The greatest sporting event of the year is finally here: March Madness. For the first time in three years, the “Big Dance” is back. Last year, there was a tournament, but it did not feel the same without the fans. For the next three weeks many college hoops fans will be trying to find their best bets. As games inch closer, here are picks that I believe should be winners this week.
Make sure to check out all of our other March Madness content.
Marquette vs. North Carolina (-3.5)
This matchup sets up very well for the Tar Heels. After a slow start to the season, Hubert Davis and UNC have started to get the train rolling. They won 12 of their last 14 to end the season, finishing with a statement win over Duke. Armando Bacot has been a monster, and I think it’s going to be very hard for Shaka Smart to find an answer for the big man. Not only can he get to the basket and score, but Bacot also finished top five in the country on the glass this season. Marquette has struggled to rebound this year, and with North Carolina grabbing boards, as usual, it might be hard for Marquette to hang in the game. UNC has the potential to make a run in the tournament, and it all starts with a win on Thursday.
Best Bet: UNC (-3.5)
Virginia Tech (-110) vs Texas
One of the more exciting games this week is this 6 vs. 11 matchup. The Hokies are as hot as could be, after winning the ACC tournament and capping it off with a dominant win against Duke. The Longhorns are coming off three losses in a row and are cold. I think this game will come down to whether Virginia Tech can knock down the three-ball. The Hokies are third in the country in three-point percentage, and it showed in their dominance last week in Brooklyn. After winning four in a row a week ago, expect Virginia Tech to come out hot and win a close one.
Best Bet: Virginia Tech (ML)
Indiana (+3) vs. Saint Mary’s
After winning their First Four game vs. Wyoming, Indiana will be ready to go this Thursday. The Hoosiers are back in the big dance after last making it in 2016, and they are hungry. Indiana caused Wyoming to turn the ball over 18 times on Tuesday, which is seven more than Wyoming averaged this season. The Hoosiers can play their game and get the ball inside, winning with ease. Mike Woodson’s team has proven all season that they are able to play up to opponents, especially when it matters. Not to mention Trayce Jackson-Davis will be the best player on the court and could cause real trouble for the Gaels.
Best Bet: Indiana (+3)
New Mexico State vs. UConn (-6.5)
UConn finished third in a tough conference, and a top one this year in the Big East. Although the New Mexica State Aggies won the WAC tournament, the teams they faced were nowhere near the level of the Huskies. UConn has been one of the best teams this year on the offensive glass. If they are able to rebound like they have all year, it will be a tall task for New Mexico State to battle on Thursday. Likewise, Connecticut’s athleticism will be a whole new beast for the Aggies to try fighting. UConn will win the rebound battle, and the Huskies should be leaving the arena with a double-digit win.
Best Bet: UConn (-6.5)
Main Image Credit:
Embed from Getty Images