Weekend sneak peek: Finding out guys’s college basketball this season is

  • Myron Medcalf, ESPN Staff WriterFeb 9, 2024, 09:28 AM ET Close Covers college basketball

  • Joined ESPN.com in 2011
  • Graduate of Minnesota State University, Mankato

There is an annual dispute in college basketball about the worth of momentum. Is it real? Does it really matter if it is? Some think that a streak of four, five, six or seven wins in a row, and so on, has no bearing on whether that group will win its next game. They’re all separate events. Others think it can fuel a group, especially going into the NCAA tournament.Real or not, it appears simple to misuse. In recent weeks, we’ve seen excellent groups fail to follow-up on strong victories or extend winning streaks in a perplexing stretch.Editor’s Picks 2 Associated Houston had won five in a row and topped most metrics as the No. 1 group in college basketball before it suffered a double-digit loss to Kansas at Allen Fieldhouse on Saturday. Bill Self’s team commemorated that triumph, and after that the Jayhawks made only 3 shots from beyond the arc in their overtime loss at competing Kansas State this week. Alabama had won four in a row, a stretch that started with a home win over Auburn, before Nate Oats’squad quit 99 points in a loss to the Tigers in a rematch Wednesday. And BYU beat Texas last weekend however didn’t show up during a loss to Oklahoma on Tuesday.The North Carolina Tar Heels’loss to Clemson in Chapel Hill was the most unexpected result of the week. The Tar Heels had controlled competing Duke on Saturday

with a 93-point effort. On Tuesday, they appeared like a various group against the Tigers.On Saturday, Armando Bacot said the ACC title”goes through me.”After the loss to Clemson, the veteran leader suggested the group had had a hard time to manage success.Maybe momentum is phony,

but the heartbreaking losses that have followed some big wins have been very real.All odds from ESPN Bet. play 0:22 Agbaji splashes a 3-pointer for the Jayhawks Ochai Agbaji drills a 3-pointer to open the

game for Kansas against Texas Tech. No. 13 Baylor (17-5

, 6-3 Huge 12)at No. 4 Kansas(18-5, 6-4 )Saturday, 6 p.m. ET, ESPNKansas has emerged from a rough start in

league play a few times under Costs Self. Even in 2015, the Jayhawks started 6-4 before they completed 7-1 and won the Big 12 regular season title. That could happen again this year, however the roadway will be harder. They still have road games against Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Baylor and Houston. For a group that’s 1-4 in its last five roadway games, the final chapter of league play could cost Kansas in the Big 12 race and when seeds are revealed on Selection Sunday. That’s why Saturday’s chance versus Baylor, which leads the nation in 3-point shooting(41.2 percent), is considerable. A loss to RayJ Dennis(13.8 PPG, 6.4 APG, 39 percent from the 3-point line), Ja’Kobe Walter(14.2 PPG)and the Bears would be a missed out on opportunity at home, just before a treacherous run to the finish line. The Jayhawks ‘opponents in their last four losses linked on 43 percent of their 3-point efforts, a good indication for Scott Drew’s group, too.Medcalf’s choice: Kansas, 84-80; Against the spread: Unavailable sometimes of publication play 1:47 Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. Houston Cougars: Game Highlights Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. Houston Cougars: Game Highlights

No. 5 Houston(20-3, 7-3 Big 12)at Cincinnati(15-7, 4-5 )Saturday, 4 p.m. ET, ESPN2 Per Joe Lunardi’s newest bracketology, the Big 12 has nine NCAA tournament-worthy teams. Every coach in America thinks

their league is a”gauntlet.”However it’s true in the Huge 12. There are no easy wins, but there are various opportunities to enhance a resume. Cincinnati is noted in Lunardi’s”very first 4 out”category. However a win over a Houston group with top-seed goals might change Cincinnati’s fortunes. Can they do it? The Bearcats are No. 2 in the league with opponents connecting on just 46.1 percent of their shots inside the arc. Because Jan. 1, Houston has connected on 46.8 percent of its 2-pointers, a sub-300 mark nationally, per Barttorvik.com. However the restricted offensive firepower of John Newman (10.0 PPG, 5.3 RPG)and Co. will be difficult to overcome against the leading defense in the country.Medcalf’s pick: Houston, 70-63; Against the spread: Unavailable at time of publication play 0:19 Kentucky’s Reed Sheppard gets up for a block Kentucky’s Reed Sheppard gets up for a block Gonzaga(17-6, 8-2 WCC)at No. 17 Kentucky (16-6, 6-4)Saturday, 4 p.m. ET, CBS Entering

the season, this appeared like the perfect showcase for Super Bowl

weekend. Gonzaga and

Kentucky are perennial powers in college basketball. And if both had measured up to preseason projections, the winner of this game might have had a strong case for a front runner and beneficial area in the NCAA tournament. Rather, this is a match between a pair of groups that stumbled into February after falling short of those preseason projections. For a Kentucky team that’s lost two of its last three games, it’s the defense. The Wildcats have a collection of pro prospects and a sub-100 ranking in adjusted defensive performance on KenPom. They’re essentially the Harlem Globetrotters with a rim-protecting allergy on defense. Gonzaga? They require this win to protect at-large factor to consider. Seriously. The Bulldogs have an 0-5 record against Quad I opponents. But recent injuries also mean Kentucky might not dip into complete strength.Medcalf’s pick: Kentucky, 90-86 Versus the spread: Not available at time of publication Saturday, 1:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+Z iggy Reid, a transfer from

Merrimack, is evidence that a player can considerably enhance throughout a collegiate profession. 3 years back, Youngstown State’s fifth-year standout connected on simply 29 percent of his 3-point efforts as a sophomore at Merrimack. This season, the 6-foot-6 forward is top-50 in the nation with a 45 percent success rate from beyond the arc. But lately, he’s gone cold(5-for-16 in his last four games getting in the week ). If he can’t find a rhythm, Youngstown State might fall to a Green Bay group that’s made 39 percent of its 3-point attempts in league play. With a win, Green Bay might take sole ownership of first place. With a loss, Youngstown State could sit atop the standings.Medcalf’s pick: Youngstown State, 76-70 Versus the spread: Not available at time of publication SEASON TOTALS Medcalf’s picks directly: 28-19 Against the spread: 21-26

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