College hoops conference tournaments continue or start on Wednesday.
A couple of tough matchups, Clemson-NC State and Arizona-USC, lead the way. Also on Wednesday are two interesting Big East Tournament games, Providence-Butler and DePaul-St. John’s. Check out analysis and free picks for the best college hoops action tonight!
[Wednesday, March 13]
Clemson Tigers -1.5 vs NC State Wolfpack
At 19-12, the Clemson Tigers are the classic ACC bubble team. A deep run in the ACC Tournament and they grab a bid. A round 1 loss and they end up in the NIT. Same goes for 21-10 NC State, which is why the first ACC matchup on Wednesday might be the most important game of the day.
Clemson enters the fray playing well. The Tigers are 4-1 SU in their last 5. They’ve also gone 3-1 ATS in their last 4. Although Clemson looks like a possible winner against the spread, NC State beat them 69-67 in the head-to-head.
The trends point to a competitive matchup with the Wolfpack going 6-2 ATS in their last 8 overall and 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win. The Clemson Tigers are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 following a straight up win and 7-3 ATS in their last 10 neutral site games.
With trends not helping much, we have to lean on stats. The key in this matchup should be three-point percentage allowed, which makes NC State the pick. The Wolfpack allow 29.74% from three while opponents shoot 35% from three against Clemson. If NC State frees up their three-point shooters, they should win and cover.
NCAAB Free Pick: NC State +1.5
Arizona Wildcats vs USC Trojans PK
It’s crazy how things change from season to season. Last year this time, both USC and Arizona were Pac-12 behemoths. The Wildcats were even being talked up as a Final Four team.
This season? When Arizona battles USC on Wednesday, it will be a game between two of the worst in the Pac-12. That’s saying something because the Pac 12 is an awful conference in 2019, ranking not only behind the other Big 5 Conferences, but also ranking behind the Big East and American Athletic.
Although the Trojans have a losing straight up record, they dominated the Wildcats 80-57 in the last matchup. Arizona, though, gets the nod based on trends. The Wildcats are 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings, 7-1 ATS in their last 8 Wednesday games, and 7-3-1 ATS in their last 11 games versus a team with a losing straight up record.
USC is 1-5 ATS in their last 6 following an ATS loss. Zona takes it on the moneyline and against the spread.
NCAAB Free Pick: Arizona PK
Oklahoma State Cowboys vs TCU Horned Frogs -4.0
Oklahoma State has some reason to feel good heading into the Big 12 Tournament. They pushed Texas Tech into overtime in a loss, dropped a game to Kansas by only 5, and beat Baylor and West Virginia in their last 4 regular season matchups. The Cowboys went 4-0 ATS to end the regular season.
Texas Christian is only 2-6 ATS in their last 8. Oklahoma State also beat the Horned Frogs 68-61 in the last head-to-head. Although this looks like an Oklahoma State slam dunk win against the spread, the best player on the court on Wednesday will be TCU’s top scorer, Desmond Bane, who averages 15.2 points per. After dropping 34, he beat Texas in the Horned Frogs last game practically by himself.
Bane should go off again, allowing his teammates to spend most of their time concentrating on playing defense. TCU will win and cover the spread.
NCAAB Free Pick: TCU -4.0
Butler Bulldogs vs Providence Friars PK
Butler’s in shambles after going 1-4 SU and ATS in their last 5 games. The Bulldogs faced Providence on March 9. Providence dominated 83-70. But, the Friars are 5-11 ATS in their last 16 Wednesday games, 1-6 ATS in their last 7 following a straight up win, and 0-7 ATS in their last 7 following an against the spread win. So, it makes sense to back Butler.
NCAAB Free Pick: Butler PK
West Virginia Mountaineers vs Oklahoma Sooners -6.5
It’s hard to remember the last time a Bob Huggins coached team entered a conference tournament with a losing record. The West Virginia Mountaineers are 12-19 this season. They’re an unbelievable 0-10 SU on the road. To make matters worse, the Mountaineers lost by 12 the last time they faced Oklahoma and are 0-6 ATS in their last 6 neutral site games.
The Sooners are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games versus a team with a losing record, 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up loss, and 5-1 ATS in their last 6 versus a team with a winning percentage below .400. On March 13, Oklahoma should easily end West Virginia’s misery.
NCAAB Free Pick: Oklahoma -6.5
DePaul Blue Demons vs St. John’s Red Storm -5.0
The Red Storm are a bubble team after losing 3 in a row to end the regular season. One of the losses was a disappointing 83-92 game versus DePaul. St. John’s allowed the Blue Demons to shoot 57.4% from the field and an incredible 46.2% from three.
St. John’s is better than what they showed at the end of the regular season. All they must do to turn the tables on DePaul is allow Shamorie Ponds to do his thing and get back on defense off missed shots. If they don’t sell out for offensive rebounds, they should easily handle the Blue Demons. The Red Storm win and cover.
NCAAB Free Pick: St. John’s -5.0
March is here and the tournament is coming. BetAmerica will have brackets and more available for download here.
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