|Championship Week Picks and Predictions for Saturday March 14|
|Written by Anthony Rome|
|Saturday, 14 March 2009 04:28|
Saturday NCAAB Picks
Our team of writers and handicappers hand out their College Basketball picks and predictions for Saturday, March 14.
Arizona State at USC, 6:00PM ET
Arizona State knows it has a spot in the NCAA tournament. Southern California is not nearly as confident.
The surging Trojans need one last upset to join the No. 23 Sun Devils in the NCAA field as both try for their first Pac-10 tournament title Saturday at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Paced by 24 points and nine rebounds from Pac-10 player of the year James Harden, fourth-seeded Arizona State (24-8) blew a 21-point lead, but still beat 13th-ranked and No. 1 seed Washington 75-65 in Friday's first semifinal.
The Sun Devils, who were 3-10 in tournament play entering this season's event, are in the title game for the first time.
Baylor at Missouri, 6:00PM ET
With its third Big 12 tournament win in as many days, No. 9 seed Baylor became the lowest-seeded team to advance to the title game since No. 10 Missouri did it in the conference's inaugural 1996-97 season.
The Tigers didn't win the tournament championship that year, and they don't plan on letting the Bears complete their improbable run with a title, either.
The No. 3 seed and 14th-ranked Tigers look to improve their resume for the NCAA tournament and end the Bears' bid for an NCAA berth Saturday night in the Big 12 tournament's championship game at the Ford Center.
Baylor (20-13) defeated No. 8 seed Nebraska in a mild upset in its tournament opener Wednesday before shocking top-seeded Kansas the next day.
The Bears continued their run Friday night with a 76-70 semifinal victory over No. 5 seed Texas. They're now one win away from an automatic berth in the NCAA tournament, something that seemed all but impossible at the start of the week.
Syracuse at Louisville, 9:00PM ET
Louisville didn't entirely have an easy time reaching the Big East Conference tournament championship game. It was nothing, however, compared to what Syracuse endured to get there.
After needing only one overtime to win their semifinal contest, the No. 18 Orange hope they have enough left to pull off one last upset as they face the fifth-ranked and top-seeded Cardinals in Saturday night's final at Madison Square Garden.
Less than 24 hours after sixth-seeded Syracuse (26-8) beat No. 3 Connecticut 127-117 in an historic six-overtime quarterfinal thriller, the Orange went an extra five minutes to oust seventh-seeded West Virginia 74-69 on Friday.
Shunning fatigue and playing with confidence, Syracuse will try for its eighth straight victory and third Big East tournament title in five years.
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Posted: 3/14/09 9:28AM ET