With conference championships a week away, we got a couple big games this week in college basketball, and if you’re a Celtics fan you’re watching them. We got a lot of stand-out players in action Saturday, and some solid rivalry games to watch.
#9 Kentucky @ Texas A&M – 12:00 ET on CBS
Favorite: Kentucky -7
Pick: Kentucky -7
Kentucky has been rolling, and I think they run away with a big win tomorrow afternoon. Kentucky’s Malik Monk is a stud, and he’s crawling up everyone’s draft board as we speak. He’s had 50 points in the last two games IN THE SECOND HALF, and it’s saved them from slow starts. Monk and De’Aaron Fox make up the best back court in college basketball. They’re both projected to be top ten picks in the upcoming draft, and they are gonna give the A&M back court issues, which has been having turnover problems to begin with.
The only way Texas A&M makes this a game is utilizing their front-court advantage. They can potentially out-rebound Kentucky on the offensive glass and stir things up, but they’re gonna need a massive game out of freshman power forward Robert Williams, who is projecting to be a high draft pick. Even with the College Station home-court advantage, I don’t see Kentucky falling off the wagon here, and I think they impress the college basketball world heading into SEC championship week with a big win.
#19 Notre Dame @ #8 Louisville – 2:00 ET on CBS
Favorite#19 Notre Dame @ #8 Louisville – 2:00 ET on CBS
Favorite: Louisville -8
Pick: Notre Dame +8
This is the game of the week. Louisville stumbled on Wednesday, giving up a 14 point lead and losing to Wake Forest. So they are now a game behind the Irish in the ACC standings, and they need to protect home court this week. Louisville will win, but there is no way they cover this spread.
This is gonna be a tight game all the way to the end. Notre Dame boasts an impressive starting line up, and they’re on a six game winning streak. Senior forward Bonzie Colson is a beast. He is a big time player, averaging 16.9 points and 10.6 rebounds. I need him in Boston next year. Colson is complemented by experienced, talented players in that starting 5, and this is a team you need to start watching.
Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s their day tomorrow, because Louisville is not losing two games in a row. Notre Dame beat Louisville earlier this year, but the Cardinals are too good, and look for Donovan Mitchell to light it up per usual.
#7 Arizona @ Arizona State – 4:00 ET on CBS
Favorite: Arizona -9
Pick: Arizona -9
Good rivalry game in the desert at 4 o’clock tomorrow. After a brutal, heartbreaking loss to UCLA last week, look for Arizona to come into Tempe tomorrow and win big. This is a must win tomorrow for Arizona, and I think they need to win big if they want a chance to impress the Selection Committee.
Arizona State lives and dies off the play of their senior guard Torian Graham, and he has been wildly inconsistent this year, showing spurts of brilliance, followed by flat eggs. If they have any chance tomorrow, it’s Torian Graham going off, and his teammates finding a way to stifle Arizona’s potent offense.
Lauri Markkanen is a fucking beast. He’s a 7-foot, NBA-ready center with excellent skills in the post, and a polished three point shot. He put up 30 points against Arizona State earlier this year, and the Finnish Porzingis has a very solid team around him. Arizona State needs a miracle to knock off one of the elite teams in college basketball.
#1 Kansas @ Oklahoma State – 6:00 ET on ESPN
Favorite: Oklahoma State -1
Pick: Kansas +1
This is the upset game everyone is taking this week. Everyone and their dad is picking the Cowboys to upset the Jayhawks at home, but I don’t think so. This is a game Kansas should absolutely be able to win.
Kansas is flying into Cowboy territory on a 7 game winning streak, and they believe they’re the best team in the NCAA. Frank Mason has been a force all season long, and Freshman Josh Jackson has kicked it into gear, showing NBA scouts he is no doubt a top 5 pick.
Oklahoma State is gonna need a monster game out of their point guard Jawaun Evans, and they need to give their best defensive effort possible. Their defense has sucked this year, and I can see Kansas’ star power having a blast tomorrow, and keeping the Gallagher-Iba Arena crowd quiet.
I like upsets, but I don’t see it. Kansas steals one in Stillwater.
#17 Duke @ #5 North Carolina – 8:15 ET on ESPN
Favorite: North Carolina -6
Pick: North Carolina -6
Duke and North Carolina. Chapter 32409489 of this rivalry. I hope they both lose but North Carolina’s winning this one at home. The tar heels lost to Virginia last week but they’ve bounced back well after losses this season. Potential ACC player of the year Justin Jackson is gonna have his way with the Blue Devils, and North Carolina is going to give the Selection Committee something to think about when picking the number 1 seeds for the tournament.
Opposite Justin Jackson is Duke guard Luke Kennard, who has similar stats to Jackson. If Duke has any chance in North Carolina, they need a big game from Kennard and they need the highly touted Jayson Tatum to keep Justin Jackson off the scoring sheet as much as possible.
This game is gonna come down to the last few minutes like Duke-UNC games usually do, but North Carolina will pull away at the end and cover.