There are plenty of interesting interconference matchups in November and December in college basketball, but the SEC and Big 12 are doing something unique this Saturday as ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU will present the 10 games of the fourth annual SEC/Big 12 Challenge. The highlight game of that is No. 2 Kansas and No. 4 Kentucky, which I will preview here at MyBookie individually. But here are some other games Saturday I would parlay together in the NCAAB lines, including two from the Challenge.
Best College Basketball Parlay Picks of the Weekend (Jan 28-29)
— CBS Sports CBB (@CBSSportsCBB) January 22, 2017
No. 5 Baylor at Ole Miss
It’s possible the Bears, from the Big 12, could return to the No. 1 spot in the polls on Monday if they win here and following losses by No. 1 Villanova, No. 2 Kansas and No. 4 Kentucky over the weekend. The Bears might also need No. 3 Gonzaga to lose this weekend. Baylor has the nation’s No. 1 RPI and has 8 top-50 RPI wins, 2nd-most nationally behind FSU (9). Baylor has faced a second-half deficit and come back to win in 9 games this season. Baylor’s defense this season has been its best of the Scott Drew era — BU ranks 3rd nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency, and Drew’s previous best defense was ranked No. 23 nationally in 2014-15. Baylor is 1 of 3 teams ranked in the nation’s top-25 in offensive and defensive field goal percentage. The Bears (23rd O, 7th D) join Gonzaga (5th O, 5th D) and Virginia (11th O, 10th D). Ole Miss ranks second in the SEC league pulling down 40.3 rpg and have been outrebounded only four times this year. Ole Miss ranks sixth in the SEC grabbing 12.5 offensive rpg this season. Senior F Sebastian Saiz has 13 double-doubles this season, which leads the SEC and ranks fifth nationally. Saiz leads the SEC and ranks sixth in the nation pulling down 11.5 rebounds a game and is the only player in the SEC this season averaging a double-double. Go Baylor here.
Kansas State at Tennessee
Could be a major letdown game for the SEC’s Vols after they upset No. 4 Kentucky on Tuesday, 82-80. Robert Hubbs III scored 25 points and Tennessee surprised Kentucky to snap the Wildcats’ seven-game winning streak. UT beat Kentucky in Knoxville for the second straight season and earned its first victory over a top-five team since an 83-76 triumph over No. 3 Pittsburgh on Dec. 11, 2010. The win also marked the first over a ranked opponent this season for the Volunteers after losing their previous five against ranked foes. The Vols scored the third most points of any of UK’s opponents this season while shooting 47 percent from the field (30-for- 64) and holding the Wildcats to their third-lowest point total of the year. Kansas State of the Big 12 should be an NCAA Tournament team but comes off a 70-65 loss to Iowa State. Down 46-26 just 44 seconds into the second half after senior Matt Thomas connected on his seventh 3-pointer, the Wildcats slowly chipped away at the deficit. The team used a 20-3 run over a more than an eight-minute span to take a 58-57 edge. But then ISU regained the lead and wouldn’t look back. I like the Wildcats here.
Georgetown at No. 11 Butler
It’s a Big East game from Indianapolis. Rodney Pryor leads the Hoyas, and is fourth in the Big East, with 18.0 points per game. He is tied for second on the team with 4.9 rebounds band has hit a team-best 49 3-point field goals. He is third in the league in 3-point field goals made, averaging 2.5 per game. Through the first 20 games of the season, the Hoyas had played five games against nationally-ranked teams – beating then-No. 13 Oregon (65-61), falling to then-No. 16 Wisconsin (73-57), to No. 17 Xavier (81-76), to No. 18 Butler in overtime and at No. 22 Xavier – and another that was receiving votes, Maryland (L, 76-75). Butler goes for the season sweep here thanks to that earlier 85-76 overtime win in D.C. on Jan. 7. Bulldogs freshman Kamar Baldwin scored a career-high 16 points and helped hold GU’s Pryor scoreless. Georgetown led by three points entering the final minute of regulation and had a chance to avoid overtime, but L.J. Peak’s turnaround jumper at the buzzer clanked off the rim. The No. 11 ranking represents the Bulldogs’ highest ranking since they were No. 9 on Dec. 28, 2015. Their highest rank ever was No. 8 on Feb. 19, 2008. Butler will roll here.