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2017 NCAA Tournament bracket: Expert picks for Sunday's second-round games

March 19,2017 06:27

Bracket Central · Expert Picks · Latest odds. Sunday's Round of 32 schedule in the NCAA Tournament features eight games. Things start early with Michigan-Louisville and end late with Cincinnati-UCLA. Here's some analysis coupled with predictions ...

 

 

 

 


Download the CBS Sports App today and get instant tournament news and alerts, plus get the latest picks and upsets from SportsLine! Sunday’s Round of 32 schedule in the NCAA Tournament features eight games. Things start early with Michigan-Louisville and end late with Cincinnati-UCLA. Here’s some analysis coupled with predictions -- both straight up and against the spread -- for every matchup. And if you want to keep track throughout the day, just head over to the updating live bracket or our LIVE updating scoreboard. Good luck and enjoy.12:10 p.m. (CBS) Straight-up pick: LouisvilleATS pick: LouisvilleRick Pitino is one win away from coaching in the Sweet 16 for the fifth time in a six-year span — the lone exception being when the Cardinals were banned from last year’s postseason. I suspect he’ll get there because he’s a Hall of Famer and the favorite. But, I’ll be honest, I’m not too enthusiastic about picking against a Michigan team that’s 11-2 in its past 13 games and on a six-game winning streak featuring four victories over fellow NCAA Tournament teams. I’ll do it. But am I nervous? Yeah, I’m nervous. 2:40 p.m. (CBS) Straight-up pick: KentuckyATS pick: Wichita StateThis is the marquee game on Sunday’s schedule — a rematch of that 2014 Round of 32 classic in which Kentucky gave Wichita State its first loss and ended its season three wins short of consecutive Final Fours. That contest wasn’t decided until Fred VanVleet missed a potential game-winner at the buzzer, and I think this game will be similarly tight. So give me Kentucky to win and advance, if only because that replicates my bracket. But I’ll take Wichita State plus the points against the spread. And, let the record show, it won’t surprise me at all if the Shockers actually win outright. I really like both of these teams. And as much as I’m looking forward to the game, it’s frustrating that they’re playing each other in the Round of 32. Each is ranked top five at KenPom. So, for the millionth time, the selection committee got this way wrong and screwed both Kentucky and Wichita State. Anybody arguing otherwise is either stubborn or stupid.  5:15 p.m. (CBS)Straight-up pick: KansasATS pick: KansasWhat Michigan State did to Miami — going from down 10-0 to 78-58 winners — was maybe the most surprising thing about the Round of 64. But let’s not forget the Spartans are still 2-3 in their past five games with losses to an Illinois team that missed the NCAA Tournament — and the Maryland and Minnesota teams that have already been eliminated from the Field of 68. Nobody respects Tom Izzo more than I respect the Hall of Famer. But I’m going to resist the urge to be a prisoner of the moment and lay the points with the Big 12 champs. 6:10 p.m. (TNT)
Straight-up pick: North CarolinaATS pick: North CarolinaMike Anderson has gone from the so-called hot seat to the Round of 32 of the NCAA Tournament. That’s fantastic. But here’s the truth: Arkansas is 0-5 against top-25 KenPom teams with those five losses coming by an average of 18.6 points. North Carolina, of course, is a top-25 KenPom team; the Tar Heels are ranked third. So this is a mismatch that should be a blowout. 7:10 p.m. (TBS) Straight-up pick: Rhode IslandATS pick: Rhode IslandRhode Island is, along with Duke and Michigan, on the short list of hottest teams in the country. And I said on Selection Sunday that the Rams would beat Creighton and then also upset Oregon sans Chris Boucher. No sense in moving away from that prediction now. I genuinely expect Rhode Island to extend its winning streak to 10 and advance to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1998. 7:45 p.m. (truTV) Straight-up pick: BaylorATS pick: USCI love the way USC is playing. And I won’t be shocked if Andy Enfield ends up in the Sweet 16 for the second time, against all odds. But Baylor is the nation’s third-best offensive rebounding team, and USC ranks 250th in defensive rebounding percentage. That’s a bad combination for the Trojans. So I can see USC staying within the number, sure. But I’ll take the Bears to advance to the Sweet 16 for the fourth time in the past eight years. 8:40 p.m. (TNT) Straight-up pick: DukeATS pick: DukeThe idea that Duke, as 2-seed, has to play South Carolina in South Carolina in the Round of 32 seems like a scheduling flaw. But I’m sure Mike Krzyzewski will figure things out. Sindarius Thornwell is a monster. And I would never completely count out Frank Martin. But I just think Duke has too many weapons, and is playing too well, to get caught here by a team that’s 4-6 in its past 10 games. 9:40 p.m. (TBS)
Straight-up pick: UCLAATS pick: UCLAI have UCLA winning the national championship, for better or worse. So I have to take the Bruins. But there will be nothing simple about this matchup with a Cincinnati team that’s 30-5. UCLA has received all of the headlines this season — thanks to marquee wins, a fun style of play and the mouth that belongs to their point guard’s dad. But these schools are ranked 18th and 19th at KenPom. So there’s not much difference between them, at least according to one respected computer. That said, I’m still laying the points with Lonzo Ball and TJ Leaf.

 

 

 

 

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