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2020-2021 cbhsports College Basketball Weekend Preview: Mid-major conference tournaments take center stage (3/5/20-3/7/20)

AP Top 10 entering weekend:

1.Gonzaga 24-0 Next: WCC Tournament

2.Michigan 18-2 Next: at.Michigan State (3/7)

3.Baylor 20-1 Next: 18.Texas Tech (3/7)

4. Illinois 17-5 Next: at.7.Ohio State (3/6)

5.Iowa 18-7 Next: 25.Wisconsin (3/7)

6.West Virginia 17-7 Next: 17.Oklahoma State (3/6)

7.Ohio State 18-7 Next: 4.Illinois (3/6)

8.Alabama 20-6 Next: at.Georgia (3/6)

9.Houston 20-3 Next: at.Memphis (3/7)

10.Villanova 16-4 Next: at.Providence (3/6)

Key games this weekend:

17.Oklahoma State at. 6.West Virginia (Saturday, 2 PM ET, TBD)

Oklahoma State has gone 2-1 its last three games with a sweep of rival Oklahoma and a tough loss to Big 12 champion Baylor. Point Guard Cade Cunningham is proving to be everything a number one pick needs to be, highlighted by a 40 point performance in a Saturday win over Oklahoma. West Virginia lost to Baylor on Monday night but got a win later in the week over bottom dweller TCU. With a win, the Mountaineers can lock up the two seed next week in Kansas City at the Big 12 Tournament but can too, even with a loss. But it will be no easy task with Cade Cunningham, Kalib Boone and the Cowboys coming to town. Projected Score: West Virginia 76, Oklahoma State 71

USC at. UCLA (Saturday, 4 PM ET, CBS)

USC and UCLA are both on cold streaks. The Trojans have fallen into second place in the Pac-12 (despite a win over top place Oregon a few weeks ago), going 2-2 in their last four games. The Bruins fell to third place in the conference, with back to back losses to Colorado and Oregon. UCLA needs a win at home in Westwood to earn a split in the regular season with their LA rivals on Saturday afternoon. Projected Score: USC 70, UCLA 62

4.Illinois at. 7.Ohio State (Saturday, 4 PM ET, ESPN)

Despite losing star point guard Ayo Dosunmo to a facial injury, Illinois has gone 3-1 in his absence, including its most recent win over Big Ten champion Michigan in Ann Arbor (to prevent them from winning it at the time). Ayo is “day to day” according to thespun.com, but has gone through some light team workouts today. So, Illinois fans should be optimistic. Ohio State was riding high even after a tough 92-87 loss to Michigan two weeks ago. Ohio State followed that loss with dropping games to Michigan State and top five ranked Iowa, now residing in fifth place in the Big Ten. Despite its placing in the conference (18-7, 12-7 Big Ten), most mock brackets still have the Buckeyes at a projected two seed. It’s incredible just how good both the Big Ten and Big 12 are this season. We will get to see a fun game on Saturday afternoon, the winner getting big momentum heading to Indianapolis at the Big Ten tournament next week. Projected Score: Ohio State 86, Illinois 83

Duke at. North Carolina (Saturday, 6 PM ET, ESPN)

The first time these two teams met, North Carolina got the better of Duke in Durham. According to Joe Lundari’s latest Bracketology, North Carolina is slated as a ten seed and Duke is a member of the first four out. A win for North Carolina would likely keep them where they are barring multiple teams losing this weekend ahead of them. A loss would move them closer to needing to win a few next week in Greensboro at the ACC Tournament. Even with a win for Duke, they would still need to make it a few rounds in the ACC Tournament, likely to the semifinals in Greensboro with a win in Chapel Hill on Saturday. Both would love a win in their last regular season game I am sure to build momentum headed into postseason play next week. Projected Score: North Carolina 79, Duke 71

25.Wisconsin at. 5.Iowa (Sunday, 12:30 PM ET, FOX)

Iowa has been dominant in their last few games with a win over then number four ranked Ohio State. Iowa lost to Big Ten champion Michigan a week ago which was just their second loss in eight games. Wisconsin is on the other end of the spectrum. The Badgers have losses to ranked Purdue, Illinois (twice), Iowa, and Michigan over their last eight games. National player of the year frontrunner (big man) Luka Garza (over 24 points per game) and awesome Iowa offense will be the difference in this game. Projected Score: Iowa 73, Wisconsin 61

18.Texas Tech at. 3.Baylor (Sunday, 4 PM ET, ESPN)

Texas Tech is riding high with wins over rival Texas and Big 12 bottom dweller Iowa State. Baylor had its first setback of the season last Saturday, losing to Kansas in 71-58 loss. But since, they have wins over West Virginia (who is second place in the Big 12), and wrapped up a Big 12 regular season championship. Surging Oklahoma State (fifth place in the Big 12) is led by star freshman guard Cade Cunningham. Baylor star junior guard Jared Butler has been phenomenal the last few games, averaging over 17 points. ESPN will broadcast an unusual Sunday men’s college basketball game for the network, but it will be a treat without a doubt. Projected Score: Baylor 77, Texas Tech 76

2.Michigan at. Michigan State (Sunday, 4:30 PM ET, CBS)

The two met on Thursday with Michigan clinching the Big Ten regular season championship. Michigan State needs a win here to strengthen their NCAA Tournament case despite having many chances next week in the Big Ten tournament, which is perceived to be the toughest conference in America. I see it going the same way it went on Thursday. Projected Score: Michigan 85, Michigan State 76

By Carter Huff

Please enjoy all of my content :) <3-Carter.

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