With top-ranked teams all falling like flies over the last week, now is the perfect time for some expert assistance with this week’s upcoming slate of college hoops action. I’ve got a trio of expert college goops picks on three games that all feature nationally-ranked championship hopefuls starting with a pair of intriguing Wednesday night matchups. Now, let’s get to them.
2018 College Basketball Expert Picks Jan 8-14th
No. 10 Xavier (15-2) at No. 1 Villanova (14-1)
When: Wednesday, January 10, 2018 at 8:00 PM ET
Where: Wells Fargo Arena, Philadelphia, PA
Analysis: Villanova bounced back from their only loss of the season against Butler to beat Marquette 100-90 on Saturday. Point guard Jalen Brunson had 27 points and eight assists to lead six players in double-digit scoring in the win. Villanova is back to being the No. 1 team in the AP national rankings this week with a bunch of top teams falling this past week, including previously No. 1 ranked Michigan State. No. 10 Xavier had their 10-game winning streak come to an abrupt halt by falling to Providence 81-72 on Saturday as star point guard Trevon Bluiett went scoreless in the second half.
For this Wednesday night matchup, I like Villanova to hold it down at home in the City of Brotherly Love just because they’re way deeper than Xavier. Just two players average double figures for the Musketeers while five players average double digits for Villanova.
Pick: Villanova 83 Xavier 75
Louisville at No. 24 Florida State
When: Wednesday, January 10, 2018 at 9:00 PM ET
Where: Donald L. Tucker Center, Tallahassee, FL
Analysis: Louisville has lost two of its last three, including their heartbreaking 74-69 overtime road loss to No. 25 Clemson on Saturday. No. 24 Florida State ended up on the wrong end of an 80-74 loss against ACC rival, No. 15 Miami on Sunday. The Seminoles closed the gap on a 16-point second half deficit with a late rally to cut the lead to four points with 24 seconds remaining, but they couldn’t finish after digging themselves into a big hole. Florida State shot a season-low 36 percent in the loss against a Miami defense that is ranked second nationally in scoring defense.
For this Wednesday night ACC clash, I like Florida State to get back in the win column by taking out the Cardinals by at least six points. Florida State is averaging just over 84 points per game while Louisville puts up just over 76 per contest and only three points separate the two defensively.
Pick: Florida State 77 Louisville 71
Oregon (11-5) at No. 11 Arizona State (13-2)
When: Thursday, January 11, 2018 at 10:00 PM ET
Where” Wells Fargo Arena, Tempe, AZ
Analysis: Oregon has lost two of its last three games including their 76-64 road loss to Oregon State on Friday night. Oregon State shot 53 percent compared to 36 percent for Oregon and outrebounded the Ducks 43-36. Paul White came off the bench to score a team-high 16 points while adding six rebounds and five assists for Oregon while Victor Bailey Jr. scored 11 points, for the Ducks. Still, it wasn’t nearly enough. Arizona State beat Utah 80-77 on Sunday to snap a two-game skid. Shannon Evans scored 22 points to help Arizona State hold on to what could best be described as an ‘ugly’ win. For this Thursday night Pac-12 pairing, I’m going to advise you to back Arizona State to get the win by approximately five points. The Sun Devils are a perfect 8-0 at home this season and simply have more offensive firepower than the Ducks this season.
Pick: Arizona State 81 Oregon 76