2018 NCAA March Madness Expert Picks – Round of 64 (Day 2)
March Madness began with a bang yesterday. Sixteen games were on in total. The day was filled with some upsets, nail-biters and clutch buzzer beaters. Sixteen more games will be in action on Friday, starting at 9:15. Here are my best bets for Day 2 of the round of 64. Continue to check for more bets throughout the tournament action. The odds below are listed from Sportsbetting Sportsbook (75% Up To $1000 Welcome Bonus) but please line shop to find the best price before placing your wager.
(15) CS Fullerton Titans vs. (2) Purdue Boilermakers Predictions
Cal State Fullerton earned their tournament bid with a 71-55 win in the Big West Championship game. CS Fullerton went 20-11 this season, winning 8 of their last 10 games as well. They played two ranked teams all season and lost both games. CS Fullerton was in the tournament in the 2007-08 season.
Purdue finished the season 28-6. Purdue has been high up in the rankings all season long but had a disappointing loss in the Big 10 Championship game to Michigan. Purdue was still able to earn the 2nd seed in the big tournament. Purdue finished the season losing 4 of their last 9 games, which is not great considering their ranking.
CS Fullerton has been led by an underrated pair of guards this season. Kyle Allman and Khalil Ahmad have both averaged over 15 points per game for the Titans. The Boilermakers have been led by guard Carsen Edwards and seven-footer Isaac Haas. When Edwards and Haas have both been on, Purdue has been difficult to stop. Each of them has had difficulty getting hot at the same time recently.
Like most people, I believe the Boilermakers are going to pull away with the victory. 20 ½ points is a lot to cover even for a number two seed. I believe CS Fullerton could keep this game within that 20 ½ point margin. CS Fullerton could create mismatches in the guard spots, which would give Purdue some difficulties on defense.
2018 March Madness Pick: CS Fullerton Titans +20 ½ (-110)
(10) Texas Longhorns vs. (7) Nevada Wolf Pack Predictions
Texas enters the Big Dance after going 19-14. The Longhorns finished in sixth place of the Big 12 and were knocked out in the second round of the Big 12 tournament. The Longhorns are an odd team to find as high as a ten seed in the tournament. Texas went 5-7 against ranked teams this season.
The Wolf Pack finished a great season with an early loss in the Mountain West tournament. Nevada went 27-7 this season to earn their second straight bid to the tournament. Nevada’s biggest issue coming into the tournament is they are completely unproven. The Wolf Pack played one ranked team all season and went 0-1. Nevada has some experienced players from last season that will look to carry them past the first round this season.
Big men Caleb Martin and Jordan Caroline have led Nevada to their tournament bid this season. Each player has averaged 18 points and 5 rebounds. Texas has two big men of their own that can enforce their will. Mohamed Bamba and Dylan Osetkowski have each played big for the Longhorns. The Wolf Pack have been much better at enforcing their own game then Texas this season. I believe this will show on the court Friday afternoon. Nevada been the better team record wise and as a one-point underdog, they are a great pick.
2018 March Madness Pick: Nevada +1 (-105)
(14) Bucknell Bison vs. (3) Michigan State Spartans Predictions
Bucknell earned a tournament bid with a win in the Patriot Division Championship game. The Bison went 25-9 over the course of the season, but Bucknell lost their only game against a ranked team. Bucknell finished the season on fire by winning eighteen of their last nineteen games.
Michigan State, like Purdue, finished a solid season with a loss to Michigan in the Big 10 tournament. The Spartans went 29-4 this season. Michigan State had won thirteen straight before their loss to Michigan. Michigan State went 3-2 against ranked opponents this season.
Bucknell has been led by Zach Thomas and Nana Foulland. Both players have averaged over 15 points and seven rebounds. Guard Miles Bridges and forward Nick Ward have been averaging the most points per game for Michigan State, with over twelve points per game each. Michigan State will be looking to enforce their defensive style on Bucknell early.
The Bison have dominated recently as shown by their long winning streak. Bucknell struggled early in the season, but their coach made some good changes to get them back to a winning form. Michigan State has not played any basketball since March 3. That many days off could prove to be troublesome for the Spartans. I expect Michigan State to pull away in the end, but I believe the Bison could keep it close.