March 18, 2018
There are 3 picks today.
#1: Take North Carolina -6 spread against Texas A&M for 3% of the bankroll.
The North Carolina Tar Heels' quest for back-to-back National Titles continues as they take on the Texas A&M Aggies in the second round of the tournament.
The Tar Heels are an extremely balanced team that has a strong chance to make a deep run in the playoffs, especially with the way their defense has been playing of late. The Heels have long been known for their strong offense, but they have now allowed just 66.0 ppg over their last five games. This is a scary team if they can continue to play solid defense, especially with their high-powered offense and elite rebounding ability.
The Texas A&M Aggies came away with an impressive win over a good Providence team, but they are taking a huge leap up in class in this contest. The Aggies are a team that has a ton of talent and potential, however, they never quite lived up to all their hype this season. They made an early exit in the SEC Tournament and we simply don't believe they have enough chemistry to put together the kind of effort it is going to take to knock off a team like North Carolina.
The Tar Heels are playing extremely well in all facets of the game at the moment and will hold advantages wherever this game is played. Their ability to crash the boards is going to be the difference maker in this contest. The Heels are also an elite free-throw shooting team, so their ability to get to the line and knock down shots is going to be key in North Carolina stretching their lead and creating separation on the scoreboard. This game really shouldn't be close, and the Heels should win this one easily by double digits.
#2: Take Marshall +12 spread (buy the half point) against West Virginia for 3% of the bankroll.
The Marshall Thundering Herd pulled off a "Shocker" as they managed to upset the Wichita State Shockers in the opening round of the tournament. Marshall is a very underrated program who has an elite offense that can hang with any team in the country.
West Virginia opened their tournament with a victory over a very game Murray State team and did what "Press" Virginia has been known to do, and that is create havoc on the defensive side of the ball. This contrast of styles should make for a highly entertaining second round contest.
The underlying storyline in this matchup however is the fact that this is an in-state rivalry and not one that we get to see very often in the world of college basketball. West Virginia is undefeated in this rivalry, however, if there was a year where history is broken, we believe it would be this year with this Marshall team.
This matchup will come down to Marshall's ability to put up points and West Virginia's ability to apply constant pressure and continue to force turnovers. The Herd are a team that likes to get out and run, and that is exactly what teams need to do in order to counter the press that WVU likes to play. If the press is beaten, then it often creates wide open lanes and good looks at the basket which Marshall will surely take advantage off. Even if the Herd does not pull off the upset, their offense should be able to keep them within striking distance in this contest and allow them to cover the number in this rivalry matchup.
#3: Take Butler +4 spread (buy the half point) against Purdue for 3% of the bankroll.
Even though the Purdue Boilermakers won their opening round contest, they suffered a huge loss in that game with new that big man Isaac Haas suffered an injury and will be lost for the remainder of the tournament. Haas was a strong inside presence that created not only matchup problems in the post, but also played the role of allowing his wings to get open looks. His loss cannot be understated and should put the Boilermakers at a disadvantage in this contest, as they try to game plan without a key piece of both their offense and defense.
Meanwhile, the Butler Bulldogs are a team that thrives in this type of tournament as they are an extremely well-rounded team. They are also a 'big' team that matchup up extremely well with Purdue, and even more so with Haas out of the rotation. Butler showed their dominance on both sides of the ball in their opening round contest against Arkansas, holding them to four three-pointers over the entire contest. If Butler can contain Purdue on the perimeter, they are going to not only have a good chance of winning this game, the win could come in dominating fashion. Until we see what Purdue looks like without one of their key pieces, there is no question that the points have value with an experienced and all around solid Butler team.
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