It’s Feast Week in the College Basketball season – a group of tournaments that allow teams to make major statements well ahead of conference play. Some of the top tournaments in the sport have some of the top teams in the nation. In 2022, the Phil Knight Invitational in Portland saw Connecticut simply tear through the bracket, a preview of their run through March Madness and eventual national title. Will we see something similar this year? Check out the Top College Basketball Games and our thoughts on some of the tournaments as you plan your week’s NCAAB betting.
2023 Top College Basketball Games and Betting Picks in the Week 3
Field: Chaminade, UCLA, Tennessee, Syracuse, Purdue, Marquette, Kansas, Gonzaga
This tournament features three of the top four teams in the AP rankings, and five of the top 11. The games have been moved to Honolulu this year because of the remaining damage from the wildfires that tore through Maui earlier this year.
The biggest game in the first round, set for Monday, features Purdue and Gonzaga. They met at PK85 last year, and that game made the nation just how aware of how terrific the Purdue Boilmerkaers would be. Kansas beat Kentucky at the Champions Classic and enters the tournament with the top AP ranking. They could see #4 Marquette in the semifinals. Tennessee has gotten almost 20 points per game out of transfer wing Dalton Knecht over his first three contests. If the Volunteers can win this tournament, they could seize the top ranking in the nation.
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Battle 4 Atlantis
Field: Villanova, Texas Tech, Stanford, Northern Iowa, North Carolina, Michigan, Memphis, Arkansas
The Arkansas Razorbacks are the highest-ranked team in this field, but there is so much talent here that this bracket is actually wide open. Hubert Davis enters Year 3 guiding the North Carolina Tar Heels, who come in after having run over some mid-major competition, but how will they fare against elite teams? R.J. Davis and Armando Bacot have a wealth of new talent around them, and they open with Northern Iowa, which means a semifinal against either Texas Tech or Villanova would be their first step.
Memphis faces Michigan in another intriguing first-round matchup. The Wolverines are getting terrific play from sophomore guard Dug McDaniel and are rolling Memphis faced its first major test at Missouri and came away impressive. The winner of this matchup will take on the winner between Stanford and Arkansas.
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ESPN Events Invitational
Field: Virginia Tech, VCU, Texas A&M, Penn State, Iowa State, Florida Atlantic, Butler, Boise State
This tournament is just down the road from FAU, fresh off their run to the Final Four. They have beaten Loyola-Chicago and Eastern Michigan, and now they get a test by opening against Butler. The Bulldogs have also gotten a solid start in the second season with Thad Matta at the helm.
Iowa State has run roughshod over tomato cans to this point. Guard Tamin Lipsey is off to a great start in his sophomore season, averaging 13 points and over six assists per game so far. Freshman Milan Momcilovic has been knocking down shots prodigiously, and now he’ll get a chance to do it in front of pro scouts.
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November 22 & 24
Field: Pitt, Oregon State, Florida, Baylor
Baylor had a lights-out win over Auburn on a neutral floor. Freshman Ja’Kobe Walter put up 28 points, and Yves Missi had some clutch plays as well. Waller will see a couple of other elite guards on the rise in this tournament, including Carlton Carrington from Pitt and Riley Kugel from Florida.
The Florida-Pitt game is also an intriguing game as the team that wins will get a much better championship game – the sort of matchup that could make the difference for a team on the bubble. The winner likely gets a shot at Baylor, which would either be a “good” loss or an amazing win – or Oregon State, which wouldn’t impress the committee that much.
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