NCAA Tournament: Previews & Picks for Saturday’s Early 2nd Round Games


March 17

#13 Furman vs. #5 San Diego State

The Paladins pulled off the impossible in the waning seconds of their upset against Virginia in the Round of 64. Their reward? A date with San Diego State, which relies on a similar style to the Wahoos of pack-line defense and patient offense. Despite the win, Furman had significant gaps in scoring against the Cavalier defense and were heavily out-rebounded. Back the Aztecs to end the run for the ‘Dins.

The Pick: San Diego State -5.5

#5 Duke vs. #4 Tennessee

What a start to the NCAA Tournament for Duke. The Blue Devils never gave trendy upset candidate Oral Roberts a chance, jumping out to a double-digit lead to start the game and never looking back. The Volunteers were en route to a comfortable victory, but a late run from Louisiana made the ending closer than it needed to be. Tennessee clearly suffers serious lulls in its offensive production since losing Zakai Zeigler, and Duke should be capable of capitalizing on it more than the Ragin’ Cajuns did. Back the Blue Devils here.

The Pick: Duke ML -156

#8 Arkansas vs. #1 Kansas

Kansas showed the ceiling of their offense in a 96-point output over Howard. They won’t be able to put up the same production level against Arkansas, and the Razorbacks will be a live dog in this spot. They have a clever head coach in Eric Musselman, as well as the NBA-level talent and size to keep up with the Jayhawks. Arkansas may not win, but they should be able to keep this close. Back the Hogs on the spread in this one.

The Pick: Arkansas +3.5

#15 Princeton vs. #7 Missouri

Princeton shocked the world on Thursday, becoming the third 15-seed in the past three NCAA Tournaments to win a game. The Tigers had one of their best defensive performances of the season against Arizona’s top-ten offense, holding them to just 55 points on 67 possessions. Some of it came with some luck on an extremely off night for the Wildcats, and we don’t see the same happening against a hot Mizzou team. Lay it with Missouri against the spread here.

The Pick: Missouri -6.5

Odds Courtesy FanDuel Sportsbook

Thumbnail photo via Kelsey Kremer/The Register / USA TODAY NETWORK

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