This article is part of our College Basketball Picks series.
Wow, what a Tournament this has been! I’m not sure I can think of anything to say that hasn’t already been said about how unpredictable and outright crazy this edition has been. As a preview of today’s picks, I will say that I’m a firm believer that team weaknesses are harder and harder to cover as the Tournament goes on, and my selections today will reflect that belief. I’ve also loved all four teams playing today, so these handicaps were extremely tough. Let’s jump into the final two games of the Elite 8!
Creighton vs San Diego St.
In November, I said Creighton had, possibly, the most talented starting five in college basketball. When big man Ryan Kalkbrenner went down in late-November, the Jays struggled, losing six straight. In many ways, though, that stretch helped develop their depth for the grueling Big East. This will be yet another test, as San Diego State is a team full of grown men, a team of defensive ends playing basketball. Alabama wanted no part of their physicality, and the Aztecs wore the ultra-talented Tide down. Seton Hall is the Big East team that most closely resembles SDSU (defense first, offense struggles) and the Jays swept them easily. Eventually, the Aztecs’ 70th ranked offense is going to stop their run, and I believe it is here against the balanced Jays.
College Basketball Best Bet: Creighton -2.5 (universal)
Texas vs Miami
The Horns, along with UCONN, are the most balanced team left in the Tournament with their No. 15 offensive and No. 10 defensive rankings. They are deep, long, confident and well-coached, which are words I can also use to describe Miami. These teams are almost mirrors of each other from a player perspective in that they are incredibly quick and talented, but neither have a lot of height. There are two things that stick out to me that tilt things to the Horns: experience and defense. Texas starts four seniors and their defense is elite compared to Miami’s trio of sophomores, one junior and one senior that starts, as well as a defense that is outside the KenPom top-100. Eventually, there will come an opponent that the Canes can’t outscore, and Texas is one of them. This is very tough matchup for them, and while I do think they will put up points against the Horns, the Canes won’t be able to get stops when they need to. Texas salts this one away down the stretch to heads to Houston.
College Basketball Best Bet: Texas -3.5 (@ FanDuel)
Texas vs Miami
In closing above, I mentioned that I believe the Canes can and will score on Texas. These two coaches trust their players immensely, and I think we will see a very free-flowing game with a bunch of points going up. Yes, Texas is elite defensively, which will allow it to get the stops it needs down the stretch, but I think the Longhorns believe they are the superior team and can turn the defense on and off. That will keep the game close in the first half and most of the second half. The biggest factor for me in this selection is the 3-point numbers for both teams. Texas has beaten the #1 (Colgate), #7 (Penn State), and #4 (Xavier) 3-point shooting teams in the country so far in the tourney and have done so with a 3-point defense that is mediocre (#87). Nobody is hotter than Miami’s Nijel Pack right now, and all of this equates to a high-scoring game that Texas eventually wins by 7-10 points.
College Basketball Best Bet: Texas/Miami OVER 148.5 (@ FanDuel)
Sunday College Basketball Best Bets:
Here’s a recap of my best college basketball bets for Sunday, March 26:
- Creighton -2.5 (universal)
- Texas – 3.5 (@ FanDuel)
- Texas/Miami OVER 148.5 (@ FanDuel)
For up-to-date information on the latest college basketball odds and props from multiple sportsbooks, check out the College Basketball odds page on RotoWire.
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