There are plenty of college basketball games tonight... but to be honest, not very many good ones. With the exception of the Cincinnati Bearcats and Wichita State Shockers, it’s a few big home favorites, with a lot of other ran basketball. But hopefully that means we can find some winners!
USC Trojans +10 at Arizona Wildcats
The status of ‘Zona’s center Chase Jeter is still up in the air, but USC might have enough anyway to keep this close. They defend well (93.4 rating is 36th in the NCAA), and need a big win with their NCAA hopes in flux (NET 49, 64 Ken Pom). Onyeka Okongwu will need a big game in the front court: without him they’re not staying in it.
For Arizona, look for Nico Mannion needs to show he can be efficient against better-rated teams defensively. He’s an NBA Lottery prospect, but one that ‘SC should be able limit enough to keep this to single-digits. Right now the Trojans are the sharp choice, getting 60% of the bets and 71% of the action.
When the ‘Zags want to hurt you, they hurt you.
They’re No. 2 in the AP Poll, No. 3 in the NET, No. 4 in Ken Pom, and No. 1 in your hearts. And when they get the whoopin’ stick out at home, they bring it hard. They beat Eastern Washington by 35, Santa Clara by 50, BYU by 23 (who’s really good), Pacific by 23... and the Lions are at least 50 ranking spots worse than all of them. Mark Few should be able to call the score tonight, and it should comfortably be more than a quarter-century. Lay the wood and hope an upper-classmen filled team like Gonzaga lays it down.
The bettors agree: 76% of the cash and 81% of the tickets are on the Bulldogs.
Houston Cougars -16.5 vs. Tulane Green Wave
A lot of Hullaballoo surrounding team traveling from Mardi Gras to H-Town, but they’re pretty bad in Ron Hunter’s first season. 10-11, 2-7 to tie for last in the AAC, and losers of five in a row by at least double-digits to teams far inferior to the Cougars. Tulane does have a propensity to play hard for at least the first half, but tends to run out of gas by the end.
On the other side, the Coogs and Caleb Mills are likely focused after a tough loss at Cincinnati by two last time out. They’re more talented, at home, and likely wanting to get back on track. Paving a bad visitor is the recipe here.
Wichita State Shockers -5 vs. Cincinnati Bearcats
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