🏀 Tonight's Games Are Better

Last night was definitely fun, but with Purdue vs Gonzaga, Duke vs Houston and Creighton vs Tennessee, tonight should be even more exciting. Four more spots in the Elite 8 up for grabs 🔥 (3 min read)

Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images

The Madness Continues Pt 2

My bracket is cooked. Too many other people in a 45-person pool selected UConn to win (my champion selection as well) and I was unable to hit on my first or second round upsets…not exactly sure why I took UVM over Duke, but you live and you learn. Plus, who saw this coming 🐅

Enough about my selection woes though, let’s move on to our second Sweet 16 preview 👇

While the tournament so far has shaped up to be chalky — the highest-ranked teams have steamrolled their competition, and outside of a brief Houston scare, have yet to be tested. I mean UConn didn’t even play well last night and still won by 30 👀

  • Spread: Marquette -6.5

  • Moneyline: Marquette -280, NC State +225

  • Over/Under: 151.5 Total Points

  • Where to Watch: 7:09 PM EST on CBS

I’m not sure if I’d take NC State to win, but DJ Burns will be a handful for Oso Ighodaro. Against Oakland, Burns was a revelation, either scoring in single coverage or kicking out to a host of shooters when the would be Cinderella began to double him 🤝

  • The Wolf Pack are currently riding a seven-game win streak and may just have that 2011 UConn magic, where the Huskies similarly rode a hot late-season stretch to win the whole thing as a lower seed

  • NC State hasn’t faced anyone in the backcourt as composed or dynamic as Kolek, and I expect him to get into the paint at will

  • If anything, I think NC State can turn this into a rock fight, but I’d be more comfortable taking them to cover rather than to win outright

  • Spread: -5.5 Purdue

  • Moneyline: -230 Purdue, +188 Gonzaga

  • Over/Under: 154.5 Total Points

  • Where to Watch: 7:39 PM EST on TBS

Any game involving Purdue has to begin with Zach Edey. He is perhaps the most decorated college basketball player of all-time, winning player of the year honors twice in a row. His size has been impossible cover for other teams to guard in the first two games of the tournament 💪

  • In this game I feel most confident about taking the favorite, considering Gonzaga does not have the bodies to contain Edey

  • Graham Ike, who has played fantastic for the Bulldogs, is just 6’9, so they will have to double Edey who is capable of making reads or will simply live at the free throw line

  • Edey has shot 22 free throws so far in the tournament and I expect this trend to continue

  • Spread: Tennessee -2.5

  • Moneyline: Tennessee -146, Creighton +122

  • Over/Under: 144.5 Total Points

  • Where to Watch: 10:09 PM EST on TBS

We’re skipping the Duke vs Houston preview (see odds) — two heavyweights throwing down, one with an elite team defense and the other with bonafide NBA talent — to focus on what should be the game of the night. Here’s a look at the Dalton Knecht dunk from the header photo of the newsletter. This was nasty 👇

My brain wants to pick the Volunteers in a close one, but in my heart I’m a Big East guy and so I have to go with Creighton. Ryan Kalkbrenner is a big reason why 😮‍💨

  • Creighton’s double-OT thriller against Oregon has arguably been the game of the tournament, and while the Blue Jays have not looked like a dominant force thus far, they have proved they can handle adversity

  • Tennessee, for all of their athleticism (SEC strong) has not looked good offensively, and if Knecht fails to explode they struggle to find the basket

  • Accordingly, the scouting report is out on the Vols — double Knecht and force everyone else to make a play

Trivia Question: Outside of Zach Edey earning player of the year accolades in back-to-back years, who else has accomplished this at the collegiate level?

Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

For My Parlay Gurus

As mentioned earlier, I’m taking Creighton to win outright and despite what I said about NC State being able to cover, I’m going in the opposite direction - give me that Marquette spread! Finally, I think Purdue wins a fairly comfortable one….Gonzaga has been playing well but Purdue is a different beast 👇

  • Marquette ML vs NC State: -280

  • Purdue -5.5 vs Gonzaga: -110

  • Creighton ML vs Tennessee: +122

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Trivia Answer: Only big men have earned this distinction including Bill Walton, who won the award in three consecutive years and Ralph Samson, who did the same

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