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Best bets for February 16th NCAA basketball

There’s still plenty of value on a shorter college basketball slate this Sunday, including a game for the Big 5 Championship in Philadelphia

Matt Mitchell of the San Diego State Aztecs shoots over the defense of Makuach Maluach of the New Mexico Lobos during the first half of a game at Viejas Arena on February 11, 2020 in San Diego, California. Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

So we don’t want to brag or anything, but we went 11-2 in this space last week. And there’s no time like the present when you’re riding a hot streak. So let’s dive right into three best bets for the February 16th college basketball action!

San Diego State Aztecs -4.5 at Boise State Broncos

Let’s be fair to the Broncos, who are undefeated at home but laying two possessions to a team on pace to be a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. They’re pretty good, and are in the mix for an NIT bid.

But SDSU has already claimed the Mountain West regular season crown, and they’ve got nothing but seeding to play for. But they’ve won exactly one game by less than five this year, many of them against tougher opponents than BSU. The Aztecs are just too loaded, and Malachi Flynn and his crew will handle this one with ease. And that’s easy to do when you’re Top 10 in adjusted offensive and defensive efficiency.

Memphis Tigers vs. UConn Huskies Under 138.5

It’s the two most inconsistent teams in the American Conference live on the same court! But here’s the thing: they both defend pretty well, especially on the interior. Josh Carlton and Precious Achiuwa should cancel each other out on the block, and if you’re running post-ups for either of them, that slows the pace down enough where the winner wouldn’t break 70. Look for lots of contested threes and discombobulated possessions in Hartford today.

Temple Owls +6.5 vs. Villanova Wildcats

Villanova has been backsliding, losing three in a row before eeking out a one-point win over Marquette on Wednesday. It’s a typical Villanova team: slow pace, grind out possessions, don’t turn it over. But they don’t seem to have that spark of late or an elite go-to scorer. Collin Gillespie is a nice player, but hasn’t filled that role.

Temple plays everyone tough, and this is Quinton Rose’s last chance at a Big 5 Championship, the city title in Philadelphia that means as much as any conference banner. Villanova wins it outright with a victory, but Temple grabs a share in Aaron McKie’s first year with a victory. They’re going to lay it all on the line in the Liacouras Center, and nobody gets out of a City Series game like this by more than seven. Take the points.

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