Louisville (-3.5) over Michigan
I love the way Michigan has been playing. Derrick Walton has been outstanding and their versatility 1 through 5 is ridiculously difficult to guard. However, I think Louisville’s length and activity defensively is going to be a problem for them. On the other end, while Michigan’s defense has been better, I still have my doubts that they can guard guys on the perimeter like Donovan Mitchell and Quentin Snider. Also, they’re probably going to get thrashed on the boards.
Kentucky (-4) over Wichita State
This game’s being made into the “redemption game” for Wichita after what happened in 2014. That’s nice, except for the fact that I don’t think anyone that played in that game is still around. Wichita is a really good team. They’ve also been worked by every team with professional talent this year. They defend and they’ve got nice players, but I don’t see them having any answer for guys like Monk, Fox, and Adebayo.
Michigan State (+8.5) over Kansas
I was basically going to bet against Kansas regardless of who won the Miami/Michigan State battle. Maybe that’s not wise, but Tom Izzo’s crew just owned a pretty good team and they didn’t even have to shoot well from outside to do it.
UNC (-10.5) over Arkansas
Arkansas plays fast. That’s the only way they know. I think it’s going to ruin them against the Tar Heels. UNC just does it better with better players and they’re going to kill the Hogs on the glass.
Rhode Island (+5.5) over Oregon
I don’t know that I love the matchup for Rhody, but I’m not going to give up on them now.
USC (+6.5) over Baylor
I’ll also continue to bet against Baylor. Their size was too much for NMSU and that became very apparent in the first half of that game. That’s not going to fly against the Trojans. They can matchup with the Bears and they’re going to force them to make shots.
Duke (-7.5) over South Carolina
I know it’s in Greenville, but I feel like more Duke fans are going to make it down for the second round games. I also think that the Blue Devils are going to be a little more engaged than they were in the first round and they have a lot more guys that can make plays in the halfcourt than the Gamecocks do. USC put up a big number against Marquette, but they’re truly terrible defensively. Duke is not.
Cincinnati (+4) over UCLA
Cincinnati only allows teams to play fast when they’re playing scrubs. They’ll make UCLA play slow. The Bruins might hit a bunch of shots, but I’ll bet against it. The Bearcats have made great strides offensively, they’re versatile defensively, and I think they’re just a more connected team overall.