This is it. What we’ve all been waiting for. I can contain the excitement no longer. Here are my favorite games to take with the spread (and moneyline) on the day. If you listen to the podcast, we go through the entire slate of games for the 1st round with some nice analysis. I’ll also include my upset specials and final 4 and winner. Without further ado:
UNCW +8 — I’ve wrote about them in depth on my column “2017 Cinderellas 11-14 seeds“. They got the offensive firepower to pull off the upset.
Nevada +7 — Everyone is extremely high on Iowa St and for good reason. Nevada is a really, really, really good team though with NBA talent in Cameron Oliver. I expect this one to stay close, and don’t be surprised by the #12 seed upset again.
Florida -10.5 — The game is in Orlando, and 80% of the public is on E Tennessee. If we know 1 thing about March, it’s fade the public. I like Florida in the blow out.
Wisconsin ML (-240) — I really like this senior-laden Wisconsin team who’s by far the most under-seeded in the tournament. They have a run in them, and I like them to win here.
Notre Dame ML (-265) — This is a tough one as the Ivy League has been very successful in recent years. But Notre Dame has too much firepower and pulls out the W.
Xavier ML (+110) — Maryland is the most over-seeded team in the tournament. They lost to Northwestern in the 1st round of the Big10 tourny and somehow didn’t lose any ground (or gained some?!?!). They suck, I like Xavier in the upset.
Minnesota ML (+100) — Nate Mason and Co. are getting Disrespected with a capital D. Middle Tennessee has a #12 seed bandwagon that I’ve never seen in this lifetime. I’m a huge Blue Raider guy, as I detailed in my Cinderella article. But the Gophers are tough, especially inside with their #3 block rate in the country. That’s where they win this game in a close one.
VCU +5 — Another good 10/7 matchup where I see a close one. I’m all over the Atlantic 10 conference as I think it’s very underrated. That’s shown by the spreads as they’re all underdogs. VCU has a real complete team, and I think Mo-Allie Cox is able to handle Jock Landale in the post.
Other games I have today in my bracket: Butler, West Va, Northwestern, Purdue, Arizona, Villanova, Gonzaga, Florida Gulf Coast
1st round upsets:
#14 Florida Gulf Coast (Dunk City)!!!
#11 Kansas State
#11 Rhode Island
Nevada — Sweet 16
Xavier — Sweet 16
UNCW — Sweet 16
Michigan — Sweet 16
Wisconsin — Elite 8
Notre Dame — Elite 8
SMU — Final 4