Thursday will be tough to follow after the slew of overtime and close games throughout the day that started with a buzzer-beater in Buffalo and ended with overtime between San Diego State and New Mexico State. But today might have more potential as a day full of high-scoring, entertaining teams. And with a 21-4 run over the last 25, it’s certainly not the time to sit anything out today.
One of the earlier games today will feature a play-in winner and a 6-seed looking for respect when Tennessee and UMass throw down in the Midwest region. Despite playing Wednesday and just sneaking into the field to begin with as a 11-seed, Tennessee holds a solid five-point advantage over UMass in Vegas. The A-10 didn’t see much respect after getting six teams into the field and it responded pretty well yesterday with wins by Saint Louis and Dayton along with a heartbreaking loss by St. Joseph’s. I don’t necessarily love UMass in this game but I do as an underdog – and a substantial one at that. The Minutemen will be the first leg of Friday’s two team teaser getting ten points in a game they will simply need to keep a long arm’s reach away. Certainly lots of value in getting the higher seed as a double-digit ‘dog.
The nightcap features Kentucky and Kansas State in a game lots of people love the Wildcats after the way they finished the game against Florida in the SEC Championship. I do like Kentucky to march on here but the value can’t be denied getting Kansas State with 11.5 points. The other Wildcats will have lots of motivation to want a crack at in-state rival Wichita State in the Round of 32 and Bruce Weber’s side is still far more experienced than UK and shouldn’t fade in this game. In fact, it still has as much of a shot as any to win and advance, just as UMass does. K-State rounds off the second leg as 11.5-point underdogs.
Just like yesterday, a teaser in two games that should be tight between four teams that all have a great shot to win. I’ll take the points.
Free Pick: UMass +10 / Kansas State +11.5 Teaser