Syracuse (+4.5) over West Virginia
- It should be a wild scene at the WVU Coliseum at high noon, as thousands of screaming Mountaineer students will have re-uped after a hangover and pack the house for one of the most anticipated Big East match-ups to date. As usual, WVU will rely on a trio of forwards, Devin Ebanks
, Kevin Jones, and De'Sean Butler to carry the load offensively. For the Mountaineers to pull off the mini-upset, they'll really have to execute in the half-court against the Orange 2-3. The Orange, who average 85 PPG, will look to push the ball and find Andy Rautins
and Wesley Johnson who are explosive scorers in the open court. The turnover battle should prove to be the difference. If 'Cuse can limit mistake and force turnovers, they should prevail.
Kentucky (-11) over Auburn - OK, time to stop overlooking Eric Bledsoe. He dropped a 25-7-5 line on Florida in Gainesville on Tuesday, and might well be one of the top 10 guards in the nation this year. John Wall, Patrick Patterson, and tough guy DeMarcus Cousins are arguably the best trio in the nation, but they won't be raising a banner in April unless Bledsoe continues his phenomenal play. Auburn senior DeWayne Reed is one of the best scorers in the SEC, but the Tigers won't be nearly enough for the long, athletic Wildcats (sounds like a tease for a Discovery Channel show). Kentucky by a bunch.
Michigan State (-11) over Illinois - Illinois has loaded up with four wins against Big Ten bottom feeders (Northwestern, Iowa, Indiana, Penn State), but will leave Saturday with nothing more than hurt feelings after an MSU beating. For the Spartans, they have an experienced starting five who all average double figures and really buy into Izzo's philosophy on the defensive end. On the Illinois side, they run eight deep, led by linebacker (guard Demetri McCamey who averages about 16PPG and 6APG. Illinois should keep it close most of the game but look for senior Raymar Morgan to step up in the clutch for MSU.