Sunday NCAAB Picks
Our team of writers and handicappers hand out their College Basketball picks and predictions for Sunday, February 8.
Louisville at St. Johns, 1:30PM ET
An undefeated January put Louisville back on track, but the Cardinals opened February with a subpar shooting performance against the nation's top team and their first conference loss. Playing one of the Big East's weaker clubs could help them rebound.
Fifth-ranked Louisville, though, could also face a surprisingly stiff challenge Sunday in New York, where St. John's has already upset one ranked opponent this season and has defeated the Cardinals three straight times.
The Cardinals (17-4, 8-1) have had six days to shake off Monday's 68-51 home loss to No. 1 Connecticut, and might have needed all that time to recover from shooting 34.4 percent from the field (22-for-64). Louisville saw its nine-game overall winning streak snapped while allowing the Huskies to make 47.1 percent (24-for-51) of their shots.
"Every time one of them has an off-night offensively, it affects other parts of their game," Cardinals coach Rick Pitino said. "They're not mature enough to understand and give credit to the other's team defense and not let it affect them in playing the other facets of the game."
Boston College at Wake Forest, 4:00PM ET
Since knocking off the nation's top-ranked team, not much has gone right for Wake Forest. Boston College suffered a similar hangover after beating the No. 1 team in the country, but appears to have its season back on track.
The seventh-ranked Demon Deacons look to break out of their funk and avoid losing their third straight game on Sunday when they host Boston College, which is trying to win its sixth in a row.
After being bounced from the top spot in the AP poll with a 78-71 loss to Virginia Tech on Jan. 21, Wake Forest (17-3, 4-3 ACC) rebounded with a 70-68 win over then-No. 1 Duke on Jan. 28 to get back in contention in the conference.
With losses in their last two games, though, the Demon Deacons have fallen into the middle of the pack in the ACC.
Wake fell to Miami 79-52 on Wednesday after losing in the final second last Saturday at Georgia Tech, which came into the game winless in league play.
The Demon Deacons had no answer for Miami's zone. Wake shot a season-low 31.7 percent, including 3-for-20 from 3-point range, and finished with its lowest-scoring game of the season after averaging 82.9 points on 49.7 percent shooting in its first 19 contests.
Washington at Stanford, 5:30PM ET
A difficult road stretch has Washington faltering in its first stint this season as a ranked team. If the 22nd-ranked Huskies want to maintain any hope of staying in the Top 25, they'll have to win in a building where their road woes have persisted for 15 years.
On Sunday, Washington will try to avoid its second straight Bay Area loss and a 16th straight defeat at Maples Pavilion, where Stanford is 11-2 this season.
A 13-1 stretch capped by a four-game winning streak moved Washington into the poll on Jan. 26, but it's been a struggle since then as the Huskies (16-6, 7-3 Pac-10) work their way through four straight road games.
They split two contests last week, losing to Arizona on Jan. 29 before beating then-No. 14 Arizona State two nights later. The Huskies then shot just 36.1 percent in an 86-71 loss at California on Thursday, and those problems carried over to the defensive end, as they allowed 56 second-half points after giving up 69 after halftime in the 106-97 loss to the Wildcats.
NCAA Free Pick: Stanford – View Game Matchup | Best Line: +1.5 Sportsbook.com
Posted: 2/8/09 8:33AM ET