Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Friday, February 24, 2017 at 3:03 PM
We’re coming down the stretch of the college basketball regular season and this weekend has an exciting slate of TV games. I’m handicapping all of these games thoroughly and will be prepared with an excellent package of betting opportunities. I strongly encourage you to join me in the moneymaking In the meantime, here are some of the noteworthy games and factors for all of us to be thinking about regarding the best college basketball games of Saturday and Sunday…
Florida-Kentucky (2 PM ET, CBS)
I touched on Florida yesterday and this game is a key litmus test of their national championship-readiness. It’s also vital for Kentucky. The Wildcats’ last notable game was against these same Gators and Kentucky took an 88-66 beatdown. Since then, John Calipari’s team has rolled through relatively pedestrian competition. This battle for first place in the SEC will also tell us if that first game was an aberration or a clear sign of Wildcat weakness.
Creighton-Villanova (3 PM ET, Fox)
In mid-January it looked like this might be a big game for bragging rights in the Big East. But while Villanova has continued to look like a defending national champion, Creighton has been in a funk. They’ve lost five of their last nine and are currently projected as a 6-seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Bluejays don’t necessarily need to win this game on the road, but we need to see a credible showing in order to have any confidence betting them in tournament play.
Duke-Miami (4 PM ET, CBS)
The recent surge by Duke has been well-documented in the mainstream college basketball media and this game will put the Blue Devils to the test. The Hurricanes promise to be a feisty home team—currently projected as an NCAA Tournament 8-seed, they could use that one big resume-building win to seal the deal. This would certainly qualify. Duke needs to be ready.
Purdue-Michigan (4 PM ET, ESPN2)
Both teams are interesting darkhorse possibilities. Michigan is projected for the 9-line and have shown the ability to beat good teams, as an earlier home win over Wisconsin attests. If the Wolverines can beat the other co-leader of the Big Ten, they’ll be an interesting play in the conference and NCAA Tournaments. As for Purdue, they have one of the best players in the country in Caleb Swanigan, an array of three-point shooters and are a 35-1 shot to win it all. Let’s see how they handle the road against a competitive team with a lot to play for.
UCLA-Arizona (8:15 PM ET, ESPN)
The focal point of the prime-time schedule, there’s going to be some tremendous athletes on the floor for this one. Arizona is looking to close in on a Pac-12 title and give themselves a shot at a 1-seed for March Madness. UCLA is currently projected for the 4-line and with Lonzo Ball, they have talent no one wants to mess with. A win in Tucson sends a loud and clear message to the rest of the country.
Wisconsin-Michigan State (Sunday, 4 PM ET, CBS)
The dynamic here is the same as the other Big Ten battle in Ann Arbor we discussed above. Michigan State is going to be an attractive betting underdog because of Tom Izzo’s excellent pedigree, but we need to see some kind of evidence they’re prepared to beat good teams this year. Wisconsin is tied with Purdue for the lead in the Big Ten and has legitimate hopes of being a dark horse in the race for the Final Four. But we need to see them come up with a tough road win here.