Rashad Phillips' 2021 March Madness First Four Picks and Predictions

Photo of Rashad Phillips

Rashad Phillips

NCAAB· 7 months ago

Show Bio

NCAA/NBA prospect specialist. Basketball evangelist. The voice of the Unheard.

The NCAA Tournament has finally arrived, and things get off and running with today’s First Four matchups. As well as my predictions on what will happen, make sure you check out Pickswise’s picks on the side and total for every single matchup throughout the tournament.

UCLA Bruins vs. Michigan State Spartans

The only reason that I’m picking Michigan State in this game to beat the UCLA Bruins is that history tells us that Tom Izzo wins in March. Both teams are evenly matched but I believe the Spartans will out-rebound UCLA and that will be the difference-maker. Michigan State wins with the scoring ending up something like 67-61.

PICK: Michigan State -2

Be sure to check out the full game preview for UCLA Bruins vs. Michigan State Spartans.

Wichita State Shockers vs. Drake Bulldogs

This is going to be a really good game between two teams that have gone under the radar all season long. I’m going to pick Drake here because this team shoots the ball really well, they don’t force anything, and they’re sturdy on defense. If Wichita State’s combo guard Tyson Etienne can get going early then this game could be very interesting. I think Drake prevails in a nail-biter.

PICK: Drake +1.5

Be sure to check out the full game preview for Wichita State Shockers vs. Drake Bulldogs.

Click here to check out college basketball analyst and insider Jon Rothstein’s best picks!

Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers vs. Texas Southern Tigers

Something tells me that this game is going to be ugly and gritty. Both teams do not shoot free-throws well but I think it’s going to come down to pressure free-throw shooting between these two. I think Mount St. Mary will survive a close one.

PICK: Mount St. Mary’s -1

Be sure to check out the full game preview for Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers vs. Texas Southern Tigers.

Norfolk State Spartans vs. Appalachian State Mountaineers

I believe Devante Carter will be the best player on the floor and in turn lead Norfolk State to a huge win! Can Appalachian State contain the play of Carter? If they can, they’ll have a chance.

PICK: Norfolk State +3

Be sure to check out the full game preview for Norfolk State Spartans vs. Appalachian State Mountaineers.

Want more of Rashad Phillips’ March Madness thoughts? Check out our huge NCAA Tournament preview show, which also features Jon Rothstein and Aaron Torres!

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

See All
DraftKings

$200

Bet $5 on the NFL, Get $200!

Register for a new DraftKings Sportsbook account

Bet $5+ on the Money Line of any NFL game

If your team wins, you will be issued a $200 free bet bonus!

Must be 21+ located in AZ, CO, CT, IA, IL, IN, MI, NJ, PA, TN, VA, WY or WV to play. Offer valid only for new customers. Full terms available at DraftKings Sportsbook.

FanDuel Sportsbook

$150

Bet $5, Win $150 CASH on the Cardinals vs. Texans!

Register for a new account with FanDuel Sportsbook and make a deposit of $10+

Bet $5 on the Cardinals vs. Texans

If you pick the winner correctly, you win $150 in CASH!

21+ and new players only. Max bet $5, max reward $150. Must deposit $10+ to be eligible for promotion. Full terms available on FanDuel Sportsbook.

Unibet

$50

Bet $5, Win $50 if Your Team Makes a 3-Pointer!

Sign up for a new account with Unibet and make your first deposit

Bet $5 on any NBA team to win their next game

If your team hits a 3-pointer during the game, you win a bonus $50 - regardless of the game's outcome!

Max bet $5. 21+ and new players only. Full terms available from Unibet.

DraftKings

$200

Bet $5 on the NBA, Get $200!

Register for a new DraftKings Sportsbook account

Bet $5+ on the Money Line of any NBA Basketball game

If your team wins, you will be issued a $200 free bet bonus!

Must be 21+ located in AZ, CO, CT, IA, IL, IN, MI, NJ, PA, TN, VA, WY or WV to play. Offer valid only for new customers. Full terms available at DraftKings Sportsbook.

BetMGM

$200

Bet $10, Get $200 If Your Team Scores A Touchdown!

Register for a new BetMGM account & deposit $20+

Bet $10 on your team to win Money Line

Win $200 in free bets if your team scores a touchdown

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

PointsBet

$200

Bet $20, Get $200 If Your Team Scores A Touchdown!

Register for a new PointsBet account & deposit $20+

Bet $20 on your team to win Money Line (NFL or NCAAF)

Win $200 in free bets if your team scores a touchdown

Caesars Sportsbook

$5,000

Get a $5,000 Risk Free Bet!

Register for a new Caesars Sportsbook account & make a deposit

Place your first bet up to $5,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose - up to $5,000!

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

BetRivers

$250

Get a $250 Deposit Bonus!

Sign up for a new BetRivers account using promo code PICKSWISE

Make a deposit & get it doubled up to $250 total

To get a $100 bonus, deposit $100

Must be 21+. Play in IA Only. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-BETS OFF

BetMGM

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Risk Free Bet!

Register for a new BetMGM & deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $1,000

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

FanDuel Sportsbook

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Risk Free Bet!

Register for a new FanDuel Sportsbook account & deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $1,000

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

DraftKings

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Deposit Bonus!

Register for a new DraftKings Sportsbook account & deposit

DraftKings will match 20% of your deposit up to $1,000 total

To get a $100 bonus, deposit $500

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

Unibet

$500

Get a $500 Risk-Free Bet!

Register for a new Unibet account & make a deposit

Place your first bet up to $500 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $500

New players only. Terms & conditions apply. 21+. VA only.

Monkey Knife Fight

$100

Claim 100% Instant Deposit Match up to $100!

Register for a Monkey Knife Fight account & deposit using promo code PICKSWISE100

Monkey Knife Fight will match your first deposit up to $100

Deposit $100 and you'll get $100 bonus + a free $5 game

18+. Terms and conditions apply. You must live in one of the states where real money DFS is legal.

TVG

$300

Get a $300 Risk-Free Bet with TVG Racebook!

Register for a new TVG account and make a deposit

Place your first single horse win-type bet up to $300

If your horse doesn't win you'll get a refund up to $300

21+. T&C's apply. Please gamble responsibly.

BetAmerica Racing

$200

$200 Sign Up Bonus!

Fast, reliable and fast payouts - you'll have your money in 72 hours, if not sooner!

Proud history of providing safe, secure, and fun betting to American patrons

BetAmerica is owned by the iconic Churchill Downs Incorporated, home of 150 years of wagering history and the world-famous Kentucky Derby

Players who sign up using ‘BET200’ code will get a $200 sign up bonus. Offer valid for 7 days after registering on BetAmerica Racing product only. 21+. T&C's apply. Please gamble responsibly.

TwinSpires

$200

Get a $200 Sign Up Bonus with TwinSpires Racebook!

Register for a new Twinspires account using offer code BET200

Make a deposit and start wagering on horse racing

Earn $100 in bonus cash for every $400 wagered!

21+. T&C's apply. Please gamble responsibly.