March 1, 2024

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College basketball picks, schedule: Kentucky vs. Gonzaga predictions and more, Saturday's top 25 games

College basketball picks, schedule: Kentucky vs. Gonzaga predictions and more, Saturday's top 25 games

Saturday's college basketball schedule features a nearly full slate with 22 teams in the Associated Press' Top 25 as the sport proceeds with a leaner-than-usual Sunday schedule with the Super Bowl taking center stage. While the day is light on marquee matchups — No. 4 Kansas vs. No. 13 Baylor is the only matchup between two ranked teams — there is high potential for upsets and subsequent results.

By 12:30 PM ET, four ranked teams will compete on the road against league opponents in a window primed for at least one upset. The afternoon then comes with a massive doubleheader on CBS as No. 10 Illinois heads to Michigan State, followed by Gonzaga's trip to No. 17 Kentucky in a rare non-conference matchup in February.

The Spartans and Zags trail only Kansas in consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, but both are living life in the bubble and need to bolster their resumes. Both games should feature noisy environments and plenty of drama as we approach five weeks until Sunday.

Our experts have our picks for these and other big fixtures on Saturday.

Odds via SportsLine Consensus | All times Eastern

No. 10 Illinois over Michigan

2 pm | CBS, CBSSports.com, CBS Sports app (free) — This one comes to the spot. Illinois is 1-5 in true road games this season, with the only win being a two-point victory over a struggling Maryland team. Michigan State is seeking revenge for its previous 71-68 loss at Illinois and needs this game for its NCAA Tournament hopes. Additionally, the Spartans have not lost a home game since Dec. 5. Every home win during that period came by at least nine points for Michigan State. Prediction: Michigan State -2.5

4 pm | CBS, CBSSports.com, CBS Sports app (free) — Kentucky has dropped two games in a row at Rupp Arena and three games at home in total this season. That's something to be proud of for the Wildcats, who got back on track Tuesday by scoring 109 points in a win over Vanderbilt. Gonzaga desperately needs to win Quad 1, but expecting the Zags to travel across the country and beat an offensive powerhouse like UK is tough. Prediction: Kentucky -4

6 pm | isbn, com. fuboTV (Try for free) Kansas reminded us why Allen Fieldhouse is one of the best home-court advantages ever last week, when it crushed Houston by 13 points after entering as an underdog. The Jayhawks have their flaws, but good luck getting them around. Baylor has a tendency to play close games, but KU is the side to choose in this Big 12 battle. Prediction: Kansas -6.5

8 pm | isbn, com. fuboTV (Try for free) — Every Tennessee win this season has come by six or more points. When volunteers win, which they do often, they tend to win big. With Dalton Knecht's supporting cast making substantial contributions as of late, look for Tennessee to get some breathing room late against a Texas A&M team that has lost three home games this season. Prediction: Tennessee -3.5

8 pm | Fox, com. fuboTV (Try for free) — Indiana showed some grit by rallying from a late deficit to win at Ohio State on Tuesday. After losing by 21 at home to Purdue on Jan. 16, the Hoosiers will be eager to redeem themselves. Purdue will win, but look for Indiana to battle it out in one of its last chances to make a big statement. Prediction: Indiana +18.5

Who will win and cover every college basketball game? Visit SportsLine for picks from the model that simulates every game 10,000 times And it's worth more than $1,200 versus $100 players on the top-rated spread picks over the past six years.