Although many of the teams playing in their conference championship games today have already punched their tickets to the NCAA Tournament, they will still be putting maximum effort into these finals in order to claim the coveted conference titles. It’s not just about bragging rights and trophies. It’s about building confidence towards the biggest prize of all – a national championship.
There are several big conference finals going on today and we’ll take a look at four of the biggest from a few of the nation’s most prestigious conferences. Here are the point spreads and our picks.
#19 Syracuse +5 vs #4 Louisville -5
Louisville has closed out the season playing their best basketball of the season on a nine-game winning streak and when they are playing their best, they can beat any team in the country, including Big East rival Syracuse.
Still, it’s not easy to overlook the Orange. They’ve already crashed Georgetown’s party, eliminating them from the Big East Tournament and they could very well do the same to the higher ranked Cardinals. They even have a win against Louisville this season, but that was back when the Cardinals weren’t in the zone they are in now.
Louisville is at the top of their game and it doesn’t like anyone can stop it, so take the Cardinals to cover -5 in the win.
UNLV -3 vs #15 New Mexico +3
The Mountain West Conference final has come down to the Runnin’ Rebels and the Lobos, two teams that have each impressed in their own ways. But as the defending conference champions, New Mexico should have the advantage today, despite the spread. However, the Rebels were able to defeat the Lobos in their most recent meeting.
Neither team needs a win to today to gain entry to the NCAA tourney, but the rivalry should inspire an intense conference final. However, in the end the Lobos’ defense and balanced attack should be enough to edge out a win. Take New Mexico to cover +3 and earn the W.
#11 Kansas State +5 vs #7 Kansas -5
In-state rivals will battle it out in the Big 12 finale as the Wildcats look to avenge their two losses to the Jayhawks from earlier this season. It will be a tall order though, as Kansas is coming into the final red hot and hungry for another conference title to add to its trophy case.
Considering the Jayhawks average margin of victory is nearly 15 points and considering that the Hawks have already knocked off the Wildcats twice this year, we should be pretty confident they can do it again. Take Kansas to cover -5 in the win.
Oregon -2 vs #21 UCLA +2
It’s been a down year in the Pac-12 this season, but it appears the two best teams have landed themselves a spot in the final in what should be an entertaining and fitting conclusion to the Pac-12 season.
You may be wondering why the Ducks have a two-point edge in the spread today considering they have struggled a bit down the stretch and are unranked coming into today’s contest against a 21st ranked Bruins team. The real reason they have the advantage is probably because one of UCLA’s key players, Jordan Adams, is out with a season-ending injury.
Oregon should have enough in the tank to finish off this conference title, so don’t hesitate from taking the Ducks to cover -2 in the victory.