College Basketball Picks, Schedule: Predictions for Kansas vs. Indiana and more top 25 games on Saturday

Get ready for the best Saturday we’ve had yet and we’ll probably have the rest of this college basketball season. That’s right, with five games featuring both teams ranked in the AP Top 25, we’ll have December Madness as teams prepare for a break over the holidays.

Put on your best Jesse Katsopolis voice and say those two magic words with Me: Have mercy. Because Saturday’s college basketball slate absolutely deserves it.

We have No. 8 Kansas welcoming No. 14 Indiana to Allen Fieldhouse earlier in the day. We have No. 2 Virginia welcoming No. 5 Houston in the middle of the afternoon. And, by the way, the CBS Sports Classic doubleheader between No. 23 ohio state and North Carolina first followed by No. 13 Kentucky and No. 16 UCLA, all inside Madison Square Garden as well. For night owls, there’s also a real late-night treat with No. 6 Tennessee, armed with the No. 1 defense in America, taking on No. 9 Arizona, armed with the No. 1 offense in America, inside. the McKale Center.

So yes, have compassion Of course.

Our experts have picks and predictions for the biggest games of the day here.

Odds via Caesars Sportsbook | all eastern times

featured game | Kansas Jayhawks vs. Indiana Hoosiers

12:00 | ESPN2, fuboTV (Free Trial) — Indiana hasn’t been the same team in its last three games with star freshman Jalen Hood-Schifino on the shelf with an injury. The offense lacks strength and plays. Even if he does return, it’s reasonable to expect some rust. That’s one reason I like KU minus the points here. Another reason is more obvious: KU is stuck at home under Bill Self. He has won 11 straight games inside Allen Fieldhouse and is 297-16(!) in the spot under Self. A money line win is almost an automatic bet for KU, but I like to bet the points as well. Prediction: Kansas -6 (Boone)

featured game | Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. Alabama Crimson Tide

1:00 p.m. | CBS,, CBS Sports App (Free) — Alabama last beat Gonzaga 91-82 in Seattle last season. That Crimson Tide team was less talented and much more erratic than this year’s version. Gonzaga is still trying to figure out his collective identity beyond Drew Timme’s stardom. Since this year’s game will be played in Birmingham, the Crimson Tide should have the upper hand in terms of fan support. Though young, this Alabama team showed in a road win over Houston last week that it can handle pressure situations. Prediction: Alabama -1.5 (Cobb)

featured game | Virginia Cavaliers vs. Houston Cougars

2:00 p.m. | ESPN2, fuboTV (Free Trial) — You can overthink matchups like this trying to factor in venue, home advantage, road performance, but I’ll keep it simple. I am choosing the best team. That’s Houston. So I stay with the Pumas. They’re going to feast on the offensive glass and I hope Marcus Sasser finds his All-American form after a few streaks of late. Prediction: Houston -2 (Boone)

featured game | North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Ohio State Buckeyes

3:00 p.m. | CBS,, CBS Sports App (Free) — This is a pretty even matchup on paper, but I like the Tar Heels a bit. Armando Bacot’s size in the paint and production on the glass will give Ohio State fits. The Buckeyes don’t really have someone in the position who can slow him down. If UNC does what they’re supposed to do, which is feed Bacot and attack in the paint, then I think the preseason No. 1 Tar Heels can pull it off in close fashion. Prediction: UNC Pick’em (Boone)

featured game | Kentucky Wildcats vs. UCLA Bruins

5:15 p.m. | CBS,, CBS Sports App (Free) — Kentucky star big man Oscar Tshiebwe will be a problem for UCLA. Although five-star freshman center Adem Bona has shown a lot of promise for the Bruins, Tshiebwe should be salivating at the chance to intimidate a young player on the block. Assuming UCLA brings in some double teams, this game could come down to Kentucky’s ability to knock down perimeter shots. The Wildcats have been solid in that regard so far this season, shooting 39.2% from beyond the arc. Even in an unfamiliar setting in London a couple of weeks ago, Kentucky shot 9 of 15 from deep with four different players springing into action during a huge win over Michigan. Look for the UK offense to remain balanced enough here to get the win. Prediction: Kentucky +1.5 (Cobb)

featured game | Arizona Wildcats vs Tennessee Volunteers

10:30 p.m. | ESPN2, fuboTV (Free Trial) — This one is complicated. It pits the No. 1 offense (Arizona) against the No. 1 defense (Tennessee) inside the McKale Center. Which side wins? Vegas seems to like the Vols a bit on this one, but I really like the Wildcats on this one, so give me the Wildcats to win and cover. Tennessee has weapons everywhere to slow down Arizona’s prolific scoring attack, but between Oumar Ballo, Azuolas Tubelis, Courtney Ramey, Krissa Kerr and Pelle Larson, there are too many scorers to completely stumble. Prediction: Arizona -2.5 (Boone)

Who will win and cover in each college basketball game? Visit SportsLine for forecasts from the model that simulates each game 10,000 times and has raised over $1,200 for $100 players on his top-rated spread picks over the past six years.

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