Bettors and fans experienced the full effect of the madness of March last night, as Florida Gulf Coast’s upset of Georgetown highlighted a wild night. Now, that we’re down to 32 solid teams, maybe order will be restored? We’ll see who will advance to the Sweet Sixteen later tomorrow night, but we have a good idea of who eight of those teams may be before today’s games. Check out our point spread picks for the eight games in the tournament today.
(5) VCU +3.5 vs (4) Michigan -3.5
Both VCU and Michigan looked impressive in their opening games, winning handily over their respecitve opponents. Today, two great offenses will go head to head in what should be one of the more entertaining games of the day.
Michigan is known for its ability to control the game as one of the team’s with the fewest turnovers per game in the country. However, that skill will be tested by VCU, who is great at forcing turnovers and turning them into points.
Whoever takes control early may be the team that establishes the tempo at which the game is played and considering VCU starts fast and plays fast, I like VCU to jump out in front and maintain a solid lead for most of the game. Michigan may rally, but I like VCU to cover +3.5 in the win.
(6) Memphis +5.5 vs (3) Michigan State -5.5
Michigan’s size and rebounding ability will give them an edge on the inside, but Memphis’ speed and shooting ability will give the Spartans a hard time defending the perimeter.
As a winner of more than 30 games already this season, including nine out of 10 on the road, I like the Tigers’ overall winning attitude and their ability to win away from their home floor. At the very least, this game will likely come down to the wire, so take Memphis to cover +5.5 today.
(8) Colorado St. +10.5 vs (1) Louisville -10.5
Colorado State comes into the game today as the number one rebounding team in the country and considering that Louisville doesn’t miss much, the Rams will need to collect all the boards they can.
Louisville was downright dominant in its opening game and as the overall favorite to win the tournament, we can’ go against them for the victory. However, Colorado St. should keep things fairly close and give the Cardinals a good physical test, so take the Rams to cover +10.5.
(14) Harvard +10 vs (6) Arizona -10
Harvard shot the ball extremely well in its shocking upset of New Mexico, but with Arizona’s quickness on both ends of the floor, we can’t expect it to happen again. Take the Wildcats to take control and end Harvard’s sweet run, covering -10.
(12) Oregon +3.5 vs (4) Saint Louis -3.5
Don’t even look at Oregon’s seeding because the Ducks are far better than a 12. However, even after their impressive win over OK State, Saint Louis brings even more challenges.
The Billikens seem to do everything well and have more tournament experience than the Ducks, who are in the Big Dance for the first time since 2008. Look for Saint Louis to stay hot and earn the win, covering -3.5.
(6) Butler +2.5 vs (3) Marquette -2.5
Marquette was very lucky to escape its opening game scare, but if it falls behind big against Butler, it won’t be so fortunate at the end.
Butler continues to prove it knows how to win tournament games, even with less talent on the floor. Stick with the Bulldogs and take them to cover +2.5 in the win.
(9) Wichita State +6.5 vs (1) Gonzaga -6.5
Gonzaga was taken down to the wire in its first game and things will only get tougher today against a Shockers team that easily handled Pitt in their opening game. However, after shaking the rust off, Gonzaga should put forth a stronger effort today and its will to win should help it prevail. Take the Zags to cover -6.5 as they advance.
(12) California +7.5 vs (4) Syracuse -7.5
Cal did a good job at shutting down a potent athletic team in UNLV on Thursday, but Syracuse is even stronger, more potent and more athletic.
The Orange cruised in their opener and although things won’t be so easy against the Golden Bears, they should be able to win without too much trouble. Take Syracuse to cover -7.5.