College Basketball Picks: Saturday’s Must-See Games

    College basketball picks for five must-see games on Saturday, Feb. 20, including Oklahoma at West Virginia and Baylor at Texas.

    February 26, 2016

    College basketball picks for five must-see games on Saturday, Feb. 27, including North Carolina at Virginia and Oklahoma at Texas.

    We’re down to the last few games of the regular season, and it is at this time of the year when conference races are won or lost. And really, that’s what this time of the year is about. Yes, teams have an opportunity to battle back into the NCAA Tournament picture, and that means every team on the bubble is going to be as focused as it can be, but teams are supposed to be playing their best basketball of the year right now.

    Here are five can’t-miss games on the docket this weekend, and we’re not even including the big Louisville-Miami (Fla.) battle on the list, mainly because Louisville isn’t playing for March anymore.

    Texas Tech at No. 2 Kansas

    Just ask Iowa State, Baylor and Oklahoma how easy it is to beat the Red Raiders right now. Kansas pulled off a 69-59 win earlier this year in Lubbock, but this is a different Texas Tech team right now, one that is playing with a lot of momentum. Tubby Smith knows how to win big games, and with the chip that is on the Red Raiders’ shoulder, KU better be ready. The Jayhawks, meanwhile, have run off eight straight wins and could lock up at least a share of the Big 12 with a win.

    Pick: Kansas

    No. 9 Arizona at No. 22 Utah

    Two of the top teams in the Pac-12 face off in a huge game that has the potential to determine the league crown should Oregon falter down the stretch. Arizona has looked vulnerable at times this season—remember the two-game sloid at Cal and vs. Oregon earlier this year—and coming off the loss at Colorado, the Wildcats have to refocus. Utah, meanwhile, is looking for respect, and forward Jakob Poeltl is playing at another level.

    Pick: Utah

    No. 3 Oklahoma at No. 25 Texas

    The Sooners have been up and down of late, going 3-3 in their last six, but OU has a chance to make a statement at Texas and coming up next week vs. Baylor. Guard Buddy Hield is a man among boys and can score from anywhere on the floor, and he’s going to test the Longhorns’ defensive chops from the opening tip. Texas is riding the inconsistency train, too, going 2-3 in its last five, and a lack of offense has been part of the Longhorns’ struggle. This is a game UT needs at home to prove it is for real.

    Pick: Oklahoma

    No. 10 Maryland at No. 20 Purdue

    Maryland needs a win to keep pace with Indiana at the top of the Big Ten standings, but the Terps have been staggering, and something just seems off with Mark Turgeon’s team right now. Maryland has dropped two of its last three and although it won at home vs. Michigan last time out, the road hasn’t been as kind. Maryland is just 4-3 on the road in the Big Ten this year, including a stunning 68-63 loss at Minnesota, which makes this one dangerous. Purdue, meanwhile, hasn’t won back-to-back games for weeks, and it’s coming off a 77-73 loss at Indiana. It can make a statement by beating Maryland, and it has the size to do it.

    Pick: Purdue

    No. 7 North Carolina at No. 3 Virginia

    North Carolina has been solid since its loss at home to Duke last week, scoring blowout wins over Miami (Fla.) and at North Carolina, but this is the first and only meeting of the season for these two teams. Virginia has the defense and style to take the Tar Heels out of their comfort zone, and forward Brice Johnson is going to be squeezed by UVA’s bigs. The Cavaliers have lost two of their last three, but both of those losses came on the road vs. very good Duke and Miami (Fla.) teams. Guard Malcolm Brogdon loves the spotlight, and look for the Cavs to rebound from the loss at Miami to knock off UNC and make the ACC race really interesting.

    Pick: Virginia

    MORE: Ranking Best College Basketball Conferences Heading Into March Madness


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