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College hoops handicapper Stephen Rodriguez gives his top picks for today's games

No ranked teams were in action on Friday night, but Saturday is set to surely make up for it.

Each team in the AP Top Ten rankings step onto the hardwood for action on Saturday.

Here’s a look at today’s NCAA games:


Xavier Musketeers @ #10 Seton Hall Pirates (-8), 11:00 AM:

  • Seton Hall has won each of the last 10 games.
  •  The Pirates lead the Big East with a 146 ATS record while the Musketeers rank the worst with a (5-15-1). Stat courtesy of Statschecker.

#10 Seton Hall (16-4) picked up a 10th win in a row after taking down Depaul 64-57. Senior Myles Powell led the way with a game-high 24 points, and sophomore Jared Rhoden added a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds.

Powell has been the workhorse for Seton Hall all season, ranking 10th in the nation in scoring averaging (22.1 ppg). Senior Romaro Gill has also been one of the best shot blockers in the nation averaging (3.5 blkpg).

Xavier (13-8) forced overtime but fell short at home, losing to the Marquette Golden Eagles 84-82.

Senior Tyrique Jones played big for the Musketeers posting a double-double with 13 points, 15 rebounds and three assists.

These are two teams headed in completely opposite directions; Xavier has lost six of the last games and sit at 2-6 in the Big East Conference. Meanwhile, Seton Hall is undefeated in conference play (8-0), and are going for their 11th consecutive win.

Back in the beginning of January, the Pirates handled the Musketeers by 12 points on the road. I’m anticipating a similar result this time around especially with Seton Hall being at home.

2u - Seton Hall Pirates (-8) @ -105

#9 Duke Blue Devils @ Syracuse Orange (+6.5), 8:00 PM:

  • Syracuse has won the first half in each of the last 11 games. Stat courtesy of Statschecker.

#9 Duke (17-3) picked up a second straight win after taking care of Pittsburgh 79-67.

Freshman Vernon Carey Jr. led the way with a big double-double scoring a game-high 26 points with 13 rebounds and four assists. Sophomore Tre Jones added 14 points and eight assists, and freshman Cassius Stanley totaled 11 points and seven rebounds.

The Blue Devils have been one of the top offenses in the nation ranking fifth best and averaging (82.7 ppg).

Syracuse (13-8) were on a roll but snapped a five-game winning streak on the road to the Clemson Tigers 71-70.

Junior Elijah Hughes and sophomore Buddy Boehiem each contributed a team-high 22 points as Boehiem made four three-pointers and Hughes added five steals.

The Orange are no stranger to upsetting the Blue Devils as an unranked team - Syracuse defeated #1 Duke last season on the road. Although they may not win outright, my expectation is the Orange will use the 2-3 zone to keep this game close enough at home to cover the spread.

1u - Syracuse Orange (+6.5) @ -110

#13 Kentucky Wildcats (+3.5) @ #17 Auburn Tigers, 6:00 PM:

  • Auburn and Kentucky have struggled ATS at 911 this season. Stat courtesy of Statschecker.

Two of the top three seeds in the SEC standings square off when the Tigers and Wildcats meet on Saturday night.

#17 Auburn (18-2) avoided the near road upset and won a third straight game defeating Ole Miss 83-82 in overtime.

The Tigers had five players score in double figures including four of the five starters, and senior Andernee McLemore who led the team with 19 points off the bench. Fellow senior Samir Doughty led the starters with 17 points.

#13 Kentucky (16-4) won a fourth consecutive game after taking down Vanderbilt 71-62.

Freshman Tyrese Maxey led the way with a team-high 17 points, and junior Nick Richards posted a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds.

Three of the four Wildcats losses this season have been by three points, and the other being by only six points. What that tells me is that Kentucky will surely be in this game until the end, and possibly win it outright.

Anticipate a tight game down to the final minute with the Wildcats covering the (+3.5) spread.

1u - Kentucky Wildcats (+3.5) @ -114

By Stephen Rodriguez

Article Author


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