CBB Picks: Take Kentucky, Arkansas to cover in Saturday SEC action

The Kentucky Wildcats look like a national title contender.

John Calipari's team has two more games to reinforce that statement before it enters the NCAA tournament.

Kentucky is in pursuit of a No. 1 seed in the Big Dance and it should power its way into the SEC tournament final with a win over Tennessee.

The Wildcats could be on a collision course with Arkansas to meet in Sunday's final. The Razorbacks have played some of the best basketball in the last two months and they have been a covering machine.

There are a handful of conference tournament finals taking place on Saturday. I have my eyes on a few mid-major sides that I have trusted all season long.

Saturday CBB Picks

Overall Record: 288-312-4 (6-8 Friday)

Cornell vs. Princeton (Over 152.5) (11 a.m. ET, ESPNU)

The two meetings between Cornell and Princeton produced 142 and 171 points.

Cornell plays at the 10th-best adjusted tempo in Division 1 and that could suit itself for a high-scoring game to open up the four-team Ivy League tournament.

Cornell is 15th in two-point offense and 41st in effective field-goal percentage on KenPom, while Princeton is eighth in two-point offense and 14th in three-point shooting.

All of the offensive numbers suggest we could see a game in the 80s to open up Saturday's slate.

Texas A&M vs. Arkansas (-6) (1 p.m. ET, ESPN)

I think Texas A&M's surprising SEC tournament run is ended by the Muss Bus.

Arkansas is playing some of the best basketball in the country and it is coming off a 12-point victory over LSU.

A&M played Arkansas tight in both regular-season meetings, but I do think the extra day of play and stress that came with those two games catches up to the Aggies.

A loss likely means the Aggies will be sweating out their NCAA tournament hopes on Selection Sunday.

Indiana vs. Iowa (Over 143.5) (1 p.m. ET, CBS)

Iowa might be the best title-winning hopeful out of the Big Ten.

The Hawkeyes' offense has been fantastic over the last few weeks. They produced 112 points against Northwestern and then put up 84 on a good Rutgers team on Friday.

Iowa scored 83 points against Indiana in their lone regular-season meeting, and the Hawkeyes could take advantage of some tired legs in the Indiana defense.

If Iowa keeps scoring at its current rate, Indiana just needs to score around 65 points, which it is more than capable of doing.

Kentucky (-3) vs. Tennessee (3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Kentucky is one of the few teams I can trust to win the national championship right now.

The Wildcats possess a well-rounded offense and their skill can get them past any defense, like the one Tennessee has.

Kentucky's best performance of the season was a 107-point outburst against the Vols in Lexington on January 15.

We might not see that great of an outing from the Wildcats, but they should do enough to hurt the Vols in all directions and land a spot in the SEC tournament final.

San Diego State vs. Boise State (+116) (6 p.m. ET, CBS)

Boise State won both regular-season clashes with San Diego State.

Each of those contests were ugly offensive games in which neither side reached the 60-point mark.

Boise State has no problem winning a defensive battle against the Aztecs and I think that helps the Broncos in this situation.

The Broncos should have some extra motivation behind them as they go for the first-ever Mountain West tournament crown in program history.

Akron vs. Kent State (-3) (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2)

I can't hop off the Kent State bandwagon now.

The Golden Flashes are on a 14-game winning streak and they need one more victory to land a spot in the Big Dance.

Kent State has two wins over Akron already this season. It held the Zips under 65 points in both matchups.

If the Flashes enforce their will defensively again on Saturday, they should secure the MAC's automatic bid.

Louisiana Tech vs. UAB (-3.5) (8:30 p.m. ET, CBSSN)

UAB's Jelly Walker became an internet sensation on Friday with his 40-point performance in the triple overtime win over Middle Tennessee.

UAB's offense has some solid metrics that suggest it can win easily on Saturday and be a nuisance in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

The Blazers rank 12th in three-point offense and 29th in adjusted efficiency. Plus they have a star in Walker that can make a ton of big shots down the stretch.

CSU Fullerton vs. Long Beach State (-102) (11:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2)

Long Beach State has been undervalued on the odds board all season long.

I have to take LBSU one more time on the money line to win the Big West tournament.

LBSU beat CSU Fullerton by 10 points in the regular season and its offense could feast on the 322nd-ranked three-point defense.

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content