Jon Rothstein's 2021 March Madness First Round Day Two Picks and Predictions
It’s part two of the NCAA Tournament’s huge lineup of games with 16 great matchups to look forward to. As well as my picks for what will happen in every single game, make sure you check out Pickswise’s picks on the side and total throughout the tournament.
Colorado Buffaloes vs. Georgetown Hoyas
This game features a fascinating point guard battle between Hoyas freshman Dante Harris and Colorado senior McKinley Wright. Georgetown should ride a wave of momentum into this matchup following last week’s run at the Big East Tournament. Colorado is one of the most experienced teams in the bracket.
PICK: Georgetown +5.5
Be sure to check out the full game preview for Colorado Buffaloes vs. Georgetown Hoyas.
UNC Greensboro Spartans vs. Florida State Seminoles
Something has been off with the Seminoles over the last few weeks. They’ll need to right the ship against a dangerous team with a dangerous star in Isaiah Miller. The six-foot Miller is appointment TV and enters this tilt averaging an impressive 19.3 points, 6.9 rebounds, and four assists.
LOCK: Florida State -10.5
Be sure to check out the full game preview for UNC Greensboro Spartans vs. Florida State Seminoles.
Eastern Washington Eagles vs. Kansas Jayhawks
The Jayhawks are going to be down a few bodies in this game due to COVID-19 but should have enough in the tank to advance. Eastern Washington coach Shantay Legans is a rising star in the coaching ranks and a name to watch moving forward.
PICK: Eastern Washington +10.5
Be sure to check out the full game preview for Eastern Washington Eagles vs. Kansas Jayhawks.
St. Bonaventure Bonnies vs. LSU Tigers
This is one of the best games in the Round of 64. The Bonnies are exceptionally well-coached while the Tigers are incredibly talented. Keep an eye on LSU’s Darius Days, who could drag Bonnies’ big man Osun Osunniyi away from the basket with his face-up game.
PICK: LSU -1.5
Be sure to check out the full game preview for St. Bonaventure Bonnies vs. LSU Tigers.
After picking Oral Roberts to upset Ohio State, find out who college basketball player expert Rashad Phillips is picking for today’s action!
Texas Southern Tigers vs. Michigan Wolverines
The Wolverines are the most vulnerable number one seed in the bracket due to Isaiah Livers’ foot injury, but they’ve still got more than enough to advance in this game. Keep an eye on veteran forward Brandon Johns, who will see extended minutes with Livers out of the lineup.
PICK: Michigan Wolverines -25.5
Be sure to check out the full game preview for Texas Southern Tigers vs. Michigan Wolverines.
UCSB Gauchos vs. Creighton Bluejays
Joe Pasternack has built a program that has a roster that could play in the American Athletic Conference. It’s that good. The real matchup to watch in this game? The point guard battle between UC Santa Barbara’s JaQuori McLaughlin and Creighton’s Marcus Zegarowski.
PICK: UCSB +7.5
Be sure to check out the full game preview for UCSB Gauchos vs. Creighton Bluejays.
Iona Gaels vs. Alabama Crimson Tide
This game looks great on paper, but will probably be a mismatch on the court. Alabama is one of the top two-way teams in the sport. Iona is rebuilding. Beating the Crimson Tide is a tall task for anybody — including Rick Pitino.
PICK: Alabama -16.5
Be sure to check out the full game preview for Iona Gaels vs. Alabama Crimson Tide.
Drake Bulldogs vs. USC Trojans
Scoring against USC is like trying to get blood from a stone, and Drake is about to find that out first-hand. Trojans freshman Evan Mobley has a chance to be one of the breakout players in the NCAA Tournament.
PICK: USC -6
Be sure to check out the full game preview for Drake Bulldogs vs. USC Trojans.
Grand Canyon Antelopes vs. Iowa Hawkeyes
Every single game moving forward that the Hawkeyes play could be the final tilt of Luka Garza’s career. That’s bad news for Grand Canyon. Look for Garza to add an extra layer of relentlessness to his game as he gets set to begin what he hopes is a long NCAA Tournament run.
PICK: Iowa -14.5
Be sure to check out the full game preview for Grand Canyon Antelopes vs. Iowa Hawkeyes.
Maryland Terrapins vs. Connecticut Huskies
UConn freshman Adama Sanogo is the best big man to play in the Huskies’ program since Andre Drummond. His presence may be the difference in this game. Maryland’s inability to identify a capable and consistent five-man all season could hurt them against UConn.
PICK: UConn -3
Be sure to check out the full game preview for Maryland Terrapins vs. Connecticut Huskies.
Ohio Bobcats vs. Virginia Cavaliers
Ohio’s Jason Preston is one of the more entertaining players to watch in the entire NCAA Tournament. Will he be enough to upset Virginia after the Cavaliers went through a quarantine period following a positive COVID-19 test? Don’t rule it out of the realm of possibility. This is a tricky spot for the Cavaliers on a short prep.
PICK: Ohio +7.5
Be sure to check out the full game preview for Ohio Bobcats vs. Virginia Cavaliers.
Missouri Tigers vs. Oklahoma Sooners
These teams have both been Jekyll and Hyde all season long. Which one will advance and get a crack at Gonzaga in the Round of 32? To be determined. This is the epitome of a 50/50 game.
PICK: No bet
Be sure to check out the full game preview for Missouri Tigers vs. Oklahoma Sooners.
Norfolk State Spartans vs. Gonzaga Bulldogs
The West Region should be named “The Gonzaga Invitational”. It’s hard to see anyone in this portion of the bracket beating the Bulldogs, especially a #16 seed.
PICK: Gonzaga -33.5
Be sure to check out the full game preview for Norfolk State Spartans vs. Gonzaga Bulldogs.
UCLA Bruins vs. BYU Cougars
How much do the Bruins have left in the tank after Thursday night’s emotional win over Michigan State? We’ll find out on Saturday. Keep an eye on the matchup inside between UCLA’s Cody Riley and BYU big man Matt Haarms.
PICK: BYU -4.5
Be sure to check out the full game preview for UCLA Bruins vs. BYU Cougars.
Abilene Christian Wildcats vs. Texas Longhorns
Joe Golding has done one of the best coaching jobs in the country this season, but beating a team like Texas feels like an insurmountable task — especially if Jericho Sims plays like he did last week at the Big 12 Tournament. The 6’10” big man averaged 15.5 points, 12.5 rebounds, and three blocks in two games last week in Kansas City.
PICK: Texas -8.5
Be sure to check out the full game preview for Abilene Christian Wildcats vs. Texas Longhorns.
VCU Rams vs. Oregon Ducks
Oregon is the most underseeded team in the 2021 NCAA Tournament and has several players — Will Richardson, Chris Duarte, LJ Figueroa and Eugene Omoruyi — that can play at the next level. VCU has one in Bones Hyland. You do the math.
PICK: Oregon -5.5
Be sure to check out the full game preview for VCU Rams vs. Oregon Ducks.
Want more of Jon Rothstein’s March Madness thoughts? Check out our huge NCAA Tournament preview show, which also features Rashad Phillips and Aaron Torres!