Daily Archives - March 17, 2018

NCAA Tourney Round 2 Underdog Picks

NCAA Tourney Round 2 Underdog Picks

Round 2 of the 2018 NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament rolls along on Sunday, March 18. Can #10 Butler upset #2 Purdue? How will #11 Syracuse play versus #3 Michigan State? Could #16 UMBC upset #9 Kansas State? Keep reading to find out!

NCAA Tournament March Madness Round 2 Underdog Picks

#10 Butler vs #2 Purdue
When:  Sunday, March 18
Where: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, MI
Stream: CBS Sports

Analysis: Butler was sensational in the 79 to 62 beating they leveled onto #7 Arkansas in Round 1. The Bulldogs outscored Arkansas 43 to 32 in the second half. Butler isn’t a bad basketball team.

No team from the Big East is a bad basketball team. The Bulldogs might be surging while Purdue could be in some trouble. The Boilermakers trounced Cal-State Fullerton 74 to 48. In the process, Purdue lost 7’ 0” center Isaac Haas. Haas is not only a space-eater, he’s also Purdue’s top defender in the paint.

Purdue is plenty good enough to beat Butler without Haas. Plus, Purdue did beat Butler 82 to 67 early this season. However, Haas had 15 points in that game. Butler ties it if you take away Haas’ 15 points.

I’m not sure a day is enough for Purdue to get over losing Haas. I am betting Butler on the money line.

Pick: Butler

#11 Syracuse vs #3 Michigan State
When:  Sunday, March 18
Where: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, MI
Stream: CBS Sports

Analysis: Michigan State struggled versus #14 Bucknell in Round 1. The Spartans won by only 4 points, 82 to 78. The game was in doubt until the final minute. Does that mean Syracuse has a shot to upset Michigan State on Sunday?

That’s exactly what it means. Syracuse’s zone defense was stunning in the Orange’s 57 to 52 defeat of the TCU Horned Frogs. Syracuse lulls you to sleep with the expert way in which they play coach Jim Boeheim’s zone D.

The ‘Cuse also hit 12 out of 15 free throws. That’s 80%. The Spartans will try to push the pace. Syracuse doesn’t score as well as Michigan State. I don’t believe it matters. I like Syracuse to frustrate Michigan State all game long.

I am betting Syracuse beats the Spartans in Round 2.

Pick: Syracuse

#16 UMBC vs #9 Kansas State
When:  Sunday, March 18
Where: Spectrum Center, Charlotte, NC
Stream: CBS Sports

Analysis: Both Kansas State and UMBC provided fireworks on Friday night. The Kansas State Wildcats looked awesome. They beat Creighton by 10 points, 69 to 59.

K-State’s victory was fantastic. But, although it’s difficult to knock Kansas State, how can I not pick the UMBC Retrievers to make it two in a row as an underdog in the NCAA College Basketball Tournament?

UMBC was a 20.5-point underdog versus the University of Virginia in Round 1 of March Madness on Friday night. All UMBC did was upset Virginia. Yes, the Retrievers beat the Cavaliers in a historic upset. No 16-seed had ever beaten a 1-seed. UMBC dominated Virginia. It wasn’t even close.

The Retrievers scored 74 points versus the Cavaliers. Virginia only allows 53 points per game during the regular season. How did UMBC do it? They did it by having no fear. Every player contributed in one way or another. Jarius Lyles scored 28 points. He just took what the Cavaliers gave him.

I like Kansas State. But, it’s difficult to look past a team that beat a 1-seed on the square. UMBC can do it again. I am betting on the Retrievers upset K-State straight up.

Pick: UMBC

2018 NCAA Tournament Round 2 Expert Picks

2018 NCAA Tournament Round 2 Expert Picks

March Madness Round 2 matchups are set. #7 Nevada faces #2 Cincinnati at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. Will Cincinnati cover the spread, or will Nevada take it ATS? The second game on Sunday has North Carolina facing Texas A&M as a favorite. Will the North Carolina Tar Heels beat Texas A&M by enough points to cover? In the East Region, upset winner Marshall faces top Big 12 squad West Virginia as a dog. How close can Marshall keep it versus the Mountaineers’ 40 minutes of hell?

2018 March Madness Round 2 Expert Picks

#7 Nevada vs #2 Cincinnati
When:  Sunday, March 18
Where: Spectrum Center, Charlotte, NC
Stream: CBS Sports

Analysis: Nevada battles Cincinnati at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Sunday, March 18. The Wolf Pack outdueled the Texas Longhorns 87 to 83 in overtime. Nevada outscored Texas 19 to 15 in overtime.

Don’t expect Nevada to score over 80 points versus the Cincinnati Bearcats. Cincinnati has the second-best defense in college basketball based on points allowed per game. The Bearcats allow a low 57 points per game. Opponents shoot 37% from the field versus Cincy’s D. Cincinnati allows less than 40% from the three-point line.

Nevada’s lone hope is to outscore opponents. Cincinnati’s defense will make that impossible. Don’t be surprised if Cincinnati builds a huge lead over the Nevada Wolf Pack on Sunday. I believe Cincinnati easily covers the spread.

Pick: Cincinnati

#7 Texas A&M vs #2 North Carolina
When:  Sunday, March 18
Where: Spectrum Center, Charlotte, NC
Stream: CBS Sports

Analysis:  It took North Carolina to get it going versus Lipscomb. Lipscomb actually had a lead at one point. At halftime, the score was UNC 43, Lipscomb 34. Then, the second half rolled around. Eventually, North Carolina ended up beating Lipscomb 84 to 66.

North Carolina might have as easy of a time beating Texas A&M as the Tar Heels had beating Lipscomb. The reason I write that is because Texas A&M could only manage 73 points versus Providence. A&M isn’t the type of team that can run and gun with the Heels.

I am betting that North Carolina rolls to an easy win and cover.

Pick: North Carolina

#13 Marshall vs #5 West Virginia
When:  Sunday, March 18
Where: Taco Bell Arena, Boise, ID
Stream: CBS Sports

Analysis: Marshall has been on a tear. The Thundering Herd hasn’t lost a game against the spread since March 1 when UAB beat them 91 to 77.

Marshall beat Wichita State by outscoring the Shockers 47 to 38 in the second half. Wichita State had a 37 to 34 halftime lead. What it means is that Marshall made the adjustments. It’s going to be tough for Marshall to adjust versus West Virginia.

The Mountaineers’ 40-minutes of hell style of play forces the tempo. Marshall must try and keep up with West Virginia. That won’t be easy because Marshall doesn’t have a player that’s close to being as talented as West Virginia guard Javon Carter.

I think West Virginia punishes Marshall. The Mountaineers will cover the spread on Sunday.

Pick: West Virginia