5 NCAA basketball teams on upset alert this week: Could Duke go down?

The Duke Blue Devils and Alabama Crimson Tide may be among this week’s popular college basketball upset picks.

Avoiding upsets isn’t easy when college basketball teams are fully healthy so trying to do so in the midst of a COVID-19 resurgence could be a nightmare for top programs. The Omicron variant is wreaking havoc on the world of college basketball as dozens of games have been canceled over the past week as programs around the country have had to go on pause.

The teams that have been able to avoid the virus and continue playing haven’t always been successful at avoiding the upset either, like Villanova’s double-digit loss at Creighton last week. Let’s take a look at five more potential college basketball upset picks for this week, beginning with another game involving the Wildcats.

Upset Alert: Week 7 College basketball upset picks

Note: All games listed here are on the schedule as of post time. COVID-19 concerns could impact the slate at any time.

No. 18 Xavier at No. 23 Villanova – Tuesday

The Wildcats are stumbling right now, dropping 14 spots in the AP poll after last week’s loss to Creighton, but this team still has all of the talent that made Villanova a Top 10 team in the preseason. That could make life difficult for Xavier, which hits the road here against a desperate Villanova squad eager to right the ship ahead of the Christmas break. Anything less than an A+ effort from the Musketeers could lead to a loss.

No. 10 Alabama vs. Davidson – Tuesday

Alabama has scheduled aggressively and this game is no exception as Nate Oats turned to Davidson to fill an open date on his schedule after Colorado State had to pull out of a scheduled matchup due to COVID-19 issues within their program. The game with the Rams would have been more difficult but Davidson is a quality team that has a legitimate case to push St. Bonaventure atop the Atlantic 10 this season. The Crimson Tide should have enough talent to prevail here but the Wildcats are a live underdog in this contest.

No. 7 Kansas at Colorado – Tuesday

Things have gone very well for Kansas thus far with the Jayhawks’ lone loss coming on a buzzer-beater by Dayton on a neutral floor. The one thing that the Jayhawks haven’t done yet is play a true road game (the trip to UBS Arena to take on St. John’s was more of a neutral floor affair), something that will change with their trip to Boulder on Tuesday to take on old Big 12 foe Colorado. Traveling to play at altitude isn’t easy and the Buffaloes are 7-1 at home so far this season, making this a worthy test for a top-flight Kansas team.

No. 12 Auburn vs. Murray State – Wednesday

The Tigers may be one of the SEC’s most talented teams but they do have a very tricky home date on Wednesday with Murray State coming to Auburn Arena. The Racers, who are jockeying with Belmont for supremacy in the Ohio Valley Conference, are already 10-1 on the season with a road win at Memphis on their resume. There is no question that Murray State can be a dangerous team for Auburn if they don’t maintain their focus on the Wednesday before Christmas.

No. 2 Duke vs. Virginia Tech – Wednesday

The Blue Devils tip off their ACC schedule on Wednesday against Virginia Tech, one of the most inconsistent teams in the conference so far this season. The Hokies have the talent to be a tournament team but haven’t delivered great results in the non-conference schedule, although an 86-49 demolition of St. Bonaventure should put Duke on notice. If that performance is an indication that Virginia Tech has found itself this game could be very difficult for the Blue Devils.

For more NCAA basketball news, analysis, opinion and features, check out more from the FanSided college basketball section to stay on top of the latest action.

Source: FanSided

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