Weekday predictions: Kentucky over Duke in a thriller

From Monday to Thursday on the college basketball schedule, I've got you covered. That pun was unintended, of course, because these weekday picks are for entertainment purposes only.

They will unofficially serve for office bragging rights, though. Technically, my colleague Myron Medcalf was perfect with his weekend picks. (Never mind that one of his picks was the Gonzaga-Pittsburgh game, which was canceled due to court conditions.) His goal was to hit on 80 percent of his predictions, so I'll be like an annoying "The Price is Right" contestant and shoot for 81 percent.

And with that, here are my winners:

No. 6 Virginia at George Washington (Washington, D.C.), 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2, Monday: George Washington will be disappointed if it doesn’t contend for an Atlantic 10 crown and finish in the league’s upper tier. But that Virginia defense is in another stratosphere. The Colonials can keep things close, but eventually the shots will dry up, just like they do for most of the Cavaliers’ opponents.

Prediction: Virginia 70, George Washington 60

No. 21 LSU vs. Kennesaw State (Baton Rouge, Louisiana), 9 p.m. ET, ESPNU, Monday: Already getting sick of the Ben Simmons hype? Tune in and decide if he’s worth it. (Spoiler alert: He is.) While you’re at it, be sure to check out fellow freshmen Antonio Blakeney, who led the team with 22 points in the opener, and Brandon Sampson, who added 18. KSU, with its nine road games in nonconference play, didn’t do coach Al Skinner any favors in his return to the sideline.

Prediction: LSU 82, Kennesaw State 64

No. 16 Utah vs. San Diego State (Salt Lake City), 9:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2, Monday: San Diego State freshman guard Jeremy Hemsley proved with his 20 points against Illinois State that he can provide a much-needed offensive boost. The Aztecs shouldn’t struggle to score anymore, but they may struggle to defend 7-footer Jakob Poeltl.

Prediction: Utah 63, San Diego State 58

No. 22 Baylor at Oregon (Eugene, Oregon), 11:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2, Monday: Oregon was the first team out in the preseason Associated Press poll. The coaches' poll didn’t give the Ducks as much love -- in fact, they gave more votes to three teams that lost their openers: UCLA (Monmouth), Georgetown (Radford) and N.C. State (William & Mary). Maybe a win here would open some eyes.

Prediction: Oregon 68, Baylor 66

Alabama at Dayton (Dayton, Ohio), 1 p.m. ET, ESPN, Tuesday:

Nothing for Alabama’s first-year coach Avery Johnson will say "Welcome to college basketball" like his first true road game -- especially in UD Arena, where the Flyers have won 23 straight. Dayton forward Ryan Mikesell made five 3-pointers en route to 21 points in his freshman debut. The Flyers again look ready to soar.

Prediction: Dayton 80, Alabama 73

No. 2 Kentucky vs. No. 5 Duke (Chicago), 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN, Tuesday: Duke’s do-it-all freshman forward Brandon Ingram might be the best player on either roster. The game pits the No. 1 (Duke) and No. 2 (Kentucky) recruiting classes from the ESPN 100 for just the third time ever. Kentucky won both previous meetings. The Wildcats’ frontcourt depth may prove too much for the Blue Devils. Either way, expect a thriller.

Prediction: Kentucky 82, Duke 80

No. 10 Wichita State at Tulsa (Tulsa, Okla.), 8 p.m. ET, ESPN3, Tuesday: The slate of other marquee games means this one may get overlooked. Tulsa returned all five starters from last season’s squad that played in the NIT and could be the only roster in the nation with nine seniors. With a tough early-season road test, would you rather have any other backcourt in the nation than the Shockers' Fred VanVleet and Ron Baker?

Prediction: Wichita State 67, Tulsa 64

No. 3 Maryland vs. Georgetown (College Park, Md.), 9 p.m. ET, ESPN2, Tuesday: Finally. The beltway battle has only happened twice this century, and neither meeting occurred in their respective home gyms. The Gavitt Tipoff Games weren’t formed for this exclusive purpose, but give thanks anyway for setting up this one and next year’s game in Washington, D.C. The Hoyas may have been looking ahead a little too much based on their double-overtime loss to Radford in the opener.

Prediction: Maryland 75, Georgetown 68

No. 4 Kansas vs. No. 13 Michigan State (Chicago), 10 p.m. ET, ESPN, Tuesday: Both teams should look closer to midseason form. The Jayhawks represented the U.S. and won gold in the World University Games in July. The Spartans took a foreign trip to Italy. In a game of even talent, the Spartans' free throw shooting may be their undoing. After shooting 62 percent from the foul line last season, they made just 17 of 28 (60 percent) in their opening win over Florida Atlantic.

Prediction: Kansas 77, Michigan State 74

Miami vs. Mississippi State, (San Juan, Puerto Rico), 5 p.m. ET, ESPN2, Thursday: Miami could actually have its hands full with Shawn Long and Louisiana Lafayette on Monday, but should it reach the Puerto Rico Tip Off unscathed, the battle with the Bulldogs could end up being more meaningful. Both teams should end up playing in the postseason, but whether it is the NCAA tournament or NIT could depend on the selection committee looking back at this November matchup.

Prediction: Miami 71, Mississippi State 62