NCAA Basketball Predictions 2/6/18
1. #5 Xavier VS. Butler. 3:30 PM PT on FS1.
With their overtime win against Georgetown Xavier moved into the 4th #1 seed in Joe Lunardi's latest bracketology prediction. The Musketeers will look to continue their 6 game winning streak against the pesky Bulldogs of Butler who have performed well at home this season and with Butler's 20-point win against Marquette, have vaulted themselves into the TOP 25 in BPI. Xavier walked away with the win the last time these two teams met, winning 86-79 at home, but find themselves as the underdogs in this game with Butler being favored by 3.
Matchup Quality: 95.9
Line: BUT- 3.0
My Prediction: Xavier 81, Butler 77
2. #15 Tennessee VS. #24 Kentucky. 4:00 PM PT on ESPN
Personally I think this is the more interesting matchup of the day. Tennessee and Kentucky have almost identical records and sit at 2nd and 3rd in the SEC. Tennessee won the earlier matchup between the 2 schools, 76-65, and will be looking for the season sweep on the road in a very tough environment at Kentucky. Kentucky has struggled lately, going 3-3 in their past 6 games, while the Volunteers are currently riding a 5 game win streak.
Matchup Quality: 95.3
Line: UK- 2.0
My Prediction: Tennessee 79, Kentucky 77
3. #20 Michigan VS. Northwestern. 4:00 PM PT on BTN.
It's been a long year for the Northwestern Wildcats, at this time last year they were one of the best teams in the nation and rode their hot-streak into the NCAA Tournament for the first time in their school's history. This year, however, has been a different story, the Wildcats find themselves at 14-10 overall, 5-6 in conference, 7th in the BIG Ten and will have to win the BIG Ten automatic bid in order to make the NCAA Tournament. Michigan, on the other hand, has built a pretty solid resume and currently sits at 4th in the BIG Ten and Joe Lunardi has them as one of the four #7 seeds.
Matchup Quality: 91.1
Line: MICH- 1.5
My Prediction: Michigan 80, Northwestern 74
4. Baylor VS. Oklahoma State. 5:00 PM PT on ESPNU
On Saturday, both Baylor and Oklahoma State were able to stop their losing streaks with Baylor defeating Iowa State and Oklahoma State getting the upset against #10 Kansas. However this season hasn't been the greatest for either of these two teams, Oklahoma State has some impressive top 25 upsets, but is 4-6 in conference play, 8th in the BIG IX. Baylor has also struggled this year with a 13-10 (3-7) record overall with no notable wins besides their 65-59 win against Creighton, and sitting at 9th in the BIG IX. Both these teams will most likely need to win the BIG IX automatic bid in order to make the NCAA Tournament.
Matchup Quality: 88.0
Line: OKST- 2.0.
My Prediction: Oklahoma State 75, Baylor 73
5. Missouri VS. Ole Miss. 6:00 PM PT on SECN.
Missouri was bitten by the injury bug early in the season, but have fought hard to find themselves at (15-8, 5-5), 6th in the SEC and only 1 game out of being tied for 3rd in the SEC with #24 Kentucky, the team they just upset on Saturday. On the flip side, Ole Miss has struggled this season, sitting at 1 game under .500, with no notable wins besides their conference wins and 13th overall in the SEC.
Matchup Quality: 84.6
Line: MISS- 1.0
My Prediction: Missouri 75, Ole Miss 67
6. San Diego State VS. Fresno State: 8:00 PM PT on CBSSN
The 6th highest rated game of the day takes us to the Mountain West where the Aztecs and Bulldogs will battle for 5th place in the division. The Mountain West seems to be a 2 team race at this point with Nevada and Boise State exasperating themselves from the rest of the pack, so at this point it seems like everyone else is battling for seeding in the MWC Tournament.
Matchup Quality: 83.4
Line: FRES- 3.0
My Prediction: Fresno State 76, San Diego State 73
7. TCU VS. #10 Kansas. 6:00 PM PT on ESPN2
Coming off of a tough loss to Oklahoma State, the Jayhawks will look to rebound against TCU who was ranked earlier in the season, but has since fallen off during conference play. With the loss on Saturday, Kansas is now tied with Texas Tech for 1st in the BIG IX, where as TCU has fallen to 7th in the BIG IX. TCU has gone 2-3 in their past 5 games, with the scores being separated by an average of only 8.4 points in those 5 games. Kansas will look to defend their home court, something they have been known for in the past, but have already lost multiple games at home this season.
Matchup Quality: 83.0
Line: KU- 7.5
My Prediction: Kansas 83, TCU 73
8. Alabama VS. Mississippi State. 4:00 PM PT on SECN.
Another game on Tuesday's slate of games that isn't necessarily going to stand out but hopefully will provide us with a close and entertaining game. Mississippi State is on a 3 game winning streak and has won their last 3 games by an average of 10.6 points. Alabama has been on a roller coaster of a ride for their last 5 games. A narrow win against these very same Bulldogs, followed by a 12 point loss to Ole Miss who is at the bottom of the table in the SEC. Alabama upset then #12 Oklahoma, but followed that game up with a loss to Missouri before upsetting then #23 Florida by 18 on Saturday.
Matchup Quality: 83.0
Line: MSST- 3.0--
My Prediction: Alabama 70, Mississippi State 69
9. Nebraska VS. Minnesota. 6:00 PM PT on BTN.
Currently Joe Lunardi has Nebraska as one of his "First four out" teams, meaning that Nebraska is on the cusp of being able to make it into the NCAA Tournament and needs to keep winning if they want to make it. Minnesota almost pulled off the upset in OT against #20 Michigan, but ran out of gas. Both of these teams will be looking to boost their position for the BIG Ten tournament with Nebraska sitting at 5th in the BIG Ten and Minnesota at 10th. Nebraska beat then #14 Minnesota earlier this season, 78-68, which really started the downfall of the Golden Gophers season. Since that earlier loss to the Cornhuskers, Minnesota has gone 6-9, dropped out of the top 25 and will most likely need to win the BIG Ten's automatic bid to make the tournament.
Matchup Quality: 81.7
Line: MINN- 1.5
My Prediction: Nebraska 74, Minnesota 70.
10. Boise State VS. New Mexico. 7:00 PM PT on ESPNU.
Another Mountain West game to end the top 10 games for Tuesday, this time featuring the #2 and #3 teams in the Mountain West. Boise State is currently only .5 game back of Nevada and will need a key win against New Mexico, who is 2.5 games back of Nevada, but could play spoiler to Boise State's chances while boosting their own chances. Boise State won the first matchup between these two teams by a large margin, 90-62. However, this time New Mexico will be looking for payback at home.
Matchup Quality: 79.7
Line: BSU- 1.5
My Prediction: Boise State 82, New Mexico 77
*The Top 10 games are based off of the ESPN College Basketball Power Index Matchup Quality*
Other key games;
UCF VS. #6 Cincinnati. 4:00 PM PT on CBSSN
Matchup Quality: 68.4
My predicted winner: Cincinnati
South Carolina VS. Arkansas 4:00 PM PT on ESPN2.
Matchup Quality: 70.8
My predicted winner: Arkansas
#4 Michigan State VS. Iowa. 6:00 PM PT on ESPN.
Matchup Quality: 76.1
My predicted winner: Michigan State
#22 Wichita State VS. Memphis. 6:00 PM PT on CBSSN
Matchup Quality: 67.4
My predicted winner: Wichita State
Worst rated game of the day;
Akron VS. Ohio. 4:00 PM PT on ESPN3.
Matchup Quality: 37.7
Predicted winner: Ohio