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NCAA Basketball: Picks for day 51 of the 2023-24 season

December 23rd was the last major day of the season but NCAA Basketball is back now and conference play is in full swing.

Oregon guard Jermaine Couisnard puts up a shot for three as the Oregon Ducks host California Baptist
Oregon guard Jermaine Couisnard puts up a shot for three as the Oregon Ducks host California Baptist / Ben Lonergan/The Register-Guard / USA
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The last time I posted was on Saturday, December 23rd. That was the last full day of action before the mandatory Christmas Break. On that day Providence beat Butler, and Mississippi State beat Rutgers. Florida Atlantic beat Arizona in Double Overtime and that game is the early leader for game of the year. There will likely not be another game that comes close to the action that happened in that game. Santa Clara beat Duquese which was an upset and in the biggest upset of the night the Missouri State Bears went to Moraga and defeated Saint Mary’s. The Gaels are now 8-6 and their path to the tournament is murky at best.

Christmas Eve had the final day of the Diamond Head Classic. Nevada won the tournament and defeated Temple, TCU and Georgia Tech over those three days. The Wolf Pack are getting close to lock status for the NCAA tournament. There were zero games on Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday only had two games between Division 1 opponents. The schedule picks up in a big way this weekend and we will be full on into conference play as the weekend hits.

On December 23rd I went 12-5 in my picks. On Christmas Eve I went 3-1 in my picks and yesterday I went 1-1 in my picks. That gives me a 50 day total of 1,426-494 overall. Today sees the return of conference play in the Horizon League. Conference play begins in the Ohio Valley, Pac 12, Big West, and the Big Sky. Picks for day 51 December 27, 2023 are below.

Oklahoma over Central Arkansas

Cleveland State over Oakland

Maryland over Coppin State

Albany over Long Island

Texas Tech over Sam Houston

UTSA over Prairie View

Little Rock over Tennessee Tech

Tennessee State over Tennessee Martin

Oregon over USC

Santa Barbara over UC Davis

Weber State over Montana

Montana State over Idaho State

Idaho over Sacramento State

Portland State over Eastern Washington

Oregon State over UCLA

Northridge over Cal Poly

UC San Diego over Bakersfield

Fullerton over Long Beach

UC Irvine over UC Riverside

There are some games with a ton of intrigue today. UCLA and Oregon State looks like the battle of last place teams in the Pac 12. At the start of the year there is no way I would have told you that UCLA was looking like one of the worst teams in the Pac 12.

10 early team disappointments of the season. dark. Next. 10 early team disappointments of the season

USC and Oregon is the game of the night. USC has not lived up to expectations at all and Oregon is always tough at home. UC Davis and Santa Barbara is the mid major game of the night. It has two of the best pure scorers in the country in Ajay Mitchell and Elijah Pepper. The schedule picks up a lot on Friday.