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January 23, 2015BasketballAnalyzed Sports

Warr Zone Graphic was designed by Trent A. Brinkley. All rights go to Trent A. Brinkley

January 23, 2015 (Analyzed Sports)

Coming off a ho-hum 6-4 week brings the season record to 13-7. This week’s games are not quite as impressive as the last few weeks but that won’t keep me from picking some of the best games of the weekend. I’m going to try something a bit different moving forward as I will offer a little bit less on each game but I will select more games. With that in mind, let’s get to the picks.

 

SATURDAY GAMES

DePaul @ Xavier(-14.5); 12:00

Just too much offense from Xavier and they are a better team at home than on the road. DePaul coming off big win at Seton Hall but just too inconsistent so far this year. Too close to recommend taking or giving points in this matchup.

Xavier 84, DePaul 70

Iowa @ Purdue; 12:00 on BTN

Purdue is so balanced on offense with six players averaging between 9.1 and 10.9 PPG. Neither team in significantly better in any aspect so I’ll take the home team in a slight upset.

Purdue 70, Iowa 69

Oklahoma State (-2.5) @ Kansas State; 12:00 on ESPN2

Oklahoma State recently came off a tough four game stretch against ranked opponents and went 1-3 but two of the losses were close on the road. They have too many weapons and a decidedly better defense to let the Wildcats pull off the upset so I recommend giving the 2.5 points here.

Oklahoma St 65, Kansas St 58

Kentucky (-11.5) @ South Carolina; 12:00 on ESPN

Kentucky’s offensive and defensive combination will be too much for the Gamecocks to overcome. USC will play some tough defense but won’t be able to keep it a game with their struggling offense so I would lean slightly to giving the points.

Kentucky 67, South Carolina 55

Texas A&M @ Tennessee (-4); 1:00 on FSN/ESPN3

Both of these teams come in playing well but Tennessee has the lone advantage of home court which will be just enough to come away with this close one. Too close for a recommendation on this one.

Tennessee 62, Texas A&M 59

Kansas @ Texas (-3.5); 2:00 on CBS

The best game of the weekend should go a long way in determining the Big 12 champion at the end of the year. Texas needs this game badly to keep up with the Jayhawks but they are just too inconsistent for me to pick them in a big game as I like Kansas to not only cover but to win outright.

Kansas 67, Texas 63

TCU @ West Virginia (-10.5); 2:00 on ESPNU

West Virginia has had a week to get past the beatdown Texas put on them last weekend that capped off three straight games against ranked opponents and that should do them well against the Horned Frogs. Conference play has brought TCU back down to earth (played the easiest non-conference schedule in the country) after going undefeated before conference play started.

West Virginia 70, TCU 61

Illinois @ Minnesota (-6); 2:15 on BTN

Playing at home and having a pretty big advantage on offense should be enough for the Gophers to pull off the victory this weekend as Illinois is also playing pretty inconsistently right now having lost four of their last seven games in conference.

Minnesota 74, Illinois 69

Miami (FL) @ Syracuse (-3); 4:00 on ESPN2

Miami does not appear to be the better team in this matchup but they have played rather well against superior competition the last few weeks while Syracuse struggles with teams they should not struggle against. Angel Rodriguez should be able to get inside the zone and find open players to help them with the upset. Take the points!

Miami 66, Syracuse 63

Michigan State (-3) @ Nebraska; 4:00 on ESPN

First team to 60 wins this one as both like to play some defense. Nebraska is a surprising 9th in the country on defense but they rank 292nd on offense. That is enough for me to lean towards Sparty on the road in a close one.

Michigan St 60, Nebraska 58

Oklahoma @ Baylor (-2); 6:00 on ESPN2

This will be Oklahoma’s sixth game in seven against a ranked opponent (see what I told you last week about the Big 12) and I think that might be too much for them to overcome against a well rested Baylor team that just came off a game against an opponent that they played to film a movie.

Baylor 70, Oklahoma 67

Florida @ Ole Miss(-2.5); 6:00 on SEC Network

Florida has severely disappointed this year and they have struggled recently against some lowly opponents after taking care of lesser teams as conference season kicked off.  Ole Miss is just too good on offense and playing at home is too much for the Gators to overcome. Slight lean to giving the points.

Ole Miss 68, Florida 64

Wisconsin (-9.5) @ Michigan; 7:00 on ESPN

Not sure where Michigan has any advantage in this game except home court. Wisconsin is ranked 2nd in the country on offense and is better than Michigan on defense as well (62nd compared to 66th). Maybe Michigan can get up for this game but I don’t count on it as I heavily recommend laying the points here.

Wisconsin 70, Michigan 55

San Diego State @ Colorado State (-3); 10:00 on ESPNU

Another game where points will be hard to come by for both teams. SD St will slow the pace down and use their 2nd ranked defense to control the game and CSU. The Rams don’t do anything particularly well and for that reason I’ll take the team that does one important thing exceptionally well. Not only do I like to take the points but I like the Aztecs outright.

San Diego St 59, Colorado St 58

SUNDAY GAMES

No lines posted for Sunday games until Saturday

Indiana @ Ohio State; 1:30 on CBS

Indiana has played really well of late but they always tend to play a bit more differently on the road than they do at home. The Buckeyes will be seeking revenge for their three point loss a few weekends ago in Bloomington. I look for them to win this one as they need to get a quality win on their resume.

Ohio State 83, Indiana 76

Duke @ St. John’s; 2:00 on Fox

Duke seems to have righted to ship after a mid-season stumble with impressive wins over Louisville and Pitt. They are still one of the best offenses in the country (6th) and improving slightly on defense (55th). St. John’s will struggle to stop Jahlil Okafor as have most teams this year. There will be plenty of Duke fans in attendance so not much of a home court advantage.

Duke 75, St. John’s 68

These two teams met on January 13th at Butler where the Bulldogs pulled out a four point victory in overtime. This one is at the famous Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indy and with a big advantage on the defensive end I like them to win this rematch as well.

Butler 67, Seton Hall 62

Louisville @ Pittsburgh; 4:00 on CBS

Watching Louisville play offense is a struggle at times because if they could just put a few pieces together they could have a legitimate shot to go deep in March but they have no low-post game right now outside of Montrezl Harrell. They are superb defensively and that has gotten them this far this year. Pitt is not its typical defensively minded self as they rank 187th nationally. That and the Cardinals four above average players will be enough to come out of the Steel City with a win.

Louisville 64, Pitt 59

Notre Dame @ NC State; 6:30 on ESPNU

This was the toughest game for me to pick this weekend because I think Notre Dame can beat anyone in the country if they shoot it like they normally do but if not they could lose to just about anyone. NC State has played well against tough competition this year as they handed Duke its first loss of the year in Raleigh. I thin Notre Dame shoots well enough in this one to come away with a close, road victory.

Notre Dame 75, NC State 73

Washington @ Utah; 8:30 on ESPNU

Utah is one of the more underrated team in the country this year. They have one of the best players in the country not many know about in Delon Wright. They are top 25 in both offense and defense and playing at home in this one. Washington will struggle to put the ball in the hoop and I don’t look for this one to be close.

Utah 70, Washington 57

Last week: 6-4Year-to-date: 13-7 Be Sociable, Share! Tumblr

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