College basketball has had some great games this season and there is more parity than in past seasons as there really is no indication of a clear best team. There are a lot of good teams, and many that could win the tournament, but no team that should be the overwhelming favorite.
Villanova vs. Xavier
This is the only matchup between top 25 teams on the slate for today. In basketball when a team beats you, a lot of times you circle the matchup for when you get to play that team again. That’s what I’m thinking Xavier is doing. They lost to Villanova at Villanova just about a month ago. Xavier has only played once since then and are probably looking to avenge the loss. I’m on Xavier’s side in this one. The two teams are more evenly matched than that original game would indicate. I’m looking for them to come out with a goal in this one and establish their game plan from opening tip. If not, this could swing Villanova’s way quickly. Hopefully Xaiver isn’t rusty after not playing in five days and only once in 21 games. I’ll play Xavier cautiously at -1.5 at -110.
LSU vs. Florida
Florida, once known for a strong basketball program hasn’t been in the top echelon in a few years. LSU is now ranked 12th in the country which is higher than I can remember them being ranked in years. One of the things these teams have in common is their scoring prowess. Both average over 70 points per game. Defensively, LSU is much better, allowing just 56 points per game. Over their last five games, only two have gone over the 138 point total. For Florida, though, they are 3-1-1 over their last five at this total. They look more comfortable at home scoring the ball and I think this game will likely have at least one of these teams getting close to the 80 point range. I’m taking the over 138 at -115.
Duke vs. Wake Forest
Wake Forest is a good team and has a strong program, as I’m sure you’re aware. Tonight though, I think Duke should take care of business with relative ease. They have the better players, but what I think sets them apart will be their defense. Wake and Duke have really similar stats in terms of their per game averages, but Duke should be able to clamp down at the end of the game to secure a win, but that doesn’t mean they cover. Both teams lost to University of Miami, Wake lost by 8, Duke lost at home by 2, so in reality a common loss means these teams might be even closer than we think. I’m taking the Demon Deacons at +6 at -105.