Baylor vs. TCU Pick NCAA Basketball – January 21st + Bonus Pick

It’s a loaded day of college basketball action with every major conference serving up some delightful matchups today.  As always, Saturday means a lot of early games, so pay extra attention to the tip time with any plays you like today.

The highlights of the schedule include a pair of SEC unbeatens as South Carolina visits Rupp Arena with a major opportunity to validate their record – as well as make the SEC competitive again, Michigan State visits Indiana in a battle of Big Ten teams who are failing to live up to big expectations – making the game extra important for each, and Louisville visiting Tallahassee in a matchup of Top 12 teams.

And that’s not all.  Creighton plays their first game since the devastating season-ending injury to their leader Maurice Watson Jr.  How much does the injury affect the team?  Well, Vegas only has Creighton as a five-point favorite at home against Marquette – a game that likely would have been double-digits a week ago.  And the BEST game of the day is Arizona, who gets Alonzo Trier back TODAY, visiting UCLA in a matchup of two of the best in the West.  It’s on CBS, so a rare network TV treat for some West Coast hoops.

We took a rare L yesterday and are looking to get back on track today.

Today’s Free Pick:

Utah Utes -3 Washington Huskies

Utah is flying under the radar, well beneath UCLA, Oregon and Arizona in the Pac 12 battle for excellence.  But Larry Krystkowiak was yet another fine squad in Utah and a closer look at their two losses in conference make them an excellent play against overrated and struggling Washington.

Utah probably should have won at home against UCLA and lost by nine in a good effort at Arizona.  Other than that, four W’s, including absolute blowouts over USC and Colorado.  Meanwhile, Washington is 9-9 on the season, 2-4 in the league with a home loss to Washington State.  The Huskies, despite the individual brilliance of Markelle Fultz, just aren’t very good.

Utah is the much better team and I think they’ll win rather easily despite being on the road.

Free Pick:  Utah Utes -3

 

BONUS PICK:

Baylor Bears -2.5 at TCU Horned Frogs

Jamie Dixon is doing a nice job in his return to alma matter TCU.  The Frogs are in good position to make the NCAA Tournament, a true rarity at TCU, and they are playing good basketball.  And I have been critical of Baylor most of the season.  SO easy TCU pick, right?

Not a chance.  Baylor is REALLY GOOD.  They just weren’t the “best team in the country.”  No shame in that.  They are still a Top Ten, Top 15 team at worst.  TCU has a good record and a few good results and has been oddly impressive in losses.   They lost by just 6 against Kansas, 12 at West Virginia and just 6 at Texas Tech.  But they have also been a little less than impressive in their home wins; 3 over Oklahoma and losing at Texas.

TCU is a good ball club.  Baylor is a VERY good one.  I’ll eat the basket and the home court advantage and go with the better team on the road.  Baylor got knocked from the top perch in embarrassing fashion against West Virginia.  They have responded with a nice road win at Kansas State and a comfy home win against Texas.  I’d put TCU on a similar plane as K-State – there’s no reason the Bears shouldn’t leave cross town rival TCU with a win.

Free Pick:  Baylor Bears -2.5