Everyone remembers Maryland-Baltimore County beating Virginia in the first No. 16 vs. No. 1 seed upset. No one remembers UMBC’s next game.
In the second round, in an ugly game against Kansas State, UMBC lost 50–43. They covered the 12-point spread.
It’s not much of a sample size, but No. 16 seeds don’t have much history of playing in the second round. Fairleigh Dickinson will be the second player to do so after a surprising upset over top-seeded Purdue. The Knights drew the No. 9 seed Florida Atlantic in the second round. FAU probably didn’t do much advanced scouting on Fairleigh Dickinson.
Here are the picks for Sunday’s games with odds from betmgm,
Pitt (+5.5) over Javier
Pitt could be the one team it needs to get out of ACC play. The Panthers have performed well in their two tournament games. They can keep this game close.
Kansas State (+2.5) over Kentucky.
Maybe Kentucky is the rare team that lays low all season and turns it on after the season. But this happens very rarely. Usually a mediocre team is mediocre for good reason. Now is not the time to count on the UK.
Marquette (-2.5) over Michigan State
This line is a bit weird. Michigan State looked good in the first round but it was against a mediocre USC team. Marquette has been one of the hottest teams in college basketball. Tom Izzo is a great tournament coach, but he doesn’t have the kind of team to score runs. Markets.
Yukon (-4.5) over St. Mary’s.
St. Mary’s is good and that line is a bit high, but UConn is one of the top-rated teams in advanced metrics for a reason. The Huskies got off to a slow start in their first round matchup but came out strong, and they should continue that momentum.
Creighton (+1.5) over the boiler.
This should be a great game. Creighton hasn’t lived up to the preseason hype, but it’s a good team with balance. Boiler rescue can be a liability, and that will be the difference.
Fairleigh Dickinson (+15.5) over Florida Atlantic
FDU was not just the worst team in the NCAA Tournament field, the Knights were the worst by a fairly large margin. Even after beating Purdue, they’re still only 275 Kenpom’s ranking, But speed is a funny thing. And even though Florida Atlantic is pretty good, it’s still surprising to see No. 9 as a 15.5-point favorite. Might as well ride with the FDU and all those points.
Miami (+1.5) at Indiana.
The Big Ten has not fared poorly in this tournament, except that the overall No. 1 seed suffered a loss to a No. 16 seed. There’s still some trepidation, and maybe Miami a little less. The Hurricanes’ backcourt is top notch.
Gonzaga (-4.5) over TCU
Gonzaga has been playing at a very high level for several weeks. The Bulldogs have flown under the radar as they have set the bar high in recent years and took a few losses early this season. Gonzaga could end up in the Final Four.
Saturday second round election records: 3-5
Tournament so far: 18-26