College basketball picks, schedule: predictions for Kentucky vs UNC and other top games on Saturday



The last Saturday of the college basketball season before Christmas brings plenty of goodies for fans to unwrap, even as cases of COVID-19 cause disruption in the world of sports. Headlining the day’s action will be a CBS Sports Classic showdown between the No.21 Kentucky and North Carolina that was staged after initially expected opponents from both teams, Ohio State and the UCLA, had to drop out due to COVID-19 protocols.

Elsewhere in the country, there will be great rivalry in the state as No.3 Purdue takes on Butler in Indianapolis at noon ET, while Western Kentucky hosts Louisville at 3:30 p.m. ET on CBS in another state. . strong test.

Last season’s National Title Game teams will also face tests away from their home arenas on Saturday with No.5 Gonzaga against Texas Tech in Phoenix and No.1 Baylor putting his undefeated record on the line in Oregon. . It will be the Bears’ first real road game of the season, and it represents a chance for Oregon to break through with a decisive win after a disappointing 6-5 start.

Here’s the full recap of these key matchups from CBS Sports’ expert squad.

Every hour is

No. 3 Purdue vs. Butler (Indianapolis)

12h | Fox, fuboTV (Try for free) – Butler is 7-3 but is a double-digit underdog as he has lost games to Michigan State and Houston by 21 and 18 points. However, the Bulldogs have been on a four-game winning streak since then, including a 66-62 overtime victory in Oklahoma last Saturday. The Bulldogs have several seniors playing big minutes, and their recent improvement suggests they can stay close to a Purdue side that has looked infamously deadly since briefly rising to No.1 in the polls after a start. 8-0. Prediction: Purdue 74, Butler 68

13h | CBS,, CBS Sports app (To free) — Texas Tech had one of the best defensive efforts of the season by any team in a 57-52 overtime win over Tennessee at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 7. Facing Gonzaga will present an entirely different dynamic for the Red Raiders, however, as the Bulldogs’ twin towers of Drew Timme and Chet Holmgren will test the Red Raiders frontline. It’s been almost two weeks since Gonzaga lost to Alabama in Seattle, and you can bet coach Mark Few will have his time running at a much higher level now as the Bulldogs play their final regular season game. against an opponent of the power conference. Prediction: Gonzaga 86, Texas Tech 76

Featured Game | Western Kentucky Hilltoppers vs. Louisville Cardinals

3pm | CBS,, CBS Sports app (To free) — Louisville lost their only real road game to date at Michigan State on Dec. 1, and that environment can be even more hostile given that they’re an opponent in the state. The Cardinals fight offensively and WKU just held Ole Miss to 48 points in a resounding victory. The Hilltoppers should use this momentum to clinch an emotional victory just over a week after the tornadoes wreaked havoc in their area of ​​the state. Prediction: Western Kentucky 65, Louisville 64

Featured Game | Kentucky Wildcats vs. North Carolina Tar Heels

5.30 p.m. | CBS,, CBS Sports app (To free) — Expect Kentucky to play with a bit of desperation here as the Wildcats try to secure their first Quad 1 victory of the season after a horrendous shooting performance against Notre Dame in a loss to the road last week. UNC have been one of the best outdoor shooting teams in the country so far this season, but the Tar Heels are still going on defensively. If the Wildcats can hit some outside shots and control the offensive glass, they can get a much needed quality win. Prediction: Kentucky 80, UNC 75

Featured Game | Oregon Ducks vs. Baylor Bear

22h | ESPN2, fuboTV (Try for free) – Baylor comes off a 57-36 home win over Villanova on Sunday, which was arguably anyone’s most impressive performance in college basketball this season. The victory propelled the Bears to No. 1 in the nation, but now they have to play a real road game for the first time. Oregon was a huge disappointment, but the Ducks can score and should have enough backing from their home crowd to stay in this game. Prediction: Baylor 66, Oregon 59

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