Bet 1st Round NCAA Basketball: Friday Pickswise picks from Jon Rothstein, BetsByBob and Rashad Phillips
Drexel's Cam Wynter, was named Outstanding Player at the CAA Tournament. Today, the Dragons face off against #1 seed Illinois in the NCAA Basketball Tournament.@CAABasketball on Twitter.

Bet 1st Round NCAA Basketball: Friday Pickswise picks from Jon Rothstein, BetsByBob and Rashad Phillips

Picks for Loyola-Chicago vs Georgia Tech, North Texas vs Purdue, Virginia Tech vs Florida, Baylor vs Hartford, Cleveland St. vs Houston, Drexel vs Illinois.

For even more expert insight, discover the latest in the world of March Madness with Pickswise.

BetsByBob's Day One First Round Picks

Loyola Chicago Ramblers (-4.5 ) to beat Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

I have to be honest, I liked Georgia Tech’s chances in this one before the news broke loose on Moses Wright. But now, without their star big man, and ACC player of the year, the Yellow Jackets are in trouble. Wright is a massive part of the success that Georgia Tech has had this season. Rodney Howard is going to have to step in, and will have a tough time filling those shoes. Even tougher, he is going to be asked to guard Cameron Krutwig. Loyola Chicago comes in with the No. 1 rated defense according to Ken Pom, and are also one of the best teams at scoring at the rim. I expect the Ramblers to get the ball inside to Krutwig early and often, and I am not sure the Yellow Jackets will be able to stop him. It’s a tough break for Georgia Tech here, but Loyola Chicago should roll.

North Texas Mean Green (+7.5) over Purdue Boilermakers

Backing the Mean Green here in a game that I expect to be a complete dogfight. North Texas has flown under the radar for most for the majority of the season, but they are a well-rounded squad. Led by senior guard Javion Hamlet, the Mean Green should be able to put up a solid battle against a Purdue team that I am not as high on. Both teams like to work at a slow, methodical pace, and can see this one being back and forth. I give North Texas a good shot to pull out a straight upset here as a 13 seed, so I will gladly take the points.

Virginia Tech Hokies (PK) to beat Florida Gators

The Hokies come into their showdown against the Gators with a bit of a chip on their shoulder. They feel as they have been overlooked for much of the season, and frankly, I agree. This is a solid group, and has a deep rotation of guards they can deploy against Florida. The Hokies have the ability to shoot the ball well, and they are going to need to do so to beat this Gators team. If Virginia Tech can play through Keve Aluma and Justyn Mutts and score inside, I like their chances in this one.

Jon Rothstein's Day One First Round Picks

Baylor Bears vs. Hartford Hawks

If the Bears were getting ready to eat a six-course meal, this would be their appetizer. Don’t expect things to be competitive. Sorry, Hartford.
PICK: Baylor -26

Cleveland State Vikings vs. Houston Cougars

Houston has one of the best cultures in college basketball. In two years, Dennis Gates has built one of the best cultures in the Horizon League. Expect the Cougars’ relentlessness on the boards to be the difference.
PICK: Houston -20

Drexel Dragons vs. Illinois Fighting Illini
To quote Mr. T as Clubber Lang in "Rocky III" circa 1982, “Prediction? Pain.” Sorry, Drexel fans. And that quote? Maybe the best ever.

PICK: Illinois -22.5

Rashad Phillips' Day One First Round Lock

Drexel Dragons vs. Illinois Fighting Illini
It’s March Madness and it’s time I share my insights on a team that I believe will cover the spread easily in the first round. Illinois is a team that will easily live up to its reputation early. They have the best foursome of guards in the country with Ayo Dosumnu, Trent Frazier, Miller, and Curbelo. What makes this team so dangerous is their depth and physicality. Here’s a hidden stat about Illinois, they have five games that they’ve won by over 20 points this season. They typically bury their opponents early and often. I can see them keeping the train going here. PICK: Illinois -22.5

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