College hoops fans have a ton of really interesting games to choose from on Saturday, with March only three weeks away. Yes, it’s only going to get more dramatic on the betting lines from here on out as we approach Selection Sunday on March 16th.
Cincinnati Bearcats @ Southern Methodist Mustangs
Saturday, 7:35 PM ET
The Cincinnati Bearcats have been one of the foremost stories of the college basketball season. They have taken complete control of Conference USA by beating both Louisville and Memphis on the road. Cincinnati’s defense has been impregnable this season. The Bearcats overcome shooting slumps to win games. They work through rough patches and show more perseverance than most teams in the country. Head coach Mick Cronin has instilled so many good habits into his team, which is seventh in the nation in both the writers’ and coaches’ polls. The Bearcats are in line for a number two seed in the NCAA tournament, which is far better than players and coaches ever realistically imagined at the beginning of the season. SMU is trying to get into the NCAA tournament. A win over the Bearcats would be huge, but Cincinnati looks like the more solid team in this this college basketball betting matchup.
Michigan Wolverines @ Iowa Hawkeyes
Saturday, 2:05 PM ET
This is a game in which the Hawkeyes will be attempting to split the season series with the Wolverines. Michigan won on its home floor a few weeks ago, so Iowa is now trying to even the score. Iowa is in the midst of an important stretch, having just played Ohio State earlier in the week. The Hawkeyes will definitely be in the NCAA tournament. The question is how highly will they be seeded? This is a product of finishing well in the Big Ten and grabbing quality wins whenever and wherever they can be found. A victory over a Michigan team that has lost just one Big Ten game to this point in the season would certainly give Iowa the boost it needs heading into the second half of the month of February. Expect the Hawkeyes to seize this moment.
Gonzaga Bulldogs @ Memphis Tigers
Saturday, 9:05 PM ET
This is a rare non-conference game stuck in February, which makes it that much more of an important moment for Gonzaga, a team that has not dominated the way it did much of last season. The Bulldogs will probably make the NCAA tournament even if they lose the West Coast Conference Tournament in a month, but a win over Memphis would make Gonzaga a lock in that regard, so one should expect a spirited effort from coach Mark Few’s team as it heads on the road. However, Memphis is an improved team this season under a coach, Josh Pastner, who seems to be growing into his role. The Tigers have a senior-dominated backcourt, something that should matter a lot against Gonzaga’s guards. Memphis is the better choice here, playing a night game at home.