NCAAB Sunday Picks
Our team of writers and handicappers hand out their College Basketball picks and predictions for Sunday, March 1.
Missouri at Kansas, 2:00PM ET
Excitement is always high when Missouri visits Allen Fieldhouse. This time, so are the stakes.
Nothing less than a chance for the Tigers' first men's championship in any Big 12 sport will be on the line Sunday when No. 11 Missouri (24-4, 11-2 Big 12) goes after a season sweep of archrival Kansas.
To the No. 15 Jayhawks (23-5, 12-1), conference titles are old hat. They're gunning for their fifth straight and ninth in 13 years. A touch of revenge for a disheartening 62-60 loss at Missouri last month when they let a 14-point lead evaporate in a hail of turnovers would also please the 16,300 fans who will put up a deafening roar from the opening tip to the final buzzer.
But for Jayhawk followers who figure Missouri's pressure defense will be harder to run in Allen Fieldhouse, coach Bill Self has sobering words.
Michigan State at Illinois, 4:00PM ET
Michigan State is on the verge of winning its first Big Ten title in eight years, but it's hardly been playing like a championship-caliber team lately. The Spartans have picked up victories against some of the league's weaker teams over the past few weeks, but another lackluster effort likely won't be enough against Illinois, one of the best defensive teams in the nation.
No. 9 Michigan State looks to break out of its offensive funk and earn a share of the Big Ten title Sunday when it visits the 20th-ranked Illini, who are trying to keep their conference title hopes alive.
The Spartans (22-5, 12-3) have a 1 1/2-game lead in the Big Ten over Illinois (23-6, 11-5) and No. 16 Purdue, and still have three games remaining to just two for both the Illini and Boilermakers.
After this game, Michigan State visits last-place Indiana on Tuesday before closing the regular season at home against Purdue next Sunday.
Despite being within one victory of its first conference title since winning four straight from 1998-2001, Michigan State has struggled lately.
The Spartans have won three of their last four games, but looked awful in a 72-54 loss at Purdue on Feb. 17, and didn't look very sharp in victories over Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa.
In its latest game - Wednesday's 62-54 win over the Hawkeyes - leading scorer Kalin Lucas finished with a season-low four points as freshmen Delvon Roe and Korie Lucious bailed the team out.
Roe scored a season-high 16 points on 6-of-7 shooting, while Lucious added a season-high 12.
Maryland at NC State, 7:30PM ET
All games in this series since 1997
MARYLAND is 16-7 against the spread versus NC STATE since 1997
MARYLAND is 17-6 straight up against NC STATE since 1997
11 of 18 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL since 1997
Games over the last 3 seasons
MARYLAND is 3-0 against the spread versus NC STATE over the last 3 seasons
MARYLAND is 3-0 straight up against NC STATE over the last 3 seasons
2 of 3 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons
All games played at NC STATE since 1997
MARYLAND is 8-2 against the spread versus NC STATE since 1997
MARYLAND is 7-3 straight up against NC STATE since 1997
8 of 9 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL since 1997
Games played at NC STATE over the last 3 seasons.
MARYLAND is 1-0 against the spread versus NC STATE over the last 3 seasons
MARYLAND is 1-0 straight up against NC STATE over the last 3 seasons
1 of 1 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons
Posted: 3/1/09 3:43AM ET