As College Football ends, it’s now time to focus solely on College Hoops. We are right in the middle of conference play, and we’re getting a sense that there is no clear-cut favorite to win the championship this year. This Saturday, we’ll feature one of those teams in the conversation as the, for now, No. 1 team will try to rebound after their first loss, but also let’s look at an exciting Big East matchup as it’s becoming one of the more exciting conferences to watch.
Creighton vs. Xavier (Tip 12 p.m. ET)
Creighton has a roster of smart-minded players. They use a lot of motion to set up the highest percentage shots, and that’s why they’re in the top 15 for two-point field goal percentage. The turnovers have been their Achilles heel this season as they’ve turned it over 12 times in every game but two this season.
Xavier had a tough loss at home against Villanova as they could not climb back into this game after an 11 point deficit at halftime. This is still an excellent Musketeers squad that can play tough defense but not allow their opponents to the stripe as they’re top 50 in fouls allowed per game.
This seems like a big spread for these two teams in this conference. Creighton has the turnover problem, but Xavier is average at forcing them. Xavier should still win, but it’ll be closer than this spread.
Pick: Creighton +9.5
Oklahoma State vs. Baylor (Tip 5 p.m. ET)
Another No. 1 goes down. We’ll likely see a shake-up in the top spot as Baylor suffered their first loss of the season to Texas Tech on Tuesday. It was just a tremendous effort from the Red Raiders, who overcame a 15-point deficit in the first half. The Bears are still a great team and have the talent to repeat as champs. Their ability to control the boards, especially with offensive rebounding, makes a tough team to face.
The offense has been abysmal this year for the Cowboys — they’re 254th in effective field goal percentage and 156th in offensive efficiency this season. The defense is solid as they can post up in the interior defense, they’re one of the best at forcing turnovers, but they can’t post up on the boards as 271st in defensive rebounds.
This game is an excellent opportunity for the Bears to right the ship. They’re know how to take advantage of turnovers to create fastbreak points, and Oklahoma State is near the bottom of offensive turnover rate and offensive steal rate. You add the already confident shooting of Baylor with the low offensive efficiency of OSU, and this could end pretty quickly.
Pick: Baylor -13.5
Auburn vs. Ole Miss (Tip 8:30 p.m. ET)
Auburn has been on fire as they haven’t lost since November 24th in the double OT matchup against UConn. They are coming off an exciting road win over their in-state rival Alabama.
Ole Miss has been very up and down for most of the season as they can’t play consistently. They’re coming off an awful performance against Texas A&M, where they allowed the Aggies to shoot 55%.
The Tigers match up well against the Rebels as Auburn is excellent at forcing turnovers while Ole Miss can be turnover-prone. The Rebels do not shoot from outside that much, but Auburn is eighth in the country in two-point field goal percentage allowed. The Tigers should be able to grab another road win this week.
Pick: Auburn -8
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