The college basketball regular season is winding down and that means the games take on extra meaning this weekend.
Our Matt Norlander gets you ready for.
And how do our experts see the games playing out? Check out their three best bets and top underdog from Saturdayâs schedule.
Brad Underwood has taken Oklahoma State from 0-6 in the Big 12 to above .500 by guiding the Cowboys to nine wins in their past 10 games with the lone loss in that stretch coming to Baylor. So I like Texas Tech, sure. But Iâll gladly lay the points with the hot team at home.
Iâll basically, at this point, lay 15 with any SEC team hosting LSU. Thatâs how bad things have gotten in Baton Rouge. Just a total mess. The Tigers have lost 13 straight games â and the past three losses have all come by at least 18 points. So take Georgia unless the line jumps to -1,000,000 or something.
Kansas has a new off-the-court distraction seemingly everyday. And the Jayhawks have already clinched their 13th straight Big 12 title. So this road game is a classic letdown situation. Take Shaka Smartâs Longhorns and the points.
The Razorbacks have won two straight road games, I know. But I still donât completely trust them away from Bud Walton Arena. And Auburn has popped up and surprised quality teams sporadically this season â specifically Texas Tech and TCU. So ake Bruce Pearlâs Tigers â¦ straaaaaaiiiiiiht up
Dayton -1.5 at Davidson
Oklahoma State -6 vs. Texas Tech
Cowboys have the home floor, better personnel, the best guy on the court (Jawun Evans) and have won nine of their last 10. The best team in the Big 12 in February not named âKansas.â
Gregg Marshallâs ticked off, his team is one of the 20 best in the country, and this will be an emphatic victory on the road to set up the Missouri Valley tournament. The Shockers are worthy of inclusion to the NCAAs and will feel the primal need to beat teams as badly as possible to send that message to the NCAA selection comittee.
The Huskies have found their pace and are getting great play from Jalen Adams. This game is in Connecticut. SMU is a little overvalued. I love the Huskies to win straight up.
Duke -2 at Miami
The Blue Devils are one buzzer-beating bank shot away from carrying an eight-game win streak into this weekend, and that loss makes me think Duke will come out angry and ready to start a new streak on Saturday to build towards March. I like Duke against the spread against the Hurricanes, despite their own hot streak of three-straight wins.
The Sooners have lost nine of their last 10, and Kansas State dominated the first matchup between the two in Manhattan. Yes, OU has been competitive in Big 12 home games of late -- even winning its last game in Norman against Texas. But Kansas State and Bruce Weber have everything to gain, including a chance to keep its NCAA Tournament hopes alive. I like K-State to come out hungry and cover the 2.5 points on the road against the Sooners, who are without their star point guard Jordan Woodard.
Iowa State -2.5 vs. Baylor
Baylorâs fall from Big 12 front-runner (alongside Kansas) has been intriguing. It has taken four losses in its last seven games, losing by an average margin of just 3.75 points in that span. So the Bears, although ultra-competitive, havenât been able to come ahead late in games. Against Iowa State, who has a home-court advantage in Ames better than most in the country, I think Baylor once again comes up short. The Cyclones can leapfrog Baylor in the Big 12 standings with a win on Saturday.
This seems like easy money to me. Indianaâs season has turned sour for Tom Crean, having lost the last 7 of 8 -- 3 by double digits. Meanwhile, Northwestern is squarely in the hunt for its first ever NCAA Tournament berth -- and looking to bounce back from a baffling loss to Illinois. One win might just do it for the Wildcats, and this one would be the flower on top of the Catsâ budding resume.