Before diving into Sunday's best NCAA Basketball picks against the spread, let's give a shoutout to one of the greatest college basketball coaches in NCAA history as Dean Smith has passed away.
Washington State (10-12, 4-6) vs. Oregon (16-7, 4-6)
Even though the Cougars are going nowhere and have been beaten up by inter-conference play, they are capable of knocking off a team such as Oregon that needs this game desperately. 2 games ago, Washington upset Stanford, who has a similar record to that of Oregon, and the Ducks, who are a double figure betting favorite in this game, can't take the Cougars lightly.
These two teams have met before when inter-conference play began and the Cougars had hopes of a post-season. Washington State came out on top 108-99 in overtime.
In this game, Joseph Young went for 32 points and Elgin Young chipped in with 26 points, but it wasn't enough to stop the Cougars as they racked up 24 assists and shot nearly 60% from the field and from beyond the arc. Washington State averages 70.4 points per game on 42.8 % from the field. They simply played above their heads and I don't expect a repeat performance of their previous game with the Ducks.
Oregon hasn't been the most consistent team, but are the better team in this matchup. They've won 4 out of their last 5 games and losing does become contagious where Washington State is concerned.
The Ducks must have a big game from guard Joseph Young (19.2 ppg) and if this game is close, Young will exclusively be handling the basketball as he shoots an eye-popping 93.4 % from the foul line. I don't expect Washington State to win, but they've already proven that they can handle the Ducks once and that makes the 11 point spread a bit too much. The objective for the Ducks is to win the game, not cover the NCAA Baskeball odds spread for the bettors.
NCAA Basketball Pick: Washington State +11 at 5Dimes
Stanford Couldn't Have Asked For A Better Matchup
As we are only one month away from the Big Dance in the month of March, teams don't care if they're challenged for the most part. They just want to make the NCAA Tournament and although losses to teams such as Washington State won't help, Stanford's overall body of work is good enough to make the tournament as long as they don't look past teams like USC, who can't seem to buy a win in their respective conference.
Although Stanford has a couple of solid wins under their belt that the tournament committee will recognize, they have also lost their last two games to Washington State and UCLA and in an earlier matchup this season against the Trojans, the Cardinal managed to just squeak by USC with a 78-76 victory.
Leading scorer, Chaisson Randle (20.5 ppg.) had been on fire in his previous 4 games, averaging 25 points per game and shooting 10 for 25 from 3-point range, but Randle went cold against UCLA. In order for Stanford to win, Randle must play better and I expect a bounce back performance here. This is a player that can draw fouls and he also plays excellent defense.
Randle will receive assistance as Anthony Brown and Stefan Nastic both played well against UCLA and both players are capable of crashing the boards. In contrast, USC has lost 7 consecutive games and had one of the worst outings that you'll see as they lost to Utah 67-39 on February 1st. Place your NCAA Basketball pick expecting Stanford to lay down the heavy hammer on the inept Trojans and smash their hopes of a victory.
NCAA Basketball Pick: Stanford- 14 at 5 Dimes