College Basketball Lookahead Games

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LAS VEGAS, NV (The Spread) - We're coming closer towards the end of the regular season in college basketball and teams are now positioning themselves for March Madness.

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But there are still teams that will look-ahead to rivals or ranked teams. Let's face it, most of these college basketball players are aware of their next opponent. There's also the revenge factor as teams may have circled an opponent on the calendar who beat them earlier in the season. That's why coaches always tell the media that their team is taking it "one game at a time" to keep their players focused on the task at hand. In betting circles, the "look-ahead" theory is a pretty successful trend if you take the time to pay attention.

Below, I'll give you three instances of teams that play against inferior opponents, with a much more important game on the schedule afterwards. Will they overlook that current opponent because they have their minds on the next game?

Here are the top three possibilities of a look-ahead game for this weekend and early next week:

NC State (16-10 SU, 11-11-1 ATS, 6-7 ACC) is barely on the bubble for the NCAA Tournament after dropping two straight. Now they take on a bad Virginia Tech team on Saturday that is 9-16 overall and 2-11 in the ACC. While they do need a win, they do face a red-hot North Carolina team on Feb. 26, that just defeated Duke on Thursday. The Wolfpack lost at North Carolina on Feb. 1 by 14 so this is a revenge and rivalry game for North Carolina State. A win over the Tar Heels would be huge to their resume, but a win over the Hokies by a couple of points is all they need as they should be at least a five-point favorite. Don't expect them to cover as a big road favorite.

Iowa State (20-5 SU, 11-12 ATS, 8-5 Big 12) should be in the NCAA Tournament but they have had their bad moments on the road. One of them took place against West Virginia on Feb. 10 as they were embarrassed in Morgantown, 102-77, as a 2-point favorite. They take on a terrible TCU team (9-16 SU) on Saturday on the road. In the first game, the Cyclones beat the Horned Frogs, 70-64, giving 11. They may have been looking ahead that game to facing Texas. They'll be looking ahead again when they take on TCU on the road Saturday with a rematch against West Virginia on Feb. 26 coming up at home.

Syracuse (25-1 SU, 13-8-1 ATS, 12-1 ACC) has a tough week. After losing to Boston College at home for their first defeat of the season on Wednesday, they have to travel to Duke on Saturday. Then they take on Maryland on Monday, who has struggled this season at 15-12 overall and 7-7 in the ACC. After they visit College Park to take on the Terps, the Orange have to travel back down South to Charlottesville next Saturday, to meet a Virginia team that is currently 13-1. That game could be for the ACC regular season title. There's no doubt that Syracuse could be looking-ahead on Monday against Maryland and that could also be a let-down game.

Good luck this weekend and make sure you check out all the injuries and suspensions before making your selection.

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