Sunday NCAAB Picks
Our team of writers and handicappers hand out their College Basketball picks and predictions for Sunday, February 22.
Wisconsin at Michigan State, 12:00PM ET
Michigan State is in first place in the Big Ten, but a pair of stunning home losses and a lopsided road defeat in its latest game have coach Tom Izzo's squad looking far from invincible.
Lately, Wisconsin has been the team looking like it can't lose.
The sixth-ranked Spartans will try to bounce back from a blowout loss Sunday afternoon when they host the surging Badgers, who are looking to counter an earlier six-game losing streak by winning their sixth straight.
Michigan State (20-5, 10-3) reeled off wins in its first five conference games before stumbling in two of its next four, shocking upset losses to unranked Northwestern and Penn State in East Lansing.
The Spartans, however, had been perfect on the road in the Big Ten, winning their first six games by an average of 11.0 points. But instead of pulling off another double-digit win Tuesday at No. 19 Purdue, Michigan State was dreadful offensively, shooting a season-low 32.7 percent and committing a season high-tying 22 turnovers in a 72-54 loss.
George Washington at Xavier, 1:00PM ET
A third consecutive Atlantic 10 regular-season title isn't the priority for Xavier right now. Playing better basketball is.
Coming off their third straight road loss, the slumping Musketeers hope their return to the Cintas Center on Sunday afternoon against George Washington can steady this rocky stretch.
The 16th-ranked Musketeers (21-5, 9-3), looking for their 23rd consecutive A-10 victory at home, will meet a Colonials team that's dropped seven straight on the road. They are trying to rebound from Thursday's 65-60 loss to Charlotte - their third defeat in four games.
Xavier also lost 72-68 at Duquesne on Feb. 7 and fell to Dayton 71-58 on Feb. 11.
Arizona at Arizona State, 10:00PM ET
As a former Arizona State assistant coach and radio analyst, Russ Pennell knows all the back doors into and out of Wells Fargo Arena.
Pennell might need to find one on Sunday night, when he'll lead the streaking Arizona Wildcats into a much-anticipated duel with the 14th-ranked Sun Devils.
"I'm sure I'll see some old friends and they'll smile at me," Pennell said this week. "And then they'll probably hold up signs saying, 'Kill U. of A.'"
The game pits the two hottest teams in the Pac-10. The Wildcats (18-8, 8-5) have won seven in a row and Arizona State (20-5, 9-4 Pac-10) has won four straight.
Behind forwards Chase Budinger and Jordan Hill and point guard Nic Wise, Arizona has bounced back from a 2-5 conference start to make a strong case for its 25th straight NCAA tournament berth. It's the nation's longest active streak.
Led by guards James Harden and Derek Glasser and forward Jeff Pendergraph, the Sun Devils have all but locked up their first trip to the NCAAs since 2003. Harden leads the conference at 21.3 points per game.
Posted: 2/22/09 7:30AM ET