College Basketball Picks for Feb 22nd – Michigan St vs Minnesota

Kansas may no longer be the number one team in the country, but they sure looked like a #1 seed last night. The Jayhawks their considerable size and strength advantage to overwhelm Oklahoma State en route to a 92-65 victory in Lawrence.

Not many teams in the country can counter with the Morris twins scoring ability from the block. Most teams don’t have one answer to either Morris; Ohio State, Purdue and Texas perhaps being the exceptions. Certainly no team has a pair that can match their production both on the offensive end and the defensive ends of the floor.

It remains to be seen how long the suspension of Tyshawn Taylor will last, but in an odd “addition by subtraction” way, his absence may not be a terrible thing for the Jayhawks. Taylor is talented, and is the best slasher/scorer on the team. However with out him, the Jayhawks look more to Reed and Selby, which come tournament time, might be a positive thing.

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Today’s Free College Basketball Picks:

Illinois @ Ohio State -10.5

There has been much noise about Ohio State losing two of their last three games, to which I would say RELAX. Their two losses are AT Wisconsin, and AT Purdue; two games that I would venture no team in the country would likely sweep. The fact is Ohio State is still one of the two or three most complete teams in the country and all but a lock.

Illinois o nthe other hand is legitimately teetering.They have lost three of five and are on the verge of finding themselves once again landing with a thud in the NIT. DeMetri McCammey senior season has unfolded into a nightmare as opposed to the All-American celebration most were expecting.

Illinois gave Ohio State a good ballgame in Champaigne last month, but tonight is a whole different animal heading into Colombus. The Illinois advantage tonight is their desparation – it is getting really close to ‘win or else’ time. However, this is a really tough matchup for them.

Ohio State is solid inside with Sullinger, and if Illinois height gives them trouble, they can always bring in Dallas Lauderdale and go with the big lineup. As far as corralling McCammey and Brandon Paul, you won’t find a better perimeter defender in the county than David Lighty. He is an NBA-caliber player for his defensive prowess alone. Think of a slightly smaller, more athletic Shane Battier.

Ten is a lot of points to lay, but I like the Buckeye’s ripping Illinois fragile hearts out early and not letting them up off the mat.

Free Pick: Ohio State -10.5 @ SportsInteraction.comclick here for $250 bonus

Michigan State @ Minnesota -2.5

For those of you think the NCAA Tournament is only three weeks, think again. Tonight’s Michigan State v. Minnesota game is the round before the Round of 64 for all intents and purposes. The loser is in deep, deep danger of missing the tournament and might have to win the Big Ten tourney to get in. The winner edges into fifth place in the Big Ten, which is likely good enough to punch their dance ticket.

Michigan State has been playing much better of late, and the biggest reason is Kalin Lucas. The senior point guard is finally healthy after rupturing his Achilles last season. The trademark quickness has returned, and it is making an enormous difference.

Michigan State’s FG% has been up nearly 6% over their season average the last five games; the main reason is Lucas’s ability to penetrate and create.

Minnesota on the other hand is in a tailspin. After being ranked most of the season, they have lost four of five and fallen to a dismal 6-7 in Big Ten play. Their weekend loss to Michigan puts the Gophers in a similar position to Illinois, ‘win or else’ tonight.

If there is one constant for Tom Izzo coached teams it is that they are better in February and March than they were in December. As unlikely as it looked three weeks ago when most left the Spartans for dead, here we go again.

Wager against the suddenly-hot Spartans and Tom Izzo at your own peril. I’ve been burned too many times to join you. Gimme Sparty and the three points on the road.

Free Pick: Michigan State +2.5 (-110) @ SportsInteraction.comclick here for $250 bonus

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Chris Scheeren / Author