College hoops fans will be living in heaven for the next five weeks. Here’s what an important Tuesday night has in store for roundball geeks and sportsbook bettors:
Creighton Bluejays @ Georgetown Hoyas
Tuesday, 7:05 PM ET
College Basketball Betting Odds: Creighton -3.5
The Creighton Bluejays were picked off this past Saturday by the Xavier Musketeers, causing them to fall a game behind Villanova in the loss column for a share of the Big East championship. Creighton walloped Villanova twice in head-to-head competition, so the Bluejays know that they would get the top seed in the conference tournament if they can merely end up tied with Villanova in the conference standings. However, Creighton has to create that tie first, and with a loss here, the Jays could pretty much kiss their title hopes goodbye in their first season as a member of the Big East Conference (following their membership in the Missouri Valley Conference, their former home). Georgetown won’t be an easy opponent, though, for a simple reason: The Hoyas are playing for an NCAA tournament spot and desperately need to win this game to improve their body of work. If Georgetown loses here, winning at Villanova on Saturday will be a must, and that’s something the Hoyas would not like to have to face. Yet, Creighton’s probably not going to lose two games in a row.
Iowa State Cyclones @ Baylor Bears
Tuesday, 7:05 PM ET
College Basketball Betting Odds: Baylor -2
This is a game in which the Bears could seal a spot in the NCAA tournament with a win. Baylor has come alive over the past few weeks, rescuing its season with wins over Kansas State, West Virginia, Oklahoma State, and Texas Tech. If the Bears can get one more win against a really good team, they should feel confident about making the tournament after all. A horrible stretch in late January and early February will be forgotten. Iowa State began this week in a four-way tie for second place in the Big 12 behind first-place Kansas. The Cyclones could take a big step toward second place in the league if they can win this game on the road. Their skill level should be good enough to overwhelm Baylor.
Pick: Iowa State
Arizona State Sun Devils @ Oregon Ducks
Tuesday, 11:05 PM ET
College Basketball Betting Odds: Oregon -6
This is a game Oregon really needs to win. Arizona State beat Stanford and California this past week to solidify its place in the NCAA tournament. As long as the Sun Devils don’t completely collapse in the final two weeks of the season, they should be all right as far as the NCAA tournament is concerned. Oregon is the team that’s on the bubble and in need of as many good wins as possible. Oregon’s schedule is filled with low-level wins. Arizona State would be a high-level victory, just the thing that can get the Ducks into the March Madness party. Take Oregon at home on the betting lines. They should be the more energized team.