College Basketball Picks: Tuesday, March 2
THIS IS MARCH. With selection Sunday less than two weeks away, teams on the bubble are making their final efforts to prove their case for a tournament bid. Last week, we went 5-2 on CommRadio’s first edition of College Basketball Picks, so let’s keep things rolling this week.
No. 3 Baylor (-4.5) at No. 6 West Virginia, 5 p.m.
This is a tough spot for West Virginia. The Mountaineers are on a three-game winning streak, but look who they’ve played in their last two games: TCU and Kansas State. Baylor, on the other hand, was handed its first loss of the season this past Saturday. With hopes of remaining a No. 1 seed in March Madness, the Bears are going to come out hungrier than ever. They shot poorly against Kansas and will focus their defense on stopping Derek Culver.
The pick: Baylor -4.5
No. 4 Illinois at No. 2 Michigan (-8), 7 p.m.
Vegas is begging people to take the eight points in Illinois tomorrow. Seems like a lot of points for No. 2 vs. No. 4, right? The Wolverines have just been unstoppable at home this season. Last time at the Crisler Center, Michigan came out and beat Iowa by 22 points. Illinois may also be without its best player Ayo Dosunmu, which will make Michigan’s defensive approach easier by focusing on the Illini’s other major threat, Kofi Cockburn.
The pick: Michigan -8
No. 25 Wisconsin at No. 23 Purdue (-2), 9 p.m.
Purdue has snuck its way into the rankings with three straight wins. The Boilermakers have been playing really well at home all season with their only loss coming against Michigan. Wisconsin’s last ranked win, meanwhile, came against Minnesota at the end of December. The signs are pointing to take Purdue, but we like Wisconsin in this spot. This veteran squad will go on the road and get things done. Take the Badgers in a close Big Ten battle.
The pick: Wisconsin +2
No. 12 Arkansas (-6.5) at South Carolina, 6:30 p.m.
Arkansas might be the hottest team in college basketball right now. The Razorbacks have covered every spread since January. They just recently beat No. 6 Alabama by 15 points. Their last loss came against Oklahoma State, which is emerging as one of the top teams in the Big 12. South Carolina has been an inconsistent team this season with some solid wins but also plenty of bad losses. Take the team that has been reliable.
The pick: Arkansas -6.5
Xavier (-1.5) at Georgetown, 7 p.m.
Strong performance in the Big East last week, going 2-0 with the picks. If there’s a guaranteed lock out of all these picks today, it has to be Xavier over Georgetown. The Musketeers are without senior Nate Johnson, who suffered a season-ending leg injury, but that doesn’t seem to matter as they beat No. 13 Creighton on Saturday. Standing at 13-5, the Musketeers are on the bubble and need to finish their season with two wins. Give me Xavier to win this matchup by 10.
The pick: Xavier -1.5
Duke at Georgia Tech (-2), 8 p.m.
Remember the last time these two teams played this season? Duke still had Jalen Johnson and won by seven. The Blue Devils have won four of their last five, including a big one over No. 7 Virginia. Is Duke actually better without Jalen Johnson? Georgia Tech, meanwhile, has been playing well recently, winning its last four. This is a tough decision, but Iet’s rock with the Blue Devils, who are making a late March Madness push.
The pick: Duke +2
Indiana at Michigan State (-3.5), 8 p.m.
Both teams are in need of a win to keep their March Madness hopes alive. Michigan State had a slow start to its season, and the Spartans are coming off a brutal loss on the road against Maryland despite winning their previous two games against ranked opponents Illinois and Ohio State. They also beat the Hoosiers by seven points 10 days ago in Indiana. Coach Tom Izzo will have his team prepared yet again in an important game.
The pick: Michigan State -3.5
Austin Groft is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, please email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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