Last week in College Basketball fans saw Villanova and Tennessee get upset along with a few great games some going to overtime, Oklahoma beating West Virginia was the highlight. This week features several gigantic marquee matchups in the Big-12 and Big Ten as well as a couple of key games in the SEC and ACC.
Marquee Matchups on Saturday
#12 Texas vs. #13 West Virginia: The Big-12 has been on fire of late and really all season long producing high-profile matchups that tend to pay off for the viewing audience. West Virginia lost to Oklahoma but overall they’ve been trending upwards fast and will look to add what would be a huge road win at Texas. Texas got a chance to get the ball rolling again with back-to-back wins after a Covid-19 spread which can be attributed to a three-game losing streak albeit to quality teams. In their first meeting, Texas guard Andrew Jones sank a shot with 1.8 on the clock to steal one on the road. The Longhorns are in need of a big win and haven’t beaten a Top-25 foe since WV making them a tad bit more motivated.
The Pick: Texas wins a competitive game behind the defense and outside shooting.
Marquee Matchup on Sunday
#3 Michigan vs. #4 Ohio State: The Buckeyes have put together an impressive string of victories including at Wisconsin and at Iowa. Michigan has won four of their last 5 games but had to take a rest from Covid-19 as they prepare to close strong in the Big Ten race. The winner not only will help their place in the league standings, but their chances of secure a top seed also increase greatly as well. The Wolverines looked out of sorts in the first half on the road at Wisconsin but outscored the Badgers 40-20 in the second half. Winners of 9 out of their last 10 outings the Buckeyes keep the good times going.
The Pick: Ohio State beats their bitter rival in a back and forth affair.
Marquee Matchup on Wednesday
#8 Alabama vs. #24 Arkansas: The Crimson Tide were in cruise control in the SEC and even though they fell short in a comeback attempt against Missouri they should still win the regular-season title. A scrappy Razorbacks club has inched their way up in the rankings after 4 straight wins, one of those in overtime beating Mizzou last Saturday. Alabama’s outside shooting this season has made them a dynamic bunch on offense but the Hogs can hang right with them on that end and both teams are giving up 70 points a game. In a funky Covid-19 year Arkansas will have beaten a team the destroyed them by 31 points if my predictions work out.
The Pick: A shootout in the south with the Hogs closing in style on the free-throw line.
Upset Special for the Week
Minnesota shocks red-hot #5 Illinois the Gophers have 5 ranked wins at home but can’t win on the road to save their tourney life.
(Honorable Mention: #24 Arkansas over #8 Alabama)
Under The Radar
#15 Texas Tech vs. 23 Kansas: The Red Raiders have their hands full this week, Kansas isn’t their normal selves but they’re desperate to improve their Big Dance seeding making for a good scrap.
#15 Texas Tech vs. Oklahoma State: Don’t you dare act like this won’t be a hard-fought game between competing Big-12 teams. The first meeting was an overtime thriller won by the Cowboys but Tech was short-handed.
Quick Hits Recap
-Michigan’s Hunter Dickinson had 11 points, 15 boards, and 5 blocks in a win over Wisconsin, becoming the first UM player with that stat line since 2004.
-The Wolverines were down 43-24 but in the final 18 minutes went on a 35-16 run turning up the defensive pressure to beat the Badgers.
-#2 Baylor will return to action next week on February 23 after missing 6 games as a result of a Covid-19 pause.
-Creighton finally put it all together in an 86-70 victory over Villanova, Marcus Zegarowski put up 25 points and Mitch Ballock scored 20 points, 17 of those came in the 2nd half.
-It will be very interesting to see what the seeding committee does with Houston, a team that ranks second in scoring defense and could be tough out.
-The early look at the Top-16 seeds for the NCAA tourney saw Gonzaga, Baylor, Michigan and Ohio State as the #1 seeds at this point.
Note: The rankings used in this prediction article will not reflect Monday’s New Associated Press Top-25 Rankings.
Written by Chris Carlson Host of The College Ball Show Podcast available at blogtalkradio.com/ropeadoperadio or TheGruelingTruth.Com Follow on Twitter @RopeADopeRadio