5 NCAA basketball teams on high alert this week: Could Ohio State fall?
The Ohio State Buckeyes and Michigan State Spartans have tough matchups on the road. Could they be among the most popular college basketball upset picks this week?
One of the biggest takeaways that longtime college basketball fans know is that it’s extremely difficult to win on the road in conference games. The intense nature of long-running rivalries leads to rowdy home crowds, making life difficult for road teams simply trying to maintain their place on the starting line by avoiding an upset.
Purdue and LSU were upset victims last week in conference road games, which isn’t at all surprising given the quality of the leagues they play in. Let’s look at five other teams that could be upset in college basketball this week. upset choices.
Upset alert: Upset college basketball picks in Week 12
Note: All matches listed below were on the schedule at the time of publication. COVID-19 issues may result in postponement at any time.
No. 10 Michigan State at No. 24 Illinois – Tuesday
The Spartans are coming off a huge road win in Wisconsin on Friday, but have a dangerous game against a ticked-off Illinois team that lost to Maryland on Friday night. The X factor in this game is the availability of the Illini Kofi Cockburn center, who missed that game after suffering a concussion in a game against Purdue earlier in the week. If Cockburn is active, that gives Illinois a huge advantage since Michigan State doesn’t really have a real answer for him.
No. 16 Ohio State at Minnesota – Thursday
This one falls into the category of a potential trap play for the Buckeyes, who have a huge trip to Purdue on tap Sunday afternoon. Ohio State must be careful not to look past Minnesota, which managed to beat Rutgers at home last week despite three starts and only seven scholarship players available due to COVID-19 concerns. The Golden Gophers are more than capable of bringing down the Buckeyes if Ohio State is caught napping on Thursday.
No. 19 LSU at TCU – Saturday
The Big 12/SEC challenge could definitely bring upheavals, including this game where LSU hits the road to take on an underrated TCU team. The Horned Frogs are 13-3 this season and are coming off a key road win at Iowa State last week. This spot is dangerous for LSU because TCU knows their resume is light on big wins, making it very important for the Horned Frogs to shoot a team ranked in the SEC Top 20.
Baylor No. 4 at Alabama – Saturday
Baylor regained their form with a pair of road wins last week, but this game against Alabama should be one of the highlights of the Big 12/SEC Challenge. The Crimson Tide have been wildly uneven this season but are as dangerous as any team in the country when knocking down their threes, as evidenced by wins over Gonzaga and Houston. This game is very dangerous for the Bears because Alabama can easily knock them out and should have been ranked in this week’s poll.
No. 7 Houston at UCF – Saturday
The Cougars have quietly taken care of business in the United States this season, a huge credit to them since they’ve already lost two starters for the year to injury. There aren’t many real road tests in the United States this year, but Saturday’s showdown against UCF is fraught with challenges for Houston. The Knights had quality non-conference wins over Miami and Michigan but stumbled a bit in league play, making this shot at the Cougars imperative for their chances of making the NCAA Tournament.
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