Pick: Tennessee (+4) @ Kentucky
Reasoning: In the hands down game of the week, the #1 ranked Volunteers head into Rupp Arena to take on the #5 ranked Wildcats. A game that could have major impact on where both of these teams are seeded come March, I expect an absolute dogfight. This game is filled with star power, starting with Grant Williams of Tennessee. Williams is a Naismith Player of the Year candidate, and one of the main reasons that the Vols are currently the best team in basketball. Although, tonight, they get their toughest challenge of the year. Kentucky has been outstanding all year long, only allowing 61 PPG, one of the most physically dominant teams in the country. I think Tennessee is one of the few teams that can match the Wildcats’ physicality. This will be a game that comes down to the last couple minutes and could go either way. Which is why I believe you have to take the points in this matchup. The Vols are the most well rounded team in the nation, and giving them (+4) points in this game seems like a bit too much. Take the Vols, as they will try to send the big blue of Rupp Arena home disappointed.
Pick: Temple (+1.5) @ South Florida
Reasoning: For the second time in a week, I am putting my money on the Owls of Temple University. This is a team that has no room for error this February, as they are one of the many bubble teams fighting for an at-large bid. As mentioned in the previous article I wrote over the Owls, their guard play is phenomenal. Powered by Shizz Alston and Quinton Rose, Temple has arguably the best backcourt in the American Conference. Today, they will travel to South Florida to face the Bulls. South Florida is a team that possesses dominant post play. Making these teams total opposites of each other. Expect Temple to expose the exterior guard play of USF, and make shots in crunch time. The Owls’ guards will prove to be too much to handle for the Bulls. If Temple can stop the ball from entering the painted area, and get stops to run in transition, they should be just fine in this one. Take the Owls to once again bring home the win.