There are a million good college basketball games to choose from today as four major conference get into their semifinal rounds with no real upsets busting up the brackets. The ACC, Pac-12, Big East and Big Twelve all have a pair of sure-fire tourney-bound matchups for your viewing pleasure tonight. The Big Ten and SEC have some real important bubble-shifting quarterfinal games, and the A-10, which has slipped a little from it’s perch of “almost major” has two big games that could shift team’s tourney dreams.
And with all that said, the biggest game of the day might be the all-but-certain elimination game between UConn and Cincinnati at 2pm on ESPN2.
It’s an awesome day of college hoops, so it is hard to pick just one game. So, I’ll write up my favorite below, but also list a few other games I like today as well with less detail.
Let’s stack some W’s
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Today’s Free Pick:
Providence Friars vs. Villanova Wildcats -9
Villanova is really good. Many people are want to admit it, given then postseason underperformance over the last six years, but since the Big East reconfigured, no team has more dominated a major league than the Wildcats. However, it would be wise not to completely dismiss Providence today. The Friars has some mid-season struggles but they have been a top ten team this season and have two legit STARS in Kris Dunn and freshman phenom big man Ben Bentil, who went for 38 in the tourney opener.
These two teams played a few epic games the past few years. Villanova knocked the Friars out of the conference tourney with a dramatic two-point win last year and knocked off the Wildcats 82-76 this season at the Dunkin Center. Villanova returned the favor in kind in Philly, but it just underscores how even this matchup could be on a neutral floor. If this line was 4.5, I would have never seen this game. But when it opened at 10.5, my eyes bulged. It has constricted a bit, but nine points on a neutral floor is still a pretty healthy cushion.
Both teams are about .500 this season ATS, both were far better home teams than on the road (big surprise in this parity-driven year). Villanova, obviously, has the better resume, but this matchup is WAY closer than records might indicate. These two teams matchup well, both have good point guards, both have tough, aggressive big men, both play smart.
Look for this to be a really good game tonight on a neutral floor. I wouldn’t fall out if Providence upset them, but I think Villanova will win a tough game. I’ll happily take the Friars with a ton of points.