College Basketball Expert Picks: Who’s Got the Edge as Conference Races Heat Up?
We’re back with another edition of SI’s college basketball weekend picks, with 15 new games between Saturday and Sunday. Joining us starting this week is SI’s Jason Jordan. This weekend’s top games include West Virginia traveling to No. 1 Baylor, Michigan State hosting No. 9 Maryland and undefeated San Diego State looking to win one of its two remaining road tests. Who will take home a critical February victory? Our picks are below.
Molly Geary: 106-69 (60.6%)
Pat Forde: 103-72 (58.9%)
Michael Shapiro: 102-73 (58.3%)
Jeremy Woo: 96-79 (54.9%)
All times are Eastern.
Oklahoma at No. 3 Kansas (Sat., 12 p.m., ESPN)
Molly Geary picks Kansas: Oklahoma comes into this one having won three of its last four, but going to Allen Fieldhouse is a different challenge. The Sooners don’t force many turnovers or crash the offensive boards—two things quite helpful when you’re trying to pull a road upset—and Kansas’ defense lives off grinding out possessions and forcing the opposition into tough threes. It could be a long night if those threes don’t fall.
Purdue at Ohio State (Sat., 12 p.m., FOX)
Jason Jordan picks Ohio State: Lost in the Boilermakers’ embarrassing home thumping by No. 13 Penn State was Purdue’s own spirited run preceding the loss. The Boilermakers were surging as winners of four of their last five games. It didn’t help that they gave up 14 3-pointers to the Nittany Lions in the loss. It won’t get any easier facing the top three-point shooting team (37.9%) in the Big Ten at home where they’ve only lost two games all season. The Buckeyes have won four of their last five.
No. 14 West Virginia at No. 1 Baylor (Sat., 4 p.m., ESPN+)
Pat Forde picks Baylor: This game does not set up well at all for the Mountaineers. They’re coming off consecutive losses and major offensive struggles against Oklahoma and Kansas, and now travel to Waco to face an outstanding defensive team that has two more days or rest and preparation for this game. WVU has made just 33 of 104 two-point shots in its last two games, which seems almost impossible. Take that up against a physical Baylor team that makes everything difficult in the paint, and it’s difficult to envision Bob Huggins’ team scoring enough to win.