A consequential weekend in college hoops is on deck, so strap in and prepare accordingly, folks. We’ve got No. 21 Ohio State at No. 14 Illinois and No. 7 Michigan at No. 23 Minnesota in two battles that may give us clarity in the Big Ten. We’ve got No. 2 Baylor at No. 15 Texas Tech, with the Red Raiders coming off a monumental win and looking to hand the Bears their first loss on the season.
There’s no shortage of storylines amid a weekend filled with marquee matchups.
Here are our expert picks for the weekend slate ahead.
No. 21 Ohio State at No. 14 Illinois
When: 12 p.m. | Where: State Farm Center in Champaign, Illinois
TV: Fox | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
Illinois is in for a bounceback at home Saturday. Following each of its last three losses this season, it has won on average by nearly 20 points in its following game. So coming off a home loss to Maryland last weekend, I expect the Illini to be up for a big spot. They’ve got a top-10 offense led by Ayo Dosunmu and Kofi Cockburn built to capitalize on efficient scoring taking on a Buckeyes defense that has struggled this season, particularly in the post. Each of the Illini’s stars present troubling matchups for OSU so I’m siding with the star power and laying the points. Prediction: Illinois 75, Ohio State 68 — Kyle Boone
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TDefense never slumps, and Utah State’s defense looks like the best in the Mountain West to this point. So long as Queta stays out of foul trouble, the Aggies should be able to handle business at home against this mercurial San Diego State team. The Aztecs have shown flashes of brilliance but have been too inconsistent to bet on, especially with Mitchell’s status uncertain. Prediction: Utah State 64 San Diego State 56. — David Cobb
No. 7 Michigan at No. 23 Minnesota
When: 2 p.m. | Where: Williams Arena in Minneapolis
TV: ESPN2 | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
How will Michigan match up with Minnesota? Look no further than a week ago when the two teams played and the Wolverines crushed the Golden Gophers, 82-57. Freshman UM big man Hunter Dickinson had a monster performance in the post and had success limiting Liam Robbins on the defensive end of the floor. I wouldn’t bet on another big blowout — Minnesota’s surely figured some stuff out and it won’t lay over at home the way it did on the road in the last matchup — but I feel good projecting another cozy Michigan win. This team is firing on all cylinders right now. Prediction: Michigan 80, Minnesota 67 — Kyle Boone
No. 2 Baylor at No. 15 Texas Tech
When: 4 p.m. | Where: United Supermarkets in Lubbock, Texas
TV: ESPN | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
Texas Tech is coming on strong of late, with road wins in league play in two of its last three including a come-from-behind win this week over a top-10 Texas squad. But Baylor, even on the road, is just a team I can’t pick against right now. It leads the sport in scoring margin through 11 games, and whether it’s at home or on the road, it has won each of its conference games by a double-digit spread. This one might be closer than the previous games — its previous four league matchups have a combined 5-16 record in Big 12 play — but I do like the Bears to win and feel fine laying the points. Prediction: Baylor 75, Texas Tech 70 — Kyle Boone
When: 6 p.m. | Where: Littlejohn Coliseum in Clemson, South Carolina
TV: ESPN | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
Clemson’s enjoying a tremendous season, but it’s impossible for me to ignore the recent series history between these two programs. Virginia is not only winning the series of late, with wins in each of the last 10 matchups, but it has done so in dominant fashion. It held the Tigers to just 44 points last season and to 43 points the season prior as UVA’s defense proved a suffocating force. This Clemson team is indeed more talented than those previous iterations, and in this matchup, it actually boasts the better defense — ranking No. 1 at KenPom — but I’m still riding with Tony Bennett and Co. even in a tough road spot. Prediction: Virginia 61, Clemson 57 — Kyle Boone
When: 8 p.m. | Where: Watsco Center in Coral Gables, Florida
TV: ACC Network | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
Louisville is one of the best-kept secrets in the sport right now, and with a 9-1 overall record, this team shows no signs of slowing. Cardinals star Carlik Jones continues to be a revelation and sophomore guard David Johnson looks the part of a lottery pick as the two have powered their team to a perfect 4-0 ACC record. Coming off a big road win over Wake they’re in a good spot to keep it rolling against a Miami team that’s lost four of its last five and just lost to Boston College by 22 points. Prediction: Louisville 70, Miami 64 — Kyle Boone
So who wins every college basketball game today? And which underdogs pull off stunning upsets? Visit SportsLine now to get picks for every game, all from the unbiased model that simulates every game 10,000 times, and find out.