NCAA Basketball Picks: Top Total Plays for Wednesday Night

Matthew Jordan

Wednesday, March 4, 2015 4:39 PM GMT

It's the last Wednesday of NCAA Basketball's regular season our daily picks focus on four bubble teams that absolutely can't afford a loss. Here are those three game totals. 

 

Miami Fla. vs. Pittsburgh (130 at sportsbooks)
Here's an ACC game where both are currently just on the outside of the NCAA Basketball Tournament looking in if you go by ESPN's Joe Lunardi, who usually is pretty accurate. Both UM and Pitt are in the next four out so even a win here might not be enough, but the loser is probably up the creek. The Hurricanes (18-11, 8-8) finish the regular season Saturday with a very winnable game at Virginia Tech. Pittsburgh (19-11, 8-8) closes at Florida State. The Panthers suffered a devastating loss last time out, 69-66 at a bad Wake Forest team. The Deacons used an 11-1 run to erase a seven-point Pitt lead over the game's final 5:23. A win Wednesday would give Pitt its 20th victory for the 14th consecutive season. It is 14-2 at home this season and this will be Senior Night.  The visiting Hurricanes are coming off a 73-64 home loss to North Carolina on Saturday. This is their first-ever game at the Peterson Events Center. Last year, Pitt beat Miami 59-55 in south Florida in the schools' first meeting in 10 years. Both the Canes (68.5 ppg) and Panthers (68.0 ppg) are middle of the pack in the ACC in scoring.

NCAA Basketball Free Pick: 'Over' 130 points. It has hit in 10 of Miami's past 14 on the road. It is 5-1 in Pitt's past six after a loss and 10-4 in the Panthers' past 14 overall.

 

Purdue vs. Michigan State (133.5 on NCAA basketball odds)
The Spartans are safely in the NCAA Tournament field for now, as people forming NCAA Tournament Brackets should know, but Purdue has a bit of work to do and is currently listed by Lunardi among the last four byes. The Boilermakers (19-10, 11-5) had their four-game winning streak snapped in Sunday's 65-61 loss at Ohio State as the Buckeyes rallied from a 12-point deficit. It was the third time this season that Purdue has given up a 12-point lead in a loss. Ohio State's 35 free throw attempts were the most by a Purdue opponent this season. In four Big Ten road losses, Purdue is just 17-of-34 (.500) from the free-throw line. Opponents are 84-of-110 (.764). The matchup with Michigan State boasts the two top field-goal percentage defenses in Big Ten play, with Purdue at .393 and MSU at .406. Michigan State (19-10, 10-6) could perhaps drop to the bubble if it loses a third straight game and second in a row at home. The Spartans really blew their last in East Lansing, a 96-90 OT defeat to  Minnesota, and then were beaten 68-61 at Big Ten champion Wisconsin over the weekend. This is the home finale for two of Sparty's best players in Branden Dawson and Travis Trice. Dawson was benched for the start of Sunday's loss and played poorly with just four points and two rebounds. Before making your NCAA Basketball Pick, do keep in mind that this is the only scheduled meeting of the season between the Boilers and Spartans. MSU has won six straight vs. Purdue, the longest active streak of any Big Ten team against the Boilermakers.

NCAA Basketball Free Pick: 'Under' 133.5 points. The 'under' is 6-0 in Purdue's past six on the road. It is 4-1 in the past five after a loss. The 'under' is 4-1 in MSU's past five after a loss.

 

USC vs. UCLA (140.5 in NCAA betting)
Lunardi lists UCLA among the first four out, so a loss here to the Pac-12's worst team in the regular-season finale would ensure that UCLA would have to win the conference tournament to get in the Big Dance. I'm not sure a win really does much good with how bad USC is. The Bruins (18-12, 10-7) have won two straight games and this will be the home finale for leading scorer and senior  Norman Powell (16.5 ppg). He comes of a career-high 28 points in a win over Washington State. USC (11-18, 3-14) is playing out the string as one of the nation's youngest teams, without a senior on the roster. Southern Cal has three players ranking in the Top 11 among all Pac-12 freshmen in scoring, rebounding and steals. UCLA has dominated this series of late and won 83-66 at USC on Jan. 14. Powell scored 22 points to improve to 4-0 at USC in his career. No UCLA player had done that since Toby Bailey in 1995-98.

NCAA Basketball Free Pick: 'Over' 140.5 points. Betting 'over' the NCAA Basketball odds has cashed in 6-1 in USC's past seven after a win. It is 5-2 in UCLA's past seven vs. teams with a losing record. The 'over' is 4-1 in the past five  meetings.