It’s TWOsday 2/22/2022, what better way to celebrate than having another college basketball column. The college basketball world has been in a frenzy over the past few days talking about how Juwan Howard swung at Wisconsin coach Greg Gard.
As big as an event that was, let’s get back to talking about the games again.
We are winding down the calendar in February and are just a few weeks out from Selection Sunday. We have a huge matchup in the Big East, Mountain West, and SEC with huge bubble implications. We will get to all that and more.
Without further ado, here are the picks. As always, the lines are presented by our partners at DraftKings Sportsbook:
Villanova at UConn
Spread: UConn (-2)
Let’s open up with the boss man’s alma mater. This is a perfect revenge spot for UConn after Villanova beat them 85-74 earlier this month. In that game, Adama Sanogo got into foul trouble and the Huskies couldn’t defend Eric Dixon inside where he scored 24 points and had 12 rebounds. I expect UConn’s interior defense, which ranks 4th nationally in two-point percentage defense to be better. It will be tough for the Wildcats to follow up their three-point barrage on the road.
It's a statement game for UConn here. They will have to hammer the offensive glass, which Villanova struggles to clean up the boards, notching the Big East’s second-lowest defensive rebounding percentage. Justin Moore and Colin Gillespie aren’t operating at 100%.
This is the Huskies last statement game before the Big East Tournament. I like them situationally, and I expect them to pull out a win here.
The Pick: UConn (-2)
Arkansas at Florida
Spread: Arkansas (-1.5)
Can Florida notch their second consecutive monumental upset in three days after taking down Auburn on Saturday? This seems to be a must win for the Gators while this is a sandwich spot for the Razorbacks. Arkansas is coming off a home win against Tennessee and they have Kentucky coming to town this weekend. The Razorbacks are on a roll winning 11 out of their last 12. Meanwhile, a win tonight for Florida would catapult them comfortability into the NCAA Tournament field.
While I think this is a great betting spot for Florida, it’s a horrible matchup. The Gators struggle on the boards ranking last in the SEC in defensive rebounds, and the Hogs will take advantage of that in key spots. In addition, Florida struggles with quick, speedy, dribble drive guards- JD Notate for Arkansas is one of the best of the bunch. Jaylin Williams is one of the most quality post defenders in the nation. On offense he will stretch Colin Castleton out to guard the perimeter.
In this game I think the Musselman's Big Pig Invasion continues.
I don’t trust Mike White to win premier home games in a row. Give me Arkansas.
The pick: Arkansas -1.5
Michigan State at Iowa
Spread: Iowa (-6)
This is a matchup between two teams going opposite directions. Iowa has won four out its last five while Michigan State has lost four of its last five. Both are firmly in the NCAA Tournament, but a win could help either with Big Ten tournament seeding as well as momentum.
I actually like the Spartans in this spot. They allow the lowest three-point shooting percentage in the Big Ten, forcing teams to shoot just over 30 percent from three. They have big bodies to send at Keegan Murray. I think they will win the rebounding battle in this one as well.
There are simply too many points to give Michigan State. This one goes down to the wire.
The pick: Michigan State (+6)
San Diego State at Boise State
Spread: Boise State (-2)
This is a huge game in the Mountain West. San Diego State is one of the "Last Four Teams In" the most recent Bracketology field. They desperately need a win here. On the other side, Boise State can more or less punch their at large bid with a home victory.
Looking back to their first matchup, there were 79 total points scored between the two teams. Boise State was able to send multiple wings to Matt Bradley. They could not find a way to score against the Boise defense. I don’t expect a different outcome on Tuesday night.
Boise wing Emmanuel Akot’s status is questionable for this game, but the Broncos have more shot makers. I trust them in what’s going to be an electric home atmosphere. Give me the Broncos at home.
The pick: Boise -2
UNLV at Nevada
Spread: Nevada (-2.5)
We are picking another game with a two-point spread, you think that’s just a coincidence? Not really, but we get another Mountain West rivalry. After slow starts to the conference season, both teams are playing their best basketball down the stretch. The Rebels are coming off a huge home win against Colorado State while Nevada has won three in a row. Nevada has beaten their rivals seven out of their last nine tries.
I think this a rivalry game that goes down to the wire.
Both teams have electric guards who can score in bunches. Both are apathetic to playing defense. So we will take over here. Nevada will likely be without their best rim protector Warren Washington. So, they will have to play their more offensively skilled big man Will Baker. Can’t get to the window with Nevada and I don’t trust UNLV on the road. Instead enjoy an electrifying Mountain West shootout to close the night.
The pick: Over 144.5
Follow Austin Montgomery on Twitter @AMontgomeryLive
For all of Tuesday's point spreads, please visit DraftKings Sportsbook