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Three Second Round NCAA Games Picks

March 18, 2014

The college basketball season encounters its final three weeks and its most important weeks. The NCAA tournament is here, and a nation’s attention will be fixed to the hardwood.

NCAA Tournament Second Round: Cal Poly or Texas Southern vs. Wichita State Shockers (Friday)

A number 16 seed has never beaten a number one seed in the NCAA tournament. There might be some people who think that the Wichita State Shockers could be vulnerable to a loss. The Shockers did not play a strong schedule in the Missouri Valley Conference, and their best win in non-conference competition was against a Saint Louis team that will not be seeded particularly highly in the NCAA tournament. The Shockers are 34-0, but how many of their 34 wins were really impressive? This and other similar questions will follow Wichita State into the tournament, and so the Shockers are going to be a big story as long as they’re in the event.  Take the Shockers (Spread TBA)

NCAA Tournament Second Round: Mercer Bears vs. Duke Blue Devils (Friday)

Duke finished third in the Atlantic Coast Conference during the regular season and lost the ACC Tournament championship game to Virginia. The Blue Devils were a really good team in their conference, but they weren’t the best team. Their defense is still lacking, and their low-post play is not that noticeable. Duke got a lot more out of its big men in 2010, when it last made the Final Four and won the national championship. This team has to rely on offense to win, and it has to see Jabari Parker, its best player, perform at a very high level. Duke is vulnerable enough that a hot-shooting opponent can cause problems. Will any drama rise to the surface in this game? Take Duke -13

NCAA Tournament Second Round:

Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns vs. Creighton Bluejays (Friday)

The Creighton Bluejays did not look very good on Saturday in their loss to the Providence Friars in the championship game of the Big East Tournament in New York. Creighton did not make smart passes, and it did not hit a lot of the open three-point shots it expects to hit during the course of the season. The Bluejays were also slow to react to loose balls. Providence players outworked Creighton forwards in the paint, part of a terrific defensive performance that left the Bluejays flat-footed and disappointed. Creighton has one of the elite players in the nation, Doug McDermott, but does it have enough of a supporting cast? We’ll begin to find out in this game. Take Creighton -13.5

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