College Basketball Predictions: Conference Tournament Picks, Wednesday

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

College Basketball Predictions: Conference Tournament Picks, Wednesday

College Basketball

College Basketball Predictions: Conference Tournament Picks, Wednesday

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College basketball picks, predictions, and what will happen for the Wednesday conference tournament games.


College Basketball Predictions: Wednesday

What’s going to happen and who’ll win all the college basketball conference tournament games on Wednesday? Click for full previews and predictions for the biggest games, but for all of the rest, here’s a quick look at what will happen along with the picks and lines.

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Saint Joseph's vs La Salle Prediction

Atlantic 10 Tournament: 1st Round
1:00 PM, ESPN+

Can St. Joe’s get the threes going?

It’s not all that bad defensively lately, but the offensive punch isn’t there if it’s not making anything from the outside. It’s been a struggle to get to 65 points, much less 70, and now it has to deal with a La Salle team on a three game winning streak – including a 49-48 victory over the Hawks.

The Explorers will win, but it’s not going to be anything amazing. Both teams will struggle from the field – again – and La Salle won’t be able to pull away with missed free throw after missed free throw.

Prediction: La Salle 57, St. Joseph’s 54
Line: St. Joseph’s -2.5, o/u: 135

New Mexico vs Nevada Prediction

Mountain West Tournament: 1st Round
2:00 PM, Mountain West Network

Nevada won the first meeting 79-70 on New Year’s Day, but it’s had a hard time lately. It’s been a grind of a year, and the four-game losing streak coming into this hasn’t helped.

The Wolf Pack are awful on the boards and they’re not hitting anything lately, and New Mexico will take care of that. It’ll be better on the boards and get just a few more free throws in a tight game.

The Lobos are playing a little bit better.

Prediction: New Mexico 66, Nevada 63
Line: Nevada -5.5, o/u: 149.5

Idaho State vs Portland State Prediction

Big Sky Tournament: 1st Round
2:00 PM, ESPN+

These two played a blast of a game a few weeks ago with Portland State beating Idaho State 73-69 in overtime.

Neither team does a lot defensively and neither one is all that scintillating from the outside, but the Vikings are far better on the boards and they’re far, far stronger at coming up with takeaways. Idaho State will turn the ball over at least 15 times.

Prediction: Portland State 73, Idaho State 70
Line: Portland State -4.5, o/u: 136.5

Texas Southern vs Jackson State Prediction

SWAC Tournament: Quarterfinal
3:00 PM, ESPN+

Jackson State can’t shoot. It’s awful from three, awful on the free throw line, and awful from everywhere right … and then came February. This painful shooting team started hitting its shots, and everything changed winning seven of its last ten games.

The O started to play better on the inside, and the defense has been great at stopping the three. However. the JSU Tigers couldn’t do anything right tin a blowout loss to Texas Southern a few weeks ago.

The TSU Tigers can not only shoot well, but unlike Jackson State, they can rebound. They’ll win on the boards and the free throw line.

Prediction: Texas Southern 73, Jackson State 66
Line: Texas Southern -4, o/u: 126

Rhode Island vs Duquesne Prediction

Atlantic 10 Tournament: 1st Round
3:30 PM, ESPN+

It’s been a rough run for a Duquesne team on a 16-game losing streak including a 70-54 defeat to Rhode Island a few days ago.

The Dukes aren’t playing any defense, but the real problem is on the boards. They held their own against the Rams in the last game, but it didn’t offset the inability to make anything.

Rhode Island doesn’t shoot threes, but it doesn’t take a lot of chances. It can’t score and struggles on the free throw line, but the defense is stellar. Teams are hitting just 39% from the field against the Rams.

Prediction: Rhode Island 66, Duquesne 56
Line: Rhode Island -9, o/u: 131.5

Utah State vs Air Force Prediction

Mountain West Tournament: 1st Round
4:30 PM, Mountain West Network

Air Force doesn’t score.

It got two wins over San Jose State, and that’s been it over the last 12 games. However, it was able to get by Utah State 49-47 in December and …

The Aggies won by 23 the next time around.

Utah State might need just 50 points to get this done. Air Force keeps the score low with its pacing, but it’s awful defensively – teams are hitting 46% against the Falcons.

Utah State makes 48% of its shots. If you want lots of scoring, look elsewhere.

Prediction: Utah State 66, Air Force 52
Line: Utah State -14.5, o/u: 127

Eastern Washington vs Northern Arizona Prediction

Big Sky Tournament: 1st Round
4:30 PM, ESPN+

Eastern Washington is playing well, and Northern Arizona isn’t.

The Eagles rolled the Lumberjacks by 13 on New Year’s Day and pushed on by 69-62 a few days ago. EWU moves the ball around well and has been red hot from the field and three, and Northern Arizona is struggling to hit 40% of its shots.

The Lumberjack shooting woes will continue.

Prediction: Eastern Washington 76, Northern Arizona 64
Line: Eastern Washington -7.5, o/u: 140.5

Oregon vs Oregon State Prediction

Pac-12 Tournament: 1st Round
5:30 PM, Pac-12 Network

At some point Oregon State is going to catch a break.

Yeah, it’s on a 17-game losing streak, but it’s been playing teams tough with two overtime losses over the last few weeks and with too many close defeats. Oregon isn’t lighting it up, either, losing five of its last six with little to no scoring punch

The Oregon defense will come through in yet another painfully close game for the Beavers – they’ll be great on the free throw line late.

Prediction: Oregon 70, Oregon State 67
Line: Oregon -9, o/u: 144

Houston Baptist vs Incarnate Word Prediction

Southland Tournament: 1st Round
6:00 PM, ESPN+

The Cardinals of Incarnate Word might not do much winning, but they put up lots and lots and lots of threes. They’ve hit double-digit three in each of their last four games, and they’re as good as anyone in the nation on the free throw line, but Houston Baptist didn’t blink in an 82-68 win two weeks ago.

The Huskies don’t play any D and they’re totally miserable against the three. However, the defense forces a ton of mistakes and comes up with a whole lot of rebounds. It’ll be a fight – UIW will bomb away to stay alive.

Prediction: Houston Baptist 74, Incarnate Word 68
Line: Houston Baptist -4, o/u: 140.5

Norfolk State vs Delaware State Prediction

MEAC Tournament: Quarterfinal
6:00 PM, ESPN+

Bless your heart, Delaware State.

It’s on a 23-game losing streak including a 29 point loss to Norfolk State the first time around. However, it provided a big push in a 69-66 loss in mid-February.

It’s shooting much, much better as the season has gone on, and there are just enough big defensive stops to keep games from getting out of hand. But Norfolk State has one of the nation’s best defenses – teams are hitting just 37% against it – and it’ll move on with too many rebounds on both ends.

Prediction: Norfolk State 71, Delaware State 57
Line: Norfolk State -16.5, o/u: 135.5

Charlotte vs Rice Prediction

Conference USA Tournament: 2nd Round
6:30 PM, ESPN+

These two played a fun game with a 67-64 Charlotte win back in late January. Expect this to be interesting, too.

Rice is dying down the stretch going 1-6 in its lat seven, but it’s decent at moving the ball around and it’s been able to stay around in close loss after close loss.

However, it just doesn’t do enough on the free throw line lately and there aren’t enough big defensive plays. Charlotte doesn’t rebound, though – Rice will hang around.

Prediction: Charlotte 68, Rice 65
Line: Charlotte -2.5, o/u: 143

Marshall vs Louisiana Tech Prediction

Conference USA Tournament: 2nd Round
7:00 PM, ESPN+

Marshall pulled off a slight stunner with a 74-62 win over FIU to get here. It didn’t shoot all that well but it went against type and got to the free throw line over and over and over again.

Now it gets a Louisiana Tech team that doesn’t foul, moves the ball around well, and makes a whole lot of threes. Marshall doesn’t have the outside shooting to keep up.

Prediction: Louisiana Tech 74, Marshall 65
Line: Louisiana Tech -8, o/u: 149.5

Fresno State vs San Jose State Prediction

Mountain West Tournament: 1st Round
7:00 PM, Mountain West Network

It’s possible that San Jose State doesn’t score.

The Spartans managed just 59 points in the first meeting and 43 in the other, both blowout losses against the No. 3 defense in America.

San Jose State will shoot a lot of threes, but it has a hard time making them – it’s struggling to get to 30% from the outside lately – and dealing with this Fresno State D isn’t going to help the cause.

Prediction: Fresno State 66, San Jose State 52
Line: Fresno State -13.5, o/u: 122.5

UMBC vs Hartford Prediction

America East Tournament: Semifinal
7:00 PM, ESPN+

The Retrievers of UMBC are rolling at just the right time, winning its last four games and five of its last six with the only blip coming against a strong Vermont.

Hartford is playing well winning three to its last four, but it lost twice to UMBC in tight games because it couldn’t come through with free throws.

Neither team can rebound, but UMBC will hit its free throws and the Hawks won’t – especially when it counts late.

Prediction: UMBC 80, Hartford 72
Line: UMBC -4, o/u: 146.5

Vermont vs Binghamton Prediction

America East Tournament: Semifinal
7:00 PM, ESPN+

This should be over as soon as Vermont gets off the bus.

Binghamton doesn’t score enough. It’s been passing the ball around better lately, but it doesn’t come up with easy shots, and it never, ever, ever gets to the free throw line.

Vermont won the first meeting by 31 and the second by 17 because the Bearcats couldn’t make a thing from the outside in either game. Expect more of the same, but it might not be quite the total wipeout you might think.

A few recent wins aside, Vermont can’t make free throws, either.

Prediction: Vermont 74, Binghamton 61
Line:  Vermont -21, o/u: 135.5

Iona vs Rider Prediction

MAAC Tournament: Quarterfinal
7:00 PM, ESPN+

Rider had some fun pushing past Manhattan 79-67, but not it gets Rick Pitino’s Iona team that plays a tough brand of defense inside, it great at stopping the three, and is even better at getting to the free throw line and manufacturing points.

Rider got rolled by 26 in the first meeting and kept up in the second, but the Gaels will come in with fresh legs and too much defense against a team that usually doesn’t do a thing from three. It’s going to struggle to score.

Prediction: Iona 71, Rider 61
Line: Iona -11.5, o/u: 136

Navy vs Colgate Prediction

Patriot League Tournament: Championship
7:30, CBS Sports Network

Colgate is rolling with 14 straight wins and 18 in the last 19 including one blowout over Navy and one 74-69 battle.

The Raiders score in bunches because they’re fantastic from three – they’re seconding the nation in three point percentage – and Navy doesn’t have the O to keep up. However, the Midshipmen have one of the nation’s best scoring defenses.

It won’t be enough. Navy will have to come up with about ten threes in this to pull it off, and it won’t happen.

Prediction: Colgate 72, Navy 64
Line: Colgate -6.5, o/u: 127.5

McNeese State vs Northwestern State Prediction

Southland Tournament: 1st Round
8:300 PM, ESPN+

These are two awful teams that should put on a fun show.

McNeese State is coming off a 149-144 four-overtime loss to Houston Baptist, and Northwestern State likes to play its games in the 80s.

The Demons lost to the Cowboys twice because they can’t hit the three like MSU can. McNeese State can also rebound a whole lot better and the move the ball around easier.

Watch this and enjoy.

Prediction: McNeese State 80, Northwestern State 77
Line: McNeese State -1.5, o/u: 154.5

Howard vs Coppin State Prediction

MEAC Tournament: Quarterfinal
8:30 PM, ESPN+

The Eagles of Coppin State might be having an awful season, but in the midst of all of the problems it managed to come up with two of its seven wins against Howard. They’re going to shoot threes and keep shooting threes. They miss way too many, but they’ll keep firing.

Howard is actually good at guarding the three and it actually makes them when it takes them. Coppin State had two of its best shooting days of the year against the Bison. It won’t happen a third time.

Prediction: Howard 75, Coppin State 67
Line:  Howard -6, o/u: 149.5

UTEP vs Old Dominion Prediction

Conference USA Tournament: 2nd Round
9:00 PM, ESPN+

It’s not a whole lot of fun when you win games because you play great defense and hit your free throws, but that’s UTEP. It might not be scintillating, but it’s effective.

Old Dominion can’t shoot and doesn’t score in bunches, but it can hit free throws and it can do something UTEP can’t – rebound. This will be close because of the free throw line – UTEP fouls too much – but there will be too many Monarch misfires from the outside.

Prediction: UTEP 69, Old Dominion 65
Line: UTEP -2, o/u: 129

Washington State vs Cal Prediction

Pac-12 Tournament: 1st Round
9:00 PM, Pac-12 Network

Washington State can put this away with a few threes.

Cal kept it close in both games – both low scoring – but this team can NOT make baskets. It struggles to get to 60 points, there’s nothing happening from three, and it has to no ability to go on a run. However, it’s great at guarding the three.

Washington State leads the Pac-12 in threes, but it’ll be its rebounding ability that gets the win.

Prediction: Washington State 69, Cal 60
Line: Washington State -8, o/u: 126

California Baptist vs Sam Houston Prediction

WAC Tournament: 2nd Round
9:00 PM, ESPN+

The Lancers of California Baptist struggled way, way too much with a bad UT Rio Grande Valley team to move on, winning 81-80 despite a second half defensive meltdown. Even so, it’s a fun team that’s playing well.

It shoots and makes a ton of threes, but it doesn’t do enough on a consistent basis when it’s not on from the outside. Sam Houston isn’t playing all that well, after a nice little run, but it was able to win the first meeting by taking and making a ton of free throws.

The Bearkats can fire away and keep up from three, but they can’t hit free throws and the Lancers are too accurate from the outside.

Prediction: California Baptist 69, Sam Houston State 67
Line: Sam Houston State -3, o/u: 131.5

Alcorn State vs Prairie View A&M Prediction

SWAC Tournament: Quarterfinal
9:30 PM, ESPN+

For being a bad team that started the season off 0-11 and has just eight wins on the season, Prairie View A&M gave Alcorn State a whole lot of trouble.

It won the first meeting on the road and lost the second in a fun shootout, but that was an aberration. The Panthers can make a few defensive plays, but it struggles from the field.

The Braves are on a six game winning streak even though they can’t seem to make a free throw and are wildly inconsistent. But in a game between two teams that can’t shoot, the one that can rebound will do just fine.

Prediction: Alcorn State 77, Prairie View A&M 70
Line: Alcorn State -1, o/u: 139.5

Saint Peter's vs Fairfield Prediction

MAAC Tournament: Quarterfinal
9:30 PM, ESPN+

The Peacocks don’t shoot threes and they don’t do anything to crank up the scoring, but they play a whole lot of defense and come up with a whole lot turnovers.

The Stags do take and make threes, but they got rolled in both meetings because they couldn’t make anything against this D. It won’t be pretty, but Saint Peter’s stays hot with a very, very low scoring battle.

Prediction: Saint Peter’s 59, Fairfield 53
Line: Saint Peter’s -5, o/u: 121.5

Utah Valley vs Abilene Christian Prediction

WAC Tournament: 2nd Round
11:30 PM, ESPN+

Utah Valley got through its light scrimmage against Chicago State to get here, but not it has to deal with an Abilene Christian team that leads the nation in steals and turnover margin.

It came up with a whopping 23 assists and 12 steals in the 80-76 win over the Wolverines back in early January, but it’ll be an easier run this time around. And why?

Utah Valley is a turnover machine. Even against Chicago State it gave it up 11 times – low for the Wolverines – in the 69-47 win.

Prediction: Abilene Christian 72, Utah Valley 66
Line: Abilene Christian -3, o/u: 132

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