Florida vs Florida State
No. 20 ranked Florida State Seminoles will take on the Florida Gators this weekend in a battle for state supremacy and to remain undefeated.
The Gators are 3-0 to start the 2020 college basketball season following a seven-point win over Army, a 20 point win over Boston College and a 46 point win over Stetson. Junior forward Keyontae Johnson is leading the way for the Gators, averaging a team high in points (19.7) and rebounds (6.0) per game.
The Gators are scoring 84 points per game while only giving up an average score of 59.7 through their first four games. However, they are yet to face a ranked opponent.
Enter Florida State.
After opening their 2020 season with a 28 point win over North Florida, the Seminoles were forced to an overtime bout against unranked Indiana, which they eventually won 69-67. M.J Walker has been the team’s best weapon on offense averaging a team high 18 points on 43.5% shooting.
— Florida Gators Men’s Basketball (@GatorsMBK) December 2, 2020
With the two games in their season bringing in contrasting results, it’s tough to get a read on where Florida State are as a team. Although the Seminoles have won the last six meetings in the head to head matchup by an average winning margin of 10 points, the Gators are our pick to upset their ranked rivals.
College basketball pick – Florida by 4.
Tennessee vs Cincinnati
No. 12 ranked Tennessee Volunteers will play their second game of the college basketball season against the Cincinnati Bearcats on Saturday.
Cincinnati are 2-1 to start the college basketball season, having registered wins against Lipscomb and Furman as well as an eight point loss to Xavier earlier this month.
In their win over Furman on Wednesday, senior Keith Williams scored a game high 27 points on 58.8% shooting. Williams currently leads the Bearcats in points per game this season with 17.3, and will no doubt be looking to continue his good stretch of form against Tennessee.
Having only played one game in the 2020 season, the Volunteers will be looking to get a big win against the unranked Bearcats to improve on their AP ranking. In their win over Colorado, Tennessee showed how aggressive they can be on defense, collecting 15 steals, forcing 23 Colorado turnovers and allowing only 47 points.
A win in our first game in 276 days.
— Tennessee Basketball (@Vol_Hoops) December 9, 2020
Despite not dominating on offense in their opening game, the Tennessee Volunteers should find better offensive rhythm with the more games they play, however their defense alone will be enough to give them a comfortable victory over the Cincinnati Bearcats on Saturday.
College basketball pick – Tennessee by 11.
Texas Tech vs Texas A&M-CC
In what may be one of the most lopsided matchups of the weekend the No.17 Texas Tech Red Raiders will face off against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi for the battle of bragging rights in the state of Texas.
After starting their 2020 season with an 11 point win over Texas A&M International, Texas A&M-CC have since suffered two double digit losses before most recently going down against UTRGV in back to back games by three points and four points respectively.
Ahead of their first matchup against a ranked opponent of the season, things could get ugly this Saturday when they face off against a 5-1 Texas Tech.
With social media sensation Mac McLung leading the way on offense, Texas Tech have won five out of six games to start the college basketball season, most recently beating the Abilene Christian Wildcats on Wednesday The Red-Raiders one loss for the season came against No.7 ranked Houston.
Despite struggling with only 8 points on 9.1% shooting on Wednesday, Mac McLung is averaging almost 16 points per game on 43% shooting in the 2020 season leading the way for the Red-Raiders.
— Texas Tech Basketball (@TexasTechMBB) December 10, 2020
Currently with the sixth best odds to win the Big 12 tournament at +650, Texas Tech have big aspirations for their 2020-21 season and should easily dispatch the lowly 1-4 Texas A&M-CC.
College basketball pick – Texas Tech by 27.
Missouri vs Illinois
The No.6 Illinois Fighting Illini and the Missouri Tigers have squared off in this annual ‘Braggin’ Rights’ game every year since 1983, with the Fighting Illini holding a 32-18 advantage and 14-6 record against the Tigers since 2000.
Despite having not been a top 25 ranked side in the ‘Braggin’ Rights’ battle since 2013, Missouri have gotten off to an impressive start to the 2020 season registering wins against Oral Roberts, Oregon and Wichita State before most recently defeating Liberty 69-60 on Wednesday.
Senior guard Mark Smith has been a model of consistency through the Tigers first four games, increasing his points per game average from 10 in his junior season to a team high 17.3 in 2020 while also scoring more than 15 points in each of Missouri’s four outings.
Although they aren’t undefeated the Illinois Fighting Illini are no joke. After starting the season 3-0 Illini suffered their one loss for the season against No. 2 Baylor, going down 82-69. However the Fighting Illini justified their fighting name, bouncing back to record an impressive 15 point victory over No.10 ranked Duke in their most recent game.
Junior guard Ayo Dosunmu has been one of the standout players of the Big 10, leading Illinois in scoring with 22.6 points per game on 50.6% shooting while also averaging 8.2 rebounds and 6.0 assists.
.@AyoDos_11 is *checks notes* pretty good.
18 points, 12 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 block, 1 steal…
Dominant performance from the preseason All-American. pic.twitter.com/lu6TCasbOL
— Illinois Basketball (@IlliniMBB) December 9, 2020
In what should be one of the toughest ‘Braggin’ Rights’ battle’s in recent years, the Fighting Illini should justify their No.6 ranking and hold off a fiercely competitive Tigers team on Sunday.
College basketball pick – Illinois by 8.
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