After a 3-0 Day for Saturday with our NCAA Basketball Picks, we look to carry the momentum over to Sunday as there’s plenty of inter-conference basketball games to be played.
Going For the Record
Arizona looks for its 17 consecutive win and that would be their best start of the season in school history. Arizona is a massive 12.5 point betting favorite on the road, but with that said, they haven’t had much luck against either USC or UCLA. In the last 10 years, Arizona is 4-13 on the road against USC and UCLA. A win here would greatly enhance USC’s chances of making the NCAA Tournament. Are the Trojans capable of the upset at home against the number 1 team in the land?
Arizona is a defensive oriented team which only allows 56.2 points per game. This is a team that held Washington State to just 25 points on January 2nd. Along with superb defense, the Wildcats have managed to win their games with inexperienced, but talented freshman, who are getting on the job training and have proven that they can make an immediate impact.
Forward, Aaron Gordon, was the most highly regarded freshman coming into this year and although he might not be ready to leave the Wildcats for the NBA after his first year, Gordon is the player with the highest upside. He’s already averaging 12.3 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. The only thing that Gordon lacks to his game is consistency and the ability to knock down his free throws. He’s been “up and down” as of late, but the Cats are a deep team to support his freshman lumps.
Nick Johnson is the main source of offense on the Wildcats. He’s coming off of 2 consecutive 20 plus point games and is a very efficient shooter. One player that Arizona needs to get back on track is freshman, Rondae Hollis- Jefferson. Jefferson got off to a fast start to the season, but his production has come to a screeching halt. Arizona sorely misses his production, coming off of the bench.
The Pressure Is On
Even though Arizona is the undefeated team, the pressure is on USC, who has lost 2 out of their last 3 games. The Trojans got destroyed by UCLA by 34 points on January 5th and this is a common opponent who Arizona actually defeated.
It will be interesting to see how leading scorer, Byron Wesley, fares against the Arizona defense. Wesley has scored 20 points or more and shot over 50% in each of his last 4 games. This is a player that gives a near 20-10 every single game.
Although the point spread is large and Arizona has had a poor history against USC, they’ve been dominant this season, and I’m going to side with them in this matchup for my college basketball picks.
College Basketball Pick: Arizona -12.5 at Bet 365
#23 Illinois (13-3) vs. Northwestern (7-9)
Remedy For a Beating
What better way than to recover from an awful beating at the hands of undefeated Wisconsin then to face a weak Northwestern club and that’s what the Illinois Fighting Illini will be doing on the road as they play a game that they should win easily. On the college basketball odds board Illinois is a 5.5 point betting favorite on the road and that’s just about what the point spread should be considering the beating that the Fighting Illini took at the hands of Wisconsin.
Even though the Badgers have that stifling defense, Illinois was still able to score 70 points off of the Badgers, but it was the Illinois defense that them failed as they allowed 95 points on 56.1% from the field and 42.1 % from the free throw line. Illinois won’t win many games if they allow Wisconsin to commit just 4 turnovers and outshoot them 56% to 31% from the field.
Look for a bounce back game from the Fighting Illini leading scorer, Rayvonte Rice. Rice is a reliable scorer and rebounder and Northwestern won’t have an answer for him. In his last game, Rice shot a disappointing 7 of 21 from the field even though he still managed to score19 points. He’s not facing the Wisconsin defense and he’ll have much more room to work with.
Northwestern has been nothing to write home about as they’ve lost 3 consecutive games to Big-Ten rivals by 20 points or more in each game. JerShon Cobb has had the hot hand for the Wildcats as of late as he’s coming off of an 18 point, 7 rebound performance against Iowa. In order for the Wildcats to be successful, leading scorer, Drew Crawford, will need to put up a big game. Crawford has been average at best as of late.
Northwestern has been getting beaten up badly in the Big-Ten and expect Illinois to lay another beating on Northwestern as the Wildcats are playing their worst basketball of the season.
College Basketball Pick: Illinois -5.5 at Bet 365