It looks like Saturday might be one of the most loaded days of college basketball so far this season with the annual SEC/Big 12 Challenge tournament being the main event of the weekend. The action will turn around early and continue all night until it climaxes with No. 9 Kansas at the Kentucky game at 8 p.m. ET to polish the roster.
The Big 12 is ranked as the best conference in college hoops this season after last season’s #1 ranking, but the SEC has some bragging rights this weekend after it won both of its last two challenges after forcing a tie in the series in 2019-20. The Big 12 still has a 4-3 edge in winning the event since its inception in 2013-14 (there were two years the leagues were tied) as well as a 48-41 overall record. But the SEC has been poised for the challenge of the event and has some favorable matches in what is likely to be the first league to lose three peats since the Big 12 did so in the first three years.
Our experts have picks and predictions for today’s biggest games right here.
Odds via Caesars Sportsbook | All times are oriental
Featured game | West Virginia Mountaineers vs Auburn Tigers
12 m | ESPN, fuboTV (try for free) – Start predictions with a surprise selection! Auburn is a partying group that can play inside and out with Wendell Green and Johni Broome. West Virginia is tough, especially at Morgantown, but the talent in talent I think I like the Tigers by Smedge to come close to this and maybe pull off an upset in the first game of the day. Prediction: Auburn +4 – Boone
Featured game | Oklahoma Sooners vs. Alabama Crimson Tide
2 m | ESPN, fuboTV (Try for free) — Alabama has blown out some really good teams in sports this season – among them KentuckyAnd Missouri And Michigan State – but I think OU keeps this close. The Crimson Tide have not lost since mid-December, but have been beaten several times in recent games. Their closeness and depth in the house will keep them tight and within count. Prediction: Oklahoma +6 – Boone
Featured game | LSU Tigers vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders
2 m | aspen, fuboTV (Try for free) — LSU has lost seven in a row and Texas Tech has lost eight in a row, so on paper this looks like a sweet matchup between struggling teams. But during that span, the Red Raiders have been competitive at least while the Tigers have been blown by an average of 24.8 points per game in their last four games. I’m fading LSU until it shows it doesn’t deserve to be fading. Prediction: Texas Tech -3 – Boone
Featured game | Missouri Tigers vs Iowa Cyclones
2 m | ESPN2, fuboTV (Try for free) — Quite an identical game here between ISU and Mizzou – really good defense from the Cyclones versus really good offense from the Tigers – so I’m just going to ease up on the home team. Missouri’s only losses at home this season have been to the No. 1 prospective seed Kansas And Alabama, so if I get points for the home team, I get them. Prediction: Missouri +1.5 – Boone
Featured game | Mississippi State Bulldogs vs. TCU Horned Frogs
4 m | ESPN2, fuboTV (Try for free) — This TCU team is so hot with double digit wins over Kansas and OU so I would love for them to keep going on the road against a lower division SEC team. The Bulldogs have stayed competitive even as their 11-0 start slipped to a 12-8 record, so I expect this to be close, but the hot hand riding is here with the Horned Frogs. Prediction: TCU -2 – Boone
Featured game | Baylor Bears vs Arkansas Razorbacks
4 m | ESPN, fuboTV (Try for free) — Davonte Davis has emerged as the difference maker for Arkansas lately with Ricky Council fourth down a bit, and number one Nick Smith Jr. still sidelined with a knee injury, but this Arkansas backcourt will be outclassed by Baylor and three. The backcourt trio of Keyonte George, LJ Cryer and Waco’s Adam Flagler header. Those two teams are going in opposite directions so I’ll take the one that’s been up lately. Prediction: Baylor-6 – Boone
Featured game | Tennessee Volunteers vs. Texas Longhorns
6 pm | ESPN, fuboTV (Try for free) — Another annoying choice. I think this is a chance to be the best game of the week. Texas has a top notch offense and is going all the way against a Tennessee team built around its No. 1 rated defense. My concern is whether or not the Vols have the horses to keep up with the Hornets. Tennessee hasn’t had this problem lately, but this Texans are built in such a way that they can pull off that win even in a spot on the road. Prediction: Texas +7.5 – Boone
Featured game | Kansas State Wildcats vs. Florida Gators
6 pm | ESPN2, fuboTV (Try for free) — Kansas State has yet to lose at home all season under first-year head coach Jerome Tang and that streak won’t end this weekend as Florida enters the Octagon of Death. The Wildcats are 8-3 ATS at home this season as well, so I like to put the number up with them at this spot. Prediction: Kansas State -5-Bon
No. 9 Kansas at Kentucky
Featured game | Kentucky Wildcats vs Kansas Jayhawks
8 m | ESPN, fuboTV (Try for free) — One of the more fascinating elements of the matchup between Kentucky and Kansas is how small KU’s front court style will be against UK indoor monster Oscar Cheppui. While UK has become more flexible and versatile defensively amid the downsizing of junior point guard Safar Wheeler, the Wildcats haven’t played an offense as dynamic as Kansas since being burned by Alabama on Jan. 7. Combos to keep Chipuiy out of the basket and force Kentucky to protect players like Jalen Wilson, Grady Dick and Kevin McCullar 1-on-1 from dribbling, it could be a long night for the UK. Prediction: KS +1 – David Cobb
Featured game | Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. Ole Miss Rebel
8 m | ESPN2, fuboTV (Try for free) — This Oklahoma State team got some oomph and looks like it could be a sneaky second weekend team with the way it can play inside and out with the play of veteran guard and a pair of great players in Caleb Boone and Moses Cisse. I love Pokes for pulling this one in a close one. Prediction: Ole Miss +10 – Boone
Who will win and cover in every college basketball game? Visit SportsLine for picks from the model that simulates every game 10,000 times And it’s up over $1,200 for $100 players on the highest-rated point difference over the past six years.
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