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March Madness Sweet 16 betting picks – Thursday, March 24

Duke star Wendell Moore

March Madness will return this Thursday after a long three days without college basketball. There are only 16 teams remaining and we will exit this weekend with the Final Four. Now is the time for the contenders to prove themselves and fans should be in for an awesome weekend of basketball. There are four games this Thursday and we have a pick for each one of them.

Arkansas Razorbacks vs Gonzaga Bulldogs

The fourth-seeded Razorbacks will be battling against tourney favorites Gonzaga for a spot in the Elite Eight. This is going to be a great game as Arkansas is a good team with a great coach in Erik Musselman. ‘Muss’ has surprised in the tournament before and while Gonzaga is loaded, there’s a chance the Razorbacks have the best player on the floor. Point guard JD Notae is a stud for Arkansas and if he plays lights out, the Hogs won’t only cover, but could win this game.

Gonzaga has looked surprisingly beatable after the first weekend of March Madness. Both Georgia State and Memphis made the Bulldogs work for a win and they outlined some flaws in the Zags’ game. Gonzaga is still the tournament favorite, and for good reason. Drew Timme is one of the best players in NCAA basketball; Chet Holmgren is a contender for the first overall pick; their coach, Mark Few, is one of the best in the game. However, for all of Gonzaga’s strengths, they have still looked beatable. Take the Hogs +9.5 in what should be a very close and entertaining game.

Arkansas Razorbacks +9.5


Michigan Wolverines vs Villanova Wildcats

This is a tough game to pick as Michigan, an 11th seed, is playing way better now than it has all season. The Wolverines had a tough season where they went 17-14; however, as soon as the tournament started, they started playing better, and they’re now living up to their lofty pre-season expectations. After wins against Colorado State and Tennessee, they now have their biggest test yet. Unfortunately for Michigan, Villanova should prove to be too much for them.

Villanova is a second seed and has been one of the best teams all season. Unlike Michigan, the Wildcats have been consistently great and are all around a better team. They advanced past Ohio State to get to this game; the Buckeyes beat Michigan early in the season and Villanova handled them. While it’s not fair to directly use that as fuel for the Villanova pick, the Wildcats have proven they can beat Big 10 teams. Michigan is peaking right now, but Villanova has been better all season and should end the Wolverines’ campaign this Thursday.

Villanova Wildcats -5.5


Texas Tech Red Raiders vs Duke Blue Devils

This is going to be the game of the night and the betting sites are grading it accordingly. Third-seeded Texas Tech is a team that plays amazing defense but can struggle on offense. The second-seeded Blue Devils are a great offensive team but struggle defensively. It’s a great matchup and could truly go either way. Ultimately, it comes down to shot-making in basketball and Duke simply has more guys who can do that than Texas Tech.

Duke has five potential first-round picks in the NBA draft on the team. They also have a potential first overall pick in Paulo Banchero. In order for Duke to win, Paulo will have to show his talent and be the best player on the floor. In the tournament thus far, he has shown his ability and is averaging 18 points per game through the first weekend. Expect Paulo to show out as Duke’s offense overpowers the Texas Tech defense. In a game as evenly matched as this, it could come down to the last shot. If that’s the case, Duke has more guys who can hit that shot than Texas Tech.

Duke Blue Devils to win


Houston Cougars vs Arizona Wildcats

This is another extremely close matchup that is hard to decipher. Houston is a fifth seed that had a lot of questions entering this tournament. The Cougars score well in advanced statistics, but they come from a weak conference and did not really play anyone prior to their win last weekend. They did, however, win most of the games on their schedule, although their biggest test is ahead of them.

Arizona is a great team with a ton of talented players. The Wildcats just squeaked by a TCU team that has a very similar style to Houston. That game showed a lot of Arizona’s flaws, but the team will no doubt have addressed them prior to this upcoming game. Tommy Lloyd is a great coach and he will have his team prepared. Ultimately, Arizona has been better all season, and although Houston can expose them with their physicality, the Wildcats will be prepared and should come away with a win.

Arizona Wildcats to win


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