#12 Richmond Vs. #4 Providence: Richmond ML (+125)
Providence defeated South Dakota St 66-57, and Richmond pulled off the 67-63 upset over Iowa. Richmond’s depth isn’t as solid as Providence’s, but they have an electric trio that can stun Providence. Jacob Gilyard is a playmaking force who is also shooting 37% from deep. Against Iowa, Gilyard produced 24 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists on 8/15 from the field and 4/7 from deep. Leading scorer Tyler Burton attacks the rim and excels in transition, but Providence also has to worry about his range (37.1 3PT%). Providence struggled in transition defense, so Burton’s impact is something to watch there. He contributed 18 points and 11 rebounds in their First Round game. Richmond won even though second leading scorer Grant Golden shot 2/11 from the field. Overall, I think the seeding underrated Richmond and overrated Providence. There is nothing extraordinary about Providence, so Richmond can win this game a fair amount of times. I would like to get better odds than +125, but Richmond’s stock is very high right now.
Author: Braxton Reynolds
#8 UNC Vs. #1 Baylor: UNC ML (+195)
Both Baylor and UNC looked tremendous in round one. The real difference in seeding here is due to the fact Baylor was much more consistent on the season while UNC was up and down. However, at the highs, I do believe the Tar Heels were as good as Baylor. After the Marquette game, I think that UNC is on another high, and that means efficient shooting, solid defense with steals, and pushing Baylor to the edge. I still have Baylor as 55/45 favorites in this game, but at +195 odds that gives you an implied win percentage of 34% for UNC, a number much too low. This Tar Heel line is an immense value, and I love +195.
Author: Matthew Amato
#11 Michigan Vs. #3 Tennessee: Michigan ML (+195)
This upset pick is completely reliant on the return of DeVante Jones, who serves as the primary ball handler and lead facilitator in Michigan’s offense. It was already impressive that Michigan was able to best an incredibly tough Colorado State team that secured a No. 6 seed in the NCAA Tournament, but doing it without its lead guard certainly raises an eyebrow. Could the Wolverines be getting hot at the right time, similar to how Indiana did after halftime of its game against them in the Big Ten Tournament? If that happens, then all bets are off. For a team that was ranked so high in the preseason, it is not unfathomable to think that this may be the start of them hitting their apex. Additionally, Tennessee looked virtually unstoppable in its Round of 64 game, but this will be a more difficult game, and sometimes, playing too well can lead to a letdown game. I know how counterintuitive that may sound, but March is a weird time for basketball.
Author: Andrew Norton