Did you see what happened around college basketball on Tuesday night? No. 1 Villanova lost at Marquette, No. 2 Kansas lost at West Virginia and No. 4 Kentucky lost at Tennessee. It was an epic night of upsets — first time three of the top four teams in the Associated Press lost on the same day since Syracuse, Baylor and Duke lost on January 21, 2012 — and will shake up next week’s new polls. Will this weekend be as wild? Here are three winning picks for Saturday in the College Basketball odds.
College Basketball Winning Picks for the Weekend (Jan 28-29)
How will the Irish bounce back from their 71-54 home loss to No. 13 Virginia on Tuesday? Losing to the Cavs is nothing new as since joining the league in 2013-14, the Fighting Irish have never been successful against the Cavaliers — 1981 was actually the last time any Notre Dame team has come away with a victory over this conference foe. The Irish’s V.J. Beachem, who scored 30 points on last Saturday in a win over Syracuse, didn’t hit a jumper until three minutes into the second half on a three-point play which cut into UVA’s lead, 34-32. He didn’t score again, and finished 1-of-10 from the field, 0-of- 5 from 3-point range. Georgia Tech is in the bottom tier of the ACC and is coming off a big game against No. 6 Florida State. The Jackets are 11-1 this season when they shoot a better percentage from the floor, are 10-0 when scoring 70 points and 10-1 when attempting more free throws than the opponent. Georgia Tech leads the ACC in field goal percentage defense vs. ACC teams, and ranks fifth in scoring defense. Go Irish here.
No. 15 Wisconsin at Rutgers
The Badgers, likely the Big Ten’s best team, routed Penn State, which is better than Rutgers, 82-55 on Tuesday. Bronson Koenig scored 20 points, Vitto Brown finished with 16 points, while star Ethan Happ added 14 and eight rebounds for the Badgers, who outscored the Nittany Lions 46-22 in the second half. UW has won four straight Big Ten games. Penn State got nothing in transition in the second half, and its offense took a turn for the worse. After shooting 52.2 percent in the opening half, the Nittany Lions shot 26.9 percent after the break. Penn State was 4 of 18 on 2-point shots in the second half. Rutgers is improved this season but still one of the Big Ten’s worst teams. Corey Sanders scored 15 points and Nigel Johnson added 14, but Rutgers dropped a 67-55 decision to No. 22 Maryland on Tuesday. Rutgers outrebounded the first place Terps 40-39, including 22 offensive boards, to establish a 32-28 edge in points in the paint and a 19-11 advantage in second chance points. Wisconsin beat Rutgers 72-52 on Dec. 27. The Badgers opened with a 16-4 run over the first 12 minutes to take control. Wisconsin will win easily again.
No. 25 Florida at Oklahoma
This is part of Saturday’s SEC/Big 12 Challenge. Florida’s strength of schedule currently ranks as the #2 toughest in the nation and the #1 non-conference schedule. Florida has four RPI top-50 wins and 10 top-100 wins. No opponent this season has reached its season average in regulation against the Gator defense. Georgia is the only team to hit its scoring average, but needed overtime to do so. The Gators’ depth has been on display all season as seven different players have led the team in scoring. Oklahoma is struggling this season and lost to Texas on Monday. The Longhorns rallied from five down with 19 seconds left to win 84-83 as freshman guard Andrew Jones sank a 3-pointer from 25 feet with 1.8 seconds left. Oklahoma freshman forward Kristian Doolittle posted a career-high 29 points, converting 4-of- 5 from beyond the arc and 5-of- 5 free throws. Freshman guard Kameron McGusty added a career-high 21 points for the Sooners. Go Florida here.