Sweet 16 Free PicksJosh Bailey
After four days, the NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament has lived up to the madness. Now the remaining Sweet 16 are ready to fight in the second weekend for a trip to the Final Four.
2018 Sweet 16 Free Picks
My first Sweet 16 free pick takes the court at the Staples Center when #7 Texas A&M battles #3 Michigan. Will Texas A&M’s surprising run continue? In the South Region on Thursday, #9 Kansas State battles #5 Kentucky in Atlanta, Georgia. Which dog will continue barking in the South? The final free pick I like in the Sweet 16 has Villanova taking on West Virginia in Boston. Can Villanova continue it’s impressive March Madness play?
#7 Texas A&M vs #3 Michigan
When: Thursday, March 22 at 7:37 pm ET
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
Odds: Michigan -3
Analysis: Texas A&M didn’t give ACC powerhouse North Carolina a breather in their 86 to 65 beat down of the Tar Heels in Round 2. In Round 1, A&M covered as a -3 favorite over the Providence Friars. Texas A&M beat Providence 73 to 69.
What’s up with Texas A&M? The 3-point shot has fallen for the Aggies. During the season it didn’t, versus Providence and North Carolina it has.
Eventually, that’s going to change. I don’t see A&M continuing to shoot close to 40%, or over 40%, from the 3-point line versus Michigan. If the Aggies drop to their usual 33%, they’ll lose by around 6 to 10 points in this.
That’s the way I’m playing it. I like the Wolverines.
Sweet 16 Free Pick: Michigan
#9 Kansas State vs #5 Kentucky
When: Thursday, March 22 at 9:37 pm ET
Where: Phillips Arena, Atlanta, GA
Odds: Kentucky -6
Analysis: Kansas State heads to Atlanta to battle Kentucky after beating #16 UMBC in Round 2. UMBC upset Virginia in Round 1. That was the greatest upset in NCAA College Basketball Tournament history.
K-State is no slouch of a team. But, Kentucky has been on a roll. The Wildcats won the SEC Tournament. Then, they beat both Davidson and Buffalo in the NCAA Tournament. Kentucky has its sights set on a Final Four berth.
I don’t see Kansas State standing in their way. The Kentucky Wildcats should win and cover.
Sweet 16 Free Pick: Kentucky
#5 West Virginia vs #1 Villanova
When: Friday, March 23 at 7:27 pm ET
Where: TD Garden, Boston, MA
Odds: Villanova -5.5
Analysis: The reason Villanova is favored to win the NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament was on full display in their beat down of the Alabama Crimson Tide in Round 2. At halftime, the score was Nova 32, Alabama 27.
Villanova outscored Alabama 49 to 31 in the second half. The Wildcats beat Alabama 81 to 58. Nova not only is often better than their opponents, they adjust so that they can squash their opponents.
West Virginia is a good team. They’ve got no shot of keeping it close versus the Wildcats on March 23. Nova should roll.
Sweet 16 Free Pick: Villanova
All March Madness games can be streamed via CBS Sports.