With the start of the new year here, conference play getting in full swing and the start of March Madness now just three months away, it’s time for another week of college basketball expert picks. Four nationally-ranked title hopefuls and a pair of 10-win ballclubs highlight this week’s trio of expert college hoops picks.
NCAA Basketball Expert Picks Jan 1-7
No. 10 TCU (12-1) at No. 18 Baylor (10-3)
When: Tuesday, January 2, 2018 at 7:00 PM ET
Where: Ferrell Center, Waco, Texas
Analysis: TCU lost a heartbreaker against the incredible Trae Young and No. 12 Oklahoma on Saturday while No. 18 Baylor got smacked around badly by Texas Tech in their 77-53 road loss on Friday night.
For this Tuesday night affair, I’m going to urge you to back the more offensively-explosive Horned frogs to get the road win although this will actually be their first road games of the season after playing nine at home and three neutral site matchups. TCU got beat by a single point arguably the best player in the country as Young went off against them while Baylor never showed up against No. 23 Texas Tech. While the Bears are back at home, I can’t get their 13-point road loss to Xavier and ensuing seven-point home loss to Creighton out of my mind. TCU isn’t the best defensive team around, but boy, they sure can score (87.6 ppg).
Pick: TCU 81 Baylor 75
Oklahoma State (10-3) at No. 12 Oklahoma (11-1)
When: Wednesday, January 3, 2018 at 9:00 PM ET
Where: Lloyd Noble Center, Norman, OK
Analysis: Many basketball experts are calling Oklahoma point guard the best freshman guard ever (that’s debatable) but to even say that, says a lot about just how good Young has been this season.
Young went off for 39 points and 14 assists to lead the Sooners to a 90-89 win over previously unbeaten TCU on Saturday. He’s scored at least 30 points in five of Oklahoma’s 12 games this season while scoring 43 against Oregon and dishing out 22 assists against Northwestern.
Oklahoma State had their modest three-game winning streak snapped in Friday’s 85-79 home loss against West Virginia and the Cowboys will be the latest team to get exploited by Young, who has quickly catapulted himself into the conversation for the top pick in next year’s NBA Draft with his mind-boggling exploits.
Pick: Oklahoma 95 Oklahoma State 82
Marquette (10-4) at No. 1 Villanova (13-1)
When: Saturday, January 6, 2018 at 8:00 PM ET
Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
Analysis: Marquette bounced back from their loss against Xavier to beat Georgetown 74-65 on Saturday, but the Golden Eagles will be taking on a Villanova team that will be seriously focused after losing their first game of the season against Butler 101-93 on Saturday. Just know this. While the Wildcats have lost five games the past two seasons and three of them came against Butler, Villanova has rebounded from those defeats against Butler with a double-digit win in their next game every time. The Wildcats have scored at least 93 points in each of their last three games and possess too much talent and offensive firepower for Marquette to keep up with in this Big East battle.
Pick: Villanova 91 Marquette 77