Wednesday, January 19, 2022

College basketball picks, schedule: Predictions for Kansas vs. Texas Tech and other top games Saturday

Saturday’s college basketball slate is jam-packed with action involving ranked teams over the course of the day. Considering the scheduling disruptions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic over the past month, that’s a great sign as we enter the thick of conference play with teams looking for rhythm and normalcy.

Among the day’s highlights include a tripleheader on CBS that begins with an AAC showdown between Wichita State and No. 12 Houston, followed by a Big 12 battle between No. 14 Texas and Oklahoma State. The networks’ action concludes with one of the nation’s final three unbeaten teams, No. 20 Colorado State, playing at San Diego State in what may be the toughest test yet for the Rams.

Elsewhere, there are two games pitting ranked squads against each other. In the SEC, No. 18 Tennessee will travel to face No. 21 LSU in a battle between two of the nation’s best defenses. And in the Big 12, No. 6 Kansas will hit the road to face No. 25 Texas Tech as the Red Raiders look for a marquee victory under first-year coach Mark Adams.

Here are the CBS Sports expert picks for those games as we get set for a full day of college hoops.

Odds from Caesars Sports book | All times ET

No. 20 Colorado State at San Diego State 

Featured Game | San Diego State Aztecs vs. Colorado State Rams

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4 p.m. | CBS, CBSSports.comCBS Sports App (Free) — This hastily scheduled Mountain West meeting is an intriguing matchup, as it pits a high-quality offensive team from Colorado State against one of the nation’s best defensive units at San Diego State. The Aztecs are 6-0 this season and are the best defensive team that Colorado State has faced. Expect the Aztecs to emerge with a close victory in a low-scoring game. Prediction: San Diego State 59, Colorado State 55 

No. 6 Kansas at No. 25 Texas Tech

Featured Game | Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. Kansas Jayhawks

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4 p.m. | ESPN2,  fuboTV (Try for free) — Texas Tech leading scorer Kevin McCullar remains questionable due to injury as the Red Raiders are also sorting through COVID-19 issues. A mostly healthy Kansas squad should be able to quicken the pace, exploit any depth or conditioning issues with TTU and emerge with a nice road win. Prediction: Kansas 74, Texas Tech 67 

No. 18 Tennessee at No. 21 LSU

Featured Game | LSU Tigers vs. Tennessee Volunteers

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6 p.m. | ESPN2,  fuboTV (Try for free) — The Tigers rank No. 1 and the Volunteers rank No. 2 nationally in KenPom’s defensive efficiency rating, but that doesn’t mean we’re headed for a game in the low 50s. Both teams are at their best offensively when they play up-tempo, so this could devolve into a sloppy turnover-fest that features a depressing number of missed 3-pointers. Given that LSU will have home court advantage, expect the Tigers to seize momentum in the second half for a big conference win. Prediction: LSU 71, Tennessee 63 

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Wichita State at No. 12 Houston 

Featured Game | Houston Cougars vs. Wichita State Shockers

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12 p.m. | CBS, CBSSports.comCBS Sports App (Free) — As AAC preseason Player of the Year Tyson Etienne starts to get going, Wichita State’s offense will heat up and the Shockers will find themselves in the top half of the AAC. But going on the road to Houston is a tough place to start building momentum. In spite of their injury woes, the Cougars are still a gritty defensive team that can stifle Wichita State. Prediction: Houston 73, Wichita State 64 

No. 14 Texas at Oklahoma State 

Featured Game | Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. Texas Longhorns

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2 p.m. | CBS, CBSSports.comCBS Sports App (Free) — Oklahoma State enters having lost four of its last five, including three home games. The Cowboys are still figuring things out offensively, which makes playing Texas a tall task. The Longhorns started Big 12 play by holding both West Virginia and Kansas State under 60 points in double-digit victories. Texas’ transfer-laden roster appears to be gelling, which makes it a clear favorite in this game and a serious contender in the Big 12 race. Prediction: Texas 68, Oklahoma State 60 

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