Villanova vs. Notre Dame Pick NCAA Hoops + Bonus Picks

It’s a good slate of college basketball games this Wednesday, so without further ado, let’s get a nice rundown of picks and games to watch tonight.

Villanova Wildcats at Notre Dame Fighting Irish -7.5

It’s hard to bet against Villanova right now.  They capped off the most impressive week any team in the country has had this season, winning back to back games against Louisville and Syracuse.  Their confidence should be high right now, but not “overconfident.”   I think Jay Wright keeps them grounded and that they understand they are still 13-8 and on the outside of the NCAA bubble right now.  Tonight’s game would be a HUGE win for the ‘Cats.

I’m not sure they go into South Bend and win, but I do think they make a game of it.  Notre Dame hasn’t won a game by more than eight points since their Jan 5th win over Seton Hall.  Rutgers, Cincinnati and South Florida kept it close and Georgetown, UConn and St. John’s beat them straight up.

Give me the surging Wildcats and the points.

Free Pick:  Villanova Wildcats +7.5

Missouri Tigers -4.5 at LSU Tigers

It’s a battle of the Tigers down in the Bayou tonight, and I love the visitors coming in and ruining the party.  Missouri got a lot of attention for their two BAD losses; by 30 to Florida and by 15 to Ole Miss, but what gets lost is their explosive offensive outputs and big wins inbetween.  They have won all their other SEC games except one by double-digit margins.

LSU doesn’t have the talent or defensive discipline to slow down Phil Pressey and the Mizzou offense tonight.  I like Mizzou to roll on the road.

Free Pick:  Missouri Tigers -4.5

Dayton Flyers at Xavier Musketeers -2

This is one of the better unheralded rivalries in the country as these two private schools separated by less than 60 miles renew their twice-annual rivalry.  Dayton had a promising start, but has hit some troubles lately, losing three of five.  Their losses are decent losses; to La Salle, Butler and VCU.  However, going on the road in a hostile environment tonight will be a challenge.

Meanwhile, Xavier has played better than expected in A-10 play.  It is definitely the thinnest roster they have had in five or six years, but the emergence of freshman Semaj Christon has kept the Muskies hovering on the fringes of the bubble consideration.  They can ill-afford any more home losses this season. They have dropped their last two road games at St. Joes and Charlotte, but had previously won four straight including wins over Temple and La Salle.  They are tough at home, and I expect them to get a hard-fought win tonight.

Free Pick:  Xavier Musketeers -2