The Baylor Bears held onto their No. 1 ranking in the Associated Press top-25 following a loss — their first of the year — to Texas Tech on January 11, but a second setback, this one on January 15 to Oklahoma State cost them. In the latest AP poll, Baylor has dropped to No. 5. The new No. 1 ranked team is the Gonzaga Bulldogs, who were previously ranked at No. 2. Gonzaga has won its past seven games. The team cruised to wins in its most recent outings with scores of 117-83, 110-84 and 115-83.
Other significant moves in the latest top-25 poll were UCLA, who dropped from No. 3 to No. 9 following an 84-81 overtime loss to Oregon. USC plummeted from No. 5 to No. 16 following a 1-2 stretch between January 11 and January 15 with losses to Stanford and Oregon.
Wisconsin broke into the top-10 with wins over Ohio State and Northwestern. The Badgers moved from No. 13 to No. 8.
Before we look at some of the most important NCAAB games on Saturday, January 22, check out the best sites for March Madness 2022 betting. Also, be sure to dig into our NCAA College Basketball betting page for tips and advice on how to wager on NCAAB games.
Syracuse Orange vs. Duke Blue Devils
Date & Location: Saturday, January 22 @ Cameron Indoor Stadium, Durham, NC
Time: 12:00 p.m. ET
How to Watch: ESPN
The Duke Blue Devils moved from No. 8 in the AP Poll to No. 6, but that move was on the strength of wins over Wake Forest and NC State. Duke is coming off a 79-78 overtime loss to unranked Florida State on Tuesday. With that, this is a must win for the Blue Devils if they want to hold on to their high ranking in the NCAA.
If Syracuse manages a win in this game, it will be an upset, but the Orange played Florida State well on January 15. They lost to the Seminoles in regulation by a score of 76-71. That game will give Syracuse some confidence.
I think Syracuse will be able to score, but I believe the team’s defense will not be able to keep Paolo Banchero in check.
Pick: Duke to win.
Kentucky Wildcats vs. Auburn Tigers
Date & Location: Saturday, January 22 @ Auburn Arena in Auburn, AL
Time: 1:00 p.m. ET
How to Watch: CBS
The Saturday matchup between the No. 12 ranked Kentucky Wildcats and the No. 2 ranked Auburn Tigers is the biggest game of the weekend for NCAA basketball. Auburn is the No. 1 team in the SEC with a 17-1 record. Kentucky is the No. 2 team in the SEC with a 15-3 record.
Auburn is on a 14-game winning streak. The team’s only loss came in November when they dropped a two-OT game to UConn by a score of 115-109. No team has even come close to defeating the Tigers since then. The team is coming off a 83-60 win over Georgia.
Kentucky has wins in its past four outings, including a 107-79 trouncing of No. 22 ranked Tennessee on January 15. The Wildcats are coming off a 64-58 win over Texas A&M.
Auburn has been extremely effective on defense this season and are one of the leading teams in blocks per game and block rate in the NCAA. That defense is going to make the difference here, but this should be a close and exciting matchup.
Pick: Auburn to win
Baylor Bears vs. Oklahoma Sooners
Date & Location: Saturday, January 22 @ Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, OK
Time: 3:00 p.m. ET
How to Watch: Big 12, ESPN+
The Baylor Bears and Oklahoma Sooners both need this win. The Bears, who opened the season on a 15-0 run, are now 16-2 after a 1-2 run since January 11. Oklahoma opened the season with a respectable 12-3 record, but the Sooners have lost their past three outings.
Baylor are the defending NCAA champs and the team hadn’t lost back-to-back home games since the end of the 2015-16 season, but that’s what happened on January 11 and 15 when the Bears lost to Texas Tech and Oklahoma State. The club rebounded with a road win over West Virginia. This game is in Oklahoma, so Baylor will not have the pressure of those back-to-back home losses to deal with.
Expect Baylor to get back on a win streak in this one.
Pick: Baylor to win
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