Purdue Iowa Basketball
Purdue forward Trevion Williams, left, drives to the basket ahead of Iowa forward Keegan Murray (15) and forward Patrick McCaffery (22) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022, in Iowa City, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)


Patrick Werkmeister

Following another 2-1 performance in yesterday’s college basketball best bets, these games are a great opportunity to stay hot. In these last championship games on this year’s Selection Sunday, power 5 programs and mid-majors alike fight for every inch to secure their spot in the NCAA tournament. 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 A&M vs. Tennessee (-6.5)
In this SEC tournament championship contest, the Texas A&M Aggies face off against the Tennessee Volunteers. The opening spread for this match had Tennessee as six and a half-point favorites and that is where this line currently sits. While the Volunteers are a solid 4-2 ATS in their last six games played, Texas A&M has overachieved in this SEC tournament, where they are an impressive 7-0 ATS in their last seven games played. Led by an array of sharpshooters from three-point range, Tennessee has followed up their upset loss in the first round of the NCAA tournament last year with an impressive 25-7 record in the competitive SEC. Conversely, the Aggies struggled during the regular season, but they have put themselves in a great position to qualify for the NCAA tournament with a solid record of 23-11. Last game out, the Aggies pulled off a stunning upset over Arkansas in an 82-64 blowout, whereas Tennessee narrowly defeated the Kentucky Wildcats, 69-62. When they met in the regular season, the Vols breezed to a 10 point victory. However, the Aggie have clearly been on fire lately, so Tennessee will certainly not take this opponent lightly. Take the Vols minus the points to handle Texas A&M.

Memphis vs. Houston (-3.5)
For the AAC championship game, the Memphis Tigers will take on the Houston Cougars. The opening line for this contest had Houston as five and a half-point favorites but they are currently favored by just three and a half-points. While Memphis is a solid 5-1 ATS in their last six matches, Houston is an impressive 6-1 ATS in their past seven games. Led by star guard Marcus Sasser, among a deep overall roster, Houston is looking to at least repeat their Final Four run from last year. Similarly, the Memphis Tigers are a formidable AAC opponent where they have miraculously made it to the conference championship with a 21-9 overall record. However, after another fruitful season in conference play for Houston, the Tiger’s chances look slim, though they were able to come away with the victory in their first meeting. Last game out, Memphis defeated SMU by seven points whereas Houston blew out Tulane by 20 points. Although the Tigers are loaded with young talent, Houston is marginally better than any other program in the conference. With more signature wins over quality opponents, Houston is the more battle-tested squad so they should find a way to secure a victory. Take the Cougars to handle Memphis.

Iowa (+2.5) vs. Purdue
In the Big 10 conference championship, the Iowa Hawkeyes matchup against the Purdue Boilermakers. The opening line for this contest had Illinois as three point home favorites and they are currently favored by four points. While the Hawkeyes are an impressive 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games played, Purdue is an atrocious 0-6 ATS in their past six contests. Additionally, Iowa has been on fire where they are 8-1 SU in their last nine games. Led by star guard Jaden Ivy, Purdue has had a solid year with a record of 27-6. Similarly, Iowa is bound for the NCAA tournament led by player of the year candidate Keegan Murray, with a record of 25-9. Last game out, the Hawkeyes narrowly defeated the Indiana Hoosiers, 80-77, whereas Purdue came away with an 80-75 victory against Michigan State. Iowa has come out of this conference tournament and shown they belong in the conversation for a chance at a national title. Take the Hawks to take care of Purdue.

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