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NCAA Tournament 2nd Round | Top Games & Upset Pick of the Day – Open Thread

The Big Dance second round starts today! I’ve got my daily picks for top games and the upset of the day. Consider this your open gameday thread for all the tournament action.

Kevin C. Cox

Top Games

#9 Pittsburgh Panthers (25-9, 11-7 ACC) vs #8 Colorado Buffaloes (23-11, 10-8 Pac-12)

Game Time – 12:40 PM

Preview - Pittsburgh is a powerful team that has the big guys and strength to dominate smaller teams. Their frontcourt of Lamar Patterson and Talib Zanna are a force inside. Colorado had an unfortunate blow when they lost their best player 6’6’’ guard Spencer Dinwiddie mid-season. Both are good teams, but in my bracket I picked Pitt to win this game.

#10 Saint Joseph’s Hawks (24-9, 11-5 Atlantic 10) vs #7 Connecticut Huskies (26-8, 12-6 AAC)

Game Time – 5:55 PM

Preview - St. Joe’s beat VCU in their Atlantic 10 tournament championship. They are a solid team and guard Langston Galloway bombs the ball from all over the court. He is averaging 17.5 points and loves to shoot from beyond the arc, hitting 104-237 downtown shots this year at a rate of 43.9%. Connecticut has the American Athletic Conference player of the year in senior guard Shabazz Napier. They have played excellent to end the season except against Louisville. I have UConn picked to win this game.

#10 Arizona State Sun Devils (21-11, 10-8 Pac-12) vs #7 Texas Longhorns (23-10, 11-7 Big 12)

Game Time – 8:40 PM

Preview - ASU ended the year on a sour note as they lost their last 3 games. They have a tremendous backcourt with star guard Jahii Carson and Jermaine Marshall. Both players average 15+ points per game. Texas also had trouble ending the season with 3 scattered wins in their last 8 games. UT doesn’t have the backcourt to play with ASU, but maybe their frontcourt of Jonathan Holmes and Cameron Ridley can use their size inside. I think this game will be a battle. In the end I think the backcourt of ASU will get a win for the Sun Devils.

Upset Alert

#12 Harvard Crimson (26-4, 13-1 Ivy) vs #5 Cincinnati Bearcats (27-6, 15-3 AAC)

Game Time – 1:10 PM

Preview - Harvard was a #14 seed last year and took down #3 New Mexico in the tournament. They are a complete team with 5 players averaging double figures led by Wesley Saunders (14 ppg). Harvard also won the Ivy conference going 13-1. Cincinnati has star Sean Kilpatrick who averages 20.7 points per game. They were great through most of the season and in the Top 10 before being knocked off a few times. Remember, UConn only beat Harvard 61-56 this year in January and Cincinnati just lost to UConn in their last game. I think Harvard can hang with Cincy, so I picked the Crimson in my bracket for the miracle upset.