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Welcome everyone to my CBB Lines and Locks article! I will be breaking down my Top Plays and Favorite Bets for most popular College Basketball slates. Saturday’s CBB slate is loaded with games. See which games I like the most and why. Let’s Get to the action and WIN!

#10 Creighton @ Villanova: Villanova needs this win to feel safely in the tournament. They can do damage in the Big East tournament next week, but a win here could almost certainly lock them into a spot in the tournament. Creighton has won six out of their last seven games and has won two straight since losing to St. John’s on the road. Villanova has won five of their last seven games but just lost their most recent game to Seton Hall which puts them at risk and on the bubble. Creighton is 11th in the NET and then 9th in KenPom overall. They are extremely well-balanced and that comes out in their KenPom rankings with an adjusted offense of 121.3 which is 11th and an adjusted defense of 97.2 which is 24th. Four different Blue Jays average over double digits with three of them averaging at least 17 points or more. Baylor Scheierman leads the way with 18.5 points per game and 8.9 rebounds per game. Creighton is also a top-30 scoring team at 81.2 points per game and top-20 in assists at 17.3 per game. The metrics are very high on Villanova with the Wildcats being 29th in both the NET and KenPom. Their defense is what sets them apart with their adjusted defense being ranked at 13th on KenPom at 95.5. They are also allowing 65.5 points per game which is 22nd in all of college basketball in scoring defense. When it comes to offense Villanova has three players that average over double digits with Eric Dixon being the leader at 16 points per game. Creighton has been on fire recently and is in line for a 3-seed in the tournament, but Villanova is desperation mode and needs this game. This is going to be a close game, but Villanova covers and wins at home and feels safer on the bubble. They burned me on Wednesday, but ride with the Wildcats one more time, especially in Philly.

Pick: Villanova ML

#14 Kansas @ #1 Houston: Kansas rolled over Houston in their previous matchup when they could not miss at home, shooting 68.9% from the field in a double-digit win over the Cougars. However, since that game both teams have looked different with Houston winning eight straight since that loss, while Kansas has lost four games since. Kansas has looked different, and it has been mainly because Kevin McCullar Jr. has not been healthy and has been in and out of the lineup due to a bone bruise in his knee. The Jayhawks most recently blew out their rivals, Kansas State at home after losing two straight before that to both BYU and Baylor. Still, Kansas was already struggling with their depth and if they don’t have McCullar they are even more depleted. The metrics are still being kind to the Jayhawks with the NET ranking them 15th and KenPom ranking them 17th. Their defense has been the standout with it being 10th in adjusted defense on KenPom at 94.4. Three Jayhawks average over double digits in scoring. McCullar Jr. leads the team in scoring at 19.1 points per game, but with his status questionable look for Hunter Dickinson to be even more of a focal point on offense than he already is. He averages 18.1 points per game for the season. Houston is the team that is most loved by the metrics across the board. They are first in the NET and first in KenPom. They are also the best defense in the country with an adjusted defense of 89.2 on KenPom and the top ranked scoring defense, allowing 57.3 points per game. Their offense has also been solid with the 12th ranked adjusted offense on KenPom at 121.1. They are a very experienced team and are being led by two seniors in L.J. Cryer and Jamal Shead. Three players average over double digits too with Cryer being the leading scorer at 15.8 points per game. Kansas can exploit Houston’s height weakness thanks to Dickinson, but he can’t do it all alone, especially if McCullar Jr. does not play. Expect the Cougars to set the tone right away and win big at home.

Pick: Houston -7.5

#15 Kentucky @ #4 Tennessee: Kentucky has won six of their last seven games and four straight overall, while Tennessee has won seven straight games heading into this matchup. Tennessee also won their last matchup in Rupp Arena 103-92. Kentucky avoided disaster thanks to their last four games, and it has paid off in the metrics with the Wildcats sitting at 20 in the NET and 18 in KenPom. The offense is what carries the Wildcats this season. They are eighth in adjusted offense on KenPom at 122.9 and they are the third ranked scoring offense in the entire country at 89.7 points per game. Five different Wildcats average over double digits scoring-wise with Antonio Reeves leading the way at 20 points per game. Tennessee clinched the regular season SEC title after beating South Carolina in their last game. The Volunteers are 5th in both the NET and KenPom. Their offense has improved this season with them being ranked 21st in adjusted offense on KenPom at 118.9. They are one of the best defenses in all of college basketball with an adjusted defense ranking of 3rd on KenPom at 90.9. They also allow 67.1 points per game on defense. Three Volunteers average over double digits with their superstar being Dalton Knecht who is averaging 20.7 points per game. Kentucky has come on strong recently to rebound, but Tennessee is playing very well. Kentucky has struggled on defense while Tennessee’s expertise is in defense. Kentucky’s talent will keep them in this game, and this will come down to the wire, but the home crowd in Knoxville will be the difference. The Vols should win a very close game.

Pick: Kentucky +7.5

#7 North Carolina @ #9 Duke: The latest matchup on Tobacco Road in college basketball’s best rivalry should be a great one. Both are also playing well with the Tar Heels winning six of their last seven games and five straight overall, while Duke has won eight of their last nine games and three in a row. The Tar Heels won the first matchup this season 93-84 at home. Duke and North Carolina are right next to each other in the NET with Duke at nine and North Carolina at 10 and in KenPom with Duke at seven and North Carolina at eight. Duke’s strength has been their balance with their offense being the seventh ranked adjusted offense in KenPom at 123.3 and the 22nd adjusted defense at 96.9. They are also top-50 in points scored at 80.2 points per game and in points allowed at 66.7 points per game. Five different players on the Blue Devils average over double digits with Kyle Filipowski being their primary scorer at 16.5 points per game. The Tar Heels are also very balanced with the sixth-ranked adjusted defense on KenPom at 93.5 and the 25th adjusted offense at 118.1. They are also a top-25 scoring offense at 81.5 points per game. Four Tar Heels average over double digits with RJ Davis being a superstar and capable of taking over a game at 21.5 points per game. These two teams are always very evenly matched, but with the game at Duke all the momentum is on the Blue Devils’ side. This should be a close game as usual, but Duke should be able to get revenge on the Tar Heels and win and cover at home to close out the regular season.

Pick: Duke -4.5

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