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National Champs Currently Ranked 14th
March Madness is less than a month away when the selection committee will pick the 68 teams that will compete for the national title.
Committee members spend countless hours evaluating men’s college basketball teams during the regular season.
North Carolina won its sixth championship last year, but this season the Tarheels are currently 20-7 and ranked 14th in the nation. They are fourth in the ACC behind Virginia, Duke and Clemson.
With three of the top four ranked teams in the nation in action on Saturday, let’s try to pick a winner against the spread (ATS) in those two games involving the top schools and cash a winning parlay ticket.
**VGB’s college basketball parlay pick (odds provided by Bovada) — Take Michigan State (-8) over Northwestern and Xavier (+1) over Villanova. If both teams cover the spread, the payoff is $68.17 for a $25 bet. If either team loses against the spread, the ticket is void.
Wildcats Collide With Streaking Spartans
Michigan State (-8) at Northwestern — The No. 2 Spartans (25-3) made school history this season. The team has never had a better record through 28 games than this year’s class.
The Spartans, who have won nine straight, are tied with Ohio State for the lead in the Big Ten standings with a 13-2 mark in conference play. The Wildcats (15-12), who have lost three of their last five, are 6.5 games out of first place.
The Spartans, who have three regular season games left against Big Ten opponents, will lock up a No. 1 seed in the tournament with a conference title. Michigan State averages 13 points a game more than Northwestern, which is 1-3 against ranked opponents this year.
Miles Bridges is the leading scorer for the Spartans with 17.3 points per game. He is one of five MSU players who average double digits in scoring. The sophomore guard is also one of the top rebounders and playmakers on the team.
Scottie Lindsey leads the Wildcats’ offense. The senior guard averages 14.6 points per game and is one of four to score 10 or more per game.
Michigan State is 3-4-2 ATS in the current winning streak. Northwestern is 3-2 at home in Big Ten play and 3-2 ATS.
Best Of The Big East Meet In Cincinnati
Villanova (-1) at Xavier — This is the game of the weekend as the top two teams in the Big East square off in Cincinnati.
The No. 4 Musketeers (24-3) lead the conference by 1.5 games over the No. 3 Wildcats (23-3). Xavier has won nine in a row and will be out to get even with Villanova after losing earlier this year at The Pavilion 89-65.
The Wildcats have hit their worst stretch of the season, losing two of their last three to other conference opponents — St. John’s and Providence. Villanova needs a win to have any shot at first place with five conference games left in the regular season.
The Wildcats have six players that average double digits in scoring, led by junior guard Jalen Brunson (19.8). The Musketeers have just three that average double digits. Senior guard Trevon Bluiett leads the attack at 19.6 points a game.
Xavier is 7-2 ATS in its current winning streak, while Villanova is 3-3 ATS in their last six games.
VGB’s Top 10 NCAA Basketball Teams
(Current odds to win the Men’s NCAA Basketball Championship listed after team record. Odds provided by Bovada.)
Michigan State (25-3) +500 — Best 28-game record in program history.
Virginia (24-2) +550 — Ranked No. 1 in nation for first time in 36 years.
Xavier (24-3) +2000 — Streaking Musketeers now play game of the week.
Villanova (23-3) +500 — Wildcats tumble after losing two of their last three.