We’re getting closer to the 2019 March Madness tournament. Just a few years ago led by guys like Jaylen Brown and Ivan Rabb, the Cal Golden Bears were an NCAA Tournament team. To say that the program has fallen on hard times is being kind as it could well be the worst Power 5 team in the country and go winless in the Pac-12. Stay away! Here are two intriguing matchups this week. Check back for college basketball odds. Rankings could change Monday.
Top NCAA Basketball Betting Picks of the Week – February 18th
No. 12 Purdue at Indiana
- When: Tuesday, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
Usually entertaining when these rivals square off. The Boilermakers come off a 76-64 win over Penn State on Saturday and are in the mix for the Big Ten regular-season title at 11-3 in the conference. The win was Purdue’s 15th straight at home and Purdue is now 13-0 at Mackey Arena this year. A total of 12 of the 15 wins during the streak have come by double-figures.
Purdue is now 11-3 or better through 14 games in Big Ten play for the sixth time under Matt Painter. It marks the third straight year that Purdue has started at least 11-3 in Big Ten play. Purdue improved to 39-12 all-time against Penn State, having won nine straight games against the Nittany Lions.
Purdue improved to 145-15 under Painter when shooting better than 48.0 percent from the field. Purdue has made 258 3-pointers this year, good for the fifth most in school history. Purdue improved to 94-9 since the start of the 2014-15 season when attempting more free throws than its opponent.
Carsen Edwards scored 21 points vs. PSU, his 19th 20-point game of the season and 34th of career. He moved into 15th place on the school’s career scoring list (1,657 points) and became one of six players with multiple 600-point seasons (Glenn Robinson, Joe Barry Carroll, Rick Mount, Dave Schellhase, Terry Dischinger).
Indiana is a massive disappointment at 13-12 overall and 4-10 in the conference. It lost at Minnesota on Saturday, 84-63. The worst 3-point shooting team in the Big Ten, Minnesota made a season-high 12 shots in 22 attempts from long range en route to its largest winning margin in 33 conference games since an 89-67 victory over Rutgers on Dec. 3, 2017.
Indiana star freshman Romeo Langford had just 10 points on 4-for-6 shooting. Juwan Morgan led the Hoosiers with 14 points and eight rebounds and Al Durham added 12 points, but they finished a season-worst 2-for-17 from 3-point range.
Indiana lost at Purdue on Jan. 19, 70-55. Edwards scored 20 points in the Boilers’ fourth straight win in the series. Nojel Eastern had 10 points and 10 rebounds and played great defense on Langford, who had just four points on 2-for-10 shooting. Langford committed three turnovers and missed all four of his free throws, drawing chants of “overrated” from the home crowd.
Utah at Washington
- When: Wednesday, 11 PM ET (Fox Sports 1)
The Huskies are off a 72-70 win at rival Washington State on Saturday. Noah Dickerson tipped in a missed layup from Jaylen Nowell with 25 seconds remaining for the win. Dickerson scored 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for Washington. Nowell added 20 points. He was selected as one of 10 finalists for the Naismith Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year AwardUW has forced double-digit turnovers in 16-straight games, including a season-high 24 forced at Arizona State, which was the most by an opponent since 24 against Dec. 19, 2017, against Bethune Cookman. Washington is second in the nation in blocked shots, averaging 6.0 per game as a team and are 12th in steals per game … only UW and Duke rank in the top 15 nationally in both categories.
Utah lost 98-87 at home to Arizona State on Saturday. Sedrick Barefield, who finished the game with 17 points, knocked down a pair of free throws with 14:35 to play in the second half to register his 1,000th career point at Utah. The senior became the 39th player in Utah school history to score at least 1,000 points and now has 1,006 career points donning the Red and White. Utah totaled season highs in both free throws made (23) and free throw attempts (36).
Washington goes for the season sweep as it beat the Utes 69-53 on Jan. 10. Nazieh Carter scored a career-high 18 points and David Crisp added 17 points to lead UW. Crisp was 5 of-7 and Carter 3 of 4 from beyond the arc and the Husky defense held the Utes to season-low in points.
Jayce Johnson led the Utes with 12 points before leaving the game in the final minutes after getting hit in the face and falling to the court. Donnie Tillman had 10 for the Utes, who missed 24 of their 30 3-point attempts. The Huskies’ quick hands and length created dozens of deflections, forced 16 turnovers and nine blocked shots. Utah had won the past six in the series.
Expert NCAAB Betting Predictions
Both Purdue and Washington complete the season sweep.