NCAA Tournament Betting: March 20

NCAA Tournament Betting: March 20

Well, the Madness has officially begun. And Day 1 of the 2015 NCAA tournament didn’t disappoint. The Big 12 was a big flop, going 0-3 overall, including the shocking defeats of No. 3 seeds Iowa State and Baylor, both of whom fell by a single point. The Bruins of UCLA showed they do indeed belong in the Field by knocking off favored SMU on a controversial, albeit correct, goaltending call as time ran down. Harvard gave North Carolina a scare, and Villanova pummeled Lafayette by 41. Oh, and Kentucky won their 35th consecutive game in routing tiny Hampton. What will Day 2 have in store? Time will tell. Here are some previews and predictions for the first Friday of the Tourney.

(10) Davidson vs. (7) Iowa -3 – The Hawkeyes were on a roll before losing to lowly Penn State in the Big Ten tournament. Was that an anomaly, or a harbinger of things to come? Davidson seized the A-10 regular season crown, but were hammered by 20 at the hands of VCU in the tournament. The Wildcats can flat out score, led by three-point snipers Tyler Kalinoski, Jack Gibbs, and Brian Sullivan. Iowa plays solid defense, but poor shooting will hamper them in this one. The Hawkeyes are 0-4 ATS in their last four tournament tilts. Davidson is 7-0 ATS in its last seven non-conference games.

Bet Davidson +3

(14) Albany vs. (3) Oklahoma -13 – Here we go again with a No. 3 seed from the Big 12. The Sooners were nipped by Iowa State in the tourney final, but have February victories over West Virginia, Kansas, Texas, and Oklahoma State on their resume. They possess good size in the paint, and boast a dynamic scorer in junior guard Buddy Hield, who has notched 21 or more points in three of his last five starts. The Great Danes dominated the America East Conference, going 15-1. They have also won 22 of 24 since a 4-game skid in early December. They play excellent defense and shoot free-throws at a 76% clip. Oklahoma is 1-7 ATS in its last eight overall. Albany is 0-5 ATS in its last five. Tough to trust a Big 12 team to cover right now.

Bet Albany +13

(16) Coastal Carolina vs. (1) Wisconsin -19.5 – Excluding the loss at Rutgers on January 11th that didn’t feature Frank Kaminksy due to a concussion, and Wisconsin has lost to Duke and Maryland. That’s it. The aforementioned Kaminsky is the frontrunner for Player of the Year, and the Badgers are an experienced, balanced roster that shoots and defends better than any team in the country that isn’t Kentucky. The Chanticleers are a feisty bunch that can shoot the three and crash the glass. That said, they have yet to face a Top 25 opponent, let alone one of the five best teams in the nation. Badgers are 4-0-1 ATS in their last five tournament games. Coastal Carolina is 10-3 ATS in its last 13 overall. This won’t be as lopsided as last year’s Wisconsin opener, but look for No. 1 to cover.

Bet Wisconsin -19.5

(15) North Dakota St vs. (2) Gonzaga -17.5 – The Zags have won six straight tourney openers by an average of 12 points. Paced by Kentucky transfer Kyle Wiltjer, they rank 1st in field goal percentage and 10th in scoring. Only Arizona and BYU have managed to beat them. The Bison can’t shoot, aren’t very big, and have a short bench. The best competition they faced was Texas and Iowa, and they lost to both by a combined 66 points. Unless senior guard Lawrence Alexander scores 40, this should be a blowout by halftime. North Dakota State is 4-1 ATS in its last five neutral site matchups. Gonzaga is 16-14-1 ATS overall. Back the Zags.

Bet Gonzaga -17.5