Month after month with no college basketball left many to think the league was in tatters. However, college basketball’s heart is beating again – and this past week has been a clear reminder of how much we all missed it.
While some Power 5 conferences have raced out of the blocks in a hurry, others have stumbled with the elongated preseason practice.
Below are all of our favourite picks coming into some of the Monday match-up’s…
Davidson vs Texas – Davidson by 8
The opening match in Asheville will pit Texas Head coach Shaka Smart against one of the longest-tenured coaches in the game, Bob McKillop. But who will outsmart who?
It’s going to be a very close game – especially considering both sides will be tested fitness-wise, and conditioning-wise. The match is also set to provide some much needed early-season information about the group’s upsides.
But, it’s looking likely Davidson are going to take out their maiden match for the season. After losing only one starter from last season’s 16-14 team, the side look extraordinarily strong coming into the 2020/21 season.
Senior Guard Kellan Grady led the side in scoring last season with 17.2 points per game, and is looking slated to continue the scoring bonanza. Texas has a good rebounding advantage, but have got to make sure that they’re aggressive on the glass, which may take some work past the first match-up of the season.
College basketball pick: Davidson by 8.
UNC vs UNLV – UNC by 16
It’s a quarterfinal matchup of the Maui Invitational, and the UNLV Rebels will be looking to bounce back, as they return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2013.
— Maui Invitational (@MauiInv) November 29, 2020
They’ll have to give it all they’ve got on both ends of the court, much more than their opener against Montana State, if they hope to win tomorrow’s game. At this stage it’s looking increasingly unlikely.
Against the Bobcats, UNLV’s last lead came with 12:59 to play in the first half at 10-9. The side then failed to contest the ball, and trailed by double-digits for the final 26 minutes of the contest – beaten by a final score of 13 in their own gym. They’ll face an even tougher style of play against UNC.
College basketball pick: UNC by 16.
UCLA vs Long Beach St – UCLA by 4
Long Beach State almost sprung a massive upset at UCLA last season – and are now in with another shot at it again this year. The sides will go at it in the season opening at UCLA for the third consecutive season.
The Beach has lost each of their previous two meetings, but kept things close. Last year, LBSU led by five, with five minutes left on the clock, but were unable to hold onto the lead in the final moments.
— LBSU Mens Basketball (@LBSUhoops) November 25, 2020
The side is led by junior Chance Hunter, who was selected to the Preseason All-Big West team. The star averaged 13.9 points per game last season, while also claiming the top rebounder accolade, at 5.0
But, UCLA should one-up the side again, with the team looking hungry for the win at home, especially after such a long interval. That’s not to say it won’t be close.
College basketball pick: UCLA by 4.
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