Villanova's Collin Gillespie, right, tries to dribble past Georgetown's Jahvon Blair, Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Villanova's Collin Gillespie, right, tries to dribble past Georgetown's Jahvon Blair, Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)|Associated Press
NCAAB

Kern's College Basketball picks include Baylor vs Kansas, Houston vs Memphis, Villanova vs Xavier, Michigan vs Purdue, Penn vs Harvard, more

Mike Kern

Mike Kern

Aftaid I’m liking too much stuff on today’s card, and I know from past experiences that can sometimes be problematic. But we’ll try anyway. Hey, you never know. And we’ve been doing fairly well lately, so there’s always that I guess.

OK, first I’m going to take Baylor laying 1.5 points at home against Kansas. Kansas has been playing better over the last few weeks, but Baylor has been the most consistent team in the country throughout. They won comfortably at Kansas, which might mean the Jayhawks are in big-time revenge mode. But I’ll take a chance that the Bears, whom we’ve really liked since we saw them against Nova in November, will get it done at home to secure their No. 1 spot in the polls. And that would make them about the only team to be able to do that this season.

Next I’ll go with Houston laying 2.5 at Memphis. It won’t be easy, but I think Houston is really good. Memphis isn’t bad, and it’s at home, but I still will take the Cougars to cover the field goal.

Let’s try Michigan plus 3.5 at Purdue. I know the Big Ten has been a home league, and Purdue has certainly had its moments at its place, but Michigan is starting to come on. Go Wolves.

I’ll also give Providence a try giving 1.5 at home to Marquette. Marquette has the best player on the court, even though he hasn’t been 100 percent lately, but I think the Friars come up big at the Dunk in what’s close to a must game for them.

Speaking of which, I will take Penn getting 6.5 at Harvard. I know it’s a revenge game for the home team, but the Crimson play a lot of tight games and Penn almost has to win this to remain in the Ivy League playoff scenario. Not sure the Quakers will win, but I think it will be close.

I’ll also try, and I know I might regret this but it’s business not personal, but I’ll take a shot on Xavier at home against Villanova at a pick. I know the Cats played well at DePaul, but this game is likely to mean for everything to X, and I think the Musketeers will be a little too much in front of their crowd.

Also in the Big East, let’s try Georgetown getting 2 at DePaul. And this has nothing to do with DePaul getting skunked by Nova at home the other night. Hoyas have been hanging tough despite all their personnel issues, and I think they will just find a way to tough this one out. But as with most of these picks please tread carefully. It’s just a hopefully somewhat educated opinion. And DePaul has lost eight straight, which might mean it’s due.

Imagine I haven’t even thrown out a teaser yet. And I know I probably should have, since at least a few of those picks will no doubt need some extra points to make me a winner (but I also have to get another game right too, so there is that). So here’s one from the MAC, courtesy of my connection out there. Take Bowling Green getting 1 at home over Ohio, with Western Michigan getting 8.5 at home against those Toledo Rockets. Don’t have a lot of sound reasons why, but at least it gives us something to root for in the under-the-radar part of the Midwest. Hopefully there’s nothing wrong with that.

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