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College Basketball Predictions Jan 26th – San Diego State BYU

The first of the two remaining unbeaten teams passed their test with flying colors; the other takes the stage tonight hoping for a similar result.

Ohio State looked absolutely flawless last night in their destruction of a good Purdue team, 87-64. Odd as it may sound, but the game wasn’t even as close as the lopsided score. Ohio State raced out to an early lead, forcing Purdue to burn through three early timeouts – but it was to no avail. The Boilermakers had no answers for the Buckeyes shooting, quickness and strength.

San Diego State gets their chance to hold serve with their lone fellow unbeaten tonight in what many are calling the biggest game in Aztec history. San Diego State travels to BYU tonight and it’s hard to overstate the magnitude of this game. It marks the first time EVER that two Mountain West teams face-off when both are ranked in the Top Ten.

It’s going to be a great night of college hoops, punctuated with the 10pm EST tip-off in Provo.

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Today’s Free College Basketball Predictions

St. John’s Red Storm @ Georgetown Hoyas -7.5

One of the classic rivalries in college hoops takes center stage tonight in a game both teams desperately need to win to stay afloat in the Big East race, and more importantly remain in the top half of the conference standings. The reason it is so important to remain in the top eight is that it is HIGHLY unlikely the Big East receives less than eight bids into the tourney, especially considering so many of the traditional mid-major powers are down this year.

Both Georgetown and St. John’s have been erratic at best this season, knocking off several high profile opponents, yet also suffering perplexing letdown losses to lesser foes. Both teams come into tonight’s matchup with four losses in Big East play – the loser falls into dangerous territory; well outside the top half of league play and needing a second half of the season rally to feel comfortable on Selection Sunday.

Momentum is heading in opposite directions for the Hoyas and Red Storm. Georgetown appears to have settled down, winning two straight games, while St. John’s has looked very shaky in consecutive losses to Cincinnati and Louisville.

I like Georgetown winning tonight at home, but 7.5 is a lot of lay when two fairly similar teams square off.

PICK: St. Johns +7.5 (-102) @ 5dimes.com

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San Diego State Aztecs @ BYU Cougars -5.5

Who would have thought that the marquee game of college basketball’s regular season would feature two Mountain West teams squaring off in Provo, Utah?? Well believe it, because college sports don’t get much better than the Aztecs (20-0) trying to defend their unbeaten record, as well as first place in the MWC, at BYU (19-1) who enters with only one blemish and a #9 national ranking.

Both teams can be accused of the same question mark; who have they beaten so far this season? The answer is “no one of real significance.”

San Diego State has beaten of slew of “pretty good” teams; Gonzaga, St. Mary’s, Cal, Wichita State, UNLV – but none of those teams is a Top Ten team with the best scorer in the nation playing in their home gym.

It’s a similar story for BYU. The own wins over St. Mary’s, UTEP, UCLA, Arizona, UNLV and at Creighton. All are quality wins, but none of them came against the #4 team in the country riding a 20-game winning streak.

Both teams enter with gaudy records that can only be validated by beating the other tonight.

I like San Diego State’s athleticism and quickness tonight. BYU doesn’t have an answer for Kawhi Leonard inside and is a little smallish in the backcourt. Jimmer Fredette is fantastic but he is going to need some help from his friends to protect their home court tonight.

Picking against the frenzied home crowd of BYU makes me a little nervous, but San Diego State has handled hostile environments well this year; most notably their win in the Kennel facing Gonzaga earlier this season.

It is going to be a fantastic ballgame, hopefully you can catch it on CBS Sports at 10pm EST. I like San Diego State passing their toughest test to date and moving to 21-0 – and making the “can they run the table?” question a lot more relevant.

PICK: San Diego State +5.5 (-108) @ 5Dimes.com

(Note: not only is 5Dimes.com offering the best line, you can get $520 free on your first deposit)

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