My top college basketball expert picks this week begin on Thursday, Feb. 14. Can Virginia Tech provide a bloody valentine to the Duke Blue Devils?
On Saturday, two top 5 teams clash when Xavier hosts Villanova. Who wins in that major Big East throw down?
Duke’s back at it on Sunday, Feb. 18. The Blue Devils travel to South Carolina to take on the Clemson Tigers. Who wins in a matchup between ACC rivals?
NCAA Hoops Expert Picks Feb 12th – 18th
Virginia Tech at #9 Duke
When: Thursday, Feb. 14 at 7:00 pm ET
Where: Cameron Indoor Stadium, Durham, NC
Analysis: Duke is one of the better teams in the nation. However, the Blue Devils rarely have faced as good of a defense as the one Virginia Tech will throw at them on Feb. 14.
VA Tech pulled off the 61 to 60 overtime upset win versus rival Virginia on Feb. 10. The reason why the upset win was such a shocker is because the Hokies beat Virginia, who was ranked second in the nation at the time, on Virginia’s home court.
VA Tech has no trouble playing, and beating, ACC opponents on the road. Duke is full of talented freshman, like always. I think there’s a chance VA Tech’s experience gets the better of the young Blue Devils.
Pick: Virginia Tech
#1 Villanova at #5 Xavier
When: Saturday, Feb. 17 at 4:30 pm ET
Where: Cintas Center, Cincinnati, OH
Analysis: Villanova heads to Cincinnati, Ohio to battle the Xavier Musketeers. Villanova has continued to play well even though Phil Booth is out for the season. The reason is because Jalen Brunson has been exceptional this season.
Brunson leads the Nova Wildcats in points per game at over 20. He also leads the Wildcats in assists per game at 4.7 while he shoots close to 55% from the field. Brunson is one of the better guards in NCAA Basketball.
Xavier boasts one of the better guards in NCAA Basketball as well. Trevon Bluiett averages close to 19 points, over 5 boards, and close to 3 assists per game. Bluiett is one of those players that can change a defense with just his mere presence on the court.
Bluiett figures to get the upper hand over Brunson because Xavier is at home. I like the Musketeers to win this game on Saturday.
#9 Duke at #16 Clemson
When: Sunday, Feb. 18 at 1:00 pm ET
Where: Littlejohn Coliseum, Clemson, SC
Analysis: Duke has a tough week ahead of them. After battling the scrappy Virginia Tech Hokies on Thursday, Duke must contend with the Clemson Tigers, in Clemson, on Sunday.
Clemson is no joke of a basketball team. The Tigers are 9 and 1 against the spread at home. Clemson allows 65 points per game while scoring 75 points per at home. Duke should have its hands full on Feb. 18.
I think Clemson to beat the Blue Devils straight up.