Weekend preview: The time has actually concerned make handshake lines

  • Myron Medcalf, ESPN Staff WriterFeb 23, 2024, 08:30 AM ET Close Covers college basketball

  • Signed up with ESPN.com in 2011
  • Graduate of Minnesota State University, Mankato

We have actually had a conversation about the worth of handshake lines for many years. Whenever there is an issue after a game, we start to question their purpose.As we should.On Wednesday,

the Southland Conference announced the suspensions of 8 players from Incarnate Word and Texas A&M-Commerce after their postgame melee that started– certainly– in the handshake line.The line itself isn’t always the problem, however collegiate sports could gain from the pros by not forcing professional athletes to shake hands after a psychological matchup. It must always be optional. That’s one way to assist avoid a few of the postgame drama we have actually seen in current years.For 40 minutes, players battle in controversial games. Compelling them to shake hands has always been a risky relocation. It’s time to make these handshake lines optional.Odds supplied by ESPN BET.

Saturday, 12 p.m. ET, CBS In the past week, 2 teams that seemed on the brink of success– Purdue and UConn– suffered surprising beats. It does not change their ceilings, but it is worth thinking about

if Houston has actually done enough to secure a spot in that conversation.Editor’s Picks 2 Associated The Cougars are 9-1 in their past 10 games, a stretch that includes 5 top-35 KenPom wins. A triumph at Baylor would extend its lead in the Big 12 and continue to strengthen its position as a most likely top

seed in the NCAA tournament.Baylor has just one loss in its brand-new arena, a triple-overtime affair against TCU. The Bears are 2nd in 3-point shooting percentage however they’re likewise simply 5-5 in their previous 10 games. Ja’Kobe Walter (14.4 PPG)could be a top-five pick in this summer’s NBA draft. He’ll face the best defense he has actually seen all season.Medcalf’s pick: Houston, 70-65; Against the spread: Houston(-2.5) Saturday, 2 p.m. ET, ESPN For two years, Hunter Sallis seemed lost in Gonzaga’s backcourt, as he balanced simply 4.3 and 4.5 PPG throughout his freshman and sophomore seasons. At Wake Forest, nevertheless, he has blossomed into an All-ACC-level performer who is balancing 18.3 PPG and delighting in a 42%clip from beyond the arc. A win on Saturday versus a top-10 Duke group would help the résumé of a Wake Forest program that’s

on the bubble. However Sallis won’t be the only player in this game who has actually developed this season.Top stories of the week from Get special access to thousands of premium posts a year from leading authors. – Bubble Watch: Mid-majors have a hope”- How leading ESPN 300 RBs fit with brand-new groups”- 16 NFL potential customers with Round 1 grades”More ESPN +content “Jared McCain has actually balanced 16.0 PPG throughout Duke’s past 9 games(the Blue Devils are 8-1 ). The freshman

‘s development has made Duke a more appealing Last 4 contender. The Blue Devils have actually hit their stride at the ideal time.Medcalf’s choice: Duke, 79-76;
Against the spread: Duke( +1.5 ) Saturday, 4 p.m. ET, CBS College basketball is a long season. It starts two weeks before Thanksgiving and ends sometime around April Fool’s Day. And sometimes, the big-picture numbers do not imply as much as the current patterns. Kentucky’s defense has actually been much maligned this season, ranking 93rd in adjusted protective effectiveness, per BartTorvik.com. Since Feb. 6, nevertheless, the Wildcats are 29th in the country in that metric. That does not prove

this is an excellent defensive group. It does show, however, it has the tools to play at a level to make a deep run in the NCAA competition. An Alabama group that entered the week ranked initially in adjusted offending efficiency and also has its own protective issues is a terrific test for Kentucky’s newly found protective prowess.Medcalf’s choice: Kentucky, 90-85; Versus the spread: Kentucky(-1.5) Saturday, 4 p.m. ET, ESPN There was a time when Tony Bennett appeared to have split the code in college basketball. From the 2013-14 season through 2018-19, when Virginia won the national title, the Cavaliers won a minimum of 29 games in 5 of

six seasons with a balance that has eluded them this season. Virginia is

essentially Kentucky in reverse. The Cavaliers, who suffered a 34-point loss at competing Virginia Tech on Monday, have the second-worst adjusted offending effectiveness in Tony Bennett’s period(163rd on KenPom). A win over a first-place North Carolina team will demand a more efficient scoring effort. That has actually worked for others. The Tar Heels (3-3 in their previous six games)gave up 132 points per 100 ownerships (Syracuse)and 110 points per 100 ownerships (Clemson)in their previous 2 losses.Medcalf’s choice: North Carolina, 67-62; Versus the spread: North Carolina(-2.5 )SEASON OVERALLS Medcalf’s picks directly: 32-23 Against the spread: 27-28

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