College basketball picks, schedule: Predictions, odds for Ohio State vs. Illinois and other big games

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The first Saturday of March brings a double dip of postseason action and critical regular season games as we get closer to a long-awaited Selection Sunday on March 14. High end bubble teams like UCLA, Wichita State and Xavier will be looking to put the finishing touches on their NCAA Tournament resumes before conference tournaments begin.

Low-end bubble teams like Utah State, Seton Hall and Ole Miss, meanwhile, can absolutely not afford to lose in their regular season finales as they cling to at-large candidacy entering the postseason. In between, there are teams like Duke and North Carolina. Speaking of those two, their game with each other will carry even more weight than usual as both navigate the unfamiliar territory of life on the bubble.

By night's end, the first NCAA Tournament bid will be officially secured as the Ohio Valley crowns a champion. With postseason implications abounding, our staff has assembled a menu of the best games with our picks attached to help you scratch your gambling itch. Those picks are below.

When: 12 p.m. | Where: Gampel Pavilion in Storrs, Connecticut 
TV: CBS | Live stream:  CBSSports.comCBS Sports App (Free)
OTT: CBS Sports App (Apple TV, Roku, Fire TV, Chromecast) 

UConn held Georgetown leading scorer Jamorko Pickett to just 10 points on 3-of-12 shooting in the first meeting, which was his lowest scoring output since Jan. 2. Look for the 6-foot-9 forward to have a better showing this time, but the Huskies are still the better team. Prediction: UConn 74, Georgetown 70  -- Cobb

When: 2 p.m. | Where: Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, Georgia
TV: CBS | Live stream:  CBSSports.comCBS Sports App (Free)
OTT: CBS Sports App (Apple TV, Roku, Fire TV, Chromecast) 

Home court advantage means less than usual this season amid the pandemic, but it's still meant a lot to Georgia. The Bulldogs are 5-4 in SEC home games, including wins over LSU, Missouri and Kentucky. Expect them to play Alabama much closer than they did in a blowout road loss last month. Prediction: Alabama 83, Georgia 76 -- Cobb

USC at UCLA

When: 4 p.m. | Where: Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles, California
TV: CBS | Live stream:  CBSSports.comCBS Sports App (Free)
OTT: CBS Sports App (Apple TV, Roku, Fire TV, Chromecast) 

UCLA made just 3-of-19 shots from 3-point range in the first meeting, which is uncharacteristic of a team that ranks first in the Pac-12 in 3-point shooting percentage during league games. With the Bruins playing at home and desperately needing momentum, look for a vastly different outcome this time around. Prediction: UCLA 76, USC 70 -- Cobb

When: 4 p.m. | Where: Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio
TV: ESPN | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free) 

Ohio State will be playing with a sense of desperation after losing three straight, and the Buckeyes proved in a road win over Illinois on Jan. 16 that leading scorer E.J. Liddell is a really tough matchup for Illinois.  Prediction: Ohio State 90, Illinois 86. -- Cobb

Duke at North Carolina

When: 6 p.m. | Where: Dean E. Smith Center in Chapel Hill, North Carolina
TV: ESPN | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free) 

Between bigs Armando Bacot, Garrison Brooks and Day'Ron Sharpe, UNC was already a lot to handle on the interior. With Kessler now in the mix as well, the Tar Heels are absolutely massive. Front-line heft is not a strength for Duke, and Carolina's physicality should help it get a big win. Prediction: North Carolina 80, Duke 75 -- Cobb

So who wins every college basketball game today? And which underdogs pull off stunning upsets? Visit SportsLine now to get picks for every game, all from the unbiased model that simulates every game 10,000 times, and find out.

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