The Alabama A&M Bulldogs and the Illinois Fighting Illini meet Saturday in college basketball action from State Farm Center. Alabama A&M is 3-6 on the season so far and fresh off a loss to South Alabama. As for Illinois, they’re 7-3 this year. The Illini’s lost to Penn State in their last outing. Check back all season long for free college basketball picks at Sports Chat Place.
Alabama A&M lost five straight games to kick off the year before finally bagging a win over UT Southern on November 25. The Bulldogs would then beat Fisk and Lipscomb before another loss to South Alabama.
Back on Monday versus South Alabama, the Bulldogs took a 41-25 deficit into the second half. Alabama A&M outscored the Jaguars 46-37 from there but still lost 78-71. Omari Peek-Green led the way on 23 points.
Over on the Illinois side, it’s been a pretty successful season with a few duds mixed in. The wins have come over Eastern Illinois, UMKC, Monmouth, UCLA, Lindenwood, Syracuse and Texas. The losses were to Virginia, Maryland and Penn State.
Matched up against Penn State last weekend, Illinois was outpaced 47-38 by halftime. The Illini didn’t get any better in the second half and lost 74-59. Matthew Mayer led the team on 14 points and Skyy Clark added 11 points with seven boards.
PICK: I’ll probably stick with Illinois. Also probably not going near this one either. The Illini didn’t play all that well against Penn State in their last game despite shooting 44.2 percent from the field with 32 rebounds. Illinois has played well against overmatched teams this season but with regards to games versus top-shelf squads it’s been a crapshoot. (Wins over UCLA and Texas; losses to Virginia, Maryland and Penn State.)
As for Alabama A&M, they’ve looked better over the last four games and have hit 71 or more points in five of their last six. Barring a complete Illini breakdown however, the Bulldogs won’t be able to hang around with Illinois for too long.