College Basketball Preview
NCAAB March Madness
March 05, 2021
Villanova (10) @ Providence: This Big East conference matchup takes place on Saturday March 6th and features the number ten ranked Villanova Wildcats heading to Rhode Island to take on the Friars. It is a rematch of a game played on January 23rd, which Villanova won relatively easily by a score of 71-56. The big news heading into this game is the loss of Villanova guard Collin Gillespie for the rest of the season with a torn MCL. The senior was having an excellent season averaging 14 points and 4.6 assists as the team’s starting point guard. This includes 15 points and 6 assists in the first matchup against Providence. With Gillespie out, expect the Wildcats to play even more conservatively to try and control the game. Both teams play slow as it is, ranking 290th and 271st in pace respectively, and the total flew under in the first matchup. There is always a concern for a Providence team packing it in, but I think they will get up for a matchup against their rivals from Pennsylvania. This could be a double digit road favorite spread, and I like Providence to cover that as a home underdog.
Michigan (2) @ Michigan State: The battle of Michigan closes out the Big Ten regular season, with a rematch of the game from March 4th. Michigan won that easily, clinching the Big Ten championship and heading into March Madness in style. Juwan Howard’s team has been on a roll and exposed Michigan State who were gaining some momentum after recent wins over Ohio State and Illinois, but proved to be no match for the Wolverines. Keep an eye out to see if Michigan rests players in a meaningless game before the tournament, which could sway this back in the Spartans’ favor. Regardless of who plays, I like the under again which has proven to be a strong bet in games where a blowout is expected. Even if Michigan benches its starters, I think an under is a strong play given Michigan State has a better defense than most give them credit for.
Texas Tech (18) @ Baylor (3): It has been a tough week for Baylor who lost its undefeated season and was leapfrogged by the Michigan Wolverines for the 2nd seed in the country. The Bears did knock off Oklahoma State on Thursday, as well as West Virginia in overtime on Tuesday to clinch the Big 12 championship. Baylor seems to be getting back in the swing of things after a near three-week layoff due to positive COVID tests as well as the winter storm that hit most of Texas. Motivation is going to be an issue on Sunday, as Baylor has its eyes set on March Madness now, despite a final matchup against the Red Raiders. If Baylor sits its starters, I love the Red Raiders here who are trying to gain their own momentum heading into the big tournament. Head coach Chris Beard will have his team motivated and hungry to make it back to the NCAA Championship finals after losing out to Virginia in 2019.
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