12:10 PM EST
Michigan +3.5 over Louisville (2u)
Went against one of my top rules for tournament play and that’s to not back teams who are overly reliant on the 3 ball (Saint Mary’s), but this Michigan team is a different animal. Rick Patino compared their 3-point shooting to the Warriors and I wouldn’t say that’s too far of a stretch. I like the fact they are playing the same stadium where they shot 55% so what is going to change? Louisville just gave up 50% to Jacksonville State from down town so if they allow that kind of shooting percentage again today they are going to be going home. Let’s be honest, Michigan probably won’t be as hot as it was against Oklahoma State, but they won’t need to score 92 points to beat this Loiusvulle team. Walton and Irvin are really stepping up as seniors and are willing this team to wins. As long as Michigan can avoid foul trouble with their starters, I like their chances today to win outright but will gladly take the 3.5 in a game that probably comes down to the wire again. Take Michigan.
2:10 PM EST
Kentucky -4.5 over Wichita State (2u)
Kentucky/Wichita State Over 149 (1u)
A lot of people are expecting this to be a repeat of the 2014 matchup, but this isn’t the same Wichita State team. Wichita State is always well coached and always brings their A Game, but I just don’t think this team is nearly as good as years past when they had players like Baker and VanVleet. The Missouri Valley Conference is way down this year and I just like the athletes on the floor for Kentucky much better. This is not a Shockers team filled with experienced seniors. Kentucky has three All-American Freshman who are all future NBA players and have senior Derek Willis that keeps this team in check. Wichita State’s defense will pose a challenge, but ultimately this Kentucky team has the athleticism and talent to beat a good defense. Wichita just won’t have enough offense to keep pace. Sooner or later talent takes over. I also love this game to go well over, this game has potential to finish in the 170’s or above. Take Kentucky and the over.
6:10 PM EST
UNC -11 over Arkansas (1u)
Not a huge fan of laying this kind of chalk outside of the first round but this UNC team has so much talent they can cover spreads like this. The only way to beat UNC is to get them into half court or have some length inside to deal with their athletes and the Razorbacks just don’t have the guys to deal with UNC down low. Arizona will attempt to press but I think that will lead to a lot of transition points for UNC instead of turnovers. Arkansas won’t be able to score enough to keep pace and North Carolina should come away with a comfortable win in this one. Take UNC.