A reminder that on Saturday, CBS will air the March Madness Bracket Preview show at 12:30 p.m. ET time, where the NCAA Tournament committee will unveil its top-four seeds in each region as things stand now. It's the first and last time this preview will take place this season. Selection Sunday is then 29 days from Saturday. My predictions for the top seeds in each region are Villanova in the East, Baylor in the South, Kansas in the Midwest and Gonzaga in the West. No huge surprises there and pretty much what every expert has. I think Baylor is the weakest of those four and won't finish as a top seed. Either the ACC or Pac-12 champion will take that one.
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TCU at No. 6 Baylor ( -9.5 )
Big 12 game at 2 p.m. ET on ESPNU. I believe the Big 12 Coach of the Year will be TCU's Jamie Dixon in his first year at his alma mater after being so successful at Pittsburgh for many years -- but never much appreciated by that fan base. The Horned Frogs were just 12-21 last season under Trent Johnson but are 17-7 (6-5 in conference) under Dixon. The school hasn't made the Big Dance since 1998 but would be in great shape for an at-large bid with an upset in Waco presuming TCU doesn't fall off a cliff the rest of the way. Looking at the remaining schedule, the Frogs should get to 20 wins for the first time since 2005 whether they win here or not. TCU comes off a 62-61 win over Texas Tech on Tuesday as Alex Robinson hit the winning free throw with 1.4 seconds left after a questionable foul on TTU.
Baylor ended a two-game losing streak with a 72-69 victory at what had been a surging Oklahoma State side on Wednesday. The Bears did nearly cough away a 13-point lead with about four minutes left. The Cowboys could have taken the lead in the final minute, but Baylor's Jo Lual-Acuil blocked Jawun Evans' layup. Big 12 Player of the Year candidate Johnathan Motley had 24 points - all 12 of his shots were in the paint -- and 11 rebounds for the Bears. They remain a game behind Kansas for the Big 12 lead and host the Jayhawks next Saturday. Baylor beat TCU 62-53 on Jan. 21. There were five ties and 13 lead changes after halftime, but a late 7-0 Baylor spurt was the difference. The Frogs were just 17-for-58 from the field.
Key trends: The Frogs are 2-5 against the spread in their past seven overall. The Bears are 0-5 ATS in their past five at home. Baylor is 5-0 ATS in the past five meetings.
I'm leaning: Baylor.
Ohio State at No. 21 Maryland (-7)
Big Ten game at 4 p.m. ET on ESPN. The Buckeyes could miss the NCAA Tournament for a second straight season as they are certainly on the wrong side of the bubble at 15-10 overall and 5-7 in the very average Big Ten. OSU is No. 63 in the RPI with no good nonconference victories or any over ranked foes. The Buckeyes did have a solid victory last Saturday at Michigan and then edged terrible Rutgers 70-64 in Columbus on Wednesday. Rutgers was dealt what should have been the killing blow with 4:49 left in the second half when point guard Corey Sanders, the team's best player, fouled out. The game was tied with around a minute to go, however. Lose at home to Rutgers, and you don't deserve to go dancing. Kam Williams tied a career high with 23 points for OSU, including the go-ahead four-point play.
Maryland (20-4, 8-3) doesn't have to worry about an NCAA Tournament berth, but the Terps have lost back-to-back games and probably fall out of the Top 25 regardless of this result. They are now two games behind Wisconsin in the loss column for the Big Ten regular-season title. Maryland is off a 70-64 loss at Penn State on Tuesday, shooting just 20-for-59 from the field. Star and leading scorer Melo Trimble was 4-for-13 for 11 points. It was Maryland's first road loss of the season. The Terps won at Ohio State on Jan. 31, 77-71. Trimble scored his team's final seven points. Justin Jackson had 22 points and 12 rebounds to lead Maryland. Jae'Sean Tate scored 20 points for OSU.
Key trends: The Buckeyes are 1-7 ATS in their past eight after a win. The Terps are 7-1-1 ATS in their past nine. The favorite is 4-1 ATS in the past five meetings.
I'm leaning: Maryland.
Davidson at VCU (-7.5)
Atlantic 10 game at 8 p.m. ET on the CBS Sports Network. Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good - VCU has been a bit of both the past week or so. If the Rams win the regular-season conference title, and they are tied atop the A-10 with Dayton, then they should send the league office a bouquet or something because two officials' calls have hugely benefitted them. Last Saturday, they should have lost at St. Bonaventure, but a technical was called on the Bonnies with less than a second left for the fans storming the court early. VCU tied the game on the free throw and won in OT. On Wednesday at George Washington, the Rams appeared to have lost when GW's Yuta Watanbe hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 0.4 seconds left. But on VCU's subsequent inbounds play, JeQuan Lewis drew a charging foul on George Washington's Collin Goss even though Goss was a defender. Lewis made both free throws - he also hit the tying free throw vs. the Bonnies -- and VCU won 54-53. That play was great coaching by Will Wade as his team practices just such a scenario. Still, the refs don't need to call that.
Steph Curry's alma mater Davidson is a middling team this year at 12-10 overall and 5-6 in the A-10. The Wildcats, who have dropped back-to-back games, have two good players in Peyton Aldridge (21.1 ppg) and Jack Gibbs (20.9), with Gibbs among the NCAA scoring leaders last season. They are the second highest-scoring duo in the nation this year. Gibbs is one of just two players (Derek Rucker) in school history with at least 1,500 career points and 400 assists. Davidson just doesn't have much else. The Wildcats did upset VCU 69-63 on Jan. 14. Gibbs had 30 points and Aldridge 24 points and 12 rebounds. Lewis scored 17 points with eight rebounds to lead the Rams.
Key trends: The Wildcats are 1-5 ATS in their past six vs. teams with a winning record. The Rams are 2-5 ATS in their past seven.
I'm leaning: Davidson.
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