Wednesday NCAAB Picks

Our team of writers and handicappers hand out their College Basketball picks and predictions for Wednesday, February 25.

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Villanova at DePaul, 8:00PM ET

As surprising as Villanova's loss at DePaul was last season, another happening Wednesday night would be significantly more shocking.

Coming off an impressive road win that went down to the wire, the 10th-ranked Wildcats should expect a less stressful time when they face a Blue Demons team still searching for its first Big East win.

These teams opened conference play against each other last season at Allstate Arena as DePaul entered with a 4-7 record - the worst in non-conference play among Big East schools - while Villanova was 11-1 and ranked 17th. However, the Wildcats (22-5, 10-4) fell behind by 10 in the early going and ended up losing 84-76.

The Blue Demons (8-19, 0-14) haven't beaten a ranked team since that game, losing 15 straight, and enter this matchup having dropped a school-record 14 in a row overall.

Villanova, meanwhile, has won eight of nine and is coming off an 89-86 victory at then-No. 24 Syracuse on Sunday, but it wasn't easy. Their seven-point lead was cut to three with 16 seconds left, and the Orange missed three 3-point attempts on their final possession.

NCAA Free Pick: Villanova  View Game Matchup | Best Line: -13.5

Duke at Maryland, 9:00PM ET

When Duke and Maryland met last month, the Blue Devils played excellent defense and Terrapins star Greivis Vazquez struggled. Neither may happen in the rematch.

The Terrapins look to post a second straight win over a top 10 team behind Vazquez and gain a measure of revenge for an embarrassing loss when they host the seventh-ranked Blue Devils on Wednesday night.

Duke (22-5, 8-4 ACC) built a 25-point lead at halftime en route to an 85-44 home rout of Maryland on Jan. 24 - the Terrapins' worst loss under Gary Williams. Maryland (17-9, 6-6) shot a season-low 28.1 percent (18-of-64) and Vazquez endured his worst effort in ACC play this season with four points on 2-of-10 shooting.

Vazquez had averaged 17.4 points on 48.3 percent shooting in his first four career games against Duke.

He was a completely different player Saturday. Vasquez had a career-high 35 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists for Maryland's first triple-double in 22 years as the Terrapins rallied from a 16-point deficit in the second half to upset then-No. 3 North Carolina 88-85 in overtime.

NCAA Free Pick: Maryland View Game Matchup | Best Line: +6

Texas Tech at Texas, 9:30PM ET

Back in the Top 25 for the first time in three weeks, Texas looks to keep its momentum going. Facing a slumping Texas Tech team that won't have its coach Wednesday night could be the ideal situation for the 25th-ranked Longhorns to continue their recent surge.

Texas (18-8, 7-5 Big 12) goes for its 13th straight win at home against the Red Raiders following Saturday's 73-68 victory over then-No. 2 Oklahoma.

The Longhorns have won three of four after dropping three in a row from Jan. 31-Feb. 7 to fall out of the rankings.

Texas took advantage of an injury to Oklahoma star Blake Griffin to snap the Sooners' 13-game winning streak behind A.J. Abrams' season-high tying five 3s and 23 points. After tying a season low with seven points in an 81-66 loss to Texas A&M on Feb. 16, the senior guard scored 16 consecutive points for the Longhorns on Saturday during a 6:49 stretch of the second half.

NCAA Free Pick: Texas Tech View Game Matchup | Best Line: +15

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Posted: 2/25/09 10:45AM ET

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