I went 3-1 in yesterday's picks, calling K-State, Michigan and North Carolina while Seton Hall threw me for a loop with their big upset over Georgetown. That moves me to 103-105-3 on the season. Tonight, we examine five big games in five separate conferences, each worthy of both your eyeballs and your betting slips, each with their own set of postseason implications. 'Tis a great time to be a college basketball fan, no?
As always, all times Eastern. Let's do this!
7:00pm ESPN2/ESPN3: West Virginia (+3) @ No. 18 Notre Dame
Their eight-game winning streak with wins over Syracuse and Marquette is impressive and all, but can we agree that Notre Dame is just a weensy bit overrated? Two weeks ago they only beat West Virginia by four, then rattled off three wins over bad teams. Jack Cooley has been clutch and freshman Pat Connaughton is a marvel, but he put up an 0-fer against Kevin Jones and the Mountaineers the first time. As for WVU, I view their losses more like battle scars. They're much better on the boards and have a potentially explosive offense that the Irish can't match.
Plenty more picks after the jump...
8:30pm BTN: No. 6 Michigan State (-5.5) @ Minnesota
Draymond Green and the Spartans are going for their sixth consecutive season sweep of the Gophers, and while Minnesota desperately needs another signature victory for their Tournament dreams, raise your hand if you think a Tom Izzo team is going to take it easy on a team riding a three-game skid.
8:05pm: No. 19 Wichita State (-6) @ Illinois State
I'm sorry, a team wins 14 out of 15, and their last four by an average of 19.5 points, including a downright dismantling at No. 15 Creighton, and they're only favored by six against a team that's 8-8 in conference? The Redbirds are an impressive 14-2 at home but Joe Ragland has the Shockers rolling and they're looking more and more under-rated with each big win.
10:30pm MTN: Wyoming @ No. 25 San Diego State (-6)
Have you been to an Aztecs home game recently? I have. The energy is incredible. The student section at Viejas Arena was the first to embrace the big-head-on-a-stick trend, and now that San Diego State is ranked, all the Pacific Beach brohans will show up, lubed up. Barring a miracle performance from forward Leonard Washington, SDSU runs away with this.
11:00pm ESPN2/ESPN3: Santa Barbara (+8.5) @ Long Beach State
Here's the thing about this one: If Casper Ware and the 49ers are hitting their jumpers, this is over. It opens the floor and then they can't be stopped. But oddly enough, Long Beach State doesn't shoot as well at home as they do on the road, so Santa Barbara, who especially needs a good showing here to gain momentum heading into the conference tourney, has a shot to get Orlando Johnson & Co. going. I think Long Beach wins, but after a good win at Utah State and with so much on the line, the Gauchos put up a better fight than they did in a 33-point loss last month.