Samsung TV Plus
Roku TV
Amazon Prime Video
LG Channels
YouTube TV
Sling Tv
Sirius XM
Local Now
Rad TV
NCAAB · 7 months ago

NCAA Tournament: Preview & Picks for Thursday’s Late-Night Games

David Connelly - SportsGrid

David Connelly - SportsGrid

NCAA Tournament: Preview & Picks for Thursday’s Late-Night Games

The opening-round madness is set to get underway on Thursday, and what is a better way to prepare you for it than by previewing every matchup on the docket? We look at all 16 games on Thursday’s slate and discuss which team we see advancing.

NCAA Picks: Early Games | Afternoon Games | Early Evening Games

9:20 p.m. ET | #16 Northern Kentucky vs. #1 Houston | TNT

Houston might break the NCAA Tournament offensive rebounding record in this matchup. Northern Kentucky really struggles to keep opponents off the offensive glass, and that’s a place where the Cougars thrive under head coach Kelvin Sampson.

ATS Pick: Houston -19.5 

9:40 p.m. ET | #13 Louisiana vs. #4 Tennessee | CBS

Here’s an upset that could catch some by surprise. Tennessee has been grossly underperforming since the start of February, and Louisiana could look to exploit its struggles.

The loss of star guard Zakai Zeigler is massive here, and the Ragin’ Cajuns are a good enough team to keep up with the Volunteers through solid three-point shooting and second-chance points. Back Louisiana to cover the spread, and don’t be afraid to sprinkle on their moneyline here as well.

ATS Pick: Louisiana +11.5 | ML Pick: Louisiana +550

9:55 p.m. ET | #10 Penn State vs. #7 Texas A&M | TBS

Penn State should be considered one of the hottest teams entering the NCAA Tournament. The Nittany Lions have gone from a bubble long shot in mid-February to inserting themselves into the field through an impressive run to the Big Ten Tournament.

But Texas A&M is no slouch either, with just four losses since Christmas and an impressive 15-2 record out of the SEC. We see this matchup favoring Penn State’s extreme shotmaking ability, specifically from beyond the arc, as the Aggies allow opponents to shoot over the top of their D. 

ATS Pick: Penn State +2.5 | ML Pick: Penn State +126

10:05 p.m. ET | #15 UNC Asheville vs. #2 UCLA | truTV

UNC Asheville will give UCLA a scare in this matchup. Drew Pember and Tajion Jones are one of the best one-two combos in the tournament, and they could give the Bruins a punch in the mouth in this first-round matchup.

The loss of second-leading scorer and top defender Jaylen Clark is lingering for UCLA, which leaves the door open for some upset potential for the Bulldogs. Keep an eye on this one throughout the late night on Thursday, as you may want to jump in in-game.

ATS Pick: UNC Asheville +17.5