Murray State’s Ja Morant following a field goal Thursday  (Elise Amendola)
Murray State’s Ja Morant following a field goal Thursday (Elise Amendola)|Associated Press

NCAA Saturday: Guest Selections

Delving into the Round of 32

Bob Vetrone

Bob Vetrone


(Former Temple player)
> Kansas-Auburn (Over 147.5)
Who cares who wins. Let’s go OFFENSE! These teams like to get up and down the court. Auburn averages almost 80 points per game, and Kansas averages almost 76. I know I went to Temple, but when I do that math it equals more than 147.5 . . . I think. The over is what I’m comfortable with but I also think Kansas wins the game.
> Gonzaga (-12.5) over Baylor
The Zags and head coach Mark Few know how to win in the tournament. They are also not averse to piling on. I think they are still steaming from their loss to Saint Mary’s in the WCC conference final and learned something from that. I picked Baylor to lose on Thursday, but that was before I found out Syracuse would be without one of their main starters.


(Radio Personality)
> Kansas (+2) over Auburn
Auburn struggled mightily against New Mexico State, squeaking by the Aggies. Still, they're a slight favorite as a 5 seed over Kansas (a 4). Meanwhile, the Jayhawks obliterated Northeastern on Thursday. It'll be a classic 4 vs. 5 second-round match-up, but Kansas wins, outright.
> Baylor (+12.5) over Gonzaga
Gonzaga should win this game, but given Baylor's first round performance, it is reasonable to expect them to cover, at least, in this game. Zags fans expect to go deep, and their Bulldogs will abide, and survive their first real test of the Dance, but it'll be closer than they expect!


(Former La Salle Player)
> Murray State (+5) over Florida State
The Racers’ run-and-gun style coupled with Ja Morant’s explosiveness and leadership is awesome to watch. If not an outright win, a cover for sure!
> Wofford (+5) over Kentucky
The threes will continue to fall for the Terriers. The Wildcats’ run-and-jump defense will burn them when Wofford handles their pressure and finds open jumpers all day long.


(Co-owner High Tides Restaurant)
> Purdue (-3.5) over Villanova
The betting public is going to hammer Villanova with the points and Vegas is smarter than you and me put together.
> Auburn (-2) over Kansas
I have them reaching the Final 4 in all my pools. You’re welcome.
> Kentucky (-5) over Wofford
Every once in the while, Vegas puts out a bad line and then you’ve got to bet with the public. And win.


(Penn Hall of Fame Player)
> Kentucky (-5) over Wofford
PJ Washington’s availability scares me but the Wildcats have too much talent to fail.
> Gonzaga (-12.5) over Baylor
Zags are an offensive powerhouse and we’re not sure Baylor can score another 79 like they did against Syracuse. Gonzaga has scored big points versus Power 5 opponents, including Duke.
> Florida State (-5) over Murray State
Hugely athletic FSU and survived Vermont and should get their sea legs here. Rebounding and defense keep score down as they stretch it out in transition.


(Host of South Jersey Sports Talk on
> Florida State (-5.5) over Murray State
The Seminoles didn’t cover the 10.5-point spread against Vermont in a 76-69 win (much to my disappointment), but the Seminoles will be more interested against the Racers with star Ja Morant. The talented sophomore guard is billed as a top-five NBA draft pick, but FSU coach Leonard Hamilton will swarm five long athletes in waves against Morant and the Seminoles have plenty on offense to win by more than two three-pointers.
> Maryland (+1.5) over LSU
I’m not anti-LSU even though my upset special was picking Yale over the Tigers outright in the first round. Still, Yale did cover the modest eight-point spread in the five-point loss, so clearly LSU isn’t the same squad without its suspended coach Will Wade, who is tangled in an alleged pay-for-play scheme. Meanwhile, Maryland has a terrific coach in Mark Turgeon and the Terps are coming off a solid first-round win over an under-rated Belmont team.
> Kentucky (-6) over Wofford
John Calipari won by as many points as the Kentucky coach wanted to against Abilene Christian, settling on 35 in the first round, and the Wildcats will do the same against Wofford. Senior guard Fletcher Magee (the NCAA all-time leader in three-pointers) and Wofford (which won its first NCAA tourney game in the first round against Seton Hall) are terrific story lines, but Kentucky is double digits better.
> Michigan (-6.5) over Florida
Picked Michigan to cover the 15.5-point number in the 74-55 opening round against Montana and like the Wolverines even more to cover the much smaller 6.5-point spread against the Gators. The Wolverines look like the team that reached the title game last year now that Charles Matthews is back from missing three games with an ankle injury. Coach John Beilein not only has an experienced NCAA tourney team, but a supremely talented one with athletic wings who will remind everyone that Florida is just an average SEC team.

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