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NCAA Basketball: Picks for Day 86 of the 2023-24 season

After some ranked teams avoided upsets last night there are some more games with upset potential today. There are also games that have significant NCAA tournament implications

Jan 26, 2024; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin Badgers guard Connor Essegian (3) celebrates a
Jan 26, 2024; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin Badgers guard Connor Essegian (3) celebrates a / Kayla Wolf-USA TODAY Sports
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Last night had a lot of upset potential and some top teams went down to the wire.  Purdue beat Northwestern in overtime after trailing for much of the game.  Chris Collins got ejected after a bad no-call at the end of the game with the game in the balance.  Alabama came back from 10 down late on the road at Georgia.  UConn beat Providence after trailing in the second half.  Baylor beat UCF in Florida after trailing most of the game. 

Some ranked teams lost yesterday though.  Kentucky was bitten by the top 10 curse as they lost in Rupp to Florida. Memphis has played their way out of the NCAA tournament field after losing their fourth straight game to Rice.  Boise State beat New Mexico, Saint Mary’s stays undefeated in the WCC, and Penn State blew out Rutgers in New Jersey.  Finally, Richmond won to stay undefeated in the Atlantic 10 conference.

Yesterday I went 28-16 in my picks.  That gives me an 85 day total of 2,422-962 overall.  There are not too many quality games today but there are games of huge importance across the board.  There are huge games in the Big Ten, Pac 12, America East, and the CAA.  Those games could determine some fates for the NCAA tournament and in the smaller conferences are going to determine seeding for the conference tournament.  Picks for day 86 February 1, 2024, are below.

Green Bay over IUPUI

Binghamton over NJIT

UMass Lowell over Maine

SMU over Tulane

High Point over Longwood

Hofstra over Stony Brook

Towson over Northeastern

Charleston over UNC Wilmington

North Carolina A&T over Hampton

Drexel over Monmouth

William & Mary over Delaware

Elon over Campbell

Fairleigh Dickinson over Long Island

Wagner over Le Moyne

Sacred Heart over Stonehill

Central Connecticut over St Francis PA

Oakland over Robert Morris

Fort Wayne over Milwaukee

Cleveland State over Detroit Mercy

Marshall over Old Dominion

Troy over Georgia Southern

James Madison over Coastal Carolina

Appalachian State over Georgia State

Bryant over UMBC

Vermont over Albany

Louisiana Tech over FIU

Kennesaw State over Bellarmine

Stephen F. Austin over Utah Valley

Tennessee State over Morehead State

Texas State over South Alabama

St Thomas over Omaha

North Dakota over South Dakota

South Dakota State over North Dakota State

Denver over Kansas City

Eastern Kentucky over Queens

Abilene Christian over Tarleton

Northern Arizona over Weber State

Northern Colorado over Idaho State

Arizona over California

Wisconsin over Nebraska

Tennessee Tech over Southern Indiana

SIU Edwardsville over Little Rock

Western Illinois over Lindenwood

Eastern Illinois over UT Martin

Florida Gulf Coast over Central Arkansas

Southern Utah over UT Arlington

North Alabama over Stetson

Arizona State over Stanford

Wright State over Youngstown State

Utah Tech over UT Rio Grande Valley

Grand Canyon over Seattle

Western Kentucky over Sam Houston

Liberty over New Mexico State

UTEP over Jacksonville State

Montana over Idaho

Montana State over Eastern Washington

Portland over Pacific

UC Irvine over Cal Poly

Long Beach over Bakersfield

UC San Diego over Northridge

Fullerton over Hawaii

Oregon over USC

UCLA over Oregon State

San Francisco over San Diego

Santa Barbara over UC Davis

There are some very interesting games today.  Green Bay looks to further their lead on the Horizon League with an early morning game against IUPUI.  UMass Lowell and Bryant both have one loss in the America East and Vermont is undefeated.  If the River Hawks and Bulldogs both win it would continue to put a ton of pressure on the Catamounts to keep winning.  Eastern Kentucky is undefeated in the ASun but travel to Queens in a tough environment.  Keep an eye on that one. 

Next. 10 notable teams in danger of missing the NCAA Tournament. 10 notable teams in danger of missing the NCAA Tournament. dark

Then the game of the night is Wisconsin and Nebraska.  Nebraska is coming off an embarrassing loss to Maryland, and coach Fred Hoiberg has been preaching toughness all week.  The Huskers are in Lincoln, and they have looked like a much different team at home than away.  They win by a lot at home.  Wisconsin is the best team in the Big Ten and the best team Nebraska has played this year.  The Badgers have Purdue at home on Saturday and they might be looking ahead.  Nebraska knows it needs to win to bolster its NCAA tournament resume.  The Badgers need to win to stay in first place in the league.  That will be a great game.  Can Grand Canyon avenge their only conference loss against Seattle?