College basketball picks, schedule: Predictions for Michigan State vs. Illinois and other top games Saturday

Saturday college basketball roster comes along with 12:30 p.m. NCAA March Madness Men’s Bracket Preview On CBS, which means things are officially getting real. With just over three weeks left until Selection Sunday, the NCAA Championship picture is in focus, and a massive slate of games will bring us one step closer to sorting things out in the bubble and in the various conference races.

The Big Ten is a conference of strength with uncertainty at the top, and one of the best matches of the day features two of the many teams still in the league title mix as Michigan State hosts No. 19 in Illinois at 12 p.m. ET. But there will be convincing action all day and into the night, when third-place Arizona hosts Oregon at 10 p.m. as the ducks look for a massive victory amid life over the bubble.

In between there will be countless other major games and big moments, including the first 25 showdown on CBS between No. 25 in Alabama and No. 25 in Kentucky. With the NFL season winding down, the Winter Olympics wrapping up and the NBA all-star break, the floor belongs to college basketball.

Our experts have picks and predictions for today’s biggest games right here.

Odds via Caesars Sportsbook | All times are oriental

No. 12 Illinois in No. 19 Michigan State

nun | ESPN, fuboTV (try for free) – This is a rematch of a match in which Illinois won by 56-55 on Jan. 25 after blocking a late rally from the Spartans. In fact, it was a meltdown for Illini, who failed to score during the 5:32 final. This time, Michigan State gets the court advantage at home as both teams look to stop their recent slip and stay in the Big Ten competition. Illinois are only 2-3 over their last five games on the road, and Michigan State should be an inspiration after an ugly loss at Penn State on Tuesday. Prediction: Michigan 66, Illinois 63

12:30 PM | ABC, fuboTV (try for free) – Texans attempt to tie Texas Tech in the league standings and secure revenge for their 77-64 loss at Texas Tech on February 1 as first-year coach Chris Bird looks to avoid a drift at his old school. The Reds took advantage of a completely untamed pitch in the first meeting and they’d realize how much it was worth in the rematch. The Longhorns beat Kansas in their last home game and must defend their home ground once again. Prediction: Texas 67, Texas Tech 63

No. 25 Alabama at No. 4 Kentucky

1 m | CBS, CBSSports.com, CBS Sports App (Free) – It seems unlikely that Alabama would shoot just 10% out of the 3-point range as it did in the first meeting, which Kentucky won 66-55 just two weeks ago. With TyTy Washington’s status uncertain for the Wildcats, Crimson Tide should give the UK a solid game. Look for Alabama to stay in until the end before the UK steals it to complete the sweep of the season. Prediction: Kentucky 79, Alabama 77

4 pm | ESPN2, fuboTV (try for free) – Arkansas has won 10 of the last 11 and Tennessee has won eight of its last nine as they both put themselves in good shape to secure a double win in the SEC Championship. It’s the first two meetings between the two teams over the course of the season and it seems destined to split. Arkansas must be able to ride a rowdy crowd and excel in frontcourt sports for a near victory. Prediction: Arkansas 79, Tennessee 75

4 pm | ESPN2, fuboTV (try for free) – You’d like to think UNC might go out and play with revenge after the horrific home loss to Pittsburgh on Wednesday. But Virginia Tech won six in a row to revive its NCAA Championship hopes and would have no problem scoring against a Tar Heel defense. Cassell Coliseum should provide plenty of backup as UNC’s first Quad 1 win was denied. Prediction: Virginia Tech 77, North Carolina 73

Oregon at No. 3 Arizona

10 pm | ESPN, fuboTV (try for free) – A road win over Arizona would solve a lot of problems for Oregon, who suffered a brutal 81-57 ​​loss to humble Arizona on Thursday after entering the game as one of the “last four in.” But it’s hard to see the Ducks, who also lost by 14 at home to Cal last Saturday, outsmart a legitimate national title contender on the road. The Wildcats have won 11 of the last 12, and no one in the Pac-12 has come within number one from Arizona except for UCLA. Prediction: Arizona 96, Oregon 71

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