A pair of Cinderella's meet in the Sweet 16 but one will turn into a pumpkin while the other will continue on to the Elite Eight. Let's find the team that will cash in our NCAA college basketball picks on Thursday night.
#11 Seed - Dayton
The Flyers of Dayton had produced a solid season yet suffered a narrow 70-67 loss to St. Joseph's in the quarterfinals of the A 10 tournament. Their invitation to the Big Dance was now in question but the team was optimistic that their 25-10 record would be enough to get them an at-large bid to participate in the Madness.
Fast forward and the Dayton Flyers are not only in the tournament but have become giant slayers with victories over number six Ohio State and then a huge win over third seeded Syracuse. Dayton has won their first two games in the tournament by a combined total of three points but the tournament committee doesn't care by how much, only that you win.
While fans of the Flyers are certainly rejoicing so too are the bettors who backed them with their own cold hard cash. Dayton settled in as 5 ½ point underdogs in college basketball odds when they won a nail-biting finish over Ohio State, 60-59. In the round of 32 the Flyers took on the stumbling-down-the-stretch Syracuse Orangemen. The oddsmakers installed the Flyers as seven point dogs but the public pushed that number to 8 ½ by the time the game tipped off. It didn't matter because Dayton was about to slay another giant and did so by the score of 55-53. They take the court again as three point underdogs on Thursday when they take on the Stanford Cardinals.
#10 Seed - Stanford
The Cardinal (yes, that's right their nickname is not pluralized) were blown out 84-59 by UCLA in the PAC-12 semifinals and, like their opponents on Thursday night, were optimistic but by no means certain that a ticket to March Madness would be forthcoming. But lo and behold, their prayers were answered in the form of the 10th seed in the South region and they have made sure that this would not be a wasted spot on the dance card.
Stanford, installed as 4 ½ point underdogs in NCAA Tournament odds, went on to upset New Mexico 58-53 and then stunned second seeded Kansas (and yours truly by the way) by edging the Jayhawks 60-57 as 6 ½ point dogs in NCAA college basketball odds. It was the biggest win of the season for the Cardinal who have continued to make bank for their backers registering a 19-12 ATS mark on the season. Amazingly, Stanford went 0-9 in three-point land tying the 1999 Connecticut Huskies for most three-point attempts without a make in an NCAA tournament victory.
Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Stanford is too big and tall for Dayton. They have a sizeable advantage on the glass (25.2 vs. 23.7 rebounds per game) and blocked shots (4.2 vs. 2.6). Offensively these two clubs are basically a coin flip but I see a determined Cardinal team wearing down the upstart Flyers and moving on to an unlikely Elite Eight Appearance.
Many of you may be questioning the accuracy of the Cardinal, particularly in light of their dreadful shooting from beyond the arc versus Kansas, but this game will be played primarily in the paint and Dayton will not fare well. They will have to rely on outside jump shots which will take them out of their comfort zone and force them to play catch up if their shots don't fall. They just don't have the horses to hang with Stanford.In your NCAA college basketball picks, play Stanford -3 at Bet365.com.