CBB Picks: Take Rutgers, Michigan State at home in Big Ten play

There are two distinct themes on Sunday's college basketball slate.

The first is the continuation of conference tournaments. Two teams will join Murray State as NCAA tournament participants. The bids go out in the Big South and Missouri Valley.

The Big Ten takes focus outside of the conference tournaments with a handful of intriguing matchups. The home teams in three games have a clear advantage and that is where I'm siding.

Rutgers is great at home, Ohio State has a chance to bury Michigan's NCAA tournament chances and Michigan State needs a big win in the worst way.

Sunday CBB Picks

Overall Record: 261-282-3 (7-9 Saturday)

Winthrop vs. Longwood (Over 139.5) (Noon ET, ESPN2)

Big South Championship

I took Winthrop to win the Big South tournament before it began, so I'm staying away from the spread in the Big South title game.

I am dabbling on the over between the Eagles and Longwood because both teams rank in the Top 30 in three-point offense. Winthrop is also seventh in two-point offense.

Longwood won the first meeting, 92-88, and the two sides combined to eclipsed the 70-point mark three times in Charlotte during the Big South tournament.

Penn State at Rutgers (-5.5) (Noon ET, BTN)

Rutgers does not lose at home.

The Scarlet Knights are riding a high wave of momentum into Sunday after Ron Harper Jr.'s game-winning shot at Indiana on Wednesday.

Penn State produced 61 points or fewer in six of its last seven road games and it has struggled of late with losses to Maryland and Nebraska.

Rutgers should use this game as a celebration of its seniors and as a chance to gain more momentum heading into the Big Ten tournament.

Michigan at Ohio State (-4) (12:30 p.m. ET, Fox)

Ohio State beat Michigan by nine points earlier in the season and we could see a similar margin of victory on Sunday.

The Buckeyes rebounded from a small stumble two weeks ago by destroying Michigan State at home on Thursday. They should end up with a similar result on Sunday.

Michigan is struggling to stay on the NCAA tournament bubble and the Buckeyes would love nothing more than to compound the troubles of their biggest rival.

Loyola Chicago vs. Drake (Under 131.5) (2 p.m. ET, CBS)

Missouri Valley Tournament Final

Loyola Chicago held its two opponents in the Missouri Valley tournament to 93 combined points.

The Ramblers could showcase the same defensive efficiency on Sunday while earning revenge and a spot in the NCAA tournament.

Loyola lost both regular-season meetings with Drake. Both games were high-scoring affairs.

If Loyola enforces its defense on Drake, we will see a much different result as the Ramblers earn an automatic bid.

Wofford vs. Chattanooga (-1.5) (4 p.m. ET, ESPNU)

Southern Conference Semifinal

Chattanooga is my pick to win the SoCon tournament.

The Mocs beat Wofford by eight and 11 points in the regular season and I'm willing to take them on a small spread on Sunday afternoon.

Wofford's disadvantage comes on defense, where it ranks 302nd in three-point defense and 294th in two-point defense.

Maryland at Michigan State (-6) (4:30 p.m. ET, CBS)

Michigan State is in dire need of a get-right game.

The Spartans have that in front of them on Sunday against a bad Maryland team.

Tom Izzo's team lost four of its last five games and it needs to take all of its frustration out on the Terps to erase the poor play from the last two weeks.

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