October 6, 2022

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College basketball picks, schedule: Predictions for Gonzaga vs. Saint Mary’s and other top games Saturday

The loaded slate of college basketball action on Saturday brings a ton of intrigue from noon ET until well past midnight, starting with No. 1 Auburn’s 12 p.m. tip against Texas A&M and lasting until No. 2 Gonzaga’s 10 p.m. tilt with No. 22 Saint Mary’s concludes. In between will be several other key conference matchups as the race for league titles and NCAA Tournament positioning heats up.

Among the day’s early highlights are a couple of Big 12 battles. The first is at noon between No. 20 Texas and No. 10 Baylor as the Longhorns look to follow their win over No. 8 Kansas with another victory against a top-10 foe. Oklahoma will be looking for a similarly excellent week as it travels to face the Jayhawks after knocking off No. 9 Texas Tech earlier this week.

The Big 12 has been full of chaos on Saturdays this season, and that could certainly continue. But there figures to be upsets and drama across the national landscape. With Selection Sunday just four weeks from this Sunday, life on the bubble is growing more perilous and the seeding implications of each game seem more real.

Our experts have picks and predictions for the day’s biggest games here.

Odds provided via Caesars Sportsbook | All times Eastern

No. 22 Saint Mary’s at No. 2 Gonzaga

Featured Game | Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. Saint Mary’s Gaels

10 p.m. | ESPN2,  fuboTV (Try for free) — The West Coast Conference is supposedly better than ever and allegedly deeper than just Gonzaga in terms of actual threats to advance in the NCAA Tournament. But if that’s truly the case, then St. Mary’s better prove it here. The Zags are 8-0 in WCC play and have won seven of those eight by 25 points or more. The other win was a 16-point victory over San Francisco. St. Mary’s has a quality big in Matthias Tass who might force Drew Timme and Chet Holmgren to break a sweat, but the Zags should still win easily. Prediction: Gonzaga 88, St. Mary’s 62

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No. 20 Texas at No. 10 Baylor

Featured Game | Baylor Bears vs. Texas Longhorns

Noon | ESPN2,  fuboTV (Try for free) — Texas has won five of its last six, including a 79-76 thriller vs. No. 8 Kansas on Monday. Baylor is just 5-4 since its 15-0 start and was crushed by those same Jayhawks last Saturday. But the Bears have home court advantage and are getting closer to full health. The Longhorns likely won’t be able to replicate the 18-point edge in points off turnovers they enjoyed against Kansas. It would help if Baylor 3-point marksman LJ Cryer is available for the first time since Jan. 25, but even if he’s not, the Bears should pull away late. Prediction: Baylor 70, Texas 63

Oklahoma at No. 8 Kansas 

Featured Game | Kansas Jayhawks vs. Oklahoma Sooners

1 p.m. | CBS, CBSSports.comCBS Sports App (Free) — Oklahoma scored 45 points in the second half alone against an elite Texas Tech defense in a huge win on Wednesday. The Sooners may not pull off their first victory at Kansas since 1993, but they can certainly make it too close for comfort against a Jayhawks’ squad coming off a loss to Texas. KU won the first meeting 67-64 on Jan. 18 and may have to fight until the end to secure a season sweep. Prediction: Kansas 73, Oklahoma 71 

Featured Game | Michigan State Spartans vs. Indiana Hoosiers

3:30 p.m. | Fox,  fuboTV (Try for free) — Both these teams have lost two straight and have some major issues to sort through. Indiana coach Mike Woodson suspended five players, including starters Parker Stewart and Xavier Johnson, for IU’s loss at Northwestern on Tuesday. But Woodson hasn’t said if the five will immediately resume their roles. Michigan State is coming off a 21-point loss at Rutgers and an eight-point home defeat against Wisconsin. It would truly be a stunner if Michigan State lost consecutive home games, though. Look for the Spartans to play with an edge. Prediction: Michigan State 77, Indiana 68 

Featured Game | Kentucky Wildcats vs. Florida Gators

4  p.m. | ESPN,  fuboTV (Try for free) — The Gators are back to “First Four Out” status in Jerry Palm’s Bracketology amid a four-game winning streak. But those four wins are all against teams that are .500 or worse. Playing Kentucky at Rupp Arena is going to be a massive step up. But the Wildcats were tested against Mississippi State and Vanderbilt in their last two home games. Barring a UK 3-point barrage, the Wildcats are unlikely to obliterate a Florida team playing with confidence. Prediction: Kentucky 76, Florida 72