College Basketball Picks For 1/18

Here we are, mid-season, going into a Saturday laden with fantastic college basketball games. And guess what?! ESPN’s first College GameDay of the season will finally arrive in the morning! It’ll be broadcast from Philadelphia at the Palestra where a couple of highly anticipated games (5-10 Temple–yeah, they’re bad this year for the first time in approximately ever–will take on a typically strong La Salle team and 3-10 Penn will play against St. Joe’s). I’m not going to pick either of those games, but I have decided to drop some likely incorrect predictions for some of the more compelling games set for tomorrow. Enjoy.

North Carolina 71, Boston College 67: UNC is playing horrible basketball right now. The Heels don’t have anything working and sit at the bottom of the ACC. I could see them dropping this game. The thing is, I can’t see BC winning it, even after the Eagles played pretty good ball against Syracuse on Monday.

Oklahoma 76, Baylor 73: I’m calling for a minor upset here because I’m sick of Baylor’s jerseys. Sound logic right?

Duke 88, NC State 60: Duke seems due to vaporize a team.

Colorado 80, USC 68: This is a nice opportunity for the slumping Buffaloes to get a win. USC is spectacularly bad defensively.

Clemson 55, Wake Forest 51: Bubble teams! Clemson has been a tough team at home this year.

C.J. Fair upon discovering that I'm picking Syracuse over Pitt. Probably.

C.J. Fair upon discovering that I’m picking Syracuse over Pitt. Probably.

Syracuse 62, Pitt 58: Pitt’s ranking in the AP Poll, 22nd, seems awfully low; the 16-1 Panthers are an exceptional team and this should be an opportunity for them to show it. Then again, playing against Syracuse at the Carrier Dome this year hasn’t looked like much more than an opportunity for pain. The Panthers will give the Orange a game, but not necessarily their first loss.

Wichita State 65, Indiana State 57: Like Cuse, Wichita State should be tested in this game. But, as in the Syracuse game, I’m sticking with the home team.

Kansas 80, Oklahoma State 70: This Big 12 battle of the titans should be a solid showcase for a conference that is killing it this year. I’m picking the home team–Bill Self’s ungodly talents are gelling and the Jayhawks are playing fantastic at the moment. And Kansas already lost once at the Phog this year…that’s not going to happen too many times in any given season.

Wisconsin 65, Michigan 55: Wisconsin is fresh off their first loss of the year, a barn burner in Bloomington. Methinks the Badgers will take a little break before they lose again.

Illinois 67, Michigan State 63: One thing we know about these teams: neither can score against Northwestern. The Illini scored 43 against NU last weekend and MSU finished with 54 against the Wildcats on Wednesday. The Spartans managed to narrowly get by pesky Northwestern, while Illinois got upset, but both teams had offensive nightmares in Evanston. Anyway, enough plugging Northwestern’s defense (NU is offensively incompetent, so that is a problem…), this game should be a good one. The reason I’m picking Illinois is pretty simple–the skidding Illini simply need a win more desperately than Sparty and they’ll be playing behind a fantastic crowd at the arena formerly known as Assembly Hall (State Farm Center).

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