Day 2 of the NCAA event options one other set of 16 first-round games.
A pair of No. 1 seeds are in motion with Gonzaga and Michigan, however there are different enjoyable storylines as effectively. Georgetown coach Patrick Ewing has the Hoyas again within the NCAA Tournament, and Rick Pitino will lead Iona right into a 2-15 matchup with Alabama. Which crew will pull off the large upset Saturday?
SN provides its straight up picks for these first-round games:
- March Madness picks, predictions for Round 1
- Colorado (-5.5) vs. Georgetown
- Florida State (-10.5) vs. UNC-Greensboro
- Kansas (-10.5) vs. Eastern Washington
- LSU (-1.5) vs. St. Bonaventure
- Michigan (-25.5) vs. Texas Southern
- Creighton (-7) vs. UC-Santa Barbara
- Alabama (-17) vs. Iona
- USC (-6) vs. Drake
- Iowa (-14.5) vs. Grand Canyon
- Connecticut (-3) vs. Maryland
- Virginia (-7.5) vs. Ohio
- Oklahoma (-1) vs. Missouri
- Gonzaga (-33.5) vs. Norfolk State
- BYU (-4) vs. UCLA
- Texas (-9) vs. Abilene Christian
- Oregon (-5) vs. VCU
March Madness picks, predictions for Round 1
Colorado (-5.5) vs. Georgetown
The matchup between Georgetown freshman Dante Harris, who stepped up within the Big East event, and Colorado senior McKinley Wright IV, is price watching. We love seeing Ewing again within the event, however the Buffaloes finish that Cinderella story.
Florida State (-10.5) vs. UNC-Greensboro
This line has dropped a degree, maybe out of respect for UNC-Greensboro guard Isaiah Miller who averages 27.4 factors in his final 5 games. The Seminoles, nonetheless, shoot the 3-pointer effectively, and M.J. Walker will at the very least off-set Miller. Florida State cruises within the second half.
Pick: Florida State
Kansas (-10.5) vs. Eastern Washington
This line has not moved a lot, and the COVID-19 issues across the Jayhawks are warranted. Eastern Washington has 5 gamers who common double figures. Kansas, nonetheless, has gained their final 4 event openers by 28.5 factors per sport. There is worth with the Jayhawks.
This is a tricky sport to select. Freshman Cameron Thomas averages 22.6 factors per sport, and the Tigers are a classy choose to make a run into the second weekend. The Bonnies, nonetheless, rank fifth in Division I in scoring protection. St. Bonaventure can management the tempo with their steadiness, and that results in an premature exit for LSU.
Pick: St. Bonaventure
Michigan (-25.5) vs. Texas Southern
Michigan is not going to have Isaiah Livers, however the Wolverines had every week of much-needed relaxation after a busy end-of-season-stretch. John Walker III and Jordan Gilliam mixed for 31 factors in Texas Southern’s first 4 victory, however the Tigers can have an excessive amount of hassle with Michigan’s Hunter Dickinson within the paint.
Creighton (-7) vs. UC-Santa Barbara
We like this 5-12 upset an excessive amount of. The Gauchos have misplaced simply as soon as since Jan. 1, and so they have only one lack of 5 factors or extra all season. Creighton remains to be a heavy favourite, however we’re sticking with UC-Santa Barbara in a sport sure for a kind of memorable finishes. At minimal, we just like the Gauchos towards the unfold.
Pick: UC-Santa Barbara
Alabama (-17) vs. Iona
The Crimson Tide is 4-2 ATS as a double-digit favourite, and so they have been overshadowed on this sport by Pitino’s return to the NCAA event. Herb Jones helps Alabama construct a double-digit lead within the first half, however the Gaels cowl that unfold and make it respectable.
USC (-6) vs. Drake
USC freshman Evan Mobley is a power inside.The 7-footer averages 16.8 factors and eight.6 rebounds, and Drake will counter with Darnell Brodie, who has double-digit rebounds within the Bulldogs’ final 4 games. Drake retains its run going with a first-round shocker.
Iowa (-14.5) vs. Grand Canyon
Bryce Drew is again within the event – this time as a head coach for an Antelopes’ crew that ranks within the prime 10 in Division I in scoring protection. Iowa, nonetheless, ranks sixth within the nation in scoring offense, and SN Player of the yr Luka Garza begins the event off on a excessive be aware.
Connecticut (-3) vs. Maryland
Maryland has been inconsistent all season, however their guards share the basketball effectively. Four totally different gamers common at the very least two assists. UConn gained 5 straight games earlier than the Big East event loss to Creighton. We’re sticking with the Big Ten crew in a real toss-up sport.
Virginia (-7.5) vs. Ohio
Virginia has COVID-19 points, too, and the Cavaliers have a cramped schedule simply to get to Indianapolis. That’s made Ohio a classy upset choose after a hot-shooting weekend on the MAC event. Jason Preston is an all-around expertise who averages 16.6 factors and seven.2 assists per sport, however he and Ben Vander Plas should lead an assault that hits double-digit 3-pointers for this to occur. Virginia, led by Sam Hauser and its commonplace protection, holds off the upset bid.
Oklahoma (-1) vs. Missouri
Oklahoma is one other crew coping with COVID-19 points. De’Vion Harmon, the Sooners’ second main scorer, is out. Oklahoma nonetheless has sufficient expertise to win anyway, however we just like the Tigers’ tandem of Dru Smith and Xavier Pinson to tug out the victory.
Gonzaga (-33.5) vs. Norfolk State
Gonzaga has not misplaced within the first spherical since 2008, and that was towards Steph Curry-led Davidson. That is a monster unfold for the Bulldogs to cowl, however look for Gonzaga to push the tempo towards the Spartans. Norfolk State defends the 3-pointer effectively, however it will not matter right here.
BYU (-4) vs. UCLA
The Cougars have three seniors who common double digits, and that assault is led by guard Alex Barcello. He is taking pictures 48.6 p.c from three-point vary. UCLA is coming off a formidable victory towards Michigan State, nonetheless, and so they have guards that may match up. We nonetheless just like the Cougars in a decent one.
Texas (-9) vs. Abilene Christian
Abilene Christian will get its probability in a Lone Star showdown, and they’re 3-1 ATS as an underdog this season. Texas has been unpredictable all season, however they’ve three guards that common double figures. That’s a difference-maker for the Big 12 event champions.
Oregon (-5) vs. VCU
This is without doubt one of the harder picks, and it is one other tough matchup for the Pac-12. Can Oregon pull it off? That’s not a assure understanding VCU can rating with Nah’Shon Hyland, who averages 19.5 factors per sport. The Ducks have 5 upperclassmen who rating in double figures, and that have pays off.