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Men’s Basketball Championship 2nd Round Game Picks | 2023 NCAA Tournament Predictions

TJ:

Here we are. We’re back in for a special Saturday edition of the BetUS College Basketball Show. Is it March Madness, or is it March Sadness for someone like me? Yes, I’m officially in black after what happened to my Memphis Tigers. Gone out at the hands of Florida Atlantic, but that wasn’t the worst one of all. Goodbye, Purdue. In the game right before that, on the same floor in Columbus, Ohio, we have a one-seed out. We have three more one-seeds in action today, we’re ready to talk all about eight more games in the NCAA tournament today. We’ll also peek ahead to Sunday’s eight more games. The Handicappers are back for a second straight day. Hello, Kyle Hunter. Hello, Corbie Craig. Are we ready to do this again? Quick thoughts, first of all, Kyle, on Friday. We obviously saw a monumental upset by Fairleigh Dickinson of Purdue, so that means we have a one-seed gone with Purdue, we have a two-seed in Arizona gone, we have some mayhem already with eight more games coming today. Some thoughts on Friday real quick, Kyle.

Kyle:

Obviously, the Purdue loss stands out. I know I told people, when I was filling out brackets, that I didn’t think Purdue was a team that could win the tournament, but I definitely didn’t expect them to lose to Fairleigh Dickinson in the first game. This is becoming an annual thing for Purdue. I know Painter has had good teams year after year, but in the tournament, man, terrible. I don’t know what they’re going to do about that issue, because they’re not going to have the dominant big man all the time. That was a crazy game and, obviously, that stinks from Memphis, the way it went after that, because they would’ve gotten to play Fairleigh Dickinson. I won’t belabor the point there, TJ.

TJ:

Yeah. Memphis didn’t deserve it at the end, with the poor play, and Florida Atlantic hit the shot. First ever NCAA tournament win for them going to the basket. Tough way to go out. Now, who had Florida Atlantic and Fairleigh Dickinson in the second round? I don’t think Corbie Craig had that, but how are you feeling? What are your thoughts on Friday before we begin to Handicap Saturday?

Corbie:

Yeah, my biggest take from that Purdue game was coaching. Purdue had plenty of chances at the end of that game. I think the ball got tipped out of bounds three times in the last 30 seconds, so they had a new draw, a new scheme, and got no good shot. By all means, Purdue deserved to lose that game. Shout-out to Fairleigh Dickinson. I believe that’s the biggest upset in March Madness’s history since Fairleigh Dickinson was playing, so I think it would be the first plan, to be-

TJ:

[inaudible 00:03:24] They were clearly number 68, they are in every metric, net, Ken Palm, whatever, in the 300s. I think you can make the case that’s the biggest upset, bigger even than UNBC as a 16-seed beating Virginia. Man, wild. Fairleigh Dickinson had to win, as you mentioned, a first-four game against Texas Southern just to get there. The Big East flexed its muscle on Friday, obviously, especially with UConn looking impressive against Iona. I really like them in the upset, but Xavier came from behind in the final five minutes to beat a pesky Kennesaw State, Marquette over Vermont, Creighton over NC State. I know Providence lost to Kentucky, but four Big East teams made their way through on Friday, so that was impressive, obviously, from that conference. Gonzaga’s future, they looked good as a three-seed, so plenty off of Friday.

You know what? The peeps are here for Saturday. They want to know what’s going on today at four more regional sites on Saturday. Let’s go ahead and get into it. First, our records off the show here again through Friday’s picks and prognostication. You see we are right at the 500 mark once again, a two and two day. Corbie hitting with the Miami Hurricanes. Thank you very much for the way they played against Drake in the final 10 minutes. Indiana’s under converts for Kyle, so two wins off the show yesterday. Guys, with that, are we ready to go? With eight different games, it’s going to actually start in Orlando with San Diego State and their matchup with Furman. It’s going to continue all the way through eight more games, seven more games after that, but why don’t we talk with the first game up at the Amway Center in Orlando?

Furman off the tremendous win, their first NCAA tournament win in 49 years. They hadn’t won one since 1974 when they beat Virginia on the last second three on Thursday. San Diego State gutted out a win over Charleston, so now we’re back on the neutral floor with a spot in the Sweet 16 up for grabs. San Diego State laying five and a half. The total is 137 in this one. Let’s begin the discussion. Kyle Hunter with thoughts on this one. The SoCon tournament champs against the best team in the Mountain West in Orlando, Florida. Kyle, a thought or two.

Kyle:

Yeah. The Mountain West is still looked really poor in the NCAA tournament. I think it’s hard to lay too many points with a team like San Diego State, because offensively, they still have many issues, they can take some bad mid-range jumpers pretty frequently. Bradley’s a good player, but he can have shot selection issues. The question is Furman. They haven’t won an NCAA tournament game in that long. Was that their giant moment where they have a letdown? It can be hard for those teams, that pull the big upset, to come back and have a good effort in the second game again. I do think Bob Richey is a good coach. If I was taking a side here, I would take Furman. I’m not going to bet aside in this one, because I think it’s a bit of a tricky game.

Furman’s been really good away from home this year, 49th best in the country, San Diego State 311th. I think San Diego State’s defense will bother Furman. At the same time, I don’t think Furman’s defense is terrible and San Diego State [inaudible 00:06:37] team, I like to lay a lot of points with. I don’t know what to do with the total here, 137. Furman plays really quickly, will San Diego State try to slow down the pace here? Are they going to run with them? That’s a bit of a tough question. I would lean the under, just because I don’t like taking San Diego State overs, but I think Furman plus five and a half is a decent look here, in a game that I expect to be at least relatively close.

TJ:

You see right there on the screen, Furman getting some points here. I can tell you, guys. I got in the arena again on Thursday for the final minute of clock time, and that last second three by Furman, it was electric in that building. Now, Furman has had another 48 hours to have fans make their way on spring break and for the weekend down from South Carolina to Orlando, not that far a drive. Let’s be honest, San Diego State had a couple of hundred people in the arena from 3000 miles away, they’re not going to have that many people in the arena. If Furman does anything, Corbie Craig, the arena will be bonkers in Orlando coming up. Thoughts on this one? As we know, the Aztecs love to grind it out and play low scoring games. Real quick, Corbie, thoughts?

Corbie:

Yeah. I was impressed by the… You could hear on the TV how many fans Furman brought to the stadium, it was very impressive. An interesting thing for me here is San Diego State continues to talk about, “This Furman team is very replicable to how Colorado State plays.” They’ve said it in four interviews at this point. They’re like, “If we get Furman, they play just like Colorado State.” Simple, go look at how they played Colorado State. 64-61 in the tournament, 77-58, and then an overtime game. That was 63 possessions, overtime was 70, and then 66. It tends to point to the idea that they want to slow this game down, if they think that this Furman team plays like Colorado State. I’ll be the first one to say Furman is much better than Colorado State. They have scorers in basically all five positions. I would imagine that Furman getting enough points is probably the side saying that San Diego State struggled with Colorado State in every one of those games. I lean Furman lean and under, I think San Diego State has to slow us down.

TJ:

All right. Again, San Diego State got the late cover, making free throws in the final seconds to cover on Thursday and get the win. Let’s see what happens in this one. Again, Duke and Tennessee will be up next. The other thing is their fans will embrace Furman. If Furman is winning the game in the second half, it will be a pro-Furman crowd in that Orlando Amway Center from the Duke and Tennessee fans that are there as well. All right. Speaking of the second game up on the floor, again, this is in a different bracket, in the east bracket. It is Duke and Tennessee, the four and the five seats. Tennessee looked dominant against Oral Roberts. Duke, excuse me, looked dominant against Oral Roberts, got out to an easy 20-point first half lead and cruised. Tennessee, meantime, had some problems late with Louisiana. They were in control, Louisiana got it down to two, Tennessee made free throws, and got a couple of stops. All right, so they’ve advanced on.

Duke favored by four on the neutral floor, 128 and a half is the total. Winner goes to the Sweet 16 at Madison Square Garden in the East Regional. Corbie Craig, I come to you first here, with a thought on Duke, Tennessee. Second game up on the floor in Orlando.

Corbie:

Yeah. Yesterday, I bet Miami, and as the show was going on and we hadn’t gotten to it, we saw get hit by some betting groups, get Miami’s at three, and everybody in the chat was laughing at it, because they thought… The people took it, stole it from me. Today, exact opposite. I bet that Duke over 128, I think we got 128 and a half for the show. It just got hit by NCAAB betting group literally one minute ago, so you can get 126 now if you like it. Yeah, I like the over here. Tennessee without Ziegler has looked a little faster to me, Duke’s offense is cleaning up. Biggest thing for me is closest comparable, so who’s the slowest team Duke has played all year? It would be Virginia twice. The two Virginia games, the totals were closed at 125 and a half and 127.

You’re talking one point off now, in between those two numbers. I think Tennessee is much faster and much more competent on offense than a Virginia team is, and they want to go much faster relative to a Virginia team just because Virginia is so slow. Other the end of the spectrum, who’s the slowest team Tennessee has played? Tennessee played Ole Miss in conference tournament. They’re killing Ole Miss, they slowed down even more than typical, that game closed 127 and a half. Is Duke faster than Ole Miss? Yes. Are they more competent in offense? Yes. This is a three and a half point game, four point game. Fouls come in play a lot here. Also, how tired your legs are, this defense is going to be great. Give me an over at 128 and a half, you can get a 126 now. Definitely, like that obviously, but I think this plays into the low 130s.

TJ:

Kyle, I can just tell you from being in the arena and seeing them up close in person, Duke has got length, they’ve got size, now Tennessee’s got some size as well here in this one. As you can see there from that note, beware going against Duke here. They have been a cover machine, that’s a good way to put it, over the last two weeks or so, ever since the Carolina win a couple of Saturdays ago and in the ACC tournament. All right, Kyle. What is your thought on Duke? Blue Devils trying to get into the Sweet 16 with Jon Scheyer as the first year coach. I know you’re tepid at best on Rick Barnes in the coaching matchup. Thought, Kyle Hunter, real quick.

Kyle:

Tepid at best is a really nice way of putting it, TJ. Tennessee, they they’ve been good home this year and they’re not good on the road, at 361st and away from home performance at a 363. Momentum-wise, Duke has all the momentum. If you look at early season data, you would think this is a crazy line. If you look at recent data only, the line makes decent amount of sense. I’m not here to argue that this is a great value taking due, because the line is priced in a way that I don’t think it’s a tremendous value, but Rick Barnes is two and 14 against the spread in his last 16 and NCAA tournament games.

I’m going to pay to see Rick Barnes put a good performance here against a good Duke team. If they do, then they do, I’ll tip my cap. I think Duke is just a much better team than Tennessee at this point. Tennessee, obviously, banged up. A team that hasn’t played well on the road all season. Duke peaking at the right time, playing some really good basketball right now. I think Filipowski will be a difficult matchup for the Tennessee team, so I’m going to lay the points here with Duke.

TJ:

All right, we like this. It is the first official play. Actually, both guys making an official play here on the show. We’re going to lock them both in. Corbie Craig says, “Give me points.” Again, you may find the number much lower already, but on the BetUS line, when we locked it in for the show about an hour ago, as we come to you live on Saturday, it was 128 and a half. He likes the over there, he obviously likes it much better now at 126 for the over. Kyle says, “Lay the points.” Dude, what a great stat, two and 14 in the last 16 tournament games for Rick Barnes, ATS. Look out, look out in this one for Duke if they get going. Again, curiously, the winner here on the floor in Orlando will get the winner of Fairleigh Dickinson and Florida Atlantic come next weekend.

We look there at the east bracket. Even though this is an east bracket game in Orlando, the matchup up at the top middle of the screen there is Fairleigh Dickinson, Florida Atlantic, and Columbus. Tomorrow we’ll get the winner of Duke, Tennessee, you see down at the bottom. Marquette, the two-seed, pushed through Kansas State, the three-seed pushed through. Those teams are playing tomorrow to get to New York. Kentucky, Kansas State, Michigan State, and Marquette. Good job, Alejandro, there with the bracket. All right, we will have time for your questions and answers, we hope, here towards the end of the show. Standby. You’re going to get every game discussed right now. I know the live chat’s going. Corbie and Kyle are answering people typing in the live chat. You see some live comments coming on the bottom of the screen. We’ll try to get to a question or two, including a Sunday game or two here on the show.

I see the live audience growing and growing again. Thank you for finding us. All right, the next game chronologically that’s up is in Des Moines, Iowa. Top-seed Kansas against Arkansas. A winner in the eight, nine matchup over Illinois. Kansas, again, a short four-point favorite. The total, 143. Guys, I looked right before the show. I don’t see anything definitive on Bill Self coaching. You guys may have the update on whether Self is coaching this game. Did not coach the first game in Des Moines, I don’t know that he’s with the team. Norm Roberts, his longtime assistant, filled in at the end of the year in the Big 12 tournament, filled in the opening win. It was very easy against Howard. All right, let’s get into the discussion here. If Self is not there to X and O, Corbie, I guess let’s go to you first, how big a factor is that and a matchup with an Arkansas team that’s got some length and some talent? Quick thought.

Corbie:

Yeah, heading into the SEC tournament felt like this Arkansas team was a dark horse. They were in a good spot with a lot of talent that hadn’t been there all year and they look like a good team. It seems like the market tends to agree. A couple groups about Arkansas at this point, they just got bad again, but you can get a four and a half right now in some books, which is interesting. The whole Norm Roberts thing I don’t think is a big deal as much as people probably make it out to be.

TJ:

Let me just interrupt. Kansas has confirmed within the last five minutes, Bill Self will not coach the game. He’s not there in Des Moines, did not make the trip. Norm Roberts remains the coach. Continue on, Corbie.

Corbie:

Yeah, for some schools that’s probably a bigger deal than it is Kansas. Norm Roberts knows what he is doing, he’s been through this a million times. He’s fine. Obviously, Bill Self would be much better. I think Bill Self’s probably one of the best coaches I’ve ever watched personally. I’m 26, so that doesn’t mean a ton, but Bill Self, great coach. I think all of his peers are equally as good. I’m not too worried about that, it’s more, does Arkansas have the talent to stay in front of Kansas? We’ve seen this Kansas team a million times struggle versus big posts, so does Arkansas have the ability to get down low, get scrappy, get rebounds? Kansas, more than anybody in the nation, really… It depends on referees, so like ref fandom and blowing close whistles, really soft whistles are going to help Kansas a ton. Obviously, you can’t cap that. Maybe hop on a Kansas live if these whistles are soft, but that’s about it for me.

TJ:

All right. Again, we saw Gradey Dick shoot the ball well in this arena on Friday. Arkansas again with Nick Smith and their length out of the SCC. Kyle Hunter, a thought including maybe on the total in this game coming up Kansas and Arkansas this afternoon.

Kyle:

Yeah. The totals have just been going under across the board, so it’s certainly, at least, a little bit nerve-wracking to take an over, but that would be my lean in this game. I think the under was 14 and two yesterday, something like that. This is a game that I’d have to take the over if I was taking a total, because I think the pace here will be really quick. I don’t think Arkansas will try to slow down the pace. If anything, they like to try to run, get out, and transition before Kansas sets up their defense at a game like this. Both teams, pretty good at finishing around the hoop. Arkansas has been especially good at finishing around the hoop. Kansas, a good defense in general, they’re better at defending the three point line than they are at defending the hoop.

I think both teams get second chances in a game like this, both of these teams are really good at crashing the offensive boards. Also, both teams good at getting to the line, so I think we’ll get enough free throws, enough second chances that this should be a relatively high scoring game, especially based on the tempo. As far as the side, I don’t know what to do with the side here. I would probably slightly [inaudible 00:18:14] in Kansas, but this has gone up a bit from the three and a half that it was there yesterday. My strongest lean would be the over. I think this should be a good game, looking forward to watching this one.

TJ:

Again, Kansas confirming here in this half hour, the game is later this afternoon in Des Moines, Bill Self not there, will not coach. Norm Roberts is the coach again. Coached them in the Big 12 title game, longtime Self assistant, former coach for a while at St. John’s for a few years, came back to Kansas. He also coached the team, guys, you know this, at the beginning of the year, when Self was suspended for four games. He’s got a lot of experience, let’s see what that means. Is it advantage Eric Musselman, who’s been in the Sweet 16 with Arkansas, been in the Sweet 16 with Nevada. What will happen in this one? No official play from the handicaps. Real quick, Alejandro, let’s show them the west bracket. These teams will eventually end up… The winner of this game will end up in Las Vegas, but all of the teams in the round of 32 are playing to get there in the west bracket.

The only other west bracket game is Northwestern UCLA down at the bottom for today, we’ll talk about that game later. You see St. Mary’s, UConn. TCU, Gonzaga will be playing tomorrow out of the west bracket. Kansas is obviously the one-seed left up at the top. All right, let’s continue chronologically with the next matchup that we’re going to discuss and this one will have an official play, I do believe, on it as well. Coming up, it is Missouri and Princeton. The Tigers off of their win over Utah State, Princeton off the shocker where they totally outplayed Arizona in the final five minutes to win a close game on Thursday. Two-seed gone here, 15 against a seven. Hello. For a spot in the Sweet 16, we see that Missouri is favored in this one. Mizzou, a six and a half point favorite, the total, 147 and a half. A pair of tigers going against each other. Missouri Tigers, Princeton Tigers. Kyle Hunter, back to you for an official play. What do you like in this matchup?

Kyle:

Yeah. In this matchup, I think Princeton knows, going into it, that they can’t get out and run with Missouri. It would be pretty stunning if they decide to try to get this into a track meet with Missouri. Princeton did a really good job controlling the pace against Arizona. They’re one for one on having good game plans going into a game and playing their style of basketball. I think they’d make it two for two here. The thing that would hurt this is if Princeton gets way down early, then they can’t keep stalling, and keep this lower scoring. I do think Missouri team total under is a good play here. Missouri is a good offense, I don’t know that they’re a fantastic offense, at least in the half court. They’re good when they get out and transition, certainly. Princeton, very well coached, a team that is going to play their style of basketball.

If you’re going to have this [inaudible 00:20:58], I think both teams kind of have to be running or else you have to be making a ton of shots. We’ve seen a lot of unders in this. It’s a neutral court, obviously. This is a good Missouri team total under, because I expect Princeton to do a good job getting defensive rebounds, not fouling a lot. Unless Missouri’s really knocking down the three, I think Princeton could keep this a little closer than some people think. This is a sneaky, close game and I like Missouri team total to stay under.

TJ:

Again, Princeton won the Ivy League and the ghost of Pete Carril was with him there. That was what? Some 27 years ago, that they upset UCLA in the NCAA tournament. UCLA, the defending champs, when they beat them with that half court style of play, all the backdoor cuts, and the high motion offense. All right. Now, a matchup with Missouri for a spot in the Sweet 16 that’s in Sacramento. It’s the first game up on the floor in Sacramento, 3:00 Pacific time, 6:00 Eastern time. Corbie Craig, a quick thought or two.

Corbie:

Yeah. Give me the Tigers outright, TJ.

TJ:

Because they’re both tigers.

Corbie:

Can’t lose there. Yeah, it’s a weird matchup. Missouri’s a really bad defensive rebounding team. 362nd in the nation, they allow 37% on the offensive glass. We’ve seen Princeton be able to rebound pretty well, they all crash the glass. The issue is I don’t think this Arizona game… This number obviously is pushed down to the Arizona outcome and I think Arizona was more of a sleepwalk game. Also, Arizona, a bit overrated. I feel like everybody would agree at this point. They scored 55 points, but it was a sleep book. They scored 55 points in their opening ground, they weren’t expecting to have to play Princeton to a tough game. Princeton, before this, was the 100th team in the nation and they only got in, because they won their auto-bid. I don’t give as much credit as probably most should to this Princeton team, so I lean towards Missouri to get done in most cases, but to cover this number, you’re going to have to have enough possessions and I don’t know if Missouri gets it.

A lean for me would be Princeton’s team total under. Basically the same idea as Kyle’s, but taking the other team. I don’t know if Princeton can get enough done. Also, their offense takes a lot of time to develop, so if Missouri is slowed down by any means, then I don’t think Princeton gets there.

TJ:

What will happen with D’Moi Hodge in Missouri? How about Dennis Gates, the coach? Already got a contract extension, guys, last weekend. In and around the SEC tournament when he was winning games. What happens if they keep winning in the NCAA tournament? Is he going to get another raise later on? We’ll find out, if that’s the case. Again, the official play belongs to Kyle Hunter on this game, on our BetUS college basketball show. Kyle says Missouri’s team total will be kept down by the pace of the game. They will score, but not score 77 or more. He’s going under the team total of 77 for Missouri in that second round game. All right, we’re halfway home here. Hit that like button. Man, the live audience is soaring. We may break the record again on a Saturday before the eight games of round two Saturday, we got eight more on Sunday.

We’ll try to get to some live Q and A in a few moments, but you guys hit that like button. Make sure you’re subscribed, we’re trying to get to 5,000 subscribers. Whether you’re watching us live right now or whether you’re seeing us a little later in the day, hit subscribe, as you see right there on the screen. That’ll help us as we’re trying to get to 5,000 here in the first weekend of March, in all the madness and the mayhem. Speaking of the mayhem, how mayhem will it be in Birmingham at the Legacy Arena where Corbie Craig is, in and around Birmingham, for Auburn and Houston? This is coming up tonight. The first game on the floor, the top seed, Houston, laying five and a half. Wow. Total, 132 in this matchup. A lot of people pointing to Auburn.

With Houston damaged, Marcus Sasser injured, Shead, the point guard, also got hurt in the Northern Kentucky game. Auburn won on this floor against Iowa, Auburn will easily have several thousand fans. We’ll find out in the battle of the Iron Bowl. Battle of tickets between Alabama and Auburn. Who got more tickets? Auburn will have some fans in this building. Corbie Craig, will the Alabama fans coming in the building for the Bama game later, will they cheer for Auburn? You’re nodding all along to knock Houston out. All right, Corbie, quick thoughts here on this matchup. Auburn trying to knock out a one seat.

Corbie:

Yeah. I have too much information on this game, because I live two minutes away. Trying to get tickets to Saturday’s game, they opened at $150, they’re currently $490. Every Alabama fan will be there rooting for Auburn, every Auburn fan will be there rooting for Alabama, 100%.

TJ:

Realistically, will Auburn have two or 3000 fans that got their hands on tickets? You think that’s realistic to make noise?

Corbie:

Yeah. Yeah, even if they don’t, Alabama fans turn into Auburn fans for that game, 100%. If Alabama can get Houston out of the bracket as fast as they can, they do not care. That said, I think this market has adjusted to, A, that idea, B, the idea of Sasser being hurt. Yes he is hurt, that obviously is the most important part of all of this. I still think this number’s too soft. It was a five last night, I bet it’s five and a half. I still feel pretty decent. Houston is the best team in the nation in my opinion. Auburn also, they beat Iowa, yes, but Iowa shot miserably in that game. I think they were two for 20 from three at one point. All credits to the Tigers, they look good. They have the pieces, but I think it’s too much, too late. We see a traditional Houston game where this game is close with four minutes left and then they went by ten.

Sasser is the entire epitome of all of this, so maybe wait until it’s live, see if he looks okay. If he doesn’t, wouldn’t get on this by any means. If he’s not in the game, they might lose outright, but I think Houston’s the side here.

TJ:

Kyle Hunter, some thoughts here. Bruce Pearl, Kelvin Sampson. Both coaches have a ton of experience in the NCAA tournament, both have been to the final four. Any thoughts, Kyle, including on the total here? Auburn and Houston.

Kyle:

To start, Iowa missed a lot of open shots in that game. Iowa was really playing very poorly, at least offensively. I’ve referenced shot quality many times before. Shot quality thinks that Iowa should have won that game 80 to 78, instead of losing by eight points. That goes to say that Iowa did have some open shots that they missed. I don’t think Auburn played great in a game like that, I think that was more about Iowa losing that game. Auburn are certainly capable, but they’re very inconsistent. This is an Auburn team that ranks 350th in the country out of 363, inconsistency. I don’t know what I’m going to get from them. I do think I know what I’m going to get from Houston, especially coming off of a poor performance like they had last game. Everybody’s doubting Houston at this point. Obviously, to be fair, I wish I knew how Sasser was doing before I wanted to lay points here, and that that’s why-

TJ:

I can help you. I’m not an expert, we’re just playing it on BetUS TV. He tried to play-

Corbie:

I am.

TJ:

Okay. Yes, Dr. Corbie. He tried to play Thursday, groin injuries are usually at least a two-week thing, if it’s serious enough as he did in the American conference, went down in a heap, and limped off the floor. They were trying to play him Thursdays, five or six days later. He is not anywhere close to 80%. If you are thinking, “Sasser’s going to get out there and maybe inspire him,” or whatever. I think he’s a liability and I could totally see them right before the game deciding, “He can’t help us and we’re just going to have to play without him,” or, “If we try to play him, it’s going to be obvious.” Again, I don’t know if we’re talking about The Karate Kid with Mr. Miyagi, and clap the hands and rub it to get the body parts to work. I don’t know what we’re doing there [inaudible 00:28:38] Sasser in this. It would not surprise me, Kyle, I don’t want to hijack the whole conversation, that Houston just leaves him on the bench for this entire game, because he couldn’t help them the other night and it was obvious. Go ahead.

Kyle:

I understand where you’re coming from, I guess. Houston could cover this number even without him playing, I think they are a good enough team even without him. This would be a good spot for them to show that they’re not just a one-man team. Kelvin Sampson’s team is a good team, that’s a really tough out in the NCAA tournament. If they were playing a team that I really trusted a lot, then I wouldn’t be leaning their way, but I don’t think Auburn’s a very trustworthy team. Could they pull the upset here based on the circumstances? Certainly, I wouldn’t want to bet on it. Houston is my lean. 61% of the bet’s on Auburn here, people are going to bet Auburn based on what they saw in the last game. Maybe we get a five again before the game. I don’t know, we’ll see.

TJ:

I’m kidding around with these guys, because we’re in a BetUS madness contest, where we make one pick a day with the monopoly money that we’re picking with. I got two words for you, boys. Auburn outright. They are winning this game with Houston, watch what happens tonight. Not an official play from the handicappers coming up here on Auburn and Houston. Will this be the second one-seed to go out before this weekend and the crazy season that it has been? We shall see. All right, let’s continue. Let’s go back to the Des Moines pod, this is also in the Midwest bracket. This is to see, Texas against Penn State. Penn State as the 10-seat. Very impressive, off the Big 10 tournament and how well they played there. They played very well against Texas A&M back on Thursday night. Now it’s Texas laying five with a total of 138 in this matchup. Kyle Hunter, I am right back to you for a thought on Texas, Penn State’s second game up on the floor in the Midwest bracket for the two-seed.

The winner’s going to get the winner of Pitt and Xavier. Thoughts on the Horns and the Nittanies.

Kyle:

I’m looking forward to this game, I think this is my favorite game as a fan today. I think Penn State was super impressive in game one, Texas A&M was was underseeded. They didn’t look like they were underseeded in the first game, but I think that was more about Penn State playing so well. Jalen Pickett is fantastic, just really a lot of fun to watch. He sets up everybody so well. Obviously, a clash of styles here, because Penn State likes to slow it down, Texas does like to play relatively quickly. Penn State is playing excellent here at the end of the season. Texas, though, coming into this with plenty of momentum as well. I don’t know what I would do on the side here in a game like this, because I’d want to bet Penn State, but I feel like five and a half is not a ton of points here in a game like this. Maybe over again.

It’s hard to take an over, but this to me, is a game that could come down to fouls at the end of the game. The spread would suggest that as well, so that would be my lean.

TJ:

All right, you saw again there on the screen, that Texas is down at the bottom of the bracket as the two-seed. The Horns with Rodney Terry as the interim coach have played very well, they’re the Big 12 tournament champs. Corbie Craig, did we have any thought on this one, including maybe on a total here for Texas and Penn State on the BetUS line? The total is 138 that we got for the show. Any thoughts here, Corbie?

Corbie:

Yeah, can you hear me?

TJ:

We can, we got you.

Corbie:

Perfect, all right. It says I’m muted. Okay. Yeah, this Texas team has been faster than they’ve been paced all year. I always lean towards an under, but this number just seems way too low. I was hoping to get like 141, 142 and bet this under. Penn State’s a team who always can shoot the three and look dangerous. As Kyle said, Pickett’s been great, but other than that, who do they have? They have Myles Dread who seems like he always hits the right shot at the right time, but I’m just not buying on this Penn State offense by any means other than Pickett. Give me probably lean towards Texas at the under, but both of these numbers are pretty spot on. I have nothing on this game. I was hoping to hop on Texas at a pretty short number after Penn State whomped around Texas A&M, but this number seems about right.

TJ:

Again, for the Horns, Sir’Jabari Rice had 23 in the win over Colgate, they were impressive. It’s in Des Moines, they’ll have fans in the arena. Penn State will have some fans, but Texas will have more fans regionally, you would believe, in this matchup. All right, so we do not have an official play on this one, but there are some thoughts on Texas and Penn State coming up Saturday evening for a spot in the Sweet 16. Two more games that we’re going to discuss officially, we’ll try to get in a couple of live questions. The guys will have a couple of thoughts on Sunday games. Eight more games on Sunday in a few minutes. If you’re just joining us, we’re here at 11:00 AM weekdays, Monday through Friday. Special Saturday show today, but Monday through Friday catch us on BetUS TV all next week talking Sweet 16 and eventually to the Elite Eight here on BetUS TV.

Thank you for finding us as our live show continues to soar here on a Saturday. Two games to go. Let’s get into it with Northwestern and UCLA. This is a matchup out of the west bracket with UCLA as the two-seed. Northwestern won only their second NCAA tournament game ever winning the other night over Boise State impressively. All right, so this matchup coming up in Sacramento, it is the second game on the floor. UCLA laying seven and a half, they were very impressive against UNC Asheville. Scored the first 14 points of the game, 14 nil, and never looked back. Total 126 and a half. Corbie Craig, right back to you. I’ll make you smile. One of my twin daughters… I got almost 15-year-old twin daughters, they barely follow this, but they keep up with mascots colors, they know about UCLA. One of them asked me, “Can Northwestern beat UCLA?” I said, “Why are you asking?” She goes, “Because I have them winning the national title.” All right, I’ll ask you the same question. Can Northwestern beat UCLA? What are your thoughts?

Corbie:

I don’t think so. I’ve been low on this Northwestern team all year and I think the biggest point, biggest catalyst to it, is look at this total, 126 and a half. That tells you enough about both of these teams, Northwestern in particular, but, “Can they cover a seven and a half?” Is the better question, because I don’t see them winning. Seven and a half points and, on total, 126 is a ton of points. I just hate this Northwestern offense, I don’t think they’re that good. UCLA, obviously, some injury issues, that’s the biggest cause of concern for them as of late, but I still think they’re playing really good basketball. I would lean towards UCLA seven and a half, I just do not feel comfortable laying.

There are a lot of games on this sleeve that are just in that weird gray area of like… I could see UCLA covering a seven and a half, I could also see Northwestern in a layup with six seconds left. Nothing for me, this total 126 is quite an obnoxious thing, this ends close to the 125 range. Again, nothing for me, not fun by any means. Maybe a UCLA first half if anything for me, but nothing fun here.

TJ:

Yeah, Northwestern with good guard play, UCLA, though, did so well with UNC Asheville, just locked them down. Kyle, it is a low total. Thoughts on the total in this west bracket game with UCLA and Northwestern?

Kyle:

Yeah, it’s a super low total. I will say I was certainly disappointed in the Boise and Northwestern under I had the other day. The pace was 60 possessions, just insane efficiency. Not something you’re used to seeing from Northwestern, 1.25 points per possession. They shot the ball so well and Northwestern could not get a defensive rebound to save their life, Boise with 20 offensive rebounds in that game. I have to think that UCLA saw the tape there and they’re going to crash the offensive boards in a game like this. Jaime Jaquez is tremendous, I think he’s even underrated by some people. I think he has a really big game in a game like this. If you have props, I like the Jaquez overs, especially on rebounds.

I don’t think Northwestern has a very good shot to win a game like this. The question is, “Do you want to lay seven and a half points?” Like Corbie said there, seven and a half points is tough. You got a total of 126 and a half and you got to win by eight points. If Northwestern has a good run at some point here and you can bet UCLA [inaudible 00:37:01], I think that could be a good angle. Laying seven and a half points with a total of 126 and a half, you’re not going to get rich long term.

TJ:

Again, UNC Asheville, they were laying 17 and a half, or 18, and they covered it easily, but this is a much tougher opponent, it looks like. Boo Buie and Northwestern. Can Northwestern get in the Sweet 16 for the first time ever? We will find out. Coming up again, this is the west bracket. You see Kansas and Arkansas are playing in Des Moines, Iowa this afternoon up at the top with the one playing the eighth there. This is UCLA, Northwestern, down at the bottom. The two-seed in the west bracket, the winners advance again to Las Vegas for the Sweet 16 Elite Eight to try to go to the final four. There are your matchups coming on Saturday at the top and bottom of that west bracket. One game to go, some Q and A to go. We’ll touch on Sunday a little bit, we’re almost done here for a Saturday.

That final game is right back in Birmingham. Sweet home Alabama. If I had said to either of you before Alabama played the 16-seed, Texas A&M in Corpus Christi, that Brandon Miller is going to score zero points in the game, you would’ve probably thought at that point that Alabama has trouble scoring. They still scored what? 84, 85 points. Now, some of that may be the opponent. This is a better opponent in Maryland. Bama laying eight and a half. Little bit of a question mark on Brandon Miller with a groin injury. Alabama revealing that after the game, he’s battling tightness in the groin. All right. He was zero for seven from the floor, is he going to have a breakout game? We’re going to find out here in this one. Again, our total in this matchup, in the final game of eight, is 143. Kyle Hunter, let me come right back to you. A quick thought or two on Alabama and Maryland out of the Big 10 in the final game of the night in Birmingham? It will be like an Alabama home away from home game.

Kyle:

Sure will. Maryland wasn’t good away from home this year, so that would concern me a good amount here. Maryland, 294th in away from home rating, 362nd in consistency, so you never know what you’re going to get out of this Maryland team. Are they capable of great effort? Sure, capable of laying an egg and getting blown out here? Definitely. They’re going to need Miller at some point throughout this tournament to be really good, tonight might not be the night that they need that. I don’t know what to do with a total in a game like this, because it really depends on if Maryland can hang around, because Bama does have a really good defense. I think it’s underrated that Alabama plays really fast and people think about the fact that they can score a lot of points, but top five defense, efficiency-wise, that’s been excellent all year. Relatively high total based on how good their defense is, but I think the pace will be pretty quick. I don’t have anything strong in this one, I just have to be honest. This is probably my least favorite game to bet, of the day today.

TJ:

All right, Corbie Craig, you are right there in the vicinity. Alabama will descend, that Crimson Tide will descend. Shout-out to my buddy Chris Stewart, the play-by-play voice of the Alabama Crimson Tide. This is what it’s all about. Spot in the Sweet 16, Maryland had an up and down game where they were trailing big early against West Virginia, then they were up, then West Virginia got it retied, and Maryland won the game in the eight, nine game. Thoughts? There’s a lot of talk in the chat about Maryland and the side. Any thoughts on the Terps as a live doggie there getting those points?

Corbie:

Yeah. I know we have a hard [inaudible 00:40:28] in a second, so I’ll try to keep it quick. A couple of things first, Brandon Miller hurt, obviously. The total leaning over… I’ve had Maryland overs all year. Maryland plays pretty fast transition offense at 10% transition rate, which is pretty quick, and they’re shooting the ball decently now. Lean towards the over in this number, I would like a 141 probably, I’m not there yet. Also, just a quick note. Underdog fantasy had a promo. There was Brandon Miller over half a point and he didn’t score. I thought that was quite interesting. They still grade it as a win, but if they didn’t, man, talk about a sharp line. Brandon Miller, half a point? I thought it was interesting, I think Bama gets the job done.

TJ:

What did I see that… Here’s one more stat. It was the first time in over 25 years, they’re still looking, that a player in the NCAA tournament that had been averaging over 20 points a game played at least 10 minutes of the game and did not score. Think about the hundreds and hundreds, if not thousands of NCAA tournament games that have been played in the last 25 years. That’s the first time it had happened. 20 or more points, 10 or more minutes played, didn’t score a point in the game. Brandon Miller, zero for seven. Again, one more time. Maryland with that line? Is that line right around where it should be? Because everything Alabama does, they’re going to roar in that Legacy Arena and that may affect Maryland, right?

Corbie:

Yeah, I think it is probably right on. Brandon Miller’s the biggest case, I don’t want to bet into the idea that he’s going to be healthy or not healthy. If you think that he’s not going to play, then Maryland is aside, and if you think he’s going to be 100%, eight and a half is almost right at the money. Nothing for me at all.

TJ:

Beautiful. All right. Again, I see the live audience is just growing. We’ve broken the record guys on Saturday, it was worth it to sit here on Saturday. Hit that like button. Do you want to help us out? Hit the like button, make sure you’re subscribed, share this show out. We’re back Monday through Friday next week with the great handicapping advice. These guys have been over 500 the whole year and have given more great advice here in the NCAA tournament. If you like what you’re seeing, help us. Hit the like button, share it out, et cetera. We got time for Q and A real quick and then a couple of thoughts on Sunday games from what these guys might have. Let’s see. I’m not seeing anything NCAA tournament-related right now in the Q and A. If there’s something NCAA tournament related, that’s great, because we’re short on time and we’re only talking about today, if there are questions, and also tomorrow.

Corbie Craig, you are big on Gonzaga tomorrow and a side, what a surprise, in the TCU game. Give the audience something on that, on Gonzaga, T C U coming up in the west bracket in Denver.

Corbie:

Yeah, come to find out, I think Kyle has a bigger Gonzaga ticket than me. I didn’t know this, because I rep it on my head, but Kyle’s like, “Yeah, 41. No big deal.” Yeah, I like this Zags team, I think TCU is in bigger shambles than the markets adjusting for it. Lampkin literally left the team due to issues with the coaching staff. Mike Miles, obviously, a really good player. They have good talent, but I just think that there’s too much going on. If this game would’ve been a month ago, I feel good about this four… That’s probably a good number, four and a half. TCU struggled versus Arizona State, Gonzaga, too many pieces too often, too quick. Drew Timme with no Lampkin, give me all of it. Every day, four and a half. That’s a Sunday official place, since we won’t be here tomorrow, on my best bet. I’ll have Gonzaga at four and a half.

TJ:

All right, so Kyle’s nodding along with that future’s play. We do have a question. Commander GRF3 is asking about K State, Kentucky. I don’t have the spread in front of me. He’s asking specifically about that spread in that three versus six matchup in Greensboro. Guys, you got anything on that? Kyle, you got anything on that?

Kyle:

I’m looking for the spread here as well, because I’ve been so laser-focused on today-

TJ:

I would think K State is at least a three or four-point favorite just out of hand, right? Yes?

Corbie:

Then you would love the plus two, TJ.

Kyle:

It’s plus two. Yeah.

TJ:

Wow, how about that?

Corbie:

Kentucky minus one and a half, that surprises me.

TJ:

I would be all over that with K State. I don’t know what I’m getting with Kentucky, Kyle. Correct?

Kyle:

Was Kentucky that impressive yesterday against Providence? That was a pretty ugly game in general. Second half had 40 some points in that game. I don’t think Providence was very good, so I think Kentucky’s getting a little too much love with that number.

TJ:

Kyle, do you have something from Sunday? Not that it has to be an official play, something from the eight game Sunday besides Gonzaga or this K State Kentucky game. You got something real quick?

Kyle:

Man, I’ll tell you. The game that I’m really looking forward to watching is Creighton and Baylor. That was one that I really had a hard time trying to figure out what to take in the brackets, because I think both of those two teams are capable of making a run. I think that game could be… 146 is fairly high, I was hoping for a low number to take it over. Kent State plus the points, I’m leaning that way as well. Marquette minus two and a half would be a lean of mine as well. I think Michigan State might be a bit overvalued after their solid performance against the USC team that really wasn’t the same with Drew Peterson struggling. Those are some of my initial takes and I agree with Corbie’s take on Gonzaga minus four and half. I don’t think TCU can make the same mistakes that they got away with against Arizona State.

TJ:

Intriguing that Florida Atlantic… If you had said before the year began, “Florida Atlantic, you’re going to win an NCAA tournament game and you’re going to be favored by 14 in the second round to go to the Sweet 16.” What drugs are you on? Drug test immediately, but that’s the case. They’re favored by 14 over Fairleigh Dickinson, for what it’s worth, in the nine versus 16 game on Sunday in Columbus, Ohio. Very intriguing games. Again, Marquette in action tomorrow, Gonzaga in action tomorrow. Let’s see what happens in some of these different matchups for tomorrow. All right, here’s what we’re on for today. If you join us late on the show, you see we discussed the eight games. You can go back and see the whole show, and it’ll also be broken up by the great staff at BetUS individually, all those eight games.

The guys have those plays in front of you. They both have a play in the Duke, Tennessee game. Kyle’s on a side, Corbie’s got the total. Kyle likes Missouri under the 77 in their matchup against the other Tigers, the 15-seed upstart Princeton Tigers. Again, Corbie is officially playing Gonzaga for Sunday, laying five and a half in the game with TCU. With that guys, we’ve got to get out of here for a Saturday. Thank you to the audience. Again, peeps, be back next week, Monday through Friday, 11:00 AM if you liked what you saw here. You should love the handicapping, because it’s been doing well. 11:00 AM next week. Final thoughts, Corbie Craig, real quick.

Corbie:

Yeah. What a round one. Round two, I hope is just as exciting, just as many fireworks. Excited to see y’all on Monday.

TJ:

Let’s see what happens in Alabama where you are. Kyle Hunter, you are not far from the mayhem in Columbus, by the way, where we saw Florida Atlantic and Fairleigh Dickinson both pull upsets and now play each other. Final thought?

Kyle:

Yeah, thanks for showing up everybody. Great performance from the chat and everybody tuning in today on a Saturday morning. Let’s hope we can get some great games today.

TJ:

We just smashed the live audience record here on the BetUS College Basketball Show. There’s the big board, it’s going to narrow down to 16 teams by Sunday night late. We’re anxious to talk all about it next week, starting Monday at 11:00 AM. Boys, great stuff. Alejandro, everybody at BetUS, great job. Thank you, Kyle Hunter. Thank you, Corbie Craig. Don’t forget to check out our sportsbook website. We thank you for watching the BetUS College Basketball Show for a special Saturday.

 

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