After a trying Saturday we forge ahead with free college basketball Picks of the Day for Sunday. One of our picks comes from the Pac-12, while the other comes from the Big Ten.
Beavers Battle Bears in Berkeley
Neither Oregon State or Cal will make the NCAA tournament this season, but both might be building something nice for the future. The Bears host the Beavers Sunday afternoon.
Cal had won five games in a row, but has now lost three straight, after falling to Oregon Wednesday night 80-69. The Bears shot 45 percent from the field for the game, which is respectable, but went just 11-for-19 from the free-throw line.
Just before that Cal scored 61 points in losing to Stanford, and just before that it scored 61 in losing to Utah.
At 16-12 overall, just 6-9 in Pac-12 play Cal is building for the future under new head coach Cuonzo Martin.
Oregon State has lost four of its last five, after Thursday's 75-48 loss at Stanford. The Beavers actually led that game by nine points late in the first half, then went dead cold, and lost the second half by a 47-18 margin. For the game OSU shot just 35 percent from the floor, while holding the Cardinal to 43 percent shooting.
Over their last five games the Beavers have been held to 59 points or less four times.
At 17-11 overall, 8-8 in conference play Oregon State is also building for something better, under new head coach Wayne Tinkle.
We're not sure who's going to win this game, or cover this spread, but we don't care. We do get the feeling, though, that points might be awfully hard to come by. Also, these teams are a combined 20-30 on the OVER/UNDERS this season. So we like the UNDER on this contest as our college basketball pick,
Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Under 116 at BetOnline.
Bounce-Back with the Badgers
Big Ten-leading Wisconsin, coming off a tough loss at Maryland Tuesday night, hosts Michigan State.
The Badgers had won 10 games in a row, before playing a dud against the Terrapins Tuesday, losing 59-53. Wisconsin shot just 39 percent from the floor, and made just six of 22 shots from beyond the arc. The Badgers also allowed Maryland to shoot 48 percent, as the Terps threw in several shots that we're still not sure how they went in.
Wisconsin lost that game outright as a six-point NCAA basketball odds favorite.
With a win today UW can clinch at least a share of the Big Ten's regular-season crown. And considering this is the Badgers' final home game of the season, before they play at Minnesota and at Ohio State, we figure they want this one.
Michigan State, meanwhile, had won four in a row, but got upset at home by Minnesota Thursday night 96-90. The Spartans led that game by six points with under a minute to go in regulation, but pissed it away, and lost in the OT. MSU shot 46 percent from the floor, but allowed the Gophers to shoot 52 percent.
At 19-9 overall and 10-5 in Big Ten play Michigan State appears headed back to the NCAA tournament for the 18th-straight season.
Both teams are coming off tough losses, so both might be ripe for a bounce-back effort. Ultimately, we give Wisconsin the edge head-to-head. Also, while we often think the home team is favored by too much in spots like this, that doesn't concern us today. Michigan State has won six of the last seven meetings in this series, but this looks like a good chance for Wisconsin to grab a measure of revenge.
In believing the Badgers might shoot the ball just a little better than they did Tuesday night.
Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Wisconsin at -8.5 at BetOnline.