College basketball picks, schedule: Predictions for Alabama vs. Gonzaga and other top games on Saturday
This is the fourth full weekend of college basketball action of the 2021-22 season, and this Saturday’s schedule brings some quality action involving ranked teams. While some conferences are already starting to play in the league, today’s roster is highlighted by non-conference games, including a showdown between No.3 Gonzaga and No.16 Alabama.
The Zags and Crimson Tide debut at 8 p.m. ET in Seattle in what should be a home environment for Gonzaga. It’ll be a rebound point for both schools as the Bulldogs look to show that their 84-81 loss to Duke last Friday was nothing more than a speed bump. Alabama also suffered their first loss last week, and it was a bit more embarrassing.
The Crimson Tide dropped a 72-68 thriller against Iona and Rick Pitino. Since those losses, Gonzaga and Alabama have won games. But Saturday will be their first meeting since against a high quality opposition. Below, our staff have predictions for this game and for several key clashes of a loaded slate on Saturday.
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12h | ESPN, fuboTV (Try for free) – Memphis just lost on the road to a Georgia team who are much worse than Ole Miss. The Rebels are a much better defensive team than Georgia and should be able to continue to frustrate a seemingly baffled Tigers offense. Ole Miss handled every foe on her schedule, but fell short against quality opponents Marquette and Boise State. This time, they’ll break into a big spot at home. Prediction: Ole Miss 63, Memphis 60
Marquette at No. 23 Wisconsin
12:30 pm | Fox, fuboTV (Try for free) – The Badgers have been one of the best surprises of this season, having won four straight wins against Texas A&M, Houston, Saint Mary’s and Georgia Tech. But Marquette showed his merit by winning against Illinois, Ole Miss and West Virginia. The Golden Eagles are expected to stay close, but home home advantage will help the Badgers avenge last season’s last-second loss to Marquette. Prediction: Wisconsin 72, Marquette 69
Featured Game | Michigan Wolverines vs. San Diego State Aztecs
13h | CBS, CBSSports.com, CBS Sports app (free) – Expect a motivated Michigan team after their 21-point loss to UNC. The Wolverines already have one home loss and should play with one advantage in the effort to avoid another. San Diego State’s Nathan Mensah is a great inside defender, but the Wolverines are taller and can wear down the Aztecs in this game. Prediction: Michigan 68, SDSU 64
Featured Game | Colorado Buffaloes vs Tennessee Volunteers
2pm | FS1, fuboTV (Try for free) – It’s Tennessee’s first real road game, and the fact that it’s set at high altitudes makes it even more difficult. But the Vols have a deep rotation that should be able to outlast a young Colorado team. The Buffs were hit by UCLA on the road Wednesday in a game that exposed some of their defensive flaws. Prediction: Tennessee 81, Colorado 73
No. 16 Alabama vs. No. 3 Gonzaga (in Seattle)
Featured Game | Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. Alabama Crimson Tide
8 p.m. ESPN2, fuboTV (Try for free) – A loss to Iona put some wind in Alabama’s sails, but the Crimson Tide still has the makings of a top SEC team under the guidance of third-year coach Nate Oats. Alabama can compete with the Zags on the perimeter, but containing Drew Timme and Chet Holmgren will be next to impossible for this team. First-year center Charles Bediako will need to play the game of his life and avoid trouble for the Crimson Tide to stand a chance. Prediction: Gonzaga 94, Alabama 81
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