We have trimmed the field from 68 down to 32 with 16 of those teams in action today to see who will make it to the next weekend. We’ve had some monster upsets this year. Furman? Yeah. Princeton says to hold my beer? Princeton? Fairleigh Dickinson says hold my keg of green beer. There promises to be more wackiness today, so let’s enjoy it!
On Wednesday, the day started off nicely with both UCF and FDU winning outright. The elation quickly turned as Nevada and UC-Irvine were smashed and Oklahoma State didn’t cover. So it goes. At least both of the early outrights hit so I made what I lost on the parlays. Single bets aren’t nearly as sexy but that’s where you stay afloat.
In this article, you can find some of my favorite picks for day two of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday, March 18, 2023. Make sure also to check out our other NCAA/NIT Tournament articles as we will be having picks and DFS suggestions running throughout the Tournament. You can access all of our latest sports betting promos, and sign up for a sportsbook here. Find me on Twitter @Jwiesel13, I’m happy to talk bets, sports, or just interact with the community. Enjoy the tournament!
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(4) Tennessee vs. (5) Duke
Duke opened the tournament by obliterating a pretty good Oral Roberts squad. Tennessee had their hands full with the Ragin Cajuns of Louisiana before pulling away a little bit.
Honestly, the absence of Zakai Zeigler has little to do with this pick for me. I would likely take Duke even with Zeigler in there. The Blue Devils are peaking at the right time and everyone is playing well. Duke has size in the interior and the guards aren’t just outside shooters. They may not have the huge NBA names of prior years (Paulo Banchero, Zion Williamson), but ultimately, this might be the better team.
I want to know just what people saw in the Vols to make them think they can hang around. Grab this line now. I wouldn’t be shocked if it’s double this by tipoff…and I would still take Duke.
Pick: Duke -3.5
(1) Kansas vs. (8) Arkansas
Arkansas is a fun team to watch, but they are really going to have their hands full here. Nick Smith hasn’t been consistent enough to have a ceiling game against this veteran Kansas squad. The Mitchell twins are going to have problems with Jalen Wilson on the inside as well.
I do think the Hogs defend the outside well enough to keep Gradey Dick from an all-out aerial assault like he did against Howard, but Kansas has plenty of other pieces that can beat them. Is Arkansas willing to pound the interior as the Bison did to try and keep the game close? Maybe, but Arkansas doesn’t have an accomplished scorer on the inside. I’m taking the veteran Kansas team for this small of a spread against the younger, exciting team.
Pick: Kansas -3.5
(7) Missouri vs. (15) Princeton
Princeton succeeded in imposing their will on Arizona and played at their usual snail’s pace. I have questions as to whether they can slow Missouri down to that same crawl. I’m more betting the under because I feel like Princeton is going to have real problems scoring on the (other) Tigers. Missouri plays sound defense and has the guards to lock down Princeton
Since I feel like Princeton is going to have problems scoring, I feel it’s a big ask for each team to score 74 points. Missouri averages nearly 80 per game, so they might hit it. All that Missouri really needs to do is contain Tosan Evbuomwan. I feel like they’ll be able to do that. Princeton shouldn’t be efficient enough against this defense to play slow and score enough for the over to hit.
Pick: Missouri -5.5, u148
(1) Houston vs. (9) Auburn
Setting: interior of selection committee room; Sunday, March 13, 3 pm Eastern
Stiff in a suit: “So…uh…guys…uh…are we really making Houston a number 1 seed with the Final Four in Houston? Do we really want a non-major conference school being at home for the finals?”
Another stiff in a suit: “Oh, that’s easy! Hear me out, okay? Let’s make Houston the 1 seed in the midwest so all their fans are content, right?”
Stiff #3: “How does that help us?”
Stiff #2 ” Don’t interrupt. I told you to hear me out. So, the Midwest region first round is played in Birmingham. We have Auburn as a nine anyway. Let’s just conveniently put Auburn up against Houston in the second round in what will be a road game for Houston. If they make it out of that, they deserve a home game for the final.”
Committee head: “2, you’re a damn genius! Let’s get this man a raise!”
Even if this wasn’t on purpose, it feels more than a bit unfair. A nine-seed getting a home game against a number one – the seed which is coveted because you’re supposed to be close to home – is a massive oversight. Do they still hate Kelvin Sampson? Who knows, but if I’m Houston, I’m more than a little torqued.
Not only is Auburn dangerous as this low of a seed anyway, but you heard that crowd on Thursday. They were insane! This is a road game for Houston without Marcus Sasser at 100% fresh off of a game where they struggled to put away Northern Kentucky. I don’t know if I’m crazy enough to bet the Auburn moneyline, but five seems a bit much. This will come down to the wire either way.
Pick: Auburn +5
(2) UCLA vs. (7) Northwestern
Most of the Mountain West was exposed as frauds in the first round. So much so that a Northwestern team that had lost four of five entering the tournament locked down Boise. Northwestern remains a solid team, but solid won’t be enough to beat a team like UCLA.
The “Conference of Champions” (maybe I listened to a little too much Bill Walton play-by-play this year) was exposed as well, but not UCLA. In a year where two of the two seeds had issues with 15s, UCLA went out there and left no doubt.
The Bruins thought they should have been a one-seed and played with that chip on their shoulders. It’s still there. Even though they lost Jaylen Clark, Amari Bailey has been nearly as good as the next man up. The Bruins are deep, talented, and experienced. Northwestern will hang around for a while, but UCLA should pull away.
Pick: UCLA -7.5
UCLA -7.5, Auburn +5, Missouri -6.5, Duke -3.5, Kansas -3.5, Alabama -8.5, Texas/Penn State u139 (+9142)
As you’ll notice, I sometimes get a little crazy on parlays. I will bet a few smaller parlays, but I’ll always post my big one for those trying to make 50 bucks off a quarter. Please, don’t bet more than a couple of dollars on these. These are meant to be a fun longshot, not something to help you retire. Save the higher bets for singles or three-leg parlays.
My three-legger is going to be Duke -3.5, Auburn +5, and UCLA -7.5
Thanks for reading, and remember to gamble responsibly.