March Madness is delivering with upsets occurring left and right. We’re looking at a pair of dogs worth your time this Saturday.
The pregame narrative: The Princeton Tigers shocked the world when they took down the No. 2 Arizona Wildcats on Thursday and we think they’ve got more left in the tank. We’re also fading the Texas Longhorns against the Penn St. Nittany Lions’ electric offence.
Here are our best March Madness Round 2 upset picks for NCAA tournament games on March 18
NCAA basketball odds as of 12:01 p.m. ET on 03/17/2023.
March Madness Round 2 upset picks
Best Bet : Penn St. (+210)
Texas looked great in its opening match against Colgate but Penn St. was even more impressive.
The No. 10 Nittany Lions dismantled Texas A&M thanks to a lights-out performance from deep led by Andrew Funk (8 for 10 from deep).
That’s been nothing new for PSU though, as it ranks 13th on KenPom’s adjusted offensive efficiency (117.5), eighth in effective field-goal percentage (39.0%) and fifth in 3-point percentage (39.0%).
NCAA bracket: Play the bracket here
Thursday’s shooting performance was impressive but it was the defence that truly carried PSU. It held A&M to just 59 points — its lowest since January 19 — on 33.9% shooting.
Texas will be a much harder opponent to stifle. The Longhorns’ offence ranks 17th in offensive efficiency (116.8) and 28th in PPG (77.9). With that said, UT hasn’t advanced to the Sweet 16 since 2008 and we’re banking on that trend continuing.
Texas can score but Penn St. should be able to keep up with them. Expect the Nittany Lions to come out on top in a track meet on Saturday.
Key stat: The Nittany Lions have won six of their past seven games with their only loss coming to Purdue by the thinnest of margins (67-64 defeat).
Princeton (+205) : Taking a No. 15 seed to the Sweet 16 is bold but this tournament is called March Madness for a reason.
The Tigers looked like they belonged against the Wildcats on Thursday, checking all the boxes necessary to beat a top-level team. Princeton out-rebounded Arizona, won the turnover battle and locked in on defence when it mattered.
Now it will play the Missouri Tigers and we think a mismatch is brewing. Princeton ranks 20th in rebounding (38.3) while Missouri ranks 346th (30.2).
If the Ivy League Cinderella can find consistent offence on Saturday we’re confident it can keep this run going.
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