College Hoops Picks Feature 6 Ranked TeamsNoah Williams
Whether you’re more of a college basketball fan or betting enthusiast, you’re in for a big-time treat with the upcoming week of collegiate hoops action featuring a handful of intriguing conference matchups.
What a crazy week in college hoops!
Seven of the top-10 teams fell this week. Will we see a new No. 1? pic.twitter.com/J4bRrNfESf
— ESPN College BBall (@ESPNCBB) January 29, 2017
While many of these rivalry battles will reveal a lot about many of the nation’s legitimate championship hopefuls, the best news is that you’re about to be treated to a trio of expert picks on three value-packed pairings featuring a six-team contingent of top 20 title contenders.
Now, let’s get down to business.
Trio of Matchups Featuring Six Ranked Teams Highlights College Basketball Picks of the Week
No. 5 Baylor (19-1) at No. 1 Kansas (18-2)
When: Wednesday, February 1 at 9:00 PM ET
Where: Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, KS
Analysis: While Kansas will likely be favored in this home matchup by 2-5 points, I’m not real confident in the Jayhawks’ ability to get past an athletic Baylor team that is ranked a stellar seventh in the nation in points allowed (60.4 ppg).
Kansas got completely embarrassed in their 85-69 road loss at West Virginia on January 24 and they’ll face a similar opponent in this matchup, although it should be noted that the Mountaineers also handed Baylor a forgettable 89-68 spanking on January 10.
Point guard Frank Mason is a good, but certainly not great, player and the leader of a Jayhawks team that I believe is overrated and will struggle against really athletic teams that can maintain their focus despite the environment.
For me, I’m thinking the Baylor Bears, led by star forward Johnathan Motley (16.2 ppg, 9.6 rpg), go all out to get the stunning road win against a Kansas team I believe they more than matchup up with.
Pick: Baylor 77 Kansas 74
No. 9 Arizona at No. 10 Oregon
When: Saturday, February 4 at 4:00 PM ET
Where: Matthew Knight Arena, Eugene, OR
Analysis: I know Oregon (19-2) is playing at home and that the Ducks have some very good players, starting with small forward Dillon Brooks, but after seeing the Arizona Wildcats (19-2) dismantle the UCLA Bruins in their 96-85 road win last weekend and watching the Ducks squeak past Utah on Thursday night, I just don’t believe the Ducks are better, or as deep as the Wildcats. Oregon will be favored at home in this contest, but they won’t have an answer for 7-foot Arizona forward Lauri Markkanen (17.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg). I like Arizona and their 22nd-ranked defense (63.0 ppg) to march into Oregon to hand the Ducks a humbling defeat, much like they did the high-flying Bruins last Saturday
Pick: Arizona 83 Oregon 78
No. 12 Notre Dame at No. 6 North Carolina
When: Saturday, February 4 at 6:00 PM ET
Where: Dean E. Smith Center, Chapel Hill, NC
Analysis: While head coach Mike Brey has done an absolutely phenomenal job ever since taking over as the head coach of Notre Dame (17-4) back in 2000, the fact of the matter is that the Fighting Irish just don’t get the same caliber of elite high school players that North Carolina (19-3) gets on an annual basis and that will be the difference in this contest.
The Tar Heels are ranked fourth in the nation in scoring (89.5 ppg) and have a trio of future NBA performers in leading scorer Justin Jackson (18.5 ppg), sweet-shooting guard Joel Berry (15.4 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 4.0 apg) and 6-10 big man Kennedy Meeks (13.1 ppg, 9.8 rpg).
Notre Dame averages about 10 fewer points per game (79.9 ppg) than Carolina and relies a bit too much on their two best players, Bonzie Colson (15.6 ppg, 10.5 rpg) and point guard Matt Farrell (14.0 ppg, 5.7 apg).
The Heels beat the Fighting Irish 88-74 at home just under a year ago and are the easy pick to get another similar win this time around. North Carolina wins by at least a half-dozen points, but if the spread goes above that, the Irish could cover.
Pick: North Carolina 85 Notre Dame 79