Starting this evening and once per week I will post some previews of college basketball games that will take place that same evening. It will be rapid fire format, selecting some of the most important contests of the evening – most important being measured by the impact each game will have on the tourney chances of team’s involved – and providing a few thoughts on each contest along with a couple selections that will be given out to my clients later that evening. That way you can not only enjoy reading some previews of perhaps games where your team is involved, you can also get some of my client selections at no charge – and official selections below will be clearly marked, and those same plays will be part of my client’s package that same evening.
Let’s get into tonight’s card – Wednesday is the biggest night of college hoops (and the NBA) during the week – lots of action, lots of work to be done, so let’s jump right in and analyze:
6pm Villanova @ Notre Dame: Nova is looking to build off a pair of Top 5 wins last week and heads to South Bend to face an Irish team that is no longer ranked, and really has been a disappointment this season. The Cats have historically played well at ND, but the Irish have won the last two meetings including in Philadelphia last year in OT. ND enters losing 3 of their last 5 with their only wins at South Florida and home to Rutgers. Big game for Villanova, but a bigger one for ND.
7pm Oklahoma @ Baylor: pair of Big 12 bubble teams (by the time the season is played out in its entirety) square off in Waco. The Sooners have most of the trends on their side entering this game 7-3 ATS L10 & 6-1-1 L8 meetings in Waco; in addition, Baylor is just 2-6 L8 home games. Bears did sweep series last year but OU covered game @ Baylor. OU has lost 2 of 3 while BU has won 6 of 7, both those records SU. Baylor’s defense could be the difference here.
7pm UMass @ LaSalle: can the Explorers match the intensity of the Minutemen following a pair of solid wins last week? This is a big game for both team’s tournament chances, and the Explorers have won 7 of the L8 meetings with UMass.
8pm Iowa State @ Oklahoma State: ditto OU@BU above, pair of Big 12 bubble teams. Oklahoma State I view as 2nd best team in B12 behind Kansas despite just sitting at 3-3 in conference play so far. Home team/favorite has dominated series of late. OKST has won 7 of L9 meetings.
8pm Missouri @ LSU: Bowers returns for the Tigers putting them at 100% health wise for first time in weeks. I am a big fan of this Mizzou squad. LSU started hot but has since faded. Let’s play Missouri here laying the 4 points.
8pm Maryland @ Florida State: I am not a big Terps guy as far as making the dance but they do sport a solid record. FSU already won at College Park in early January, another loss to the Seminoles could be a killer. Home team has won 12 of L16 meetings. Typically I stay away from games where I am leaning towards taking the team that won the first meeting in that same season.
9pm Boise State @ Colorado State: along with the Big 12 the MWC has a bunch of teams fighting for limited bids. Home team has won all 4 meetings between these schools. BSU comes in losing 3 of 4, while CSU has won 10 of 12. The Broncos have a few injuries of note. Rams have huge edge defensively.
9pm DePaul @ St Johns: big game for the Johnnies if they want to keep their faint hopes alive. Keep in mind the Redmen already beat the Blue Demons in Chicago earlier this month. Despite a familiar record near or below .500 DePaul is a tougher team this year than recent history. SJU has won & covered L7 meetings.
9pm Dayton @ Xavier: both of these teams are barely alive to even get into the NCAA Tournament conversation in a deeper & improved A10. The Flyers enter off back to back wins; Musks come in off back to back losses. Dayton has covered 4 straight meetings, but X has the edge statistically.
9pm Miami @ Va Tech: the Canes avoided the letdown at home vs. rival FSU on Sunday following their HUGE win over Duke. Now they head to Blacksburg looking to extend their win streak to 8 vs. a down Hokies team. VT has taken care of Miami at home at least their last 5 matchups. Canes enter this one atop the ACC at 6-0. I look for a lower scoring game here, and with that in mind getting double digit points as a home dog isn’t a bad option.
9pm Texas A&M @ Mississippi State: the Aggies were unable to leverage their road win @ Kentucky 2 weeks ago losing 4 straight since. The Bulldogs are down this year and also enter this one losing 4 straight. A&M's tourney chances are on life support with an RPI of 78, and a win here vs. RPI 218 MSU is an absolute must to have any chance of dancing. I am not a big totals guy in basketball but the under looks strong here: MSU has scored 43 & 47 points in their last two home games, while A&M hasn’t scored above 54 in their last 4.
9pm New Mexico @ Wyoming: NM enters this game off a brutal loss @ SD State this past weekend where they scored only 34 points, losing by 21. They still are in solid position to dance with a Top 10 RPI, while Wyoming's chances continue dipping since they lost leading scorer Luke Martinez mid-January. Almost a must win for the Cowboys here as slim 2pt dogs. Between these two schools NM has won L3, 5 of L6, and 7 of L10. Considering the Lobos are coming off a loss let’s back New Mexico here as a small road favorite.
11pm Oregon @ Stanford: the Ducks continued rolling last week taking care of both Washington schools at home. They have won 9 straight games since at OT loss at UTEP before Christmas. Of note however is each of their last 6 wins have come by single digits, and only a trio of those 9 wins came on the road. Stanford has been a huge disappointment this season but could salvage some respect with a win here over the Ducks. I personally love Stanford here and will be on them pretty big.
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