Friday night is here, and that means that most of the tickets into the Round of 32 have been punched in the dance. There are still four teams left to advance though, and here at Cappers Info, we are making our final March Madness picks for the first full round of the tourney.
NCAA Tournament Matchup: #16 LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds vs. #1 Michigan State Spartans
Date: Friday, March 16th, 9:20 ET
Location: Nationwide Arena, Columbus, OH
March Madness Odds: Michigan State -20
NCAA Tournament TV Schedule: TBS
Okay, we’re not saying that this is going to be the first time that a No. 16 beats a No. 1 in the history of the NCAA Tournament, but we at least think that there is the remotest of possibilities. This Brooklyn team came out last year in the first round of the tourney and tried to run with the might Tar Heels. The Blackbirds actually had some success, and they were able to at least somewhat make that a game for quite some time. Now, they are going to be back this year with a team that has some experience at this level and won’t be as shell shocked to see this type of talent on the court. The Spartans aren’t a legit No. 1 seed in our eyes, and we think that they are going to have a hard time getting the tempo under control in this game, and if they get goaded into this running game, they might be in a bit of trouble. We think that LIU is going to come as close as a No. 16 has come in a long, long time towards pulling off the upset of one of the top dogs in the dance.
NCAA Tournament Free Pick: LIU Brooklyn +20
NCAA Tournament Matchup: #10 Xavier Musketeers vs. #7 Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Date: Friday, March 16th, 9:45 ET
Location: Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, NC
March Madness Odds: Notre Dame -2.5
NCAA Tournament TV Schedule: CBS
This has to be a scary game for both of these teams. Neither side really loves the style that the other plays. Xavier is going to have a tough time springing its top two scorers against a Notre Dame team that plays rock solid defense, but for the Irish, you have to be concerned that stopping both Tu Holloway and Mark Lyons is going to be impossible. Notre Dame doesn’t have the horses offensively to keep up in this one. In the end, when all else fails, there are some basic rules to adhere to. First off, we are fading the Big East whenever it is reasonable to do so, and the more basic rule is that if you don’t know what to do, you take the points, knowing that so many of these clashes come right down to the wire. While the two teams on the court are going to be praying for that final shot one way or the other, you could be counting your earnings regardless of whether the prayer at the buzzer goes down or not.
NCAA Tournament Free Pick: Xavier +2.5
NCAA Tournament Matchup: #12 South Florida Bulls vs. #5 Temple Owls
Date: Friday, March 16th, 9:50 ET
Location: Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, TN
March Madness Odds: Will Update
NCAA Tournament TV Schedule: TNT
South Florida was awfully impressive on Wednesday night in the First Four against Cal, and now, it is in a draw in which it might be able to make some noise against teams that play somewhat similar ball. The Bulls have the ability in this one to pull off the upset, and we think that they are at least going to hang around against Temple. Head Coach Fran Dunphy didn’t’ get the moniker “One And Dunphy” for no reason. The Owls could be flying home from Nashville very quickly if they aren’t careful against a team that just plays absolutely tremendous defense.
NCAA Tournament Free Pick: South Florida Bulls
NCAA Tournament Matchup: #15 Detroit Titans vs. #2 Kansas Jayhawks
Date: Friday, March 16th, 9:55 ET
Location: Century Link Center, Omaha, NE
March Madness Odds: Kansas -14.5
NCAA Tournament TV Schedule: truTV
This is basically going to be a home game for the Jayhawks, but we aren’t sure that it isn’t going to turn into a bit of a wakeup call instead. The Titans have a team that can really play with some of the big boys, though it was a wildly inconsistent team all season long. This is a Detroit side that can play some tremendously gritty defense, and if that ends up being the case, the Jayhawks might become frustrated. KU will win this game on sheet talent alone, but to do so by more than two touchdowns might become a bit of a hassle when push comes to shove.
NCAA Tournament Free Pick: Detroit +14.5