College basketball picks: Big 12 and other top 25 predictions for February 22

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Other top 25 games

(1)Syracuse (25-1) at (5)Duke (21-6) – 6:00 PM, ESPN

Voss: Both these teams are coming off of tough losses, and Syracuse may not be able to lose many more contests to obtain a number one overall seed in the NCAA tournament. Duke has been excellent in the ACC and still has a chance to be a number one seed in the NCAA tournament if they are able to win games like this. Duke is at home, and that will ultimately be the deciding factor in this one as Syracuse will be unable to keep up with the Blue Devils’ offensive game.

Prediction: Duke

Feb 5, 2014; Terre Haute, IN, USA; Wichita State Shockers forward Cleanthony Early (11) takes a shot against Indiana State Sycamores forward Demetrius Moore (15) at the Hulman Center. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Drake (14-13) at (3)Wichita State (28-0) – 7:00 PM, Web: ESPN3

Voss: Drake may be coming around after winning two straight, including a victory over UNI. Wichita State has rarely been challenged in conference play and is ultimately superior to the rest of the conference in almost all facets of the game. The first match-up of these two teams was a game the Shockers were able to run away behind Cleanthony Early’s 19 points. This game may be close early, but ultimately Wichita State will pull away on their way to an undefeated regular season.

Prediction: Wichita State

(11)Louisville (22-4) at (7)Cincinnati (24-3) – 11:00 AM, CBS

Spaen: What a way to start out college basketball on Saturday afternoon; this is probably the highlight of the day with the Syracuse-Duke match getting knocked down a peg after the Orange’s first loss against Boston College and the Blue Devils continuing to be inconsistent with six losses. Both of the teams in this matchup have a combined seven losses.

Not many people are playing better than the Bearcats’ Sean Kilpatrick,  averaging 24.9 points in the last seven games. He needs just 10 more points to eclipse the 2,000-point mark in his career. That’s going to happen if he gets close to his 28-point performance over the Cardinals in January. Louisville has won the last five games, but that will come to an end with Cincinnati’s stingy defense at home, which holds teams to an average of 58.3 points per game.

Prediction: Cincinnati

(16)Wisconsin (21-5) at (15)Iowa (19-6) – 11:00 AM, ESPN2

Spaen: Iowa received a week-long break after not playing on Tuesday. In the last meeting, the Hawkeyes’ Roy Devyn Marble led the way with 27 points and three steals, but it wasn’t enough to win in a close 75-71 affair. Things will turn around with a rested group. The key will be for Iowa to hold Wisconsin to under 70 points; when they do that, they’re undefeated.

Prediction: Iowa