Home | News | Top NCAAB Betting Picks of the Week – March 4th, 2024

Top NCAAB Betting Picks of the Week – March 4th, 2024

By Hank Blaine

Hard as it is to believe, this is the last week of college basketball’s regular season and in fact several small conference tournaments start this week. The first is the Atlantic Sun on Monday. Here’s a look at two intriguing matchups from the power conferences early this week.

Top NCAAB Betting Picks of the Week (March 4th, 2024)

Texas Longhorns vs. Baylor Bears

  • When: Monday, March 4th, 2024, 8:00 PM ET
  • Where: Foster Pavilion, Waco, TX
  • TV: ESPN
  • Radio: KVET-AM 1300 The Zone (Texas) // KRZI 1660 AM (Baylor)
  • Live Stream: ESPN+
  • NCAAB Betting Odds: Texas (+7) / Baylor (-7)

Second game of ESPN’s Big Monday doubleheader. Both schools will be in the NCAA Tournament, although Texas isn’t that far from the bubble at 19-10 overall and 8-8 in the Big 12. If the Horns win here, then they definitely have no Big Dance worries. Baylor (21-8, 10-6) can finish as high as second in the regular-season standings.

The Bears got a huge win Saturday, 82-74 at home over No. 7 Kansas. Baylor’s RayJ Dennis had his third double-double of the season. He had 19 points, 14 of those after halftime when making all five of his field goals, primarily runners. Jayden Nunn finished with 18 points on 7-of-8 shooting, hitting all four of his shots in the second half. Nunn had consecutive fastbreak layups 25 seconds apart to ignite that deciding spurt, when Dennis had three of his 10 assists.

Kansas made six of its first seven shots in the second half, bumping its shooting percentage up to 70% for the game. But in the deciding Bears’ 13-2 run, the Jayhawks scored just once in six possessions. KU leading scorer Kevin McCullar, playing in his first game since Feb. 13 because of a knee injury, was 0-for-5 from 3-point range and tied Hunter Dickinson for scoring honors with 20 points.

“I thought our guys did a great job on short prep,” BU coach Scott Drew said, “because we didn’t know (McCullar) was going to play. We were trying to get them down from 75% to 60%. We mixed defenses up a little bit.”

With the win, the Bears took sole possession of third place in the Big 12 standings and moves a step closer to a top-four seed for the Big 12 tournament that starts March 12 in Kansas City.

“Throughout March, that’s when you want to be playing your best ball,” Dennis said. “All these games finishing out the regular season and into the Big 12 tournament are important, all the way to the NCAA tournament.”

Texas won its second game in a row Saturday, 81-65 over Oklahoma State. Texas built a nine-point advantage, 45-36 at intermission and had an 11-point advantage four-minutes into the second half, but the Cowboys rallied behind a pair of John-Michael Wright 3s and a Javon Small jumper to tie the score at 52 with just under nine minutes left. The Longhorns answered with a 14-0 run. The Longhorns pulled down 17 of their 39 rebounds off the offensive glass and turned them into 22 second-chance points. They added 24 more off 15 Oklahoma State turnovers.

Forward Dylan Disu posted a team-high 17 points and tied his collegiate career high with five assists, while guard Chendall Weaver added a season-high 16 points. Max Abmas posted 15 points and became the fifth player in NCAA Division I men’s history to reach 500 career three-pointers made, as he has now converted 501 three-pointers in 152 games.

UT looks for the season sweep as it beat Baylor 75-73 in Austin on Jan. 20 on Tyrese Hunter’s frantic, driving layup at the buzzer. Hunter’s basket came after Baylor’s Jalen Bridges tied it on a long 3-pointer with 5 seconds left, the Bears’ first basket in nearly nine minutes. Texas leads 165-97 all-time and 35-25 since the formation of the Big 12 – Texas heads to the SEC next season. UT is 68-55 against the Bears when the two teams play in Waco.

NCAAB Betting Pick: Texas Longhorns

Syracuse Orange vs. Clemson Tigers

  • When: Tuesday, March 5th, 2024, 7:00 PM ET
  • Where: Littlejohn Coliseum, Clemson, SC
  • TV: ESPN2
  • Radio: WBUL 98.1 FM (Syracuse) // Classic Rock 99.5 FM (Clemson)
  • Live Stream: ESPN+
  • NCAAB Betting Odds: TBA

ACC game on ESPN2 and the Orange, in their regular-season finale, definitely need it more as they are considered on the wrong side of the NCAA Tournament bubble currently despite a 20-10 overall record and 11-8 in the league. The Orange would have had almost no shot at an at-large bid had it lost at Louisville on Saturday, but they held off the Cards 82-76 for a fourth straight win. SU landed in fourth-place in the ACC and is in line for a double-bye in the ACC Tournament, but it will need to beat Clemson to stay on that track.

Sophomores Chris Bell (23 points), a forward, and guard Judah Mintz (21) combined for 44 points in the victory. Five Orange performers scored in double figures for the third time this season. Sophomore forward Justin Taylor had 11 points while sophomores J.J. Starling, a guard, and center Maliq Brown each added 10 points. Brown also grabbed 10 rebounds for his third double-double of the season.

The Orange finished the outing 26-of-45 (.578) from the field, which included 15-of-24 (.625) in the first half. The opening period offensive performance was the second best this season. Syracuse made a season-high 25 shots from the charity stripe on 39 attempts. Mintz made six-of-eight from the foul line. He is now second in free throws made in ACC contests (113) since Syracuse joined the ACC in 2013, trailing Anthony Barber of NC State (2015-16, 115). Coming into the weekend, he ranked fourth in Division I in free throws and eighth in free throw attempts.

ESPN currently has Clemson (20-9, 10-8) as a No. 5 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Tigers had a three-game winning snapped on Saturday in frankly a bad loss, 69-62 at Notre Dame. Clemson led 34-31 after the opening stanza, but Notre Dame would make a late run in the second half that the Tigers wouldn’t be able to overcome. Clemson’s bench scored four points, ending its six-game streak of scoring in double figures. The team shot 5-for-28 (17.9%) from 3-point range, its fewest made since Jan. 30 vs. Louisville and worst percentage since Jan. 16 against Georgia Tech.

The Tigers were led by Ian Schieffelin, who totaled his eighth double-double of the season with 10 points and 14 rebounds. PJ Hall led the Tigers with 21 points and finished with seven rebounds. Jack Clark, the catalyst for the team’s improved defense of late, was out with an illness and didn’t play against the Irish.

Clemson is now tied for fifth in the ACC and still has a shot at a double-bye in the conference tournament (top four teams get one). This is the hole finale so it will be Senior Night.

Syracuse tries for the season sweep as it beat visiting Clemson 77-68 on Feb. 10 behind 18 points from Joe Girard III. A four-year starter at Syracuse, he transferred to Clemson following coach Jim Boeheim’s retirement last season. Girard scored 1,652 career points for the Orange. Hall had a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Tigers. Starling and Bell each scored 16 points to lead Syracuse.

NCAAB Betting Pick: Clemson Tigers

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