3/19 – NCAA Tournament




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12:15pm -  14 Northeastern vs. 3 Notre Dame -12.5  O/U 141

The Irish won the ACC tourney.  The Huskies beat William & Mary for the CAA crown.  Northeastern's first NCAA appearance since 1991 will be a short one.

Notre Dame 80  Northeastern 60

12:40pm - 14 UAB vs. 3 Iowa State -14  O/U 144.5

The Blazers should be happy to earn their first Conference USA title, but a date with Big 12 Champs Iowa State will end their season.  The slow starting Cyclones may have trouble covering, though.

Iowa State 85  UAB 75

1:40pm - 14 Georgia State vs. 3 Baylor -9  O/U 127

The Panthers represent the Sun Belt conference and will have their hands full with the Big 12's Bears.  Having said that, I'll look for Ryan Harrow to return to Georgia State's lineup and lead them to the day's first upset.

Georgia State 62  Baylor 60

2:10pm - 15 Texas Southern vs. 2 Arizona -23.5  O/U 134

The Tigers, out of the SWAC, defeated Michigan State and Kansas State this season.  Arizona should win, but it won't be easy and this looks like a very good bet for Texas Southern to cover.

Arizona 75  Texas Southern 65

2:45pm - 11 Texas -1.5 vs. 6 Butler  O/U 124

Many think the Longhorns shouldn't be in the tournament.  Many think the Bulldogs didn't deserve a 6 seed.  I see a close game here and I'll back Butler based on their rebounding prowess.

Butler 65  Texas 64

3:10pm - 11 UCLA vs. 6 SMU -4  O/U 133.5

The Bruins are another suspect tourney selection.  I like the fact that the Mustangs went through UConn in Hartford to win the AAC title.  It shows they are prepared for March Madness.

SMU 69  UCLA 63

4:10pm - 11 Mississippi vs. 6 Xavier -3  O/U 145

The Rebels came from behind Tuesday to beat BYU.  I don't think they'll be flustered by anything the Musketeers have for them.  Anything close to the second half performance Ole Miss displayed Tuesday night will get them a win here.

Mississippi 73  Xavier 70

4:40pm - 10 Ohio State -4 vs. 7 VCU  O/U 136.5

The Buckeyes will have the best player on the floor in G D'Angelo Russell.  Coach Shaka Smart's team isn't sneaking up on anyone these days as they have become a perennial participant in March Madness.  Good matchup, but the Buckeye's prevail.

Ohio State 71  VCU 65

6:50pm - 16 Lafayette vs. 1 Villanova -23  O/U 145

The Leopards were a surprise winner of the Patriot League tourney.  It will really be surprising if they were to upset their in-state foe Wildcats.  No surprises here.

Villanova 80  Lafayette 53

7:10pm - 9 Purdue vs. 8 Cincinnati PK  O/U 117.5

Not much separates these squads on paper, but the Boilermakers have won 14 straight opening-round NCAA tournament games going back to 1993.  That's enough for me to back Purdue over the Bearcats.

Purdue 64  Cincinnati 61

7:20pm - 13 Harvard vs. 4 North Carolina -10.5  O/U 133

The Crimson needed and extra game vs. Yale to claim the Ivy crown. The Tar Heels didn't win the ACC, but they are far superior in this matchup.  Strong pick here.

North Carolina 85  Harvard 60

7:27pm - 12 Stephen F. Austin vs. 5 Utah -7  O/U 131

The Lumberjacks put up 80 per game and have lost just 4 times all season, 3 of those losses coming in the first 4 games.  The Utes first NCAA appearance since 2009 may be short lived.

Stephen F. Austin 79  Utah 78

9:20pm - 9 LSU vs. 8 N.C. State -2  O/U 140.5

It'll be the Tigers' frontcourt vs. the Wolfpack's backcourt.  Both teams battle tested coming from power conferences but I'll go with N.C. State's superior guard play in this one, which should be close.

N.C. State 70  LSU 67

9:40pm - 16 Hampton vs. 1 Kentucky -34  O/U 134.5

34 is a lot of points, for sure, but do you want to bet against the Wildcats?  Good luck, Pirates.

Kentucky 90  Hampton 50

9:50pm - 12 Wofford vs. 5 Arkansas -7.5  O/U 136

The Terriers are the class of the Southern Conference, but are undersized.  The Razorbacks are fresh off an SEC tourney finals appearance vs. Kentucky.  I think Arkansas will be prepared for this matchup and cover.

Arkansas 78  Wofford 64

9:57pm - 13 Eastern Washington vs. 4 Georgetown -8  O/U 148

Look for a big game from Eagle's G Tyler Harvey, who leads the nation in scoring.  The Hoyas will likely look to exploit their size advantage with 6'10" 350 lb. Joshua Smith.  Can't quite pull the trigger on the upset, but it will be close.

Georgetown 72  Eastern Washington 67




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