Jermaine Samuels
Villanova forward Jermaine Samuels (23)in action during an NCAA college basketball game against Georgetown, Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022, in Villanova, Pa. (AP Photo/Laurence Kesterson)


Patrick Werkmeister

Following a solid 2-1 performance in yesterday’s college basketball best bets, these games are a great opportunity to stay hot. In this jam-packed Saturday slate, schools from across the NCAA will see some action on this day-long full of games as the conference tournaments roll on. However, the real action lies in the top 25 programs who are scheduled to play in this slate. As these teams fight it out in their respective conference, it will be interesting to see if the top dogs are able to live up to their reputations and successfully close out this season. Nevertheless, here is what I’m going with for these college hoops games.


Texas Tech vs. Kansas (-2)
In the Big 12 Conference tournament championship, the Kansas Jayhawks take on the Texas Tech Red Raiders. The opening line for this matchup had Kansas as one point favorites and they are currently favored by two points. While Kansas is an impressive 6-3 ATS in their last nine games, Texas Tech is a shoddy 1-4 ATS in their last five games. Led by an array of NBA worthy talent, Kansas has made it their 31st straight season with 20+ wins with a current record of 27-6. According to Kenpom data, they are a top 5 offense in the country in adjusted efficiency. Although the Jayhawks have one of the top offenses in the country, they will face a tough test against the 25-8 Red Raiders who are the number one defense in adjusted efficiency. Last game out, Texas Tech narrowly defeated the Oklahoma Sooners, whereas Kansas easily got the W vs TCU, 75-62. While the Jayhawks have proved they deserve to be in the conversation of winning this year’s national championship, Texas Tech has also risen to the top of one of the best conferences in basketball. Additionally, after suffering back-to-back losses over a week ago, Kansas has seemingly rediscovered their rhythm and will be sure to stay hot for the biggest game of the year to date. The Jayhawks carry the momentum necessary to get this win and will certainly want revenge after their loss to Texas Tech earlier in the year. Take Kansas to take care of their in-conference foe.

Creighton (+7) vs. Villanova
From the iconic Madison Square Garden, the Creighton Bluejays take on the Villanova Wildcats in this Big East tournament championship. The opening line for this contest had Villanova as six point favorites and they are currently favored by seven points. While Nova is a solid 9-1 ATS in their last 10 games, Creighton is also an impressive 8-2 ATS in their past 10 contests. Led by star guard Collin Gillespie, among a talented overall roster, Villanova is looking to at least repeat their Sweet Sixteen run from last year. Similarly, the Creighton Jays are a formidable Big East opponent where they are led by an array of three-point shooters with a 22-10 overall record. In their two regular season matchups, each team won once and lost once, however, after a fruitful year in conference play they found themselves at the top of the Big East . Last game out, Nova narrowly escaped UConn by a score of 63-60 whereas Creighton upset the number one seed in the tournament, Providence, 85-58. Although the Wildcats are loaded with talent, Creighton has the weapons to keep it close with the top dog in the Big East. Take the Jays to cover against Villanova.

Akron vs. Kent State (-3)
In the MAC tournament championship game, the Kent State Golden Flashes take on the Akron Zips. The opening line for this match had Kent State as one point favorites but they are currently favored by a three point margin. While Akron is a solid 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games played, the Golden Flashes are an unstoppable 11-1-1 ATS in their last 13 games. Led by star guard Sincere Carry, Kent State has won 14 straight and has a current record of 23-9. Similarly, Akron has put themselves in a great position to qualify for the NCAA tournament. Last game out, the Flashes defeated the Ohio Bobcats, 67-61, whereas Akron upset the number one seed, Toledo, 70-62. In their two regular season meetings, Kent won by an average margin of 4 points. However, the Zips have been playing their best basketball, so the Flashes will certainly not take this opponent lightly. While Kent State defeated Akron in both meetings by a comfortable margin, they are still favorites by a slim margin. Take the Flashes minus the points to handle Akron.

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