The Andy Kennedy Era at Ole Miss has ended. Recently, Kennedy said he was stepping down at the end of the season. However, his team was clobbered by rival Mississippi State on Saturday and Kennedy decided to just quit immediately. “We all know that ‘clean breaks’ are always best, and I should have realized this last Monday. My apologies,” he said. Here are two interesting NCAA Basketball betting matchups this week. Check back for MyBookie for updated college basketball odds.
Top NCAA Basketball Betting Picks of the Week – February 19th Edition
— Chris Headrick (@ChrisMHeadrick) February 19, 2018
Kentucky Wildcats at Arkansas Razorbacks
When: Tuesday, 9 PM ET (ESPN)
Has Kentucky fixed all its problems? Probably too early to say that but the Cats ended the first four-game losing streak of the John Calipari Era with an 81-71 home win over Alabama on Saturday. PJ Washington scored 16 points, and fellow freshman Kevin Knox added 13. The Wildcats held a commanding 44-27 edge on the glass and grabbed 20 offensive boards, resulting in 20 second-chance points for the hosts. UK’s offensive rebounds were one outside the top 10 for most of the Calipari era. Alabama’s 27 rebounds were tied for the second fewest by a UK opponent this year.
“They played desperately,” Calipari said. “We gave away some games this year and we have to start taking games away from people, which means desperation.”
Quade Green hit a made 3 with 9:28 to play, extending UK’s streak of 1,040 consecutive games with a 3-pointer. UK opened up its largest lead, 11 points, with 44 seconds to play in the second half. UK had not led by more than seven since the win at West Virginia on Jan. 27.
Kentucky won both halves — 39-34 first half; 42-37 the second half — for the first time since the 90-61 rout of Louisville on Dec. 19. A win at either Arkansas or at Florida in the regular season finale, coupled with the two home wins, would give Kentucky a winning record in the league and surely clinch an NCAA Tournament berth.
Arkansas looked great Saturday in routing No. 21 Texas A&M, 94-75, but the Hogs are likely still on the NCAA Tournament bubble. The 94 points were the most the Aggies have allowed all year. Four different Arkansas players scored in double figures, led by 21 from Jaylen Barford. Daryl Macon had 20 and Daniel Gafford had 18. It was the ninth time this season (8-1) that Barford and Beard combined for 40-plus points.
The Razorbacks are 34-6 in the last 40 games inside Bud Walton Arena. They are 14-1 in Bud Walton Arena this season with a +17.1 average margin of victory, including a +130 scoring margin in the first half.
This is the only scheduled meeting between these teams this season. Kentucky won in a rout last year but that UK team was a lot better than this one.
UCLA Bruins at Utah Utes
When: Thursday, 9 PM ET (ESPN)
Two NCAA Tournament bubble teams here. UCLA is in better shape at 19-8 overall and 10-5, second in the Pac-12. The Bruins come off an 86-78 overtime win over Oregon in the team’s home finale. Aaron Holiday scored 29 points and Kris Wilkes added 19. Holiday shot 9 of 13 from the field, had six assists and played down the stretch in the second half with four fouls. He scored 20-plus points for the 14th time this season. The junior is fourth in scoring (19.0 per game) in the Pac-12 this season. Center Thomas Welsh had 14 points and 14 rebounds. It was his 16th double-double of the season, the most by any Bruin since Kevin Love had 23 in the 2007-08 season.
Utah is trending up as it won a fourth straight game Saturday to improve to 17-9 overall and 9-6 in the conference. It beat Washington State 77-70 on Saturday in the Utes’ final road game of the regular season. Justin Bibbins scored 24 points and Tyler Rawson added 15 points and grabbed 15 rebounds. Utah used a 17-0 run — as the Cougars were scoreless for six-plus minutes — to make it 33-13 with nearly six minutes left in the first half.
On Jan. 11, Utah lost at UCLA, 83-64. Holiday had 20 points. Freshman Kris Wilkes added 19 points for the Bruins, who shot 52 percent from 3-point range. UCLA never trailed, leading by eight at halftime and pulling away to its largest lead of 21 points in the second half. David Collette scored 15 points and Bibbins added 12 points for the Utes. That was the third loss in a four-game skid at the time for Utah, which has only lost twice overall since.
Expert NCAA Basketball Betting Picks & Predictions
Home-court advantage is vital in college basketball – so go both home teams here.