College basketball picks, odds, schedule: Predictions for Duke vs. Virginia, and other big games Saturday
It's a big day Saturday with the No. 2 Blue Devils vs. No. 3 Cavaliers, No. 19 Michigan vs. No. 7 Michigan and more
Saturday presents a pivotal slate of college hoops that could make or break conference races. ACC leaders Duke and Virginia face one another in a rematch from a great one earlier in the season; shorthanded Kansas, winners of at least a share of 14 consecutive regular season Big 12 titles, takes on an OSU team that beat it twice last season; and the top clubs in the Big East, Marquette and Villanova, square off in Milwaukee.
It's the toughest road venue for the reigning national champions in league play to date.
Altogether 21 ranked teams will be in action from Spokane, Washington to Tallahassee, Florida, and everywhere in between. As always, the CBS Sports experts have you covered with picks straight up and against the spread for the biggest games.
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No. 19 Wisconsin at No. 7 Michigan (-6), 12 p.m. on Fox and streaming on fuboTV: Michigan not only will be looking for revenge against Wisconsin in this big-time Saturday afternoon Big Ten tilt, but it also seems like a statistical improbability that it will get outscored by 11 over the last 10 minutes of the game at home. The Wolverines aren't likely to get another 0-fer from freshman big man Ignas Brazdeikas, especially coming off a 23-point performance against Rutgers (complete with 5-for-9 shooting from 3-point range) earlier this week. His play down low will be the key on both ends against All-America candidate Ethan Happ, and I think he, and Michigan, win the rematch and cover the spread easily. Chip Patterson's pick: Michigan -6
No. 5 Kentucky (-3) at Mississippi State, 1 p.m. on CBS, CBSSports.com and streaming on fuboTV: Kentucky had no problems taking out Mississippi State in its first battle against the Bulldogs this season. In fact, the Wildcats' 21-point beatdown of MSU was their third-most lopsided win during the concurrent nine-game winning streak they bring into the weekend. Mississippi State has been a much more competitive team at home this season, losing twice by a combined eight points, but I still think UK has its number and gets the slight edge to win and cover the spread. Kyle Boone's pick: Kentucky -3
No. 14 Villanova at No. 10 Marquette (-1.5), 2:30 p.m. on Fox and streaming on fuboTV: Villanova is on an 11-game winning streak that's produced the first 10-0 Big East start in school history. So the Wildcats are rolling and way different than the team you might've watched lose to Furman and Penn earlier this season. Barring a surprise, they're about to win an outright Big East title for the fifth time in a six-year span. Jay Wright is a lock for the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame. He's done an incredible job this season after losing four players who were picked in the top 35 of the 2018 NBA Draft. But, that said, I don't think the Wildcats are going to win in Milwaukee this weekend because, truth is, they haven't been sharp in the past two games. So I'm going to trust Marquette to rebound from a weird loss at home to St. John's with a great win at home over Villanova. Lay the points. Gary Parrish's pick: Marquette -1.5
No. 18 Texas Tech (-1) at No. 3 Oklahoma 4 p.m. on ESPNU: We have seen this story from Oklahoma before. Last season, they shot out of the gates to a great start, only to falter in conference play and barely make the NCAA Tournament. This season's Sooners started off 11-1, but are just 3-7 in the Big 12. Oklahoma has already lost at home to Baylor, Iowa State and Kansas State. Texas Tech needs this win too, and I expect they will get it. Jerry Palm's pick: Texas Tech -1
No. 2 Duke at No. 3 Virginia (-2.5), 6 p.m. on ESPN: It's rare to get a battle in the regular season between two of the top three teams in the AP Top 25. Three weeks ago, Duke was able to win on its home floor without Tre Jones. The status of UVA point guard Ty Jerome is in doubt heading into this one. With Jerome available, Virginia is an easy favorite given the venue. Without him, things get interesting. It's also going to be interesting to see how Zion Williamson plays in what will unquestionably be his toughest road environment of the season. Keep in mind that Duke is the best shot-blocking team and second-best stealing team in college basketball. Virginia, meanwhile, has the best defensive efficiency period in the sport. Both these teams were awful from 3-point range the first time around. I expect UVA to be better and for that to be a big factor. Wahoos win, but Duke keeps it plenty interesting. Matt Norlander's pick: Virginia -2.5
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