CBB Picks: NCAA Tournament Round 1, Day 2

8-8 yesterday. Square city. Like kissing your sister.

I would’ve liked to have a better day, but I can really only remember one game all day that wasn’t in the balance in the last minute or two. That was MTSU and I was on the wrong side, but the other 15 games were largely decided by the free throw/three-point chuck game or garbage time.

The big takeaway to me was that on Day 1 the lines were extremely sharp and that is not a good thing. But we proceed.

Michigan (-2) over Oklahoma State

I can see that the Wolverine defense is getting better, can’t say the same about the Cowboys. I’m not sure there’s a more comfortable team against OSU’s pressure. Michigan doesn’t have one real turnover liability.

New Mexico State (+13) over Baylor

Baylor should considerate itself fortunate if they win the game.

Seton Hall (+1) over Arkansas

I think it’s going to be a close game and I trust Carrington to make plays late more than I do anyone on the other side.

Oregon (-15) over Iona

Boucher or no Boucher, I still think the Ducks can swallow up Jordan Washington down low. I’m envisioning Oregon getting up in the 8-12 range and Iona just getting frustrated and chucking a bunch of threes that may or may not go down.

Louisville (-19.5) over Jacksonville State

It’s been a nice story for the Gamecocks, but they haven’t faced anyone like Louisville this year. Even TCU and Maryland waxed this JSU team. Their defense matches up will with the Cardinals on paper better than it does in real life.

SMU (-6.5) over USC

I’ve planted myself on the SMU train and I’m not getting off yet.

UNC (-26) over Texas Southern

TSU can’t shoot and they’re terrible on the defensive glass. I don’t see the road for them to even remotely compete in this game.

Rhode Island (pick) over Creighton

I’ve written plenty on this game. I haven’t thought about taking the Bluejays for a second.

UC Davis (+23.5) over Kansas

I keep doubting the Aggies and they keep delivering. Combine that with the fact that I’m not sold on the Jayhawks and I’ll take the 23.5

Dayton (+6) over Wichita State

I love Wichita as much as the next guy that has a goddamn clue about things like “analytics” or “watching basketball”, but Dayton is pretty damn good themselves. They’re a veteran crew that’s good on both ends and they haven’t gotten much respect this week.

Duke (-20) over Troy

Troy isn’t terrible, but Duke is a rather young, talented group that’s starting to come together and I’m not betting against that.

Cincinnati (-3.5) over Kansas State

I think the Bearcats are going to give the K-State offense fits and they’ve made some strides this year offensively, specifically with guards/wings that can just go get points when necessary.

Miami (-2) over Michigan State

Eron Harris would be big for a team that often struggles to find points away from East Lansing, but he’s no longer available. Jimmy L’s crew has its flaws too, but they’ve got more dynamic guard play and they’re a stellar defensive team.

Kentucky (-20) over Northern Kentucky

The Wildcats tend to murder average opponents at this level. Not sure the Norse have any chance at defending in this game.

South Carolina (-1) over Marquette

It’s MU’s offense vs. USC’s defense. I’ll take the defense with a guard capable of getting his shot on his own.

Kent State (+18) over UCLA

I’ll admit, this could be a 40-point game, but the Bruins are just so often not engaged defensively that I’ll take a flyer on the Golden Flashes.

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