NCAA Sunday: Guest Selections
(Former Temple player)
> Duke (-13) over Central Florida
This pick pains me. In my household the word Duke is just as bad as any other four-letter word. I just don’t see UCF staying close in this one. Zion Willamson is one of the few in college basketball than can go up and over Tacko Fall. Look for Fall to get into foul trouble which will open up the middle for the Duke slashers to get to the basket at will.
> Virginia-Oklahoma (Over 126.5)
This number stuck out to me like a jammed thumb on my shooting hand. This may be my 5,000-Star play of the weekend. Yes, I know Virginia has the best defense in college basketball but I see this game easily in the 70s. Oklahoma has some athletes that can get up and down the floor. In Virginia’s opening round game vs Gardner-Webb the total was 126 (I hit on the under in that game). Surely Oklahoma will be better than Webb and push this over 128.
> Buffalo (+4) over Texas Tech
Buffalo is looking like a lower seed with a hot hand, very dangerous this time of year. Their shellacking of Arizona State showed that they have more in the tank than people thought. With fellow Big 12 power KState already out of The Dance, Texas Tech will need to bring their best to stop Buffalo. And that's no Bull!
> Washington-North Carolina (Over 148)
I expect both teams to be firing on all cylinders, offensively. Washington has shown it can gun, and will need to do so to keep up with the Tar Heels. The X Factor here will be defense. If it becomes a slow, plodding game, they'll score less, but a big second-half flurry at 148, play the over!
(Penn Hall of Fame Player)
> Oregon (-5) over UC Irvine
The Ducks proved they belong. Strong showing by Irvine but Oregon’s athleticism is too much in the end.
> Virginia (-11) over Oklahoma
Doubling up on the prediction that UVA will shake off the cobwebs and prove that they deserve the top seed. They’ll control the tempo and use three-pointers to stretch it out.
> Buffalo (-4) over Texas Tech
Their pressure and ability to shoot the three keep them in every game . They play hard and don’t back down from any one.
(Co-owner High Tides Restaurant)
> Oklahoma (+11) over Virginia
The Cavaliers are riding an 0-5 ATS slide in the NCAA Tournament. Not how No. 1 seeds behave.
> Virginia Tech (-8.5) over Liberty
There are going to be a lot of bubbles bursting Sunday, most of them by pins administered by the ACC, this one included.
(Host of South Jersey Sports Talk on RVNTV.com)
> Virginia (-11) Oklahoma
The Cavaliers overcame a body blow and a frightening flashback when Tony Bennett’s club bounced back from a 14-point first-half deficit to beat Gardner-Webb by 15. The Cavs didn’t cover the generous 23.5-point spread against the Bulldogs, who did win at Wake Forest and Georgia Tech this year, and this spread seems high, but the Cavaliers are good enough to make rise out of the South Regional and beat the Sooners going away.
> Iowa (+8) Tennessee
In the first round, Colgate led in the middle of the second half against Tennessee despite being 17.5-point dogs before the Vols came back to win against Colgate coach Matt Langel, a South Jersey guy from Moorestown who played at Penn. Now, Tennessee coach Rick Barnes faces another former Penn player in Fran McCaffery. Like Langel and the Quakers, McCaffery and the Hawkeyes will cover the spread. But Barnes rotates eight players and the Vols boast the top offense and the second-best defense in the SEC because of that depth and it will be enough to win a thriller in Columbus, Ohio.
> Buffalo (+4) over Texas Tech
Texas Tech barely covered the 14.5-point spread against Northern Kentucky in a 15-point win and the Red Raiders don’t cover against Buffalo, but win at the buzzer. Buffalo is coming off satisfying and surprisingly easy win over Arizona State and former coach Bobby Hurley, but Coach Chris Beard rolls out perhaps the nation’s best defense and the Red Raiders certainly haven’t missed Sixers’ first-round pick Zhaire Smith, who is sitting out his rookie year this season, either.
> Virginia Tech (-8.5) Liberty
With the number-covering 14-point win over Saint Louis, Hokies coach Buzz Williams continues to rise on the coaching Wish List and UCLA is waiting for the Hokies to get ousted to talk to him, but it won’t be for another weekend, at least. Virginia Tech is my Final Four long-shot dark horse since they welcomed back Justin Robinson from injury after sitting 12 games.