And just like that, the final day of the first weekend of 2023 march madness is upon us. We have another full slate of games with the first tip just after noon and the last game tipping at 9:40est. We’ve seen big-time upsets, buzzer-beaters, and all-out battles. There is no doubt Sunday will bring us some memorable match-ups. Let’s take a look at our favorite lines, odds, and picks.
Sunday’s March Madness Schedule and Odds
*all times Eastern Standard
The Best Sports Betting Sites for the 2023 NCAA Tournament
No. 6 Creighton vs. No. 3 Baylor
On Sunday night in Denver, No. 3 Baylor and No. 6 Creighton will battle it out for a spot in the Sweet 16. Despite a slow start, Baylor was able to pull away and secure an 18-point victory over UC Santa Barbara in their previous game. Meanwhile, Creighton managed to secure a win against NC State but struggled from beyond the arc. The game was propelled by Ryan Kalkbrenner’s strong performance.
With No. 2 Arizona now out of the tournament, the winner of this game would likely have a favorable matchup in the next round, potentially leading them to an Elite 8 berth.
Kalkbrenner’s dominance in the paint is definitely a concern for Baylor, as they have struggled at times to defend the interior this season. However, Baylor has a strong perimeter defense and will likely try to force Creighton to shoot from outside where they struggled in their opening-round matchup with N.C. State. Early on, both of these programs were thought of as national title contenders, and bother are very much alive.
Pre-tourney I had Creighton winning this game and I’m sticking with the Blue Jays.
The Pick: Creighton +1.5
No. 6 Kentucky vs. No. 3 Kansas State
The matchup between Kentucky and Kansas State in the second round of the NCAA tournament is expected to be a near coin-flip clash. Both teams won and covered in their first-round matchups, and the winner will advance to the second weekend of the tournament and have a chance to play at Madison Square Garden in the East Regional semifinal next Thursday.
Kentucky has been underrated entering this tournament, having surged in the final month of the season. On the other hand, many experts considered the No. 3 seed a favorable one for Kansas State, given its resume and KenPom metrics. This one opened as a PK and Kentucky have gotten all the way to -3.
The matchup problem for Kansas State is Kentucky big man Oscar Tshiebwe, who can dominate games even with just eight points tallied. He had 25 rebounds in Friday’s game, giving many a look at how he can take a game over. Despite having an inconsistent season, Kentucky is currently playing its best basketball, and the market has yet to catch up to its potential.
I’ve liked Kansas State at times this season and at other times, they’ve been very underwhelming. It feels like their deficiencies catch up with them tomorrow when they run into one of the hottest teams in the country.
Still, I’m going to take the relatively short ML with Kentucky.
The Pick: Kentucky ML -150
No. 5 Miami vs. No. 4 Indiana
I had Drake in this game and it looked like Drake was going to pull off the 12 over 5 upsets in the first round against Miami, but Miami pulled an improbable comeback to earn their way into the round of 32.
In this one, it’s all about Trayce Jackson-Davis to me. I don’t want to dismiss how solid the Hurricanes’ backcourt has been all year, but TJD is a different type of talent.
Trayce Jackson-Davis is a talented player who simply hasn’t received enough recognition for how he has propelled this IU squad. His first-round performance against Kent State, where he put up impressive stats of 24 points, 11 rebounds, five assists, and five blocks, could help to change that.
It’s no secret that Miami has a clear lack of size and hasn’t defended the paint well this season. Miami ranks 224th in the nation in height and 255th in opponent 2-point percentage defense, which could create opportunities for TJD to really dominate the Hurricanes in the Paint.
I think IU wears Miami down and survives them late.