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March Madness odds, picks, predictions for Sunday’s Round 2 NCAA Tournament games


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So, how are your brackets doing? Yeah, identical. But every spherical brings renewed hope, whether or not you are in want of extra chaos or a return to normalcy. Better but, you’ll be able to simply neglect about your March Madness swimming pools and wager on particular person games as a strategy to recoup a few of these misplaced entry charges. Whatever your state of affairs, Sunday’s full slate of NCAA Tournament motion is certain to please, because the second spherical ideas off simply after midday ET with an in-state conflict (Illinois vs. Loyola Chicago) and will not finish till round midnight when the battle of OSUs (Oklahoma State vs. Oregon State) wraps up. 

After a slew of upsets within the opening spherical of the match, Sunday’s motion options 5 double-digit seeds, together with 15-seed Oral Roberts, who pulled off the largest upset of the primary spherical when it toppled Ohio State in additional time. A second-round tilt towards Florida is definitely a winnable recreation for the Golden Eagles, however Vegas nonetheless lists them as 8.5-point underdogs. North Texas, who shocked Purdue, may also be in motion towards a Villanova group that surprisingly did not get upset within the first spherical. Figure that one out. 

Sunday additionally encompasses a battle of two defenses which might be recognized for being “tough to prepare for on two day’s rest”: Syracuse’s zone and West Virginia’s press. Based on these cliches, this would be the sloppiest recreation in NCAA Tournament historical past. 

Between these storylines, Sister Jean, the projected high choose within the NBA draft in motion, and one decrease seed that is truly favored, this figures to be one other wild day. Here are SN’s straight-up picks, plus some perception into betting tendencies and ideas in case you’re wagering towards the unfold.

MORE MARCH MADNESS: Live scores | (*2*) | TV schedule

March Madness picks, predictions for Round 2

No. 1 Illinois (-7.5) vs. No. 8 Loyola Chicago (Midwest)

Loyola Chicago might be higher than a typical 8-seed, no less than in line with kenpom.com, which had the Ramblers ninth total coming into the match. This will not be a simple recreation for the Illini, however Illinois has sufficient scoring choices to beat Loyola Chicago’s stifling protection. In explicit, large man Kofi Cockburn ought to feast inside towards the undersized Loyola Chicago frontcourt. The Ramblers might preserve it shut sufficient to drag off the late cowl, however Illinois ought to advance. 

Pick: Illinois

No. 1 Baylor (-6.5) vs. No. 9 Wisconsin (South)

Much like Illinois, top-seeded Baylor is getting a tough second-round matchup, no less than in line with the computer systems. Kenpom.com ranked Wisconsin as its No. 11 group previous to the match, and identical to Loyola Chicago, the Badgers had no drawback of their first-round matchup. However, Wisconsin has but to beat an upper-tier group this season, with its “best” wins being UNC, Rutgers, Michigan State, Loyola Chicago, and Maryland. Baylor has too many weapons, and the Bears shouldn’t solely win but in addition cowl this somewhat-surprisingly modest line.

Pick: Baylor

No. 3 West Virginia (-4) vs. No. 11 Syracuse (Midwest)

One factor is for certain: It’s scientifically inconceivable for both group to be ready for the opposite’s protection on two-day’s relaxation. Can’t occur, will not occur. Now that that is out of the way in which, we additionally really feel assured that Syracuse, which shot 33.9 percent from three previous to the match, will not hit 15 of 27 from deep once more. That’s not saying the Orange cannot pull one other upset, however some regression is probably going. West Virginia is not a great shooting team both (tied for 227th in efficient discipline aim share) — and surprisingly doesn’t grade out particularly well defensively (tied for 151st in defensive effectivity) — so this one is as a lot of a coin flip as any on Sunday’s slate. Syracuse has sufficient expertise to navigate West Virginia’s strain, so we’ll take the Orange to advance to the Sweet 16.


Pick: Syracuse

No. 6 Texas Tech (-1.5) vs. No. 3 Arkansas (South)

It’s a bit shocking to see Texas Tech favored right here, because the Red Raiders weren’t overly spectacular regardless of a double-digit win within the first spherical. Arkansas obtained down large within the first half to Colgate, then stormed again and wound up profitable by 17. These groups are equally balanced — and neither is nice from deep — so one might simply take a look at this as one other coin flip. After selecting towards Arkansas within the first spherical, we just like the Hogs right here due to their poise, tempo, and toughness. Arkansas averaged about eight more possessions per game than Texas Tech previous to the match, and we envision one other situation the place they ultimately put on down their opponent.

Pick: Arkansas

No. 2 Houston (-8) vs. No. 10 Rutgers (Midwest)

Houston took care of enterprise towards an overmatched opponent within the first spherical, however Rutgers will not be as straightforward. The Scarlet Knights play powerful protection (18th in kenpom.com‘s adjusted protection metric) and might be simply the second match group the Cougars have confronted all season, so the bounce in expertise degree could possibly be a bit jarring. However, Rutgers’ lack of three-point shooting (31.1 p.c previous to the match) is a critical fear, and Houston has the expertise to place up factors towards anybody. We’re not practically as assured the Cougars will cowl, however we like them to advance. 

Pick: Houston

No. 7 Florida (-8.5) vs. No. 15 Oral Roberts (South)

Oral Roberts’ win over Ohio State wasn’t a complete fluke. Max Abmas, who scored 29 within the opening spherical, is a legit expertise who averaged 24.2 points on near 50-40-90 shooting previous to the match, and Kevin Obanor, who dropped 30 and 11 towards the Buckeyes, is a flexible large who can produce in quite a lot of methods. The drawback for the Golden Eagles is they do not have a lot past that duo, so if Florida can restrict even certainly one of them, it ought to be capable to exploit the expertise hole and advance to the Sweet 16. An expansion of 8.5 appears a bit excessive for a mediocre Florida group, however we all know that when the clock strikes midnight on Cinderellas like Oral Roberts, it may be significantly merciless. 

Pick: Florida

No. 5 Villanova (-5.5) vs. No. 13 North Texas (South)

There aren’t many who anticipated both of those groups to be right here, by no means thoughts each. Short-handed Villanova was “supposed” to lose to Winthrop, whereas North Texas was simply “supposed” to be a slight bump within the street for darkhorse Final Four contender Purdue. If this was a first-round matchup, many seemingly would have picked the Mean Green for the identical purpose many picked Winthrop — Villanova is with out its second-leading scorer Collin Gillespie (knee). Good teaching and expertise — two issues ‘Nova has — positively imply one thing, however the Mean Green shoot it well from deep (tied for thirty first in three-point share) and play solid defense (tied for nineteenth in defensive effectivity), so we’re selecting this Cinderella to maintain its dream alive. 

Pick: North Texas


No. 4 Oklahoma State (-6) vs. No. 12 Oregon State (Midwest)

Oregon State positively qualifies as a “hot” group after working via the Pac-12 match and dominating Tennessee within the first spherical. The Beavers proceed to defy the chances, nevertheless it appears unlikely projected high NBA choose Cade Cunningham has one other 3-for-14 taking pictures recreation. Look for the Cowboys to take advantage of Oregon State’s shooting deficiencies (tied for 226th in efficient discipline aim share) and win this one by double-digits.

Pick: Oklahoma State



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