- GONZAGA BULLDOGS (27-0)*
- OKLAHOMA SOONERS (16-10)
Gonzaga -14 / 154
I have already stated that the Zags are my championship pick, but 14 points is a lot to give to a team who is very responsible on offense. The Sooners are no strangers to facing elite, top-end talent. They have faced 15 teams in the top-20 this year, with 8 of those teams being in the top-10. They only lost 1 of those games by double digits, a road contest against #2 Baylor. I believe Gonzaga wins this game, but the Sooners keep it within the spread.
Picks: Oklahoma +14 / Under 154
- IOWA HAWKEYES (22-8)
- OREGON DUCKS (20-6)
Iowa -4 / 145.5
This is matchup full of experience. The top 8 scorers in this game are all upperclassmen. Five of those players belong to Oregon, all of whom average double-digits. On the other side of the court, we have Hawkeyes C Luka Garza, who is the presumptive Player of the Year. He chips in almost 24 points per game, giving the Hawkeyes the most talented player. Playing in the Big Ten, the Hawkeyes have more experience playing big games, and I think this gives them an edge.
Picks: Iowa -4 / Over 145.5
- KANSAS JAYHAWKS (21-8)
- USC TROJANS (23-7)
USC -1.5 / 133.5
I am going to contradict myself here and take Kansas. After taking Texas Tech as a 6-seed favored over 3-seeded Arkansas, I saw that approach backfire. I was tempted to take USC here as a favored lower seed, but I simply cannot bring myself to do it considering how hot the Jayhawks are. They have won 9 of 10, allowing 70+ points only twice in that span.
Picks: Kansas +1.5 / Over 133.5
- CREIGHTON BLUEJAYS (21-8)
- OHIO BOBCATS (17-7)*
Creighton -5.5 / 149
We saw Jason Preston edge out Kihei Clark in Round 1. Now he faces Marcus Zegarowski and the Creighton Bluejays. I like Zegarowski here. In another battle of two top PG’s, Zegarowki’s scoring gives him an edge in my mind. However, after an underwhelming, performance in Round 1, I am more confident in Zegarowski’s squad winning the game, not necessarily covering the spread.
Picks: Ohio +5.5 / Under 149
- MICHIGAN WOLVERINES (21-4)
- LSU TIGERS (19-9)
Michigan -5 / 148.5
Could this be where the absence of Isaiah Livers hurts the Wolverines? It is quite possible. LSU is playing well, and their defense has vastly improved over time. While it will still be tough to slow down Hunter Dickinson down low, it is currently a guard’s league, and LSU has the edge without Livers on the court. Take the 5-point cushion.
Picks: LSU +5 / Under 148.5
- ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE (25-6)*
- MARYLAND TERRAPINS (17-13)
Alabama -5.5 / 136.5
To put it bluntly, Maryland is a team that relies on their defense. Well, they are about to face a team with a better one. The Tide are 10th in the nation in eFG% and are the superior offensive team. I am going to try and not overthink this one.
Picks: Alabama -5.5 / Under 136.5
- UCLA BRUINS (19-9)
- ABILENE CHRISTIAN WILDCATS (24-4)*
UCLA -5 / 133
Here is a matchup between two hopeful Cinderella’s. The 11th-seeded Bruins were able to push past BYU and will now face a ferocious 14th-seeded Abilene Christian defense that just limited Texas to only 52 points. I am going to side with the Wildcat’s stingy defense. Even if they cannot secure the win, I believe they keep it close.
Picks: Abilene Christian +5 / Under 133
- FLORIDA STATE SEMINOLES (17-6)
- COLORADO BUFFALOES (23-8)
Florida State -1 / 138.5
I was surprised to see this game open practically as a pick ‘em. Colorado clearly had the better performance in Round 1, smoking a Georgetown team that was on a roll, but Florida State has the better team in this matchup. Their length and shooting make them a tough out for any opponent. They also have a superior defense that can keep them in games, even if they are cold from the field. The line makes me think this could be a trap, but I have to side with the ‘Noles’ superior athleticism.
Picks: Florida State -1 / Over -138.5