Sweet 16 picks went 5-3 against the spread (+200, meaning a 100 dollar bet on each would net +200 dollars)
(11) Loyola-Chicago vs (9) Kansas State – 6:09PM ET, TBS
I picked both of these teams to pull the upset in round one, but it was unfathomable to think they would be meeting in the regional finals of the South, which had four of the power seven conference champions. This game was set at a pick’em for the longest time, but at the last minute, Kansas State was pushed up to the slightest of favorites, which is good news for me. Loyola also happened to be a one-point underdog on Thursday against Nevada, and after Loyola won in yet another single-possession game, I’m not jumping off the bandwagon quite yet. The Ramblers have won 20 of their last 21, the only loss being on the road against their MVC Rivals Bradley. I’m riding the hot hand in this one, and going with Loyola. The Ramblers should be able to beat a Kansas State team that struggles with rebounding the ball. The Wildcats rank 310th in defensive rebounding percentage (Loyola ranks 55th for what its worth).
The Pick: Loyola-Chicago +1
(9) Florida State vs (3) Michigan – 8:49PM ET, TBS
I had Loyola vs Kansas State as a pick’em back on Thursday night, but in my tweet, I mentioned that I thought the spread for this would be around Michigan -6. Much to my surprise, the opening line was set at Michigan -4. You probably already know which side I will be taking. It has been quite a run for Florida State, the ‘Noles did not even make the final eight of the ACC Tournament but are now playing for a final four berth, however, all good things must come to an end. Michigan was my pick to go to the final four from the West since the beginning, and I’m not going back now. The Wolverines looked fantastic in their game against Texas A&M on Thursday, and I’m not picking against the team with the longest win streak in basketball.
The Pick: Michigan -4
(3) Texas Tech vs (1) Villanova – 2:20PM ET, CBS
Texas Tech proved me wrong on Friday in a 78-65 win over KenPom #5 Purdue, and they did that shooting in the 20’s from behind the arc. Most of the time when you see an upset, it is because the underdogs shot better than expected, but on Friday, Chris Beard’s team shot seven percent below their season average from three and still won by double digits. Villanova is better than Purdue though/ Jay Wright’s team is a clear number one in KenPom, they have the best offense in the country, and the highest effective FG% in the country, but they have a tendency to let teams hang around. Three of Villanova’s final six games before the tournament went to overtime. I’m not going to pick against Villanova, who ismy national title pick, but I think Keenan Evans and the Red Raiders hang around long enough to keep it within six.
The Pick: Texas Tech +6.5
(2) Duke vs (1) Kansas – 5:05PM ET, CBS
I picked Kansas to go to the final four. I am no longer picking Kansas to go to the final four. You can get me on the record for my other two final four picks that are still alive (Villanova and Michigan), but my trust in this Kansas team was gone after the Seton Hall game. They only confirmed my suspicions against Clemson on Friday, in a game that the Jayhawks won by only four despite shooting five points above their season average. Imagine what might happen if the Jayhawks run into a defense that they can’t handle and they have a bad shooting night. That is, in essence, what happened to Duke on Friday. The Blue Devils shot 5/26 from three-point land and still won. I’ll take the team with the better defense in Duke, along with the team that can survive a bad shooting night, because I’m not quite sure that Kansas can do that.
The Pick: Duke -3