The second round of the 2023 NCAA tournament resumes on Sunday.
No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson – who beat No. 1 Purdue 63-58 on Friday – will be looking to make history with a run to the Sweet 16 against No. 9 FAU in the East Region. That’s the looker, but No. 3 Gonzaga, No. 6 Kentucky and No. 7 Michigan State are among the bluebloods in action.
The Great East has a big day ahead of it. No. 2 Marquette, No. 3 Xavier, No. 4 UConn and No. 6 Creighton are all poised to make it into weekend two. It’s also a big day for the Big 12. No. 3 Kansas State, No. 3 Baylor and No. 6 TCU will be looking to relegate the Big 12.
It’s another full day of first round action with more chances to profit from money line bets and tips against the spread.
Will the Chalk win in the second round?
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March Madness Picks, Round 2 Predictions
- No. 3 Xavier (-4.5) vs. No. 11 Pitt (East)
Sean Miller will train against his alma mater in what should be a tough defensive game. The Musketeers have won four of their last five games, but they haven’t made it. Pitt’s guards Jamarius Burton, Nelly Cummings and Greg Elliott are capable defenders. Jerome Hunter – who stepped in when Zach Freemantle suffered a season-ending injury – is coming off a career-high 24-point game against Kennesaw State.
Choose: Xavier wins 73-65 and COVER the spread.
- #3 Kansas State vs. #6 Kentucky (-1.5) (Midwest)
The Battle of the Wildcats is here. Kentucky may be the bottom seed, but they’re a short-lived favorite against a Kansas state that has an experienced point guard in Markquis Nowell. Kansas State has won nine games without winning the rebound fight, but this is not one of those games. Kentucky beat a physical Providence team 46-27 in the first round. Kentucky also made his free throws and limited turnovers. If that happens again, John Calipari will have Kentucky back in the Sweet 16.
Choose: Kentucky wins 72-64 and COVER the spread.
- No. 2 Marquette (-2.5) vs. No. 7 Michigan State (East)
Michigan State closed out USC’s Boogie Ellis in the first round. Can the Spartan guards match Kameron Jones, who scored 19 points on 7 of 9 shots in the first round? The Golden Eagles are 4-1 ATS when favored by three points or fewer. Michigan is 0-2 ATS as an underdog by three points or fewer. It’s a tough decision, but the Spartans felt comfortable in Columbus on Friday. Izzo does that.
Choose: Michigan State wins 68-64 in an UPSET.
- No. 4 UConn (-3.5) vs. No. 5 Saint Mary’s (West)
Saint Mary’s knocked out VCU No. 12 in the first round and the Gaels only made eight turnovers. UConn pulled away from Iona in the second half behind a 28 point and 13 rebound performance by Adama Sanogo. He’ll be a problem for Saint Mary’s indoors. UConn is 6-1 S/U and 6-1 ATS in its last seven games. This is a difficult trend to ignore.
Choose: UConn wins 69-61 and COVER the spread.
- #3 Baylor (-1.5) vs. #6 Creighton (South)
This is a fun matchup with a tight line. Baylor led UC-Santa Barbara in the first round despite an off-shooting night by Keyonte Graham. Creighton retired from NC State in the second half. Creghton center Ryan Kalkbrenner — a 7-footer — has averaged 25 points per game in the Blue Jays’ last four games. Baylor is 4-2 S/U and 3-3 ATS when favored by three points or fewer. This will be right on the Over/Under line.
Choose: Baylor wins 75-73 and COVER the spread.
- No. 9 Florida Atlantic (-13.5) vs. No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson (East)
The owls are strong favorites against the knights. Florida Atlantic won’t play a slower pace, and they’re 13-0 if they score 80 or more points in a game. Fairleigh Dickinson needs to shoot well enough and limit turnovers. The Knights are forcing 15.5 turnovers per game and will not change their style either. take the points
Choose: FAU wins 77-70 but CANNOT COVER the span.
- #4 Indiana (-1.5) vs. #5 Miami (Midwest)
Forward Norcher Omier played Drake in the first round and was successful with 12 points and 14 rebounds. The matchup with Indiana’s Trayce Jackson-Davis, who had 24 points and 11 rebounds against Kent State in the first round, will be a focus of this matchup. This is the truest loss in Sunday’s matchup, but we have just a touch more confidence in the Miami backcourt with Isaiah Wong and Jordan Miller.
Choose: Miami wins 81-79 in an UPSET.
- No. 3 Gonzaga (-4.5) vs. No. 6 TCU (West)
TCU advanced to the second round with the help of JaKobe Coles’ clutch shot in lane, and the Horned Frogs are a tournament-experienced team that pushed Arizona in the second round last season. The Bulldogs are 3-4 ATS if they are favored by under 10 points this season. TCU is 2-4 S/U when giving up 75 points or more. Can they slow down Gonzaga for an entire game?
Choose: Gonzaga wins 82-74 and COVER takes the spread.