Unless you’re some sort of Oracle straight out of the Matrix, your framework might break. Maybe you asked Kentucky to make the Finals or liked Iowa from the Midwest. Maybe you’re like me and took a chance on a long shot like Virginia Tech only to have it instantly explode in your face.
Whatever your situation, you may need to do it again. Luckily, it’s time for a second chance!
Thanks to odds from our friends at WynnBETWe can run through the rest of the games and hopefully we learn from our mistakes to complete some picks this time around:
No. 4 Arkansas (+350) vs No. 1 Gonzaga (-450)
Neither team had a particularly impressive record in the first two rounds. Arkansas was barely able to beat New Mexico State and Vermont while Gonzaga overcame Georgia later before overcoming a double-digit deficit to topple Memphis. Both teams are undefeated and need a full performance to feel satisfied about their chances of winning.
I expect that complete performance to come from Gonzaga. Their return to Memphis will revive the Bulldogs. They were the best team in the country and Arkansas was too reliant on JD Notae, who was admittedly great. But Gonzaga is a strong candidate for a reason. I’m sticking with chalk here.
Select: Gonzaga Advances
Texas Tech No. 3 (-115) vs No. 2 Duke (-105)
Texas Tech has the best defense in the country while Duke ranks in the 1st percentile in defensive ratings in their last 5 games. The Red Raiders aren’t a great offensive team, but they’re getting hot from the deep at the right time. With a 94-percent rating in a three-point tie in their last five games, Texas Tech can take advantage of this leaky Blue Devils defense.
The Red Raiders ended Coach K’s career in Sweet 16, but it will be an end.
Select: Texas Tech Advances
No.1 Gonzaga vs No.3 Texas Tech
Texas Tech can totally upset the Bulldogs, but I think their offensive struggles will be their downfall. I wrote before the tournament that Gonzaga has the biggest gap in KenPom’s adjusted performance between #1 and #2 (Arizona) in the history of his database and they’re still the best team in the country.
I won’t be intimidated by their lackluster performance in the first two innings. The comeback against Memphis will be a turning point and the Bulldogs will use that momentum to reach the Finals.
Pick: No. 1 Gonzaga Wins the West
North Carolina No. 8 (+125) vs No. 4 UCLA (-140)
The Bruins are in a state of unpleasant alarm. North Carolina’s attack is on fire thanks to their sublime ball movement and their defense is in top form. Meanwhile, UCLA is in the 39th percentile for defensive ratings in their last five games and barely beat Akron in the opening round.
Already having the advantage in attack and defense, the top cherry is the elite defensive recovery of Tar Heels. Every year, there’s a team that puts it absolutely at the right time and takes a big step forward. North Carolina is that team.
Select: No. 8 North Carolina Advances
3 Purdue (-1200) vs Saint Peter’s 15 (+850)
I want to bring the Peacocks here. I really will. But Jaden Ivey has come out of his rut and brought his team back to the way they were at the start of the season when they were widely regarded as one of the few best teams in America.
Purdue’s defense is still an issue, but this is where Saint Peter’s Cinderella story ends. I think they had a great opportunity to shield the contagion, but the Peacocks were not a worthy opponent for the team’s offensive when Ivey was playing well.
Select: No. 3 Purdue Advances
No. 8 North Carolina vs No. 3 Purdue
It’s Tar Heel season, honey. North Carolina is playing too well to ignore. Brady Manek has been revealed and Purdue’s shaky defense will be their downfall. Before the NCAA Tournament, the Team closed the year with a 0-9-1 scoreline on the leaderboard. I don’t trust they can stop Tar Heels offense which has opened a new ceiling.
North Carolina will not fear and they will advance to the Finals.
Pick: No. 8 North Carolina Wins East Division
No. 5 Houston (+105) vs No. 1 Arizona (-125)
The cougar is ready to defeat the Wild Cat. TCU nearly beat Arizona by guaranteeing 20 offensive bounces, and Houston happens to have the second-best offensive bounce rate in college basketball.
Arizona has looked ripe for a sadness for a while, barely beating Stanford in the Pac-12 Conference tournament before needing overtime against TCU. Besides Gonzaga, Houston is the only team left with attack and defense in the top 10, according to KenPom. They will overcome that balance to win.
Select: No. 5 Houston Advances
No. 11 Michigan (+185) vs No. 2 Villanova (-240)
The dogs are barking in the southern area, like Werewolves will defeat Villanova. This match caused a lot of problems for the Wildcats. Michigan’s attack is focused on Hunter Dickinson and he should prevail inside against a Villanova defense that has no answer for him.
Wildcats on the other hand depend on three pointers but the Wolverines have good perimeter protection. We need to be a little different when it comes to filling in this second-chance box, and we’ll do so here in the South. Michigan shocks the world and defeats Villanova.
Select: No. 11 Michigan Advances
No.5 Houston vs No.11 Michigan
This is where the werewolf race ends. Houston is a much deeper, more balanced team and should be able to defend Dickinson in a well-formed position.
Michigan’s guards struggle with pressure, and the Cougars will hunt them down for a long time. Think of it as the difference as Houston made it to the Finals for a second straight.
Pick: No. 5 Houston Wins South Zone
Reliability #4 (+275) vs. #1 Kansas (-350)
This is the area of Kansas to lose. The Jayhawks rank in the 95th percentile for offensive ratings and 99th for defense in their last five teams and look like one of the most accomplished teams in America.
Providence also looks great and has an experienced roster that won’t fear Kansas, but the Jayhawks will have the answer to the Friars defensively and won’t be pushed as low as South Dakota State and Richmond. Kansas outperforms Providence in all areas of the floor and will keep the brethren.
Pick: No. 1 Kansas Advances
No. 11 Iowa (+115) vs No. 10 Miami (-140)
Before the tournament, I have identified Miami as a black horse with great Final Four potential. My beloved hurricanes are amazing and able to take care of an onslaught of Cyclones beyond their weight.
LSU and Wisconsin both had stagnant and shaky offense going into the league, but Miami is one of the best offenses in America. Between Isaiah Wong, Kameron McGusty, and Charlie Moore, they had too many people they could rely on for the Cyclones to stop them. The state of Iowa won’t be able to keep up with the storms.
Select: No. 10 Miami Advances
No. 1 Kansas vs No. 10 Miami
Miami’s defense will be completely overwhelmed against the Jayhawks. Kansas is too deep and too talented for the raging storms to keep up and the Jayhawks’ defense will be enough to frustrate Miami’s ball handlers.
The road is wide open for Kansas to make it to the Finals for the first time since 2018 and they will take advantage.
Pick: No. 1 Kansas Wins Midwest
No.1 Gonzaga vs No.8 North Carolina
North Carolina ranks 125th for two-point shot rate and 105th for two-point shot rate in defense. Gonzaga, meanwhile, came out on top in both categories.
The advantage inside the Bulldogs will be the difference here, as they rely on Chet Holmgren and Drew Timme to overwhelm the inside of the Tar Heels and lead them to the National Championship.
Pick: No. 1 Gonzaga Advances
No. 5 Houston vs No. 1 Kansas
It’s going to be an interesting matchup, but if the Jayhawks’ defense last month was legit they’ll win. And I think it is. Kansas can match Houston’s defensive intensity and has better offensive power, so I’m on the Jayhawks’ side.
Kansas is also more tested, having won the Big 12 regular season and conference titles. KenPom has them with the third hardest power on the schedule and the hardest enemy defense on the schedule, so the Jayhawks will be prepared to deal with the Cougars.
I picked the Gonzaga vs Kansas national championship before the tournament and I’m sticking with it. Chalk stone.
Pick: No. 1 Kansas Advances
No.1 Gonzaga vs No.1 Kansas
The Bulldogs have struggled with physics teams that can push Holmgren and Timme low. The Kansas X-factor in this film is David McCormack, a large man with frequent illnesses who looks more like an Olympic pitcher than a basketball player. Big Dave is strong and his physicality would annoy Gonzaga.
Gonzaga is just 2-6 against their spread in their last eight while Kansas is completely rolling. With Remy Martin healthy, the Jayhawks have too many talented players they can throw at the Bulldogs. I’m a little biased because I’ve spent my entire life as a Kansas fan, but this was the year the Jayhawks knocked the net.
I was 14 years old when Kansas last won the NCAA Championship and I still vividly remember a very strong punch when Mario Chalmers hit three times in stoppage time that I accidentally punched my brother in the face. I was ready to lose control of my limbs in jubilant celebration once again. Jayhawks will win the national title.
Follow all of Joe Summers’ betting selections this.
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