Packing for Vegas: College Basketball Picks Dec. 20

Andrew KahnCorrespondent IDecember 19, 2008

I can't remember the last time we had a day quite like this. Two games involving two top-ten teams, three others involving two ranked teams, and several other quality match-ups.

Sometimes it's a good idea to stay away from the high-profile games. But when I saw Texas was only favored by six against Michigan State, I had to hop on it. Michigan State is a product of a high preseason ranking, having gotten smacked by the only two good teams it's played so far.  Texas, meanwhile, is a legit Final Four contender, having knocked off UCLA and Villanova.

The Spartans simply don't have it put together at this point in the season. Both squads are coming off lackluster performances, but playing close to home, I see the Longhorns cruising from start to finish. Two units.

I also like Arizona State against BYU. I had the Sun Devils as a preseason sleeper pick to possibly reach the Elite Eight. James Harden has actually exceeded my expectations so far this year, scoring 30 or more three times in ASU's first eight games.

The Cougars are undefeated, but haven't been tested yet. They will be Saturday in Glendale. I'm confident Arizona State will win, so I feel comfortable laying four and a half.


Today's picks: Texas -6; 2 units

                      Arizona State -4.5; 1 unit


Season Record: 21-12 (64 percent); +15.8 units