The NCAA Tournament continues through the weekend with Round of 32 action, and boy are these games are good.
Duke meets Tennessee in the East Region second round while upstart Penn State’s prolific three-point shooting offense takes on the Big 12 Conference tournament champs Texas.
I got plays on both below, best of luck this weekend, all of my bets can be found on my betstamp @ rw33
College basketball betting record to date
College Basketball best bets for Round of 32
- Duke -3 vs. Tennessee
- Penn State +5.5 vs. Texas
Duke vs. Tennessee prediction and pick
Without Zakai Zeigler, who tore his ACL in the middle of February, the Vols are struggling to generate any downhill offense. The numbers may not appear severe on the surface, but schematically this team is in rough shape on offense as Zeigler had a top 10 assist rate nationally (36.6%).
Tennessee is a poor perimeter shooting team (244th nationally) and relies on their ability to dominate teams inside, top 10 in the country in offensive rebounding percentage.
However, Duke has the size to contend with the Vols at the rim and a noted rim protector in Lively. The Blue Devils are 30th in field goal percentage allowed at the rim and top 70 in defensive rebounding rate.
On the other side, Duke may not be an elite three-point shooting team, but they have a floor general in Jeremy Roach that can create offense and a floor spacer in Kyle Filipowski, who was quiet in the Blue Devils win in the first round.
While this total is low and the game may feature a ton of missed jumpers, I trust Duke’s offense to find more success in one-on-one situations to outpace the Vols offense that has little avenue to success against the Blue Devils interior.
PICK: Duke -3
Penn State vs. Texas prediction and pick
Penn State is one of the most prolific 3-point shooting teams in the country, top 10 in volume and top five in percentage, as the team plays a five out offense around point forward Jalen Pickett.
The Nittany Lions slow games to a crawl and try to maximize their possessions with shots from beyond the arc, and boy did they against Texas A&M, drilling 13 of 22 3s (including an absurd eight of 10 from Andrew Funk), en route to a 17-point win.
The key to beating Penn State is in the mid-range. Micah Shrewsberry’s team plays an incredibly compact defense, holding foes to one chance and keeping teams out of the paint with their versatility. However, Texas has the ability to get into the mid-range and rise and fire with the likes of Marcus Carr, Timmy Allen and Sir’Jabari Rice, but I don’t trust their defense to pull away from PSU.
I expect Seth Lundy and co. to drag out the likes of Dylan Disu and Christian Bishop along the perimeter, opening up the offense for the Nittany Lions and for their hot shooting to keep up.
Again, this is a team that is a top five 3-point shooting team in the country and everybody is a threat. Further, the Longhorns shot an astonishing 56% on 23 three-point attempts in the win vs. Colgate, I can see some natural regression to the mean from the Longhorns wings.
Lastly, Shrewsberry is as good as they come on quick turnaround. The former Purdue assistant is 24-11 against the spread as an underdog and 9-0 with no rest. I like the Nittany Lions to keep it rolling and possibly upset the No. 2 seed.
PICK: Penn State +5.5
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.