College funds: Thursday's best NCAAB bets
Michigan Wolverines at Illinois Fighting Illini (-1, 120.5)
A win over the No. 16 Wolverines would boost the Fighting Illini’s NCAA Tournament resume. Illinois snapped a six-game losing skid with a win over Iowa Sunday but still sits on the tournament bubble.
Illinois has won 13 in row over Michigan inside Assembly Hall, its longest active home-court winning streak over a Big Ten opponent and it seems like Illinois finally figured out how to feed the post in Sunday’s win over Iowa.
Seven-foot center Meyers Leonard, who has been burdened by poor entry passes all season, scored 22 points to snap the Illini’s losing skid.
Leonard, a sophomore, is climbing up the NBA Draft rankings and this could be his final game in Champaign if he decides to go pro. Much of that decision weighs on the future of Illinois coach Bruce Weber, who is on the hot seat after a disappointing year.Pick:
IlliniWashington Huskies at USC Trojans (8, 125)
Washington can clinch a share of the Pac-12 regular-season title with a win against last-place Southern California, which has lost seven straight games and 16 of its last 17. With two wins against the Los Angeles schools this week, the Huskies will earn their second outright crown in 59 years.
Washington has won 12 of its last 14 games, including a 69-41 victory over Southern California on Feb. 4. The Huskies can eliminate Arizona, Colorado and Oregon from title contention with a win over the Trojans, who are down to six scholarship players.
When the Pac-12 year-end awards are announced Monday, Washington could be the big winners. Tony Wroten is a strong candidate to win the conference’s player of the year and freshman of the year awards, and Lorenzo Romar is favored to be named coach of the year. Wroten is third in the Pac-12 with 16.7 points per game and leads all conference freshmen with two steals and 3.5 assists.
Terrence Ross, another candidate for player of the year, had 10 points and 14 rebounds against the Trojans last month.