College Basketball Picks Week 3 – It’s Feast Week!

Note: I’ve decided to use the KenPom Top 25 just because I find it much more accurate than the AP, plus, its updated daily

These picks will be updated every day.

Monday, 11/19

#9Auburn (3-0) vs Xavier (2-1) in Maui, HI – 2:30 PM ET, ESPN2 – Maui Invitational Semifinal

Prediction: Auburn

#1Duke (3-0) vs San Diego State (2-0) in Maui, HI – 4:30 PM ET, ESPN2 – Maui Invitational Semifinal

Prediction: Duke
ATS Pick: San Diego State +16

Missouri State (3-0) vs Nebraska (3-0) in Kansas City, MO – 7 PM ET, ESPNU – Hall of Fame Classic Semifinal

Prediction: Nebraska

Missouri (3-1) vs #19Kansas State (4-0) in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands – 7:30 PM ET, FloHoops.com – Paradise Jam Championship

Prediction: Kansas State
ATS Pick: Missouri +7.5

Saint Mary’s (3-0) vs Utah State (4-0) in Las Vegas, NV – 8:30 PM ET, ESPN3 – Main Event Heavyweight Bracket Semifinal

Prediction: Saint Mary’s

Arizona (3-0) vs Iowa State (3-0) in Maui, HI – 9 PM ET, ESPNU – Maui Invitational Quarterfinal

Prediction: Iowa State

USC (2-1) vs #25Texas Tech (3-0) in Kansas City, MO – 9:30 PM ET, ESPN2 – Hall of Fame Classic Semifinal

Prediction: USC

#21Mississippi State (3-0) vs Arizona State (3-0) in Las Vegas, NV – 11 PM ET, ESPNU – Main Event Heavyweight Bracket Semifinal

Prediction: Mississippi State

#6Gonzaga (3-0) vs Illinois (1-1) in Maui, HI – 11:30 PM ET, ESPN2 – Maui Invitational Quarterfinal

Prediction: Gonzaga

Tuesday, 11/20

#10Auburn (4-0) vs #1Duke (4-0) in Maui, HI – 8 PM ET, ESPN – Maui Invitational Semifinal

All eyes will be on Maui on Tuesday night as the #1 ranked Duke Blue Devils will face their toughest test of the season yet, the 4-0 Auburn Tigers. Auburn already holds wins over Washington and Xavier, although the latter game (which took place yesterday) needed overtime to decide a winner. This Auburn team has been excellent at forcing turnovers so far this year, but Duke ranks 14th in the nation in turnover percentage, so watch the turnover battle as an early indicator of if the Blue Devils are in trouble. While I do think this Auburn team is good, Duke has been a buzzsaw so far this year, winning their four games this year by an average of 30 points, including wins over Kentucky and San Diego State. RJ Barrett and Zion Williamson may bee the best freshman duo I’ve ever seen. Expect the Dukies to play up tempo as usual, and while it will be high scoring, Duke will take this one by a comfortable margin when all is said and done.

Prediction: Duke

#20Texas Tech (4-0) vs #23Nebraska (4-0) in Kansas City, MO – 9:30 PM ET, ESPN2 – Hall of Fame Classic Championship

Two teams largely flying under the national radar will get a chance for a win that would kickstart their year in the Hall of Fame Classic Championship. Nebraska’s only real test so far this season was Seton Hall back in the Gavitt Tipoff Games, and the Cornhuskers won that one by 23. In fact, Nebraska has been running up style points all year, winning the semifinal of this tournament against Missouri State by 23, and their two season opening buy games against SELA and MVSU  by 52 and 69 points respectively. Texas Tech also played SELA and MVSU, not nearly putting up the numbers Nebraska did (TTU beat SELA by 19 and MVSU by 32), but the Red Raiders were tested in the opening round of this tournament against USC and commanded that one from start to finish. I will say, if Nebraska is able to run up the score in this one, we need to start talking about Big Red as a final four sleeper, but until then, I’ll take Chris Beard’s slow tempo, #6 ranked defense to force Nebraska into playing a game with a possession count in the mid-60s, something Nebraska hasn’t had to do this year. I’m not too confident in this one, but the Red Raiders force turnovers and bad shots (#7 in both opponent turnover % and eFG %) and they will do the same here and win a close one that might need overtime.

Prediction: Texas Tech

Georgia (3-1) vs #25Clemson (4-0) in George Town, Cayman Islands – 1:30 PM ET, Stadium Facebook – Cayman Islands Classic Semifinal

Prediction: Clemson

Xavier (2-2) vs San Diego State (2-1) in Maui, HI – 2:30 PM ET, ESPN2 – Maui Invitational Consolation Game

Prediction: Xavier

Iowa State (3-1) vs Illinois (1-2) in Maui, HI – 4:30 PM ET, ESPN2 – Maui Invitational Consolation Game

Prediction: Iowa State

Georgia State (3-1) vs Creighton (3-1) in George Town, Cayman Islands – 7:30 PM ET, Stadium Facebook – Cayman Islands Classic Semifinal

Prediction: Creighton

St. John’s (4-0) vs VCU (4-0) in Brooklyn, NY – 7:30 PM ET, ESPN2 – Legends Classic Championship

Prediction: St. John’s

Santa Clara (0-3) vs Minnesota (3-0) in Vancouver, BC – 9 PM ET, BTN – Vancouver Showcase

Prediction: Minnesota
ATS Pick: Santa Clara +17

Arizona (4-0) vs #6Gonzaga (4-0) in Maui, HI – 10 PM ET, ESPN – Maui Invitational Semifinal

Prediction: Gonzaga

Texas A&M (1-3) vs Washington (3-1) in Vancouver, BC – 11:30 PM ET, ESPN2 – Vancouver Showcase

Prediction: Washington
ATS Pick: Washington -3

Wednesday, 11/21

#1Duke (5-0) vs #6Gonzaga (5-0) in Maui, HI – 5 PM ET, ESPN – Maui Invitational Championship

Duke remains #1 in the country after their toughest test yet against Auburn. The game was never really in doubt as the Blue Devils were in control from start to finish, never trailing, but Auburn put up great fight coming back from down 33-16 towards the end of the first half to cut the Blue Devils’ lead to six by the end of the game. Marques Bolden shot 4-5 from the field and finished with 11 points, nine rebounds, and SEVEN (!!!) blocks. Gonzaga, which ended up winning by 17 against Arizona, actually struggled a lot more than Duke did, trailing 50-37 at one point before rallying to win. I really liked the fight that Gonzaga showed in the comeback W, but if you get down 13 points to Duke, you’re not coming back. I just don’t have the faith in the Zags at the moment to pull the upset. Give me Duke in a high scoring shootout.

Prediction: Duke

Oklahoma (3-0) vs Florida (2-1) in Nassau, Bahamas – 12 PM ET, ESPN – Battle 4 Atlantis Quarterfinal

Prediction: Oklahoma

Stanford (2-1) vs #16Wisconsin (3-0) in Nassau, Bahamas – 2 PM ET, ESPN – Battle 4 Atlantis Quarterfinal

Prediction: Wisconsin

San Diego State (3-1) vs Iowa State (4-1) in Maui, HI – 2:30 PM ET, ESPN2 – Maui Invitational 5th Place Game

Prediction: Iowa State

Louisville (3-0) vs #9Tennessee (3-0) in Brooklyn, NY – 5 PM ET, ESPN2 – NIT Season Tip-Off Semifinal

Prediction: Tennessee

Washington (4-1) vs Minnesota (4-0) in Vancouver, BC – 6:30 PM ET, BTN – Vancouver Showcase

Prediction: Minnesota

Marquette (3-1) vs #2Kansas (3-0) in Brooklyn, NY – 7 PM ET, ESPN2 – NIT Season Tip-Off Semifinal

Prediction: Kansas

Dayton (3-0) vs Butler (3-0) in Nassau, Bahamas – 7 PM ET, ESPNews – Battle 4 Atlantis Quarterfinal

Prediction: Butler

Creighton (4-1) vs #20Clemson (5-0) in George Town, Cayman Islands – 7:30 PM ET, Stadium Facebook – Cayman Islands Classic Championship

Prediction: Clemson

Saint Mary’s (3-1) vs #25Mississippi State (3-1) in Las Vegas, NV – 8:30 PM ET, bd Global Sports – Main Event Heavyweight Bracket Third Place Game

Prediction: Mississippi State

Xavier (2-3) vs Illinois (1-3) in Maui, HI – 9 PM ET, ESPNU – Maui Invitational 7th Place Game

Prediction: Xavier

Middle Tennessee (3-1) vs #4Virginia (3-0) in Nassau, Bahamas – 9:30 PM ET, ESPN2 – Battle 4 Atlantis Quarterfinal

Prediction: Virginia

Arizona State (4-0) vs Utah State (5-0) in Las Vegas, NV – 11 PM ET, ESPNU – Main Event Heavyweight Bracket Championship

Prediction: Utah State

#10Auburn (4-1) vs Arizona (4-1) in Maui, HI – 11:30 PM ET, ESPN2 – Maui Invitational Third Place Game

Prediction: Auburn

Thursday, 11/22

#14Wisconsin (4-0) vs Oklahoma (4-0) in Nassau, Bahamas – 1:30 PM ET, ESPN – Battle 4 Atlantis Semifinal

Prediction: Wisconsin

La Salle (0-4) vs #22Miami (3-0) in Fullerton, CA – 2:30 PM ET, ESPNU – Wooden Legacy Quarterfinal

Prediction: Miami

#4Virginia (4-0) vs Dayton (4-0) in Nassau, Bahamas – 3:30 PM ET, ESPN – Battle 4 Atlantis Semifinal

Prediction: Virginia

Northwestern (3-0) vs Fresno State (1-1) in Fullerton, CA – 4:30 PM ET, ESPNU – Wooden Legacy Quarterfinal

Prediction: Northwestern

Stanford (2-2) vs Florida (2-2) in Nassau, Bahamas – 7 PM ET, ESPN2 – Battle 4 Atlantis Consolation Game

Prediction: Florida

Texas (4-0) vs #3North Carolina (5-0) in Las Vegas, NV – 7:30 PM ET, FS1 – Las Vegas Invitational Semifinal

Prediction: North Carolina
ATS Pick: Texas +7

Seton Hall (1-2) vs Grand Canyon (3-1) in Fullerton, CA – 9 PM ET, ESPN3 – Wooden Legacy Quarterfinal

Prediction: Seton Hall

Middle Tennessee (3-2) vs Butler (3-1) in Nassau, Bahamas – 9:30 PM ET, ESPNU – Battle 4 Atlantis Consolation Game

Prediction: Butler

#11Michigan State (3-1) vs UCLA (4-0) in Las Vegas, NV – 10 PM ET, FS1 – Las Vegas Invitational Semifinal

Prediction: UCLA

Hawai’i (3-1) vs Utah (2-1) in Fullerton, CA – 11:30 PM ET, ESPN2 – Wooden Legacy Quarterfinal

Prediction: Utah
ATS Pick: Hawai’i +9.5

Friday, 11/23

#3Virginia (5-0) vs #12Wisconsin (5-0) in Nassau, Bahamas – 2 PM ET, ESPN – Battle 4 Atlantis Championship

This is going to be a low scoring brawl between the slowest team in the country and the fourth slowest team in the country, but given that both teams are in the top 15 in KenPom, maybe that slow tempo works. If the fastest team played the fourth fastest team we’d be looking at a Savannah State-Marshall matchup, not exactly the same level of national stakes. For those that don’t know, I’m a Virginia fan, which makes this even harder for me, but I really like this Wisconsin team. When you adjust for their tempo, the Badgers actually are a top 15 offense in the nation, and they won their first two games of this tournament by a combined 36 points. Virginia, on the other hand, really struggled with a Dayton team that is probably NIT bound. The Cavaliers were either trailing or leading by single digits for the entirety of the game, and Dayton found themselves down just four with under a minute to play. I don’t know if its the ceiling height of the weird ballroom they play in or what, but I can’t pick Virginia to beat a top 15 team after that performance, give me Wisconsin to pull the upset.

Prediction: Wisconsin

#11Tennessee (4-0) vs #2Kansas (4-0) in Brooklyn, NY – 9 PM ET, ESPN2 – NIT Season Tip-Off Championship

Kansas is maybe the most balanced team in the nation, ranking fourth in both offensive and defensive efficiency via KenPom. However, despite their 4-0 record, Kansas hasn’t quite lived up to my expectations (they were my preseason champion) and are 0-4 against the spread this year (Although I should say both the Marquette and Michigan State games were like a point off). Speaking of that Marquette game, the Jayhawks looked really shaky at times against the Golden Eagles, at one point trailing 42-30 before rallying to a nine-point victory. If you fall behind like that against Tennessee, you aren’t going to be able to rally. This UT team has been cerebral this year, winning every game this year by double digits, including Louisville in the semifinal of this tournament. Grant Williams is the current leader for kPOY by a wide margin, and I think he leads the Vols to an upset win.

Prediction: Tennessee

Dayton (4-1) vs Oklahoma (4-1) in Nassau, Bahamas – 11:30 AM ET, ESPN2 – Battle 4 Atlantis Third Place Game

Prediction: Oklahoma
ATS Pick: Oklahoma -4.5

#21Villanova (3-2) vs Oklahoma State (3-1) in Orlando, FL – 11:30 AM ET, ESPN – Advocare Invitational Semifinal

Prediction: Oklahoma State
ATS Pick: Oklahoma State +5.5

#20Miami (4-0) vs Fresno State (2-1) in Fullerton, CA – 2 PM ET, ESPN2 – Wooden Legacy Semifinal

Prediction: Miami

#4North Carolina (5-1) vs UCLA (4-1) in Las Vegas, NV – 4 PM ET, FOX – Las Vegas Invitational Third Place Game

Prediction: North Carolina

LSU (5-0) vs #9Florida State (4-0) in Orlando, FL – 4:30 PM ET, ESPN2 – Advocare Invitational Semifinal

Prediction: Florida State

Marshall (4-0) @ Maryland (5-0) – 6 PM ET, BTN

Prediction: Maryland

#24Texas (5-0) vs #10 Michigan State (4-1) in Las Vegas, NV – 6:30 PM ET, FOX – Las Vegas Invitational Championship

Prediction: Michigan State

Louisville (3-1) vs Marquette (3-2) in Brooklyn, NY – 7 PM ET, ESPN2 – NIT Season Tip-Off Third Place Game

Prediction: Marquette

George Mason (2-3) vs Cincinnati (3-1) in Niceville, FL – 7 PM ET, CBSSN – Emerald Coast Classic Semifinal

Prediction: Cincinnati
ATS Pick: George Mason +10.5

Baylor (3-1) vs Ole Miss (2-1) in Niceville, FL – 9:30 PM ET, CBSSN – Emerald Coast Classic Semifinal

Prediction: Baylor

Butler (4-1) vs Florida (3-2) in Nassau, Bahamas – 9:30 PM ET, ESPNU – Battle 4 Atlantis Fifth Place Game

Prediction: Florida

Seton Hall (2-2) vs Hawai’i (4-1) in Fullerton, CA – 11:30 PM ET, ESPN2 – Wooden Legacy Semifinal

Prediction: Hawai’i

Saturday, 11/24

DePaul (3-0) @ Notre Dame (4-1) – 12 PM ET, ESPN3

Prediction: DePaul

Houston (3-0) @ BYU (5-1) – 6 PM ET, byuTV

Prediction: Houston

Cincinnati (4-1) vs Ole Miss (3-1) in Niceville, FL – 7 PM ET, CBSSN – Emerald Coast Classic Championship

Prediction: Ole Miss

Sunday, 11/25

#16Villanova (4-2) vs #11Florida State (5-0) in Orlando, FL – 1 PM ET, ESPN – Advocare Invitational Championship

Prediction: Florida State

Oklahoma State (3-2) vs LSU (5-1) in Orlando, FL – 4 PM ET, ESPN2 – Advocare Invitational Third Place Game

Prediction: LSU

#21Miami (5-0) vs Seton Hall (3-2) in Fullerton, CA – 10:30 PM ET, ESPN2 – Wooden Legacy Championship

Prediction: Miami

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