Consider it a closing argument.
Our region’s college basketball teams play a final round of games this weekend before beginning their conference tournaments next week. Beyond that, March Madness beckons. Bubbles will form and some teams will land directly on top. Others will see their bubble burst.
All of it will begin this weekend, as teams make their final case for a place in the ever-important NCAA tournament bracket.
A look ahead to weekend hoops
On Saturday, West Virginia hosts No. 4 Baylor, one of college basketball’s best teams. Villanova travels to Georgetown. And Penn State travels to Northwestern in search of a must-needed win.
Later that evening, the 76ers face the Warriors in a national TV broadcast that will feature Golden State standout Steph Curry, who returned from a prolonged injury on Thursday.
In the latest installment of our Penn Sportsbooks Pick Play, we’ll get your ready for all the action with a rundown of all the best games and the expected offerings from the online Pennsylvania sportsbooks.
Let’s start with the Big 12.
No. 4 Baylor at West Virginia: 3/7, 1 p.m. ESPN+
The Bears have entered something of a late-season lull, losing earlier in the week to TCU and then needing overtime to take down Texas Tech on Wednesday.
The Mountaineers have endured a similar malaise, losing three of their past four. Perhaps a visit from one of the country’s top 5 teams will be a cure all.
FOX Bet is also running a special for new customers this weekend. Bet $25 on any single college basketball game from March 6-8 and get $100 in free bets, which will be added to your account by Monday at noon. Sign up here before placing that bet and also receive a free additional $20.
Here’s an overview of the rest of the big college basketball action:
- No. 14 Villanova at Georgetown: 3/7 at 12 p.m. – FOX
- No. 20 Penn State at Northwestern: 3/7 at 4 p.m. – BTN
76ers at Warriors: 3/7, 8:30 p.m. NBC
Injuries will be the prevailing storyline in this game. Warriors guard Steph Curry returned Thursday from a broken hand that had sidelined him for four months. That same night, the 76ers took the court against the Sacramento Kings, missing three starters (Ben Simmons, Josh Richardson, Joel Embiid).
Saturday night’s game will be broadcast nationally, which is likely to bring back a few players for the showdown in Oakland. Betting lines should be available Friday at BetRivers, PlaySugarHouse and the rest of your favorite sites. There should also be a full menu of player props in the high-profile game to juice up the action even more.
If you prefer hockey to hoops, you’ll have some options for that too. Here’s a snapshot of this weekend’s regional games on the ice, with moneyline odds provided by DraftKings.
- Capitals (+107) at Penguins (-129): 3/7 at 1 p.m. – RSN
- Sabres (+175) at Flyers (-215), 3/7 at 7 p.m.
After this weekend, there will be action everywhere. Conference tournaments will tip-off en masse next week. The bracket will be built next Sunday. But before that can happen, there’s one last round of conference games this weekend.
Consider it a closing argument you won’t want to miss.
Good luck and enjoy the games.