Picks for Best Games on Thursday, March 28th
After three days with no NCAA Tournament basketball, the NCAA Tournament is back with four Sweet 16 games in the South and West regions. These games are set to be fun, as everyone but Oregon was a Top-4 seed in the NCAA Tournament. With there being less games, the formatting will be changed and as opposed to the “Why this pick?” section, there will be a game overview with a little more of a breakdown of the game. Now that we got all the introductions out of the way, here are my against the spread picks for today’s games.
Florida State vs. Gonzaga
7:07 PM ET on CBS
Line: Gonzaga -7.5
Against the Spread: Florida State
Final Score Prediction: Gonzaga 81 Florida State 76
Game Overview: The first of eight Sweet 16 games features one of the sports best defensive teams in the sport (Florida State) against the best offensive team in the sport (Gonzaga). The Seminoles are expected to be without Phil Cofer for this game but with a deep lineup, that shouldn’t be too big of a loss for the Seminoles. As for the Gonzaga Bulldogs, they are the most lethal team in the sport on offense and with Killian Tillie back in the lineup to go alongside the already great duo of Brandon Clarke and Rui Hachimura, this team is even more stacked. The Bulldogs on paper are the better team, although without great point guard play the Bulldogs could be in trouble. I expect Gonzaga to win but I do think it comes down to the wire, so from a betting perspective, take the 7.5 points.
Purdue vs. Tennessee
7:37 PM ET on TBS
Line: Tennessee -1.5
Against the Spread: Purdue
Final Score Prediction: Purdue 70 Tennessee 66
Game Overview: The first game in the South Region features two Top-5 offenses in the sport, as Tennessee matches up with Tennessee. This matchup will be headlined by the great superstars of including the duo of Grant Williams and Admiral Schofield, while Purdue has Carsen Edwards. While Williams and Schofield get a lot of the publicity, Jordan Bone, Jordan Bowden, and Lamonte Turner have all been big in different ways and they help Tennessee go. For Purdue, the key has been the play of Ryan Cline, along with the sophomores Matt Haarms and Nojel Eastern. The key will be whether or not Nojel Eastern and either Matt Haarms can slow down Williams and Schofield or whether or not Carsen Edwards can outscore Tennessee. If either of those two things happen, Purdue should have a chance at an upset.
Michigan vs. Texas Tech
9:37 PM ET on CBS
Line: Michigan -2
Pick: Texas Tech
Against the Spread: Texas Tech
Final Score Prediction: Texas Tech 63 Michigan 56
Game Overview: This game should be fun, as it will have the two best defenses in College Basketball and while offense may not be there, the two defenses will be something to admire. Texas Tech is the best team in the sport defensively, their defensive scheme forces teams to adjust to what they do on offense. Meanwhile, Michigan is the second best team in the sport on defense, they have three sensational defenders in Zavier Simpson, Charles Matthews, and Jon Teske. The key to this game will be obviously who can score against the other teams great defense. This is why I will go with Texas Tech, who has better shooters and a lottery pick who can score at a high level.
Oregon vs. Virginia
9:59 PM ET on TBS
Line: Virginia -8.5
Against the Spread: Virginia
Final Score Prediction: Virginia 64 Oregon 52
Game Overview: A trend you may have noticed by now is that the majority of these teams are great on the defensive end of the ball, well that trend continues with this game where the number three team in defensive efficiency (Virginia), matches up with a team ranked number 15 in defensive efficiency (Oregon). The Cavaliers along with their notable pack-line defense, bring in the second ranked team in offense as well, which is led by lottery pick De’Andre Hunter and the sharpshooters Kyle Guy and Ty Jerome. Meanwhile Oregon is on fire as of late, a big part of that has been the play of Payton Pritchard and the defensive presence of Kenny Wooten. This game should be played in the low-60s to even the 50s as neither team will rush to put up shots. My pick is Virginia against the spread because at some point they will hit shots to put this game away.
Sunday’s Picks: 6-2
Year to date: 414-358-18