The 2020 NCAA Tournament begins next week and up until Selection Sunday, teams across the nation are holding out hope that they can have their tickets punched automatically in their conference tournaments. Rutgers is hoping its already done enough to have earned its way into the 2020 March Madness bracket, but it can help itself by beating Michigan in the opening round of the 2020 Big Ten Tournament. The Wolverines are three-point favorites in the latest college basketball odds.

Meanwhile, Tennessee and Alabama likely both need to win the SEC Tournament to get into the 2020 NCAA Tournament bracket and that game is going off as a pick'em in the latest conference tournament odds. With so many potential upsets out there, making your college basketball picks on Thursday could be a serious challenge. So before you make your college basketball predictions, be sure to check out the college basketball best bets from SportsLine college hoops expert Brad Evans

Known as "The Big Noise," Brad Evans has earned a rabid following as one of the nation's sharpest analysts. He's an 11-time Fantasy Sports Writers Association nominee and a seven-time Writer of the Year winner. He created, co-starred and co-produced "The Fantasy Football Hour" on Fox Sports regional networks. 

Evans is one of the most accurate bracket predictors in the business. Two years ago, he dominated high-stakes bracket pools, correctly predicting Michigan and Villanova to the National Championship Game and accurately picking Villanova as his champion. Anyone who has followed him is up big.

Now, Evans has dialed in on Thursday's conference tournament action and released his college basketball best bets. Go to SportsLine to see them.

Top college basketball predictions for Thursday

We can tell you Evans is backing Texas (+5.5) to cover its opening-round matchup against Texas Tech in the Big 12 Tournament 2020. Both teams are lying perilously on the 2020 NCAA Tournament bubble entering Thursday and the stakes are extraordinarily high for the two in-state rivals.

However, the two teams are trending in different directions, with the Longhorns winning five of their last six games while Texas Tech has lost its last four. The Red Raiders are shooting just 39.4 percent from the floor during their current losing streak while Texas' defense has been downright dominant at times.

They held Texas Tech to just 39.2 percent shooting in a home win less than two weeks ago. Andrew Jones had a big day in that victory, scoring 22 points on 8-of-14 shooting while the Longhorns shot 52.2 percent from the floor as a team. 

"Overcoming injuries, the 'Horns finished the regular season on a high note, draining 36.2 percent from three while holding opponents to 0.93 points per possession in their last six games," Evans told SportsLine. "Covering in five of their last six, they're a smart wager in what should be a hotly-contested game."

How to make 2020 college basketball picks

Evans has also found two other college basketball conference tournament picks he loves, including an underdog Vegas isn't giving nearly enough credit to. You can only see who it is here.

Who are Evans' college basketball best bets for Thursday? And which underdog is being overlooked? Visit SportsLine now to see which teams to back, all from an acclaimed college basketball insider and proven bracket gur