This article is part of our College Basketball Picks series.
3 Purdue Boilermakers vs 15 St. Peter's Peacocks (OVER 135.5) (-110)
7:09 PM ET @ Philadelphia, PA
St. Pete's is a wonderful story and they absolutely deserve to be here, but I don't know how much resistance they will put up against the size of Purdue. The Boilers have a tendency to bully lesser opponents into playing the style and offense they want, as evident by their Big 10 games against teams in the KenPom 100s (Minnesota and Nebraska). In those games, there were 157 and 161 points scored. Sadly, I see the Peacocks' run ending in an entertaining but authoritative loss that goes well over this total.
4 Providence Friars (+7.5) (-110) vs 1 Kansas Jayhawks
7:29 PM ET @ Chicago, IL
This is a perfect storm that I can't ignore. As I said on my XM spot last week, Kansas is a team I just don't trust for the long haul and am looking to fade as the tournament continues and Providence is a team that everyone (but me) has dismissed as "lucky". Providence has made its own luck and just knows how to win. Let's remember, this Providence team won at Wisconsin, beat Texas Tech, and played Villanova to 5 and 2 point defeats. This is an experienced and tough group that grinds and keeps games close. Big East teams are on a 13-5 ATS run in the tournament vs the Big 12. Why not Providence?
11 Iowa St. Cyclones (+2.5) (-110) vs 10 Miami Hurricanes
9:10 pm ET @ Chicago, IL
I came into this game fully expecting to confirm my lean towards Miami and came away convinced of the opposite. I love Miami coach Jim Larranaga and what he has going on at the U, but the fact remains, this is a terrible matchup for the Canes. Against ACC teams that play solid defense and slow it down (UVA and FSU), Miami went 0-4. Iowa St. will be the best defensive team Miami has seen yet (No. 5 in the country, per KenPom), and they love to muck it up and play ugly. In games where both teams are seeded 5 or lower, the lower seeded team is 11-5 SU/ATS since 2001. In what is sure to be a slow-paced battle between double-digit seeds, I'll take the points.
11 Iowa St. vs 10 Miami (UNDER 133.5) (-110)
9:59 pm ET @ Chicago, IL
As cited above, this has all the makings of a close, low-scoring game. In Miami's games I mentioned against UVA and FSU, the points scored were 129, 121, 129, and 145. So, while there is a chance to go over this total, I just don't see it. The 'Clones are a suffocating defensive team that has the ability to frustrate any opponent. They also have the ability to struggle on offense and go long stretches without scoring, which will turn this game into a grinder. They know their recipe to success is slowing down teams to their pace and making the game as ugly as possible, and I don't believe Miami has the firepower to alter that plan.
Results from Week 1 Games: 6-1-1/+4.9 units