Yesterday started out as glorious as March Madness ever could with two #5 seeds going on early upset alert. Unfortunately, Princeton and UNCW didn’t play nearly to the level they’re capable of and couldn’t pull it off. UNCW in particular had a 15 point first half lead that they just threw away like yesterday’s trash. Luckily for me though, they still covered and I ended up 5-3 on the day. Let’s keep it rolling to day 2…
Michigan -2.5 — A team I’ve wrote at length about in my 2017 Cinderella #7 seed column, this team should be poised for a run. I’m definitely nervous that this team exhausted all of its energy in their Big10 Championship run, but I’m still rolling with them here. Even though Oklahoma St is vastly underseeded as a #10, Michigan matches up very nicely with them. Look for Michigan to win a close one.
Seton Hall ML (-105) — This team has been playing extremely well of late, having won 5 in a row before their 2 point loss to Villanova in the Big East tournament. Khadeen Carrington, Desi Rodriguez, and Angel Delgado are some of the best players in the Big East and are playing at an extremely high level. I haven’t been overly impressed with Arkansas, and I think the Pirates take them here.
South Carolina -1.5 — The game is being played in Greenville, SC only an hour and a half away from campus. The Gamecock fans are going to show up in droves for Frank Martin’s squad, who’s going to put the clamps on the high-flying Marquette offense. South Carolina excels at defense at #3 in the country in defensive efficiency, and #5 in taking away the opposing team’s 3.
Dayton +7 — The flyers are extremely underappreciated, and it’s time they get some love. The senior-laden squad is ready to bust out and take down the Shockers. Another game that’s within a 2 hour drive from campus, the Flyer faithful are going to show up to support their squad. Give me Dayton in the upset, and they’ll keep it close at worst.
New Mexico St +13 — Baylor is the worst top seed in this tournament by a large margin. They’ve been fading heavily down the stretch playing some of their worst basketball. I wouldn’t be shocked by the upset here, and New Mexico St should at least make this a game.
SMU ML (-290) — I have the Mustangs in my Final 4, so that should tell you all you need to know about them here. I’m a little nervous about taking them with the spread as the USC Trojans might have some extra juice from that comeback win on Wednesday night in the play-in game. SMU is on an absurd roll though, and they keep it going into the 2nd round.
Kansas St +3.5 — I really like the Wildcats in the upset as they’re playing extremely well right now. They were in control for the entire play-in game against Wake Forest, and knocked off Baylor and almost West Virginia (lost by 1) in the Big12 tourny. Cincinnati only beat the dregs of the AAC all season, and lost to SMU in both high-profile matchups. Wildcats with the upset.