Last week started out rather nicely as I won 18 of my first 20 games.That’s where the luck ran out and I came back to Earth. I finished last week at 22-8 which brought my yearly record to 130-50.The more I have done this the more I realize how hard it is to pick games with 18-22 year old kids. Overall, I am happy with how this has gone so far this year and I hope to close the regular season out strongly. The next installment will be the first round of the NCAA tournament which should be posted the Wednesday, March 18th. The next few weeks are the most exciting in all of sports and I look forward to seeing how the teams play as the tournament approaches. Enough about the tournament, we have some weekend games to get to now!
March 6, 2015 Louisville, KY. (Analyzed Sports) By: Zachary Warren
Warr Zone College Basketball Picks
Central Michigan @ Western Michigan; 7:00
This is essentially a pick em game and I will take the better overall team in this one. They are the better offensive, shooting and assist/turnover team so I will take the Chips in this one.
Central Michigan 73, Western Michigan 72
Syracuse @ North Carolina St.; 12:00 on CBS
Syracuse is a mess after the NCAA slammed them with sanctions today. I feel bad for the seniors who are paying for mistakes of former players and coaches. NC St. has a lot more to play for on senior day as well as the offensive and shooting advantage.
NC St. 70, Syracuse 64
Pittsburgh @ Florida St.; 12:00 on ESPN2
Pitt is still on the edge of qualifying for the tournament and that motivation is tough to overcome for a team with not much to play. Pitt is way better on offense and keeping teams off the boards so I’ll take the Panthers in a close road game.
Pittsburgh 67, Florida St. 66
Butler @ Providence; 12:00 on FSN
Butler has struggled on the road all year and I expect that to continue against an underrated Friars club. Providence has the slightly better offense/defense combo as well as home court so this one should swing their way.
Providence 66, Butler 64
Seton Hall @ Georgetown; 12:00 on Fox
Georgetown is a sneaky-good team this year and could be a tough out in the tournament as they are top 40 in both offense and defense, nationally. They are the better team in almost every major category in this one plus home court on senior day.
Georgetown 73, Seton Hall 62
Michigan St. @ Indiana; 12:00 on ESPN
Indiana is on a slide downward not many saw coming a few weeks ago. They are close to playing themselves out of the tournament without a win or two the rest of the way. I like their home court advantage but Sparty is the better team and playing better right now so I will take them against a desperate Hoosier team.
Michigan St. 75, Indiana 74
Oklahoma St. @ West Virginia; 2:00 on ESPNNews
This year has been tremendous for the Big 12 as they have the deepest amount of teams that are above average but they lack a true stand out which could challenge for a National Championship. These two teams fit squarely into that scenario but West Virginia is playing quite well right now and offers too many advantages in this one.
West Virginia 71, Oklahoma St. 66
UConn @ Temple; 2:00 on ESPN2
It does not look like UConn will have a chance to defend its unlikely title from a year ago. They will probably need to win out or at least get to the AAC final to secure a bid. That will be tough against a Temple team that is very good defensively but struggles offensively.A lot of smaller advantages such as controlling turnovers and opponents shooting should be enough to carry them at home in this one.
Temple 61, UConn 59
St. John’s @ Villanova; 2:00 on Fox
Villanova is one of the best teams in the country yet no one talks about them. The conference they play in (Big East) is no longer in the forefront of fans so that probably does not help but that should not take away from how good they actually are because the Big East is very good this year. The Wildcats have such a distinct advantage in almost all aspects against a good St. John’s team. I’ll take the home team.
Villanova 76, St. John’s 65
Alabama @ Texas A&M; 2:00 on Full Court
The SEC has been brutally bad this year and that’s unfortunate because it has soured Kentucky’s run so far. Texas A&M is one of a few teams with a claim to be the 2nd best team in the conference. They are better on offense and defense and are playing at home so I will take them in this one.
Texas A&M 64, Alabama 59
Florida @ Kentucky; 2:00 on CBS
Not that the Wildcats needed any more motivation to win this game but it is against their most-hated, conference rival. They will look to finish the regular season undefeated and should easily do that against a Gator team that struggles to put the ball in the basket. Too much defense and offense for me to think about picking an upset.
Kentucky 67, Florida 51
LSU @ Arkansas; 2:00 on ESPN
Here are two other teams that can make a claim as the 2nd best in the conference, but LSU laid a dud this week against Tennessee this week so I’m not quite as high on them anymore. Really close offense/defense combos but Arkansas has a huge edge in rebounding so that coupled with home court should lead them to victory in a high scoring affair.
Arkansas 81, LSU 76
California @ Arizona St.; 2:30 on PAC 12 Network
Way better offense and equal defenses equals an easy victory for the home team in my mind. No reason to try and get cute and predict an upset when the numbers have me leaning so far in one direction.
Arizona St. 72, Cal 63
UMass @ George Washington; 3:30 on NBC Sports Network
George Washington has the defensive, rebounding and home court edge in this one so I will take them in a close but somewhat easy victory against their conference foe.
George Washington 67, UMass 61
Kansas @ Oklahoma; 4:00 on ESPN
Kansas will be without Perry Ellis and Oklahoma comes off a disastrous, collapsing loss at Iowa St from earlier in the week. I think Kansas is the better team when fully healthy but Oklahoma should be fired up after their last game and without Ellis it will be tough for Kansas so I will take the Sooners.
Oklahoma 72, Kansas 68
Kansas St. @ Texas; 4:00 on ESPN2
Texas is about as desperate a team as there is in the country right now (Indiana might fight them for that title) after being ranked so highly early in the season (I hate preseason rankings as well as in-season rankings because they just do not reflect the best teams. All losses are not equal and it seems they are treated as such every week by the voters.) A desperate Texas team wins at home to send their seniors to the NCAA tournament (barring a loss early in the Big 12 tourney).
Texas 64, Kansas St. 55
Clemson @ Notre Dame; 4:00 on Full Court
I wish Notre Dame could play better defense. They would be an even more fun and dangerous team for the NCAA tournament but when you rank 130th defensively it is tough to predict a long tournament run. I like them to win this after beating Louisville on the road earlier this week because their offense is that good and they are playing at home.
Notre Dame 70, Clemson 59
Stanford @ Arizona; 4:00 on CBS
This is just another game for Arizona on its way to making a run at a Final Four and National Championship. They have one of the most talented teams in the country (and one of the few teams that can match up with UK) but they cannot seem to put it together on a consistent basis. I like how they are playing right now and that should be enough to pull this one out at home.
Arizona 76, Stanford 62
Utah @ Washington; 4:30 on PAC 12 Network
And now I present to you my sneaky, under-the-radar National Champion darkhorse in Utah. They check off all the boxes for a potential champion: top 25 offense (25th), top 25 defense (5th), good shooting team (11th in effective FG %) and a player who can take over any game and lead them to victory in Delon Wright. I think you can guess who I am taking in this one but now that I say it look for Utah to lose in the 2nd round of the NCAA tournament.
Utah 69, Washington 59
Illinois @ Purdue; 4:30 on Big Ten Network
I was on Purdue before most and I think they finish off their impressive run to securing a bid for the NCAA tournament with a victory against the Illini on senior day. Purdue does not do anything great but they do enough well that they are actually a good team. They are desperate and desperate is dangerous in March at home.
Purdue 67, Illinois 63
Western Kentucky @ Old Dominion; 5:30
Better offense and defense and playing at home is usually an easy recipe for success. I like that to be the case with this one as ODU is just better in every facet so I will take them at home.
Old Dominion 68, Western Kentucky 59
Virginia @ Louisville; 6:30 on ESPN
It pains me as a Louisville fan and alum to watch this team (Yes, everything you have said Mark Titus, Grantland.com, is true about how I have reacted to this team this year. We were the last two on the bandwagon before it crashed an burned a few weeks ago.). They are so dependent on three players (used to be four before Chris Jones…I will just stop there before I get even more upset) that if one fails to produce they just cannot make it up with other players. Virginia is too good and is looking to lock up a one seed so I will take them even without Justin Anderson.
Virginia 56, Louisville 53
Iowa St. @ TCU; 8:30 on ESPNNews
Can Iowa St. ride its magical comeback earlier this week against Oklahoma into a win on the road to close out the year? I think so but TCU has played tough against some quality opponents this year at times. Defense is what will hold the Cyclones out but their offense is just too good to stop, even for the defensively minded Horned Frogs.
Iowa St. 74, TCU 72
Duke @ North Carolina; 9:00 on ESPN
One of the best rivalries in college basketball will close out one of the best seasons in recent ACC history. Duke is so good defensively but struggles badly on defense (same story as last year but they are slightly better this year on defense) while North Carolina is more consistent on both ends of the floor. I could see this going either way but Duke’s inability to get stops is just enough for me to pick the Tar Heels at home in this intense rivalry.
North Carolina 80, Duke 79
Colorado St. Utah St.; 9:00
Colorado St. is hanging on to tournament hope ever so slightly and a win here would increase their chances a little bit. You know how I feel about desperate teams in March by now but the Rams actually have the advantage on offense and defense so I will take them in a close road game to close out the season.
Colorado St. 70, Utah St. 69
Vanderbilt @ Ole Miss; 9:00 on SEC Network
Neither team is going to get very many stops and both can score the basketball too so I expect this to be an up and down game the whole time. I like the Rebels with a slightly better offense/defense combo to pull this one out at home.
Ole Miss 73, Vanderbilt 68
Memphis @ Cincinnati; 12:00 on CBS
Cincinnati is so hard to watch (they are a poor man’s version of Louisville). They keep you from putting the ball in the hoop while also struggling to score on their end. I like them to pull this one out at home though because of their defensive toughness.
Cincinnati 63, Memphis 55
Penn St. @ Minnesota; 1:00 on Big Ten Network
Minnesota needed to beat Wisconsin earlier this week to get back into the tournament conversation but they did not so they need to make a huge run in the remaining games to make the tournament. Richard Pitino will have them playing well as they look to build for next year. They are the better team, by a wide margin, on offense and that will be too much for PSU to overcome on the road.
Minnesota 72, Penn St. 64
Tulsa @ SMU; 3:00 on ESPNU
Watch out for SMU. They are playing pretty good ball right now and could be a scary matchup especially with Larry Brown at the helm. Too much offense and playing at home leads to an easy victory for the Mustangs.
SMU 66, Tulsa 58
Wisconsin @ Ohio St.; 4:30 on CBS
This is a great game to close out the regular season picks for me. Ohio St. needs a big win to improve their seed while Wisconsin needs to win out for any chance at a one seed. As much as I like D’Angelo Russell he is not enough to beat the efficient Badgers, even at home. I’m not sure what to think of Wisconsin for the tournament due to defense but they should pull this one out on the road to close out the season.
Wisconsin 66, Ohio St. 65
Last week: 22-8 (73.3%)Year-to-Date: 130-50 (72.2%) Be Sociable, Share! Tweet