College Basketball Picks for 3/17/23
2:00 PM EST
Rotation # 774
St. Mary’s -4.5 over VCU (won)
St. Mary’s and VCU both have excellent defenses. VCU presses teams creating turnovers, but the problem they have is they need to protect the ball themselves. Neither team will give up much on defense, so protecting the ball is the key in today’s game. VCU doesn’t value the ball on offense which is the kiss of death in a game where every possession matters. The Gaels are the better of the two teams on the glass and should win the rebounding edge. VCU needs to improve at getting second-chance points and turning the ball over too much for a game like this. The Gaels will win the rebounding edge with Mitchell Saxen, while Logan Johnson and Aidan Mahaney will put the ball in the bucket. Take St. Mary’s.
2:45 PM EST
Rotation # 743-744
Vermont/Marquette Over 143.5 (loss)
We won’t be playing too many totals in the tournament because, as you might have noticed yesterday, the rims are like trampolines. I like today’s game to be high scoring because Marquette and Vermont are great at shooting 2 point shots. Marquette is especially great at fast break points. The Golden Eagles are a very young team, but they have the talent to make it to the Final Four. Vermont will catch Marquette napping on the defensive end, as it’s not their strong point, as they could be better at grabbing defensive rebounds. Luckily for the Golden Eagles, the Catamounts are awful rebounders. Marquette should score at will, and Vermont will get their buckets. Take the Over.
6:50 PM EST
Rotation # 778
Purdue -22.5 over FDU (loss)
FDU is a decent small conference team but needs more size to compete with Purdue today. Purdue is 5 inches taller per man, and Zach Edey is a foot taller than any Knights player. Edey should score 50 tonight by simply placing the ball in the bucket. The Purdue shooters can quickly shoot over the defenders, and FDU will struggle with the size mismatch all night. The Boilermakers have the coaching edge, as FDU has a rookie head coach. You don’t see size mismatches like this at the NCAA level. The Boilermakers almost blew the Big Ten Title to PSU, so they should keep their foot on the gas pedal. As you saw yesterday, no lead is safe. Take Purdue.
7:25 PM EST
Rotation # 770
Miami -1.5 over Drake (win)
As you can see in the betting line, Drake has the tools to make the upset tonight. Vegas already knows it, but I would wait to count out the ACC. Miami is athletic and gets a lot of fast break points. Drake beats teams with the three-pointer, but in this tournament, it’s hard to make them on a neutral site with springy rims. Jim Larranega is approaching 700 wins and is the more experienced of the two coaches today. Drake was great in the Missouri Valley but didn’t play the pedigree of teams the Hurricanes played. Take Miami
NCAA Tournament Underdog Pick (Won the last 7 years)
9:20 PM EST
Rotation # 779
Florida Atlantic +1.5 over Memphis (win)
We have won our NCAA Tournament Underdog Pick Seven Years in a row. Can we make it 8? Memphis is an outstanding team that is experienced and very athletic. Florida Atlantic is a dark horse team that people care very little about and are a year away from making a deep run in the NCAA Tournament. The Tigers have a terrible habit of turning the ball over, which could be better in a game where every possession matters. Florida Atlantic is the only team in the tournament in the top 70 scoring offense scoring defense FG% and Defensive FG%. The Owls play a deep rotation, so they can afford to take fouls, and you never know who the ball is going to. The Owls have six guys that have attempted 100 three-pointers, while the Tigers have only one. If the game comes down to the wire, I will go with the Owls because they have the best bench in College Basketball. I get the stats mean little because they play in CUSA and not the BIG 12, but it’s impressive. Take Florida Atlantic.
9:40 PM EST
Rotation # 792
Kansas State -7.5 over Montana (win)
Kansas State is a team that most people don’t associate with excellent, but they finished 3rd in the BIG 12 this season. Montana State won the Big Sky, far from the Big 12. The Wildcats play with tempo, which has its advantages, but one of the disadvantages is turning the ball over. Montana State will not be able to grab many rebounds, especially on the offensive end. Kansas State shares the ball generously and keeps it moving to generate scoring chances and get Bobcats players into foul trouble. Look for Marquis Nowell to run the show tonight for the Wildcats. Take Kansas State.