|College Basketball Picks and Predictions for Monday February 23|
|Written by Anthony Rome|
|Monday, 23 February 2009 05:30|
Monday NCAAB Picks
Our team of writers and handicappers hand out their College Basketball picks and predictions for Monday, February 23.
Louisville at Georgetown, 7:00PM ET
Louisville and Georgetown met on the last day of the 2007-08 regular season with first place on the line heading into the Big East tournament.
As this season winds down, the seventh-ranked Cardinals are again fighting for the conference's top spot - while the Hoyas are simply battling for their postseason lives.
One of four teams in contention for the No. 1 seed in the Big East, Louisville goes for its fourth win in a row Monday night when it visits Georgetown, which can ill afford another loss if it hopes to earn a fourth consecutive NCAA tournament berth.
The Cardinals (21-5, 12-2) and Hoyas last met March 8 at the Verizon Center, with Georgetown winning 55-52 in a defensive struggle to claim the Big East regular-season title.
Louisville is once again in position to clinch the conference crown while remaining a fixture in the top 10 of the AP poll, but the Hoyas (14-11, 5-9), ranked ninth on Jan. 12, now can't even crack the top 10 in their own league. They've lost eight of 10, most recently falling 78-72 at home to No. 10 Marquette on Saturday that prompted John Thompson III to refer to this as his toughest season as a head coach.
Kansas at Oklahoma, 9:00PM ET
Even at full strength, Oklahoma knew beating Kansas wouldn't be easy. Playing without All-American forward Blake Griffin could make the challenge even more difficult for the Sooners.
With first place in the Big 12 on the line Monday night, second-ranked Oklahoma could be without its star sophomore as it tries to avoid a fifth straight loss to the visiting No. 15 Jayhawks.
The anticipation surrounding this matchup intensified Saturday night when Oklahoma (25-2, 11-1) had its 13-game winning snapped with a 73-68 loss at rival Texas.
The result dropped the Sooners into a first-place tie with Kansas (22-5, 11-1) atop the Big 12 after the Jayhawks beat Nebraska 70-53 earlier in the day for their third straight victory.
Adding to the drama is the uncertain status of the 6-foot-10 Griffin, who sustained a concussion when he caught an inadvertent shot to the face from Texas' Dexter Pittman in the first half Saturday.
The frontrunner for national player of the year, averaging 22.0 points and 13.8 rebounds, Griffin sat out the second half and didn't practice Sunday.
Posted: 2/23/09 10:30AM ET