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NCAA Basketball: Picks for Day 59 of the 2023-24 season

After a busy Wednesday and Thursday, the Friday schedule is a calm before a huge Saturday, though there is a top-10 matchup.

Purdue Boilermakers guard Carson Barrett (34) drives to the basket during the NCAA men   s
Purdue Boilermakers guard Carson Barrett (34) drives to the basket during the NCAA men s / Alex Martin/Journal and Courier / USA
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Yesterday was a day with some very interesting results across the board. It was also a day that saw a lot of road teams win games in their conference. Road wins are always hard to come by in college basketball, and they are extremely hard in conference play. Michigan State must have fixed themselves because they are rolling. They won again and now look to be one of the best teams in the Big Ten again. Arizona beat Colorado by 48 points. Minnesota beat Michigan in Ann Arbor. That officially means we are on Juwan Howard watch.

James Madison survived on the road in Louisiana to remain undefeated. Long Island won their second game of the year, Eastern Illinois upset UT Martin, and Detroit Mercy lost again to fall to 0-15 on the season. Finally, Arizona State is a different team with Adam Miller finally eligible. They look capable of making a run in the Pac 12 after beating Utah.

Yesterday I went 43-12 in my picks. That brings my 58 day total to 1,649-572 overall. There are not a lot of games today but there are a lot of quality games today. The MAAC conference play returns. There is a huge game between two top ten teams and a great nightcap in the Mountain West. There is no football on tomorrow, so it is the calm before a huge Saturday of College Hoops. Picks for day 59 January 5, 2024, are below.

UConn over Butler

Manhattan over Niagara

Iona over Saint Peter’s

Fairfield over Siena

Canisius over Mount St. Mary’s

Toledo over Miami Ohio

Quinnipiac over Rider

Purdue over Illinois

Akron over Bowling Green

San Jose State over Boise State

As mentioned, the schedule today is all about quality over quantity. The best game is between Purdue and Illinois. They are both top 10 teams and that game is going to be high scoring. Purdue is the number 1 team in the country and has the best player in the country in Zach Edey. Illinois has a dynamic offense, is an older team, and has one of the best scoring guards in the country in Marcus Domask. It is going to be one of the best games of the year and I don’t know if Domask or Edey will get much resistance from the other one tonight.

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UConn has a tough game at Butler, especially since the Huskies are not healthy. They should still win but it will be a lot closer than some may think. San Jose State and Boise State is the last game of the day and also the best mid-major game. The Spartans and coach Tim Miles have not been able to replicate the success they had last season, at least not yet. That team has some talent and a home win over an NCAA tournament hopeful like Boise State may be just the recipe to get them back on track.