The 7:10 p.m. E.T. game has #8 Seton Hall at #1 Kansas. The Jayhawks are favored by 4.5 and the over/under on that game stands at 154.5. In the second game, which is #5 Ohio State at #4 Gonzaga, the Bulldogs are the favorite at -4.0. The over/under for that 7:45 p.m. E.T. contest is 143.5. Here’s how we see these two games going.
#8 Seton Hall at #1 Kansas
Midwest Region at 7:10 p.m.
Here’s the skinny on this game. When push comes to shove, the Jayhawks are scoring more points than the Pirates and they are allowing fewer. Kansas is averaging 81.3 PPG to Seton Hall’s 79.5. But even more important is the fact that the Pirates allowed 83 points in their game, while the Jayhawks gave up only 60. In shooting percentages, Kansas has an advantage 49.9% to 46.9%. There’s a decent gap when it comes to three-point conversions as the Jayhawks are at 40% and the Pirates at 36%.
Unlike the Pirates, the Jayhawks don’t have anyone who’s a double-double threat, but they do have five double-digit scorers. Senior guard Devonte’ Graham (17.6 PPG, 7.4 APG) leads the team in points and assists per game. Inside, seven-foot, sophomore center Udoka Azubuike (13.3 PPG, 6.9 RPG) is tough to stop. Plus, he’s a sound defender.
The Jayhawks are loaded and should be able to beat the spread, which has them at -4.5 The over/under of 154.5 may seem high, but both of these teams can shoot. Take the over.
Our Picks: Kansas at -4.5 and over 154.5
#5 Ohio State at #4 Gonzaga
West Region at 7:45 p.m.
At first glance, the biggest statistical advantage in this matchup goes to the Zags as they are +8.0 over the Buckeyes in scoring (84.0 to 76.0). In addition, they’ve allowed nine fewer points than OSU. In shooting percentages, Gonzaga is a few points better, but the difference is negligible.
This should be a close game, but we expect Gonzaga to eventually pull away. We’re taking the Bulldogs at -4.0. We are also going with the over at 143.0.
Our Picks: Gonzaga at -4.0 and over 143.0
Round One 2018 NCAA Tournament Late Evening Picks: Final Word
That’s it for our Round One 2018 NCAA Tournament late evening picks. We’ve got one more group of picks to go before the night is over. In the meantime, we’ve liked the favorite in the two games featured here.