College basketball picks, schedule: Arizona vs. Tennessee predictions and more Saturday’s top 25 games

It may be hard to believe, but it’s the best college basketball Saturday we’ve had so far and the rest of this season is probably underway. That’s right, with five games with both teams on the AP Top 25, we’ll have December Madness as the teams gear up for a break over the holidays.

Use Jesse Katsopolis’ best voice and say those two magic words Lee: Oh, mercy. Because Saturday college basketball is totally worth it.

Our No. 8 Kansas welcomes No. 14 Indiana to Allen Fieldhouse early in the day. Our No. 2 Virginia takes a smack to No. 5 Houston in the middle of the afternoon. Incidentally, the CBS Sports Classic doubleheader between No. 23 Ohio State and North Carolina first followed by No. 13 Kentucky and No. 16 UCLA are all inside Madison Square Garden, too. For the night owls, there’s also a real late-night treat with No. 6 Tennessee — armed with America’s No. 1 defense — No. 9 Arizona — armed with America’s No. 1 offense — inside the McKale Center.

so yeah, be merciful In fact.

Our experts have picks and predictions for today’s biggest games right here.

Odds via Caesars Sportsbook | All times are oriental

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

3 m | CBS,, CBS Sports App (Free) – That’s a nice match on paper but I love Tar Heels by Smidge. Armando Bacot’s volume in paint and production on glass will give Ohio State bouts. The Buckeyes don’t really have someone in the post who can slow them down. If UNC does what it needs to do—feed a Bacot and attack in the paint—then I think the #1 Tar Heels prep can get this out sooner. Prediction: UNC Pick ’em (Bonn)

Featured game | Kentucky Wildcats vs. UCLA Bruins

5:15 PM | CBS,, CBS Sports App (Free) Kentucky superstar Oscar Chipui will be a problem for UCLA. Although five-star freshman center Adem Bona has shown plenty of promise for the Bruins, Tshiebwe should salivate at the opportunity to bully a young player on the block. Assuming UCLA brings in some double teams, this game could be credited to Kentucky’s ability to drop ambient shots. The Wildcats have been solid in that regard so far this season, shooting 39.2% from outside the arc. Even in an unfamiliar setting in London two weeks ago, Kentucky hit 9 of 15 attempts from deep with four different players coming into action during a blowout win over Michigan. Look for the UK offense to stay balanced enough here to get the win. Prediction: Kentucky +1.5 (Cup)

Featured game | Arizona Wildcats vs. Tennessee Volunteers

10:30 PM | ESPN2, fuboTV (try for free) – This tough one pits No. 1 Offense (Arizona) against No. 1 Defense (Tennessee) inside McKale’s center. Which side wins? Vegas seems to like Vols on this by a smidge, but I like Wildcats on this one a lot, so give me Wildcats to win and cover. Tennessee has guns all around to slow down Arizona’s prolific scoring offense but between Omar Ballou, Azulas Topilis, Courtney Ramey, Kerrissa and Billy Larson, there are just too many scorers to completely snag. Prediction: Arizona -2.5 (Bonne)

Featured game | Kansas Jayhawks vs. Indiana Hoosiers

12 m | ESPN2, fuboTV (try for free) – Indiana hasn’t been quite the same team in the last three games with freshman star Jalen Hood-Scheveno shelved with an injury. Crime is lacking in pop music and the gaming industry. Even if he does return it is reasonable to expect some rust. This is one of the reasons why I love KU minus the points here. Another, more obvious reason: KU is the nails-at-home under Bill Self. He’s won 11 in a row inside Allen Fieldhouse and 297-16 (!) in place under Self. A win on the money line is a semi-automatic bet for KU, but I like to put points as well. Prediction: KS -6 (Boone)

1 m | CBS,, CBS Sports App (Free) Alabama last beat Gonzaga 91-82 in Seattle last season. The Crimson Tide was less talented and more quirky than this year’s edition. Gonzaga is still trying to figure out his collective identity outside of the stardom of Drew Timme. With this year’s game taking place in Birmingham, the Crimson Tide should have the advantage in terms of fan support. Despite his young age, last week’s Alabama win over Houston proved that he can handle pressure situations. Prediction: Alabama -1.5 (Glass)

2 m | ESPN2, fuboTV (try for free) – You can think of matches like this one that try to take into account venue, home advantage, and road performance – but I keep it simple. I pick the best team. This is Houston. So I’ll take the cougars. They will feed on the attacking glass and I expect Marcus Sasser to find his all-American form after some spotty play of late. Prediction: Houston -2 (Bonn)

Who will win and cover in every college basketball game? Visit SportsLine for picks from the model that simulates every game 10,000 times and pays more than $1,200 for $100 players over the highest-rated point difference of the past six years.

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