you need to know about CT in one GIF

Those are just 3 members of the always entertaining cast of the Challenge. Give it a shot, you will not regret it!

2-Survivor

If you don’t know what Survivor is at this point, I don’t know what the fuck to tell you. Survivor was essentially the start of reality television as we know it.

20 years ago Jeff Probst took 16 random ass people and put them on a tropical island to battle for a prize of 1 Million Dollars. 40 seasons later he is still going strong, and he may be running his best season yet.

Season 40 of Survior is titled Winners at War, which is exactly how it sounds. He has taken 20 past winners and put them on and island to battle for a ridiculous prize of 2 Million Dollars. 2! MILLION! DOLLARS! It is the biggest prize in the history of reality television. If that doesn’t get the competitive juices going, then maybe some of the players will.

Boston Rob

Boston Rob is probably the biggest star in Survivor history. He is one of the best players the show has ever seen and that is why he has been on the show 5 different times. He also famously met his wife Amber on Survivor: All-Stars and proposed live at the season finale. Rob has his dad bod in full effect this season, but he can still run with the young bucks.

Sandra

Sandra is the only two time winner of Survivor and she is back looking to win for her third time and essentially make her record untouchable.

I absolutely fucking hate her though. She is great at the game, but I hate her. She lies and manipulates everyone so well that no one ever takes their shots at her. Next thing you know, she’s lamping at Final Tribal and getting all the fucking votes.

Parvati

Parvati has been one of the most popular characters in every single one of her seasons. That probably has to do with the fact that she is attractive and she uses the shit out of that to get her way. She is always flirting and teasing the guys and it always fucking works because most of the guys on this show are total fucking schmucks. She is like Medusa and just eventually picks off the guys one by one on her way to a Final Tribal Council.

This Survivor is fucking loaded with talent and entertainment and it is absolutely must watch!

The Last Dance

The Last Dance is a documentary that follows the 1997-1998 Chicago Bulls in their final season together. It also goes back on the history of the dynasty and how everyone found their places on this team.

The content out of this doc is one of the best sports stories I have ever seen. The highlights, the music, the behind the scenes tapes, and of course, the interviews.

MJ is telling all and he gets extremely emotional at times and it is just so fucking raw! A lot of the shit covered is comming knowledge for a basketball fan, but if you are a casual fan, take the time to watch this and you will know exactly why Jordan is the undisputed GOAT!

I can’t go in to too much detail without giving some of the content away, but this really gives a ton of insight on how the mind of a champion works. It is must watch TV and you will absolutely not be disappointed.

You’re welcome everyone for occupying a few hours of your life during this extremely complicated and boring time of your lives.

Future Hall of Fame RB is Now a Jet!

Future Hall of Fame running back, Frank Gore, has joined the Jets on a 1 year deal.

Frank Gore is a fucking DOG and the Jets need dogs! Now, Gore isn’t going to carry the rock 250 times. Hell he may not even carry it 50 times, but I like this addition. It adds some depth to the backfield and it adds some experience to a team that desperately needs it.

Adam Gase is a big fan of Gore and he will help LeVeon as well as rookie Lamical Perine. Like I said, I love the addition and he should add plenty of value to the entire team and the culture JD is trying to build.

Coronavirus Had Me Slippin

It has been too long since my last blog and I have nobody to blame but myself. Once the coronavirus took over the world, I got lazy. There was a lot going on, but no sports, and I started slippin. Well I’m back and I am here to keep you entertained in a world with no sports.

A lot has happened since my last blog and I can’t get into all of it in one post, but I’ll highlight some of the big things in the empty world of sports.

Coronavirus Fucking Everything Up

In the last 2 months we have seen all sports leagues except for the NFL suspend pretty much all operations. NBA suspended their season after that fucking chose Rudy Gobert tested positive for the virus. MLB suspended Spring Training 2 weeks before Opening Day. NHL suspended their season with about 2 weeks left before the playoffs. The PGA Tour suspended their season in the middle of one of their biggest tournaments of the year, The PLAYERS. The XFL suspended all operations and unfortunately, we may never see that league again. Then the biggest disappointment of all, the NCAA canceled the NCAA tournament in the middle of conference tournament week.

Of course, that isn’t all that was fucked up by this virus, but those are the big events that most people were paying attention to. One thing the coronavirus couldn’t stop though? The NFL. Roger Goodell stood up, said fuck that shit, and continued with Free Agency and the NFL Draft.

NFL Offseason

For the first time in his life, Goodell was hailed as a hero, because both events could not have gone smoother. Free agency was electric as teams were agreeing with players every 5 minutes for the first week. Big names like Amari Cooper signed big extensions to stay put, while some other big names got the shaft and were getting no offers: Jameis and Clowney. Jameis eventually took a deal to back up Drew Bress, while Clowney still remains unsigned.

We also saw a few trades that confused everyone around the league. First we saw Deandre Hopkins go to Arizona for a 2nd round draft pick. The Cardinals absolutely fucking FLEECED the Texans here and Bill O’Brien immediately became the butt of every single joke in the NFL. Soon after, the Vikings sent Stefon Diggs to Buffalo for a bunch of draft picks. Some people really liked the move but I was left scratching my head. Diggs is a fucking head case. If you watch Vikings games, you would see them up by 21 points but Diggs is on the sideline throwing his helmet acting like a little bitch. It was obvious that he would rather win on his terms and his terms only. He wanted to put up numbers more than anything and that will not bode well for a young Buffalo team led by a young QB.

Then a month and a half later, the draft wound up being the biggest TV event of the year. The Quarantine draft went off without a hitch. Seeing the coaches and GMs draft from their homes was fucking awesome. Leave it to Kliff Kingsbury to win the draft with his movie like living room.

Overall, the draft was fucking awesome. The first 10 picks kind of went as expected. Burrow went first, the Dolphins and Chargers both took QBs at 5 and 6, and 4 OL went in the first 13 picks. The biggest surprise was when the Raiders took Henry Ruggs as the first WR at 12. Jerry Jeudy and Ceedee Lamb were both available, but leave it to the fucking Raiders to take the fastest guy regardless of skill. Ruggs may fucking kill it, but I just laughed when the pick was announced.

Jets Killed the Draft

How about my fucking Jets though! Joe Douglas is a fucking wizard and maneuvered this draft like Albus fucking Dumbledore. He got his highest rated tackle in Mekhi “Mount” Becton, who is an enormous human being. The Jets next pick was in the 2nd round at 48 and the Jets desperately needed a WR. Well pick 48 comes and a first round talent, Denzel Mims, was still available and I was jumping for joy. Then Goodell announces a trade back to 59 while the Jets picked up another 4th round pick. I was livid, but that is why my fatass was on the couch because lo and behold, Mims was still available at 59 and JD snagged him there. What a brilliant fucking man! There seemed to be some questionable picks in there like the QB in the fourth round, but who am I to question the Great One?

Now the Jets will not win 10 games this year. They have a ridiculously tough schedule and still are lacking on talent. In 2021 though, watch the fuck out. This team is going to compete and I am here for it!

MJ Doc

Finally, the last good thing to come out of this quarantine was “The Last Dance”. The documentary that focuses on the 1998 Bulls in their last season together was released about 2 months early and it has been fucking glorious.

Anyone who watches basketball knows most of the highlights they are showing, but the behind the scenes stuff along with the interview has been great. Everyone telling their stories just puts some perspective on how difficult what those teams did actually was.

There is one line from this doc though that really speaks volumes to how hard it is to win a championship in this league. MJ says that there were no championships for him without Scottie Pippen. Nobody wins championships by themselves and the narrative that anyone has or anyone can is absurd and can finally be put to sleep.

Some of the highlights from the doc so far for me have been MJ and Scottie constantly bagging on that fucking schmuck Jerry Krause, MJ’s gambling, Phil’s view on all of it, and MJ talking about the Bad Boy Pistons.

It has been must watch TV and it has not disappointed at all. If you have not watch it, sit your ass down and get started.

A Guide To A LOADED Saturday of College Basketball

March is finally here. With that comes nice weather, MLB Spring Training, the Player’s Championship, but most importantly: March Madness. There is not a better two weeks in sports than the conference tournaments and the first round of the NCAA Tourney. It is crazy basketball where literally anything can happen. After UMBC upset UVA two years ago, literally any fucking thing is possible. Right here, I have everything you need to know on what to pay attention to today.

Conference Championship Games

The first bids for the tournament will be clinched today with the Mountain West and the Ohio Valley Conference playing their finals today. This is when it all begins. The madness always begins to unfold with the first teams clinching their spot in the 68 team bracket.

Mountain West Conference

Utah State (25-8) vs. San Diego State (30-1)

How and When to Watch
CBS @ 4:30 CT

SDSU has been on a magical run all season long. They were the last team in Division 1 to lose a game and they have spent about 10 weeks ranked in the top 10. They are a consensus number 1 seed in the tournament and that will not change if they win this game. It will change, however, if they are upset by a Utah State team fighting for it’s tournament life. Right now Team Rankings has them right on the outside looking in. Obviously that changes with a win today as they will get an automatic bid, but there is still a slight possibility they get in with a loss.

The Aggies are led by Senior PG Sam Merrill. Merrill leads the team in scoring at 19 per game and assists at 4 per game. He has been the go to guy for this team all season and that has showed in the MWC tourney. In two games he is averaging 28 PPG, 4 APG, and 3.5 RPG. The Aggies go as he goes, and he is going to need to come up HUGE today to be able to pull off the upset.

Scoring will be at a premium for the Aggies though as SDSU is third in the country allowing only 59 PPG on the season. They have allowed more than 70 points only 4 times this season and the most points scored against them is 76. For perspective, they have allowed less than 50 points in a game the same amount of times. 4. Their team defense has been incredible and is obviously a huge reason they are sitting at 30-1 right now.

Utah State will need all hands on deck, including Neemias Queta and Justin Bean. Bean is 20th in the nation averaging almost 4 offensive boards per game and he is going to need to be all over the offensive glass against the defensive minded Aztecs. Merrill is going to need all the help he can get from his second and third leading scorers.

San Diego State is also led by their PG in Malachi Flynn. Flynn averages 18 points and 5 assists per game this season and he is the leader of that phenomenal defense. Flynn averages two steals a game and his matchup with Sam Merrill is must watch. Guys like Matt Mitchell and Yanni Wetzell will need to step up big time for SDSU to complete the 31-1 season. Flynn’s matchup may get him gassed and he will need Mitchell and Wetzell to step up on the offensive end.

Not only will those two need to step up on the offensive end, but they will be responsible for keeping Justin Bean off the offensive glass. Wetzell is 6’10” and he will need to find Bean on every shot attempt by the Aggies. Even at almost 7 foot though, the Aussie struggle on the boards only averaging 6 boards in 28 minutes per game. He lacks the explosiveness to really go after the ball and that might bite him in the ass today.

Prediction

I think San Diego State gets some big stops down the stretch in a close game.
SDSU wins 72-68.

Ohio Valley Conference

Murray State (23-8) vs. Belmont (25-7)

How and When to Watch
ESPN2 @ 7:00 CT

Murray State and Belmont are perennially the two best teams in the OVC. Since 2010 one of these teams has repped the conference in the Big Dance 6 times, including Murray State for the last 2 years. Murray State really doesn’t fail to impress as they have recruited plenty of talent including absolute STUD Ja Morant. He did this to Belmont in the 2019 OVC Championship game…

I’m sure Belmont will be looking for some kind of revenge and this is the year they may actually get it. Belmont led the OVC in scoring offense with 80 PPG while also finishing second in scoring defense allowing only 68 PPG. They are 11th in the entire nation in scoring margin and it has been an impressive season for the Bruins to say the least.

The Belmont Bruins are led by guards Grayson Murphy and Adam Kunkel. Kunkel is their go to scorer averaging almost 17 a game while Murphy is probably their all around best player. He averages 10/8/6 and is constantly filling up the stat sheet.

On the other side Murray State is led by PG Tevin Brown. Brown is fifth in the OVC in scoring at 18 per game while also leading the Racers in assists. Ja Morant is not walking through that door and the Racers will need Brown to be the star today to pull the upset.

Prediction

The teams split their 2 regular season meetings with the home team winning both games. I think Belmont gets enough scores against Murray State’s top ranked defense to get in the Big Dance for the first time since 2015.
Belmont wins 68-61

Regular Season Finales

North Carolina at Duke

How and When to Watch
ESPN @ 5:00 CT

The best rivalry in all of sports will take center stage tonight. Especially after the last instant classic they played in.

No matter where these two teams are in the rankings, this game is always a fucking classic! Both teams always come to play and I expect nothing different tonight.

Cole Anthony and Garrison Brooks have been playing their best ball of the season over the last 3 games averaging 24 and 27 PPG respectively. North Carolina as a team has looked its best in the last week or two and they are fighting for seeding in the ACC tournament. No matter the outcome tonight UNC will have to win 5 games in 5 days to get a spot in the Dance. They need Cole Anthony to his best Kemba Walker impression in the next week.

Duke is fighting to get back on the 2 line and a loss tonight will not help their case. The Blue Devils have not looked great lately losing 3 of their last 5 with all 3 losses coming to unranked (at the time) opponents.

UNC-Duke is always appointment television so just do yourself a favor and watch this game.

Louisville @ Virginia

How and When to Watch
ESPN @ 3:00 CT

Boston College at Florida State

How and When to Watch
ACC Network @ 3:30 CT

These two games are together because Florida State and Louisville are currently tied atop the ACC. Obviously Louisville has a much tougher task ahead as traveling to Virginia is always tough. Louisville will need Jordan Nwora to be an anomaly today against defensive powerhouse UVA. FSU is going to win and L’ville will need Nwora to be fucking HUGE if they want to have a chance against the Cavaliers.

Big East

Seton Hall at Creighton

How and When to Watch
FOX @ 1:30 CT

Villanova at Georgetown

How and When to Watch
FOX @ 11:00 CT

These games are moot if Seton Hall beats Creighton. Seton Hall would win the Big East Regular Season Championship. If Creighton wins though, they would clinch at least a share of the Big East. If Creighton wins and Villanova had beaten Georgetown, all 3 teams (SH, Crei, Vill) would share the title.

Seton Hall will need Myles Powell to be huge for the Pirates to win their first sole conference championship since 1993.

Creighton on the other hand needs big show outs from Ty-Shon ALexander and Marcus Zegarowski. Those 2 need to outdo their season average of 17 and 15 per night for Creighton to clinch a share of the title.

I think Myles Powell shows why he is a candidate for national player of the year in a huge win for the Pirates.

Big 12

Baylor at West Virginia

How and When to Watch
ESPN+ @ 12:00 CT

Kansas at Texas Tech

How and When to Watch
ESPN @ 1:00 CT

KU is 16-1 in the Big 12 while Baylor is 15-2. Both teams have extremely tough road matchups today and KU can clinch the sole Big 12 Championship with a win. Baylor needs a KU loss to clinch a share of the title.

Texas Tech has not been playing well of late, losing 3 in a row to OU, Texas, and Baylor. Kansas is going to fucking feast on their poor play and there may be nobody playing better in the entire country than Udoka Azubuike. Even with a dud against KSU, Azubuike is averaging 20 points, 15 rebounds, and 3 blocks over his last 4 games.

Give me Azubuike and KU to clinch the Big 12 with a big road win over TTU. This KU team is going to be the favorite heading into the tourney and for good fucking reason. They are so balanced and having a dominant big man is a blessing in March.

Big 10

The Big 10 finishes up tomorrow so I will get something out early tomorrow morning because that conference is jam packed at the top. Wisconsin, Maryland, Michigan State, and Illinois all have a shot at a share of the Big 10 title. Wisconsin is in action today on the road at Indiana and with a win guarantees themselves a share of the championship.

Tomorrow Maryland hosts Michigan, Illinois hosts Iowa, and MSU hosts OSU. A loaded Sunday on top of a loaded Saturday. What more can you ask for?!