Look below to find our top March Madness predictions for all the Second Round action in the South Bracket.
Saturday, March 19th, 2022
#11 Michigan vs #3 Tennessee – 5:15pm ET
Michigan proved the doubters wrong and knocked out the Rams of Colorado State. Meanwhile, Tennessee got rid of Longwood with relative ease. Now Michigan will look to keep the magical run going while Tennessee will look to prove their own doubters wrong with a deep tournament run.
The Tennessee Volunteers are going into the second round game against Michigan as a six-point favorite. Tennessee defeated Longwood easily as expected by 88-56. Junior guard Santiago Vescovi led the Vols with 18 points and 7 assists, shooting 3-of-4 from the three-point line. Tennessee finished the regular season second in the SEC with a 27-7 record and won the conference tournament with a 65-60 win over Texas A&M. They are pretty much the better team compared to Michigan in every aspect of the game and will win this one by covering the spread.
The Michigan Wolverines are coming off a 75-63 win over Colorado State. The Wolverines managed to bounce back after surprisingly losing in the second rebound of the conference tournament against Indiana. Hunter Dickinson, one of the best centers in the nation, led Michigan with 21 points and 6 rebounds on 80% shooting from the field. Michigan has won the previous two tournament games against Tennessee back in 2014 and 2011. They have covered the spread in 8 of the last 10 tournament games but that won’t be the case this time around.
Marko’s College Basketball Pick: Tennessee -6.5 (-110)
I’ll have to give the Michigan Wolverines credit because I did not even expect them to get into this year’s NCAA tournament. I certainly didn’t expect them to win once I saw who their first round opponent was. So it took me by shock when I watched them beat the Colorado State Rams on Thursday. Now they will look to get another big one against one of my most underrated National Championship contenders, the Tennessee Volunteers.
Just got word … Saturday’s NCAA Second Round game with No. 3 seed Tennessee will be at 5:15 pm on CBS
— Michigan Men’s Basketball (@umichbball) March 18, 2022
The Tennessee Volunteers went undefeated at home this season. They have been one of the best teams in the nation all season long but for some reason have been criminally underrated by everybody. Now the Volunteers will be looking to prove the doubters wrong and get themselves in the sweet sixteen and end Michigan’s Cinderella run. As for the result of this game I have Tennessee doing just exactly that and picking up the victory over the Michigan Wolverines.
Tony’s College Basketball Pick: Tennessee (-275)
After being a team that many thought shouldn’t even be in the field due to only a 17-14 year, the Michigan Wolverines managed to overcome a double-digit deficit in their first round matchup against Colorado State, letting a magnificent shooting performance in the second half lead them to the win. Now they take on the third-seeded Tennessee Volunteers in the round of 32.
Tennessee enters this one after a solid year in the SEC, and taking care of Longwood with major ease in the first round. Kennedy Chandler, Santiago Vescovi, and John Fulkerson are going to be the key for the Vols here, as if they play well, they’re extremely tough to beat. I’m not a believer in Michigan, and if they get down a large margin in this one, I don’t think they have enough to climb back in it the way they did in the first round. Give me Tennessee by double-digits.
Noah’s College Basketball Pick: Tennessee (-275)
Sunday, March 20th 2022
#4 Illinois vs #5 Houston – 12:10pm ET
The Fighting Illini survived Chattanooga and only led the game for less than 30 seconds. Now they will look to get back to the sweet sixteen. The winner of this one has a real shot at making a run all the way to the title game.
In one of the most interesting matchups o f the second round Houston and Illinois will collide in Pittsburgh. The Illinois Fighting Illini survived a real thriller against the Chattanooga Mocs taking the lead in the last minute and winning 54-53. Center Kofi Cockburn was the key player recording 17 points and 13 rebounds for Illinois. The Illini are 4-point underdogs coming into this one and they have covered the spread in 5 of the last 7 games as an underdog but in none of the last 4 games against a team with a winning record over 60%.
The Houston Cougars are coming off a 82-68 win over the UAB Blazers in the opening round. They controlled the game from the very start and showed a high level of confidence and maturity which will probably take them deep in the tournament. Kyler Edwards had a great game scoring 25 points on 9-of-15 shooting for the Cougars. Houston is the best defensive team when it comes to their opponent’s field goal percentage with only 37.2%. That will be the key factor in this game as the Illini will struggle offensively and Houston will easily take care of business covering the 4 point spread.
Marko’s College Basketball Pick: Houston
The Illinois Fighting Illini only led in their first round matchup against the Chattanooga Mocs for an entire 25 seconds. However, they still won the game and their quest for a national championship will continue in this one Sunday afternoon. They can’t afford to play as sloppy as they did against the Mocs otherwise the Houston Cougars will blow the doors off of the Fighting Illini in this game. As long as Kofi Cockburn stays healthy the Illini have a real shot at a national title.
— Illinois Basketball (@IlliniMBB) March 19, 2022
The Houston Cougars are coming into this after avoiding the 12 seed vs 5 seed upset in the first round. They pulled away at the end to beat UAB by double-digits. Now they will be looking to get to the sweet sixteen and dash the dreams of the Illinois Fighting Illini. Houston is a legit sleeper team for me after the amazing regular season they had. I think they are easily an elite eight team and that will show in this game because I have them getting the win over Illinois.
Tony’s College Basketball Pick: Houston
Illinois got lucky to get past Chattanooga in the first round. After a good year in the Big Ten, the Fighting Illini had to watch a last second game-winner rim out at the buzzer to survive the Mocs, and now they get the Houston Cougars, who are arguably one of the more dangerous five-seeds we’ve seen in a while. With Kofi Cockburn leading the way, this is an Illinois team that can take down anyone, but they’re going to have to play better to do so.
In all honesty, I had Houston falling to UAB in the first round. However, the Cougs used nine three-pointers in the first 15 minutes to lead the way, winning with relative ease over the Blazers, as they managed to stave off any UAB run that we saw. Now, taking on Illinois, they get a much different kind of opponent, and one that could cause some problems. The question to this matchup is whether Houston can continue the hot shooting or not, and despite the fact that I had them falling in the first round, I think they sneak past the Illini in close fashion in this one. Give me the Cougs by single-digits.
Noah’s College Basketball Pick: Houston
#7 Ohio State vs #2 Villanova – 2:40pm ET
The Ohio State Buckeyes made it out of the first round this season after being upset by Oral Roberts last year. They broke the heart of the Ramblers and Sister Jean and now they will play another Catholic school in this one. Meanwhile Villanova beat the Blue Hens of Delaware.
The Villanova Wildcats showed their potential in the first round defeating Delaware 80-60. Guard Justin Moore led the team with 16 points and 6 rebounds. That was the Wildcats sixth consecutive win after winning the Big East tournament defeating Seton Hall 54-48 in the finals. Villanova is the best free-throw shooting team in the nation with over 82% shooting from the stripe. Villanova is coming into this game as a five-point favorite. They have covered the spread in 17 of the last 22 tournament games but in none of the last 6 coming after a against the spread win.
The Ohio State Buckeyes have defeated Loyola Chicago 54-41 in a game in which they limited the opponent to 26.8% shooting from the field and to make things even worse, Loyola made only 3 of their 10 free-throws. EJ Lidell led the Buckeyes with 16 points. Ohio State met Villanova at the NCAA tournament three years ago winning 76-51. This time around, things look way different as the Buckeyes are a 5-point underdog and they will not be able to cover that spread.
Marko’s College Basketball Pick: Villanova -5.5 (-110)
The Ohio State Buckeyes knocked out everyone’s favorite Cinderella over the last few years when they knocked out the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers on Friday. The Buckeyes played one of their best games of the season and finally got the tournament monkey off their back after losing to Oral Roberts in round one last season. Now they will try to knock off a team that has been here before and has won two national championships within the last six years. As they take on their second straight Catholic school.
— Villanova MBB (@NovaMBB) March 19, 2022
The Villanova Wildcats come into this game with a record of 27-7 on the season. They will look to cement their dynasty and capture their third national championship in the last six seasons in this year’s tournament. They won the Big East conference tournament championship this season as well. Villanova looked fantastic in their first round game against the Delaware Blue Hens as they won by 20. The final score of the game was 80-60. As for the result of this game, this one is going to be an absolute blowout on Sunday afternoon. As I have Villanova cruising to a win.
Tony’s College Basketball Pick: Villanova (-230)
This is a really intriguing matchup, as both of these teams have shown the ability to be some of the best teams in the country this year, but have also had stretches where they’ve completely fallen apart. Ohio State has some of the best wins in the country on the year, but late in the year they fell off in a major way, which is why they’ve dropped to a seven-seed for the tournament. They used a great defensive effort in the first round to crush Loyola Chicago, but they get a much tougher opponent in Villanova in the second round.
Villanova, on the other hand, started the year off slow, but recovered in conference play in the Big East, finishing second, and winning the conference tournament. They destroyed a Delaware team that was simply overmatched in the first round, and now they set their sights on the Buckeyes. In the end, I like Collin Gillespie’s shooting to be a difference maker in this one, so give me the Wildcats in a close one.
Noah’s College Basketball Pick: Villanova (-230)
#1 Arizona vs #9 TCU – 9:40pm ET
The Wildcats took down a very scrappy Wright State team by 17 points on Friday evening. Now they will face off with one of the better middle of the road seeds as they look to avoid being first number one seed to fall.
The Arizona Wildcats are one of the top contenders to win the tournament this year and they proved that once again defeating Wright State 87-70 in the opening round. Forward Grant Basile has a terrific game finishing with 21 points and 5 rebounds. The Wildcats are the third-best offensive team in the nation scoring 84.7 points per game on 49.5% shooting from the field which ranked the fifth in the nation. Arizona finished the regular season on top of the Pac 12 with a 32-3 record winning the conference title defeating UCLA 84-76 in the final.
TCU is one of the toughest teams in the tournament and whoever doubted it, now knows after the Horned Frogs defeated Seton Hall 69-42 in the opening round. TCU limited the Pirates to only 28.8% shooting from the field while making over 50% of their shots including 40% from the three-point line. Things will be much different against Arizona but one thing is for sure, the Horned Frogs will not go down without a fight.
Marko’s College Basketball Pick: Arizona
The Arizona Wildcats dominated in their opening round game against Wright State. The final score was 87-70 in favor of the Wildcats. Everytime Wright State got close Arizona would just continue to push them away until the final buzzer sounded. Now they will look to avoid an upset against what seems to be a red hot TCU team. The Wildcats will be looking to avoid being the first number one seed in the tournament to fall.
— Arizona Basketball (@ArizonaMBB) March 19, 2022
The Horned Frogs poisoned the Pirates on Friday evening. They won by almost 30 points against a team that was one of the better teams in the Big East this past season. Now they will look to take down one of the four number one seeds when they meet Arizona on Sunday night. In my personal opinion I think the Wildcats are the second strongest one seed behind only the Bulldogs of Gonzaga so it will be hard to pull off. That is why I can’t see it happening and that is why I have Arizona winning this game.
Tony’s College Basketball Pick: Arizona
TCU came out with an incredible performance in the first round, as they absolutely obliterated a good Seton Hall team by nearly 30. This comes after a decent year, not great by any means, in the Big-12, but now they get stuck taking on one of the hottest teams in the country, and one of the one-seeds, the Arizona Wildcats, in a game that is sure to be a tougher out than Seton Hall was.
Arizona has been one of the most consistent teams in the country all year, as they won the Pac-12 regular season and tournament titles, and then destroyed Wright State in the first round. With Christian Koloko and Bennedict Mathurin leading the way, they may already be the best team in the country, but the biggest question is whether or not they can get point guard Kerr Kriisa back from injury. Reports are that he is almost ready to return from injury, which would take this Wildcats team to new heights. With or without Kriisa, I like Arizona in this one, as I just think they have too much for the Horned Frogs.
Noah’s College Basketball Pick: Arizona
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.