March Madness daily update: Can Oral Roberts and North Texas stay alive in NCAA Tournament?

Kevin Obanor and Max Abmas celebrate after beating Ohio State
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Ricky Dimon


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Since graduating from Davidson (The College That Stephen Curry Built), I have been writing about sports -- just about any and all you can think of! -- and coaching tennis in Atlanta, GA. Beyond the four major sports, I am an avid tennis fan and cover the ATP Tour on a daily basis. If I'm not busy writing, you can generally find me on a tennis court or traveling the world wherever a sporting event takes me. For Ricky Dimon media enquiries, please email

From now through the end of March Madness, we will be providing a daily update with everything you need to know about the NCAA Tournament. Covering line movements to betting trends, statistics, quotes, and more, we will provide you with everything you need to know about all of happenings in Indiana.

With the first round having come and gone, let’s take another daily in-depth look at the Big Dance by previewing the first day of second-round action. In addition to helping you fill out your bracket before the festivities begin, we now want to help you make the best possible bets each day during the tournament.

Line movements

Move for the underdog
Oregon State +6 to +5 vs. Oklahoma State
North Texas +7 to +6 vs. Villanova

Move for the under
Oklahoma State-Oregon State 142.5 to 141

Be sure to check out our in-depth line movement summary.

Public Money

Illinois -7.5 vs. Loyola Chicago

The public is all over the Illinois Fighting Illini in their first-round showdown against the Loyola Chicago Ramblers on Sunday afternoon. It is a No. 1 vs. No. 8 meeting in the Midwest Region. A total of 89 percent of the handle and 81 percent of the bets are coming in on Illinois -7.5. Bettors aren’t afraid of the money line, either, even though the value isn’t great at -345. When it comes to the Illini winning outright, an identical 89 percent of the handle and 81 percent of the wagers are going in that direction.

Illinois vs. Loyola Chicago preview and picks

Baylor ML vs. Wisconsin

Punters are also hammering top-seeded Baylor against No. 9 Wisconsin in the South Region. They don’t love the spread (-6.5) quite as much as the money line, with 72 percent of the handle and 68 percent of the bets on the Bears ATS. On the -315 money line, the NCAA Tournament’s No. 2 overall seed is drawing 84 percent of the handle and 74 percent of the wagers.

Baylor vs. Wisconsin preview and picks

Jared Butler of Baylor

Stat of the Day

1 – The number of No. 15 seeds in NCAA Tournament history that have reached the Sweet 16.

That is the feat Oral Roberts will be trying to accomplish this weekend. The Golden Eagles pulled off the biggest surprise of an upset-filled first round by stunning South Region No. 2 seed 75-72 in overtime. They are the ninth No. 15 in NCAA Tournament history to upset a No. 2 seed. Only Florida Gulf Coast in 2013 has managed to win a second game as a No. 15 seed and earn a place in the Sweet 16. Ironically, FGCU’s run came to an end at the hands of Florida—the team Oral Roberts will face on Sunday night.

Florida vs. Oral Roberts preview and picks

Quote of the Day

“It’s like they almost don’t really want to celebrate. Everybody’s excited, but there’s a resolve to what we’re doing…. The belief in that locker room is that we came here to play for it all.
          — North Texas head coach Grant McCasland following his team’s first-round victory over Purdue

The Mean Green will try to continue their NCAA Tournament run on Sunday against Villanova. With Friday’s 78-69 overtime upset of the Boilermakers, UNT is one win away from the Sweet 16. McCasland’s team is a +6.5 underdog in round two, but the Wildcats could be vulnerable without guard Collin Gillespie.

Villanova vs. North Texas preview and picks

Pickswise is the home of March Madness Predictions. Check out all of our March Madness Picks, including daily March Madness Parlays throughout the NCAA Tournament.

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