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The Bulldogs are led by Drew Timme and Chet Holmgren, who are both Wooden Award finalists for the nation’s best player. The Zags conference was much more challenging than in previous years, which should help them be ready. Georgia State started the season out at 6-9 and won 12 of their last 13 games. The Zags are way too much in this one. Gonzaga 88 Georgia State 58
A team led by ACC freshman of the year and likely NBA lottery pick Paolo Banchero will be a significant threat in the West. The Devils are young but loaded with talent and should advance deep in this tournament. CSF is a veteran team that shoots well from the free-throw line, but they tend to turn the ball over way too much to beat Duke. Duke 85 CSF 61
The Red Raiders issue in this tournament may come from being too physical; the Big 12 is a demanding physical conference, and games in the NCAA tournament are not played like that. The Bobcats point guard Xavier Bishop is a scorer who directs the offense, and the Bobcats do have some weapons. I would be careful in giving the points in this one. Red Raiders 64 Bobcats 50
The Razorbacks have four players averaging in double figures, but they don’t shoot the ball well and are not very good in the low post. Vermont is a team. When you look at them, has upset written all over them. They have won 22 of their last 23, and they will pull the upset in this one. Vermont 70 Arkansas 66
The Huskies don’t shoot the ball very well, but they make up for it on the offensive glass. NMSY is a tough team for anybody to play as they are led by 31.5 points a night by a pair of tall guards in Teddy Allen and Sir’Jabari Rice; these two guards are great at getting after it on the boards as well, which could help a lot in this battle. NMSU 62 UCONN 61
The narrative here is that Alabama has lost three in a row and are struggling; the truth is they played three tough teams and game up a little short. The Tide needed some time off to get everything back together. The Irish are battle-tested from a double-overtime win against Rutgers; The Irish are a tough out for anybody because they don’t turn the ball over. Take Notre Dame and the points. Tide 76 Irish 74
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This is a great matchup and looks like one of the top games from the tournament’s first round. The Spartans looked like an elite team early in the season but have struggled in the second half of the season. If you get a chance before the game, check out these new bookmaking sites! Davidson has been impressive this season, but a conference title loss to Richmond brings some cause for concern. Michigan State 73 Davidson 70
The Broncos are led by Abu Kigab, who averaged 14.7 points per game. Second-leading scorer Marcus Shaver Jr. is the only rotation player shorter than 6-foot-5. The Broncos are great on the defensive end and great at rebounding the ball. Memphis will have its hands full, but they have a deep athletic bench, which will be a contrast in styles. Boise 65 Memphis 57
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