Conference Championship Picks
ACC- Duke vs Virginia Tech 8:30 PM ESPN
I'm going to start in the ACC since that is the one that's the one we're most interested in. The Hokies have made an incredible run, and since squeaking past Clemson with a buzzer-beater, they've been on fire. They controlled the entire game against both Notre Dame and North Carolina. Duke on the other hand had to play two tight games against a Buddy-less Syracuse and Miami, but they survived and made it to the Championship. Virginia Tech will be looking for their first ever ACC Tournament Championship, while Duke is going for their 22nd.
These two teams only met once this year and Duke won by 11 in Durham, but that was back in December and Virginia Tech is playing much better basketball now. Duke played small for most of that game as Mark Williams and Theo John only combined to play 20 minutes and it seemed to work well. I expect Duke to do a lot of the same again tonight. The biggest statistic from the first matchup, however, is that the Hokies only shot 26% from three. They're shooting 39% in this ACC Tournament. If they can do that, it will be a very competitive game. I still expect Duke to win a close game, but I think the Hokies keep it closer than Vegas thinks.
Pick: Duke 77 - Virginia Tech 74
Big 12- Kansas vs Texas Tech 6 PM ESPN
Mark Adams has done one of the best jobs in college basketball this year assembling this Texas Tech team and turning them into a 3 seed. They play great defense and their pieces fit together fantastically. However, Kansas will have the best player on the court, and they're playing to secure a 1 seed. These 2 split during the regular season, but I'm going with Kansas tonight.
Pick: Kansas 72 - Texas Tech 67
Mountain West Conference- Boise State vs San Diego State 6 PM CBS
Outside of the ACC Championship, this is the game I'm looking forward to most today. The Mountain was has been so much fun this year, and they should get 4 teams into the Big Dance. San Diego State has the best defense in the country, and while Boise State beat them twice during the regular season, I think the Aztec's defense carries them to a championship tonight.
Pick: San Diego State 62 - Boise State 61
Big East- Villanova vs Creighton 6:30 PM FOX
Creighton absolutely pummeled regular-season champion Providence yesterday, while Villanova had to win a tight battle against UConn. Creighton is playing much better than I expected after they lost Nembhard for the season, but I think Villanova and their experienced guards will be too much for the Bluejays tonight.
Pick: Villanova 74 - Creighton 65
Conference USA- UAB vs Louisiana Tech 8:30 CBSSN
This should be a really fun game. UAB had to play a triple overtime game yesterday, so they may be running out of gas. Louisiana Tech meanwhile had to battle with regular season champ and bubble team, North Texas to get to the Final. I'm taking Louisiana Tech with the upset in a tight one.
Pick: Louisiana Tech 67 - UAB 65
PAC 12- Arizona vs UCLA 9 PM FOX
This game should be worth staying up late for. Both of these teams are good enough to win a national championship and have been the 2 best teams in the PAC 12 by far all year, so it's fitting that they will meet in the championship. They split during the regular season, but Arizona only shot 30% from the field in the game that UCLA won. I don't think they'll do that again. I'm taking Arizona in a high-scoring affair.
Pick: Arizona 84 - UCLA 80