By Chris Carlson – College Basketball is giving me March 2020 vibes in the way of the depth to this year’s field. On Saturday fans saw 7 different AP Top-9 teams go down. This week there’s still plenty at stake not only conference races in the Big-12 and Big Ten specifically but the chance to add another quality win to help get a higher seed or just to get off the bubble.
Marquee Matchups on Saturday
#6 Kansas vs. #21 Texas: The Longhorns are 9-3 in their last 12 outings one of those wins coming over the Jayhawks. That game came down to the wire with neither team shooting well from behind the arc. Kansas hasn’t defeated a ranked team since they destroyed Baylor at home in early February. In the rematch last Saturday Baylor returned the favor beating Kansas who had lost back to back games heading into their 2nd in a row versus TCU. Although this hoops hardcore fan doesn’t have a great feel for this prediction leaning to the home team late in the season is generally as smart bet.
The Pick: Kansas wins a game in the 70’s at home to split Big-12 title.
#13 Tennessee vs. #14 Arkansas: A recent theme, really an ongoing theme is to side with the home court in college basketball when it comes to 50-50’s. The Hogs have won their last 5 and Arkansas is 15-1 dating back to January. Tennessee had only one loss in the month of February. On the 18th of February Arkansas protected their home court in a win over the Volunteers in which both team played like crap really. In the rematch Tennessee will need more out of their starting lineup and also foul less to secure this late season win. It won’t be a walk in the park for the Vols but they will get the job done.
The Pick: Tennessee uses defense which turns into better offense to get the ‘W’.
Marquee Matchup on Sunday
#20 Illinois vs. #24 Iowa: The Fighting Illini has been up and down of late going 3-3 over their last 6 games. Iowa on the other hand has only lost once in their last 8 games with a victory over then #18 ranked Ohio State as their best win. The two main stats that stand out are 24 out of 28 attempts on the free throw line for Illinois and the 18 turnovers that the Hawkeyes forced. That game was in Iowa so if Illinois beat Iowa on the road guess what, they will win at home.
The Pick: Illinois creates separation late closing the regular season right.
Upset Special of the Week
LSU has fallen short of late in tight games but knock off #25 Alabama.
Under The Radar
#16 USC vs. #17 UCLA: Arizona has the Pac-12 sewed up but this is still an important game to end the season on a good note heading into the league tournament. Probably more so for the Bruins who have struggled of late and want to find some positives heading into the Big Dance.
#7 Kentucky vs. Florida: Kentucky looks the part of a title contender but Florida is scrappy as hell especially on their home court making for the perfect ingredients for a barnburner.
College Ball Show: Recap Wild Weekend 7 Top-10 Teams Losing & Preview Schedule! 02/28 by RopeADopeRadio | Sports (blogtalkradio.com)
Quick Hits Recap
-For the very first time in Associated Press Top-10 history 7 schools lose last Saturday prepping us for March Madness
-To break it down further the whole Top-6 took “L’s”.
-With a win over Creighton and a Triple-Overtime victory of Xavier, Providence has won their first ever Big East regular season crown. Keep in mind the Friars were part of the original league.
-Colorado shocked #2 Arizona outscoring the Wildcats 47-26 in the second half.
-Before eventually losing to St. Mary’s on Saturday, Gonzaga center Chet Holmgren had 21 points, 15 boards, 3 steals, & 6 blocks.
-Arizona is heavily dependent on Kerr Kriisa in the Wildcats 3 losses he went a combined 4 of 28 for the field & 4 out of 25 from 3-point range.
*Note: The rankings used in this prediction article will not reflect the new Associated Press Top-25 rankings.
Written by Chris Carlson Host of The College Ball Show Podcast available at blogtalkradio.com/ropeadoperadio & Follow on Twitter @RopeADopeRadio