The first game of a three game road trip sent the Mountaineers to South Beach, but their talents did not follow them. A modest 15 spread left me thinking all about the Mountaineers and how well they had fared at Minnesota and North Carolina, both games where Appalachian was big underdogs, yet managed to cover. I was wrong as another poor shooting performance saw the Mountaineers fall to the Hurricanes by a score of 84-54. My record fell to 3-4 on the season.
Oddly, despite many lined games, Campbell was unable to garner a line from the handicappers for the Appalachian game. Campbell had recently fought NC State quite well within the previous week. For the second time in three games and the third time on the season, a pick was not made, however, Appalachian held on for a 77-74 win.
The media tried to hype this game into much more than it really was. Appalachian head coach Jason Capel was returning to the arena where he played his college basketball. The Mountaineers were spotted 28.5 points to a top ten ranked Tar Heel team. Appalachian stayed very close in the first half and fell behind by 30 on two diferent occasions in the second half. Tar Heel bench players and a late ASU run allowed the Mountaineers to cover as they fell 97-82. Optimism was high for the Mountaineers. My record improved to 3-3 on the season.
Just like the previous game in Johnson City, the line was very late to post, and eventually did not post. Despite homecourt advantage, the Bucs had too much experience and too many mismatchs for Appalachian. Luckily the students were on break and didnt have to witness another beatdown as the Bucs rolled to a 65-48 win. My record remained at 2-3.
Appalachian hit the road to Big 10 country to face their first of three power conference games. Minnesota entered the game with a great record and had won all of their games at home on the season. However, the Minnesota weaknesses fell right into the hands of the Mountaineers strength. Appalachian was spotted 16.5 points, and had a good chance to win the ball game late in the second half, but three turnovers allowed the Gophers to stretch a four point game to a 70-56 victory. My pick was with Appalachian and they did cover to move my record on the season to 2-3.
The Mountaineers travelled to Statesboro the same day that Appalachian football hosted Maine in an FCS playoff game at home. Georgia Southern has been a house of horrors in the past for the Mountaineers. Last season, the Eagles stole a game from the Mountaineers when the Apps were highly favored. The frusturation of losing to Maine and the combination of being favored by 1.5 points led me to believe the Mountaineers were going to win and cover easily. Once again, a poor shooting night doomed the Mountaineers to an 11 point loss on the road and my record fell to 1-3.
When the Spartans came to town, Appalachian had just defeated a marginal Milligan squad in unimpressive fashion. UNCG had won the previous year on Appalachian’s home court when their record stood at 0-15. The Spartans were being spotted 9.5 points in their SoCon opener. I was not feeling the Mountaineers covering such a large margin, but they did and then some. Appalachian won, and rolled to a 78-64 win, but my pick left me sitting 1-2 on the season.
The East Carolina game was an exciting one for the Mountaineers. This was the program’s first nuetral court game in North Carolina in many years, and the opponent was their eastern rivals from Greenville, NC. Both teams appeared evenly matched and the Mountaineers were given a slight 1.5 advantage in the game. The Mountaineers were never in the game due to a poor night shooting the ball. I took the Mountaineers considering a decent Appalachian crowd, but they fell at the hands of the Pirates. I fell to 1-1 on the season.
This game was a makeup from the return game from the 2010 Brackbusters game. Appalachian defeated Tennessee Tech at home at the end of the 2009-2010 season and were to return the home game in November of 2010. Appalachian forgot to schedule the officials which pushed the game to November of 2011. Appalachian was getting seven points on the road and I jumped all over it. The Mountaineers held on to a 68-63 win and I moved to 1-1 on the season
The line for this game was placed right before tipoff. It was officially ruled as a PK, and most likely I would have picked ETSU as the Mountaineers have never played well in the Mini-Dome. I did not make a pick for this game. Obviously my record stands at 0-0.
ETSU won 81-68, but the game was never that close.