NCAA Picks and Predictions for February 26th

How big is today’s BYU at San Diego State game? CBS bought the rights to televise the game nationally. From it own affiliate, CBS College Sports!

Yes, Jimmer-Mania is about to take center stage nationally this afternoon at 2PM Eastern, 11AM local time, when two of the nation’s top teams battle for Mountain West supremacy. BYU took the first contest at home in one of the three or four best college basketball games of the season. Jimmer was simply stunning, netting an incredible 43 points an erupting onto the national stage and emerging as the leading candidate for National Player of the Year.

Oddly enough, it could be the same game today that derails that quest. San Diego State is good. REALLY good. Their 26-1 record gets dismissed because of their conference (which is absurd, I’d take the top half of the MWC over the top half of the Pac 10 and SEC), but the truth is San Diego State is built for the NCAA Tournament. They have a legit NBA player in their frontcourt in Kwahi Leonard and an underrated elite point guard in DJ Gay.

I think it is going to be tough to win today in San Diego, and I like the Aztecs to run the table this season and capture a much-debated #1 in the NCAA Tournament.

Win or lose, just as CBS correctly gambled, I am going to be glued to the TV for what promises to be one of the most exciting and anticipated games of the 2010-2011 regular season.

Crazy: sports betting system giving out a premium NCAAB pick tonight!… click here to check it out :)

Today’s Free College Basketball Picks:

Southern Miss @ UCF Knights -1

UCF was the early season media darling as Marcus Jordan, heir of His Airness, and company took the nation by storm, racing out to a 14-0 start and a #21 national ranking. The ranking was the first in school history, and with a young ball club under first-year head coach Donnie Jones, the sky was the limit.

The Knights went Chicken Little; as in the sky started falling right on top of them. Whether it was nagging injuries, fatigue, overconfidence, or just simply the fact they played a little over their skis for the first month; things god bad quickly. The Knights lost eight consecutive games, all in Conference USA and faded from NCAA Hopeful to ‘C-USA cellar dweller’ in the matter of three weeks.

The Knights have played much better of late, winning three of their past four games, including wins over Tulsa and a road win at then-conference leader UTEP.

Southern Miss comes into the game with a ton to play for. The Golden Eagles and Coach Eustachy haven’t gotten much run, but they are actually a legitimate NCAA Bubble team. They currently sit at 21-6 (9-4 in conference). With a strong finish they could slip in as a #11 or #12. Their pair of close, heart-breaking losses to Memphis really hurt them, but the rest of their losses aren’t doing them much good either; Ole Miss, Marshall, Colorado State and SMU. None of those teams are awful, and CSU is actually pretty good, but none of those losses qualify as “good.”

Southern Miss is is a talented team, and should be favored in today’s game. But, they aren’t. Hmmm….that makes this a pretty easy selection. Give me the Golden Eagles roughing up an overrated UCF squad in Orlando.

PICK: Southern Miss +1 – click here to bet it at BetED.com and get $250 free!

Duke Blue Devils -4 @ Virginia Tech Hokies

If it feels like we’ve been in this spot before with Seth Greenberg, it’s because we have. It’s becoming almost an annual rite of passage that a regular season game in March is vital for the Hokies bubble dreams.

If you’ve been following college hoops for a while, you know that those dreams have usually turned into nightmares.

Tonight’s game represents an enormous chance for the Hokies to finally get a quality night’s sleep on Selection Sunday. With a win tonight at home the Hokies Dance ticket is essentially punched. The crowd in Blacksburg will be a huge advantage for them as well, with ESPN Gameday and all the festivities than accompany it going on. However, this isn’t Duke’s first rodeo and certainly not a new experience facing a hostile crowd.

The correlation I like to use is this: Remember the Kansas @ Kansas State game two weeks ago? It was an “upset” but one that followed a predictable formula. Elite team travels to road team who view them as their chief rival. The home team has a less-than-great record due to some losses early, but has played very well the two weeks leading up to the game. The home team was highly ranked at the beginning of the season but has since been forgotten about. The “forgotten”, inspired, talented and desperate home team plays their best game of the season, pulls off the huge “upset.”

Fans storm the floor. Chaos ensues.

You know the recipe. That’s exactly what is cooking up in Blacksburg, the perfect storm brewing for a huge bowl of upset soup. The numbers defy it, but sometimes the human element outweighs the statistics. Gimme the Hokies in a valiant home last-stand not only covering, but handing the Dukies their third loss of the season.

PICK: Virginia tech +4 – click here to bet it at BetED.com and get $250 free!

Crazy: sports betting system giving out a premium NCAAB pick tonight!… click here to check it out :)

Chris Scheeren / Author