The first day of March Madness did not deliver much in the way of upsets. Al Dannity says we can expect a similar glut of wins for higher seeds on Friday.
The not so Cinderellas Three teams who would historically have been locks to play the role of Cinderella enter today’s action with the more favorable seeding. San Diego State has worked real hard to prove its worth as a program. The hot upset pick today however is NC State. Essentially the Wolfpack’s history and big conference presence have given them an edge in the eyes of many NCAA Basketball betting fans. This analyst doesn’t buy it. I like the #6 Aztecs to take care of business and win.
St Mary’s enter the tournament as a #7. The Gaels face Purdue and these Boilermakers are getting an awful lot of love for a team that went 10-8 in conference play. Robbie Hummel is healthy but this is not the team Hummel ran two years ago before his glut of injuries began. I like this game to go chalk as well.
Finally Creighton will be the #8 against #9 Alabama. Once again it’s the big conference status of Bama that sees them over-valued by bettors. Creighton have been woefully under-valued by the Selection Committee. I like the Bluejays to win through.
The 12/5s are over Traditionally the most reliable seeding match-ups to produce upsets are the four 12/5 games. The #5s won all three of these yesterday, leaving South Florida as the lone #12 left standing. Today they face a soon-to-be conference foe in the form of Temple. Despite currently residing outside the power conferences, Temple’s tournament history is hardly one of a plucky underdog and the Owls will soon be back in the Big East. I like Temple to complete the sweep for the #5s.
Don’t expect another UNC-Asheville Officiating played a big role in denying fans a first ever 16/1 upset. More palatable causes should ensure neither of today’s #16s comes close to scaring the #1s. North Carolina has talent in every department. What the Tar Heels may lack in game-in game-out consistency, they paper over pretty well with raw talent. On Sunday that might hurt them. Against Vermont they really shouldn’t have to worry.
Over in the West, the #1 Spartans are a model of consistency. They face a LIU-Brooklyn team that is ecstatic just to be in the Big Dance. The Blackbirds will play hard but they barely belong on the same court as MSU. I like Michigan State to cruise to victory.
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