Free 2017 NCAA Tournament Picks: Cappers Go Head-To-Head in Sweet 16

march madness

Jake Walker

Thursday, March 23, 2017 3:56 PM GMT

Round 2 of March Madness is over and our cappers have already given their free picks for the Sweet 16. I've been keeping track of how all 4 experts are doing in the NCAA Tournament so far and here are their records in our 2017 March Madness bracket so you can see who to follow

 

Records Ahead of the Sweet 16:

Jason (West): 8-4

Jay (Midwest): 5-6

Doug (South): 3-1-7

Ross (East): 2-8

  • On the right side of the bracket, Jason has a solid 8-4 record in his West Region picks while Ross is 2-8 in the East.
  • Our bracket's left side has Jay leading the way, going 5-6 in his Midwest region picks while Doug is 3-1-7 in the East. 
  • Overall Jason leads everyone with eight winning plays.

 

Many of us expected Duke to get far in the NCAA Tournament. I bet on them to reach the Sweet 16 at -350 on BetOnline and Ross picked the Blue Devils to cover -7.5 for their game against South Carolina. I really liked that play as well but Duke would suffer one of the most shocking upsets and their 88-81 loss ruined a lot of brackets. Ross made the right call here but Duke's strong defense collapsed in the second half, giving up a whopping 65 points.

Doug liked North Carolina to cover -11 against Arkansas and I agreed with him because UNC was 5-1 ATS in their last six NCAA Tournament games and Arkansas was a weak rebounding team. The Tar Heels did win the game 72-65, missing the ATS cover by just four points, so it truly was a solid play.

 

Sweet 16 Picks:

Jason: Xavier +7.5, Gonzaga -3

Jay: Purdue +4.5, Michigan -1.5

Doug: Butler +7, UCLA -1

Ross: Florida -2, Baylor -3.5 

 

Here's my take on some of these plays.

  West Virginia vs Gonzaga

West Region, Sweet Sixteen - Thursday, March 23rd

I agree with Jason here, Gonzaga is stronger than West Virginia on both sides of the court, -3 is a small spread and the Bulldogs are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games after an ATS loss.

 

No. 7 Michigan vs. No. 3 Oregon

Midwest Region, Sweet 16, Kansas City, Thursday, 7:10 p.m. ET

I'm going head to head with Jay here and not because I'm a Ducks fan. Oregon was able to overcome a Rhode Island team that plays better defense than Michigan and the Wolverines are just 1-3-1 ATS in their last five games against Pac-12 opponents. I'm taking the points.

 

UCLA vs. Kentucky

South Region, Sweet 16 Round, Friday, 9:39 pm E.T.

I'm with Doug here, with their impressive performance in the second half against Cincinnati, the Bruins proved to themselves that they have what it takes to compete with anyone and the Wildcats have struggled a bit before the Sweet 16, they're too young and they're just 1-4-1 ATS in their last six NCAA Tournament games.

 

No. 8 Wisconsin vs. No. 4 Florida

East Region, Sweet 16, Friday, New York, 10 p.m. ET

Ross likes Florida at -2 but I'm taking Wisconsin +2. I liked what I saw in their win against Villanova, their defense is very strong and Hayes and Koenig are playing extremely well and their March Madness experience could be an X-factor. The Badgers are 5-1 ATS in their last six games and that trend should continue.