Sunday's NCAA Tournament Picks: Top Seeds ATS & Totals Bets

Matthew Jordan

Sunday, March 20, 2016 11:46 AM UTC

Sunday, Mar. 20, 2016 11:46 AM UTC

We are guaranteed at least one double-digit seed for the Sweet 16. Here are my top three picks for Sunday with BetOnline NCAA basketball odds.

No. 13 Hawaii vs. No. 5 Maryland
South Region game at 7:10 p.m. ET from Spokane. True story: my computer crashed about 11:50 a.m. on Thursday. It took me a couple of hours to reinstall Windows, etc., and fix the problem. I'm sure you don't care about my hardware problems, but I bring this up because I was watching SportsCenter at the time and learned of the injury to Cal point guard and leading scorer Tyrone Wallace that would keep him out of the NCAA Tournament.

I would 100 percent have gone back and changed Hawaii to beating Cal in the first round -- I took the Bears here at SBR as well -- but wasn't able to. Ah well. The Rainbow Warriors, in their first NCAA Tournament since 2002, took advantage of that -- another very good Bears player, Jabari Bird, was out with back spasms -- in a 77-66 win over the No. 4 Bears. It was the school's first-ever Big Dance victory. You generally don't win in college basketball these days without being a good 3-point shooting team. UH (28-5) shot just 33 percent on 3-pointers this season and never hit half its tries once. Hawaii was 3-for-14 from long range against Cal yet still won comfortably.

The Rainbow Warriors are now 11-3 in games in which they shoot 30 percent or worse from long range this season. That's remarkable. But I'm still not sure how good this team is since it faces a weakened Cal. Maryland (26-8) is a very schizo team as it has the talent to win it all but often doesn't play that way. It avoided an upset vs. No. 12 South Dakota State on Friday, 79-74. SDSU had the ball and a chance to tie in the final seconds but turned the ball over. Jake Layman had a career-high 27 points for the Terps. But they made some really stupid plays in that game. My NCAA Tournament picks are on Maryland and 'over.' The Terps are 5-1 ATS in their past six neutral-site games. The 'over' is 7-2-1 in their past 10 non-conference games.

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Maryland and 'over'.
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes


No. 11 Northern Iowa vs. No. 3 Texas A&M
West Region game at 7:40 p.m. ET from Oklahoma City. I predicted UNI's upset of No. 6 Texas in my Friday picks here at SBR and the Panthers won on the signature shot of this NCAA Tournament, really one of the great shots in the tourney's history: a half-court banked-in buzzer-beater by Paul Jesperson for the 75-72 victory. UT's Isaiah Taylor had just tied the game on a layup with 2.7 seconds left.

What is it with memorable NCAA shots in OKC (Valparaiso's Bryce Drew 1998, Northern Iowa's Ali Farokhmanesh 2010)? The Panthers ruined a potential grudge match showdown between Texas and Texas A&M with the win; the Horns won't play A&M in football any longer after A&M left for the SEC, which is a shame. The Aggies crushed Green Bay 92-65 on Friday. Danuel House led the way with 20 points as A&M won for the ninth time in its last 10 games -- that lone loss was in overtime to Kentucky in the SEC Tournament final.

The 92 points scored were a school record in an NCAA Tournament game by far and the 27-point win was the school's largest in tourney play. The Aggies were No. 15 in the final AP poll and UNI is 3-0 against ranked teams this season. These schools have played just once, in the 1996-97 season. Go with Northern Iowa and 'under.' UNI is 8-0-1 ATS in its past nine games vs. teams with a winning record. The 'under' is 7-1 in the Panthers' past eight after a win.

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Northern Iowa and 'under'.
Best Line Offered: at Bodog


No. 8 Saint Joseph's vs. No. 1 Oregon
South Region game at 9:40 p.m. ET from Spokane, so obviously a huge edge in fan support for Oregon. Saint Joseph's (28-7) beat No. 9 Cincinnati 78-76 in a very memorable first-round game. The Hawks' Isaiah Miles hit a 3-pointer with 7.3 seconds left for the lead, and it appeared UC tied it at the buzzer on a dunk, but after a long review officials ruled it was too late. Cincinnati had rallied from 12 points down with 11 minutes left to take a 76-75 lead.

It marked Saint Joseph's first NCAA Tournament win since March 25, 2004. Oregon (29-6) is in my opinion the weakest of the four No. 1 seeds but looked great on Friday in a 91-52 win over Holy Cross, although to be fair the Crusaders were the only team in the tournament with a losing record and played just 48 hours prior in the First Four.

The Ducks shot 55.7 percent from the field and had a 44-28 rebounding advantage. UO won its ninth straight and advanced to the round of 32 for the fourth season in a row. Oregon also was able to rest its starters in the second half with such a big lead so that's a nice advantage. For this game, I'd side with Oregon and 'over.' The Ducks are 6-1 against the NCAA basketball odds in their past seven games. The 'over' is 12-2 in the Hawks' past 14 games. It is 4-0 in Oregon's past four non-conference games.

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3001700, "sportsbooksIds":[1096,93,19,92,238,169], "LineTypeId":1, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]
Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Oregon and 'over'.
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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