Jon Rothstein's 2021 March Madness Second Round Day One Picks and Predictions
The second round of the NCAA Tournament and March Madness gets underway, and the train isn’t stopping with another eight great games to get excited for on Sunday. As well as my picks for what will happen in every single game, make sure you check out all of the other experts’ picks in the Pickswise $10,000 Capper Contest, as well as their team’s thoughts on the side and total for all of today’s matchups.
Loyola-Chicago Ramblers vs. Illinois Fighting Illini
This is a massive game in the state of Illinois. The Ramblers’ defense is elite, but it may not be enough to slow down the Illini’s one-two punch of Ayo Dosunmu and Kofi Cockburn. Keep an eye on Illinois freshman Adam Miller, whose shot-making ability could be a major factor.
PICK: Illinois -7
Be sure to check out the full game preview for Loyola-Chicago Ramblers vs. Illinois Fighting Illini.
Wisconsin Badgers vs. Baylor Bears
This is a dangerous spot for Baylor. Wisconsin’s age, toughness, and experience is made for the controlled environment in Indianapolis. This matchup is reminiscent of the Badgers’ matchup in the Round of 32 against Villanova in 2017.
PICK: Wisconsin +6
Be sure to check out the full game preview for Wisconsin Badgers vs. Baylor Bears.
Syracuse Orange vs. West Virginia Mountaineers
Buddy Boeheim is averaging 29.3 points and is 18-30 from three-point range over his last three games. West Virginia has to slow him down in order to advance. This is a juicy matchup between two old Big East rivals.
PICK: West Virginia -3.5
Be sure to check out the full game preview for Syracuse Orange vs. West Virginia Mountaineers.
North Texas Mean Green vs. Villanova Wildcats
Cinderella is wearing green, but Villanova should have a decisive advantage inside with Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, who had 22 points, 11 rebounds, and six assists in Friday night’s win over Winthrop.
PICK: Villanova -6.5
Be sure to check out the full game preview for North Texas Mean Green vs. Villanova Wildcats.
Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. Arkansas Razorbacks
Arkansas scored 85 points in its first-round win over Colgate. Texas Tech only surrendered 53 points in its first-round win over Utah State. Something’s gotta give.
PICK: Texas Tech -1
Be sure to check out the full game preview for Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. Arkansas Razorbacks.
After predicting Oral Roberts, Ohio, and Abilene Christian ALL to record upsets, find out who college basketball player expert Rashad Phillips is picking for today’s action!
Rutgers Scarlet Knights vs. Houston Cougars
The Cougars are the best offensive rebounding team in college basketball. Rutgers’ ability to keep them off the glass will determine if they has a chance to advance. Steve Pikiell needs a big game out of big man Myles Johnson in the paint.
PICK: Houston -8
Be sure to check out the full game preview for Rutgers Scarlet Knights vs. Houston Cougars.
Oral Roberts Golden Eagles vs. Florida Gators
Max Abmas and Kevin O’Banor are one win away from becoming the biggest story in the 2021 NCAA Tournament. Florida has a golden opportunity to get to the second weekend.
PICK: Florida -8
Be sure to check out the full game preview for Oral Roberts Golden Eagles vs. Florida Gators.
Oregon State Beavers vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys
Momentum is a real thing in March and Oregon State has it. Do the Beavers have enough to pick off Cade Cunningham and the Cowboys? To be determined. Cunningham is due for a breakout game after going 3-14 from the field against Liberty.
PICK: Oklahoma State -6
Be sure to check out the full game preview for Oregon State Beavers vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys.
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!