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March Madness Round 2 Predictions & Best Bets 2024

Last Updated: Mar 22, 2024

As expected, the first round of the NCAA Tournament delivered plenty of stunning results. As we move into the Round of 32, it’s time to see which teams are here to stay and who can cement their cinderella status.

Here are my best bets for the second round of March Madness.

All NCAAB odds are current as of Friday, March 22, at 2 p.m. ET.

March Madness Round 2 Best Bets

Oakland ()

14 Oakland vs 11 NC State • bet365 Sportsbook (1 Unit)

Where were you when Jack Gohlke and Oakland shocked the world? The Golden Grizzlies pulled off the most stunning upset of the Thursday slate, knocking off No. 3 Kentucky behind sixth-year guard Gohlke’s 30 points on 10-of-20 shooting from three-point range.

NC State has pulled off some big-time upsets of its own recently — most notably defeating Duke and North Carolina in the ACC Tournament — and it kept it rolling on Thursday by defeating No. 6 Texas Tech.

This one could genuinely go either way, but it’s tough to ignore the (+210) tag on the Golden Grizzlies. They’re pesky and incredibly dangerous from beyond the arc, and although the Wolfpack should know what to expect, Oakland could still persevere.

This is one of my favorite college basketball bets for the Round of 32.

Gonzaga -4.5 ()

5 Gonzaga vs 4 Kansas • FanDuel Sportsbook (1 Unit)

The Jayhawks have already defeated one team of Bulldogs, but Gonzaga presents a much more challenging matchup than Samford. Mark Few’s Zags rank eighth in KenPom’s adjusted offensive efficiency rating, and without standout guard Kevin McCullar Jr., Kansas could be in trouble.

The Zags made it look easy against No. 12 McNeese State, crushing a team that many had pegged as a potential cinderella. Forward Graham Ike recorded 16 points and 10 rebounds in 23 minutes, while Ryan Nembhard and Anton Watson combined for 18 of the team’s 22 assists.

Kansas doesn’t attempt many three-pointers, and although Gonzaga gives up plenty of looks inside the arc, it held opponents to 44.5% shooting on two-pointers this year — the 13th-best mark in college basketball.

This is a bad matchup for the short-handed Jayhawks. The Bulldogs will punch their ticket to the Sweet 16.

Creighton -5.5 (+100)

11 Oregon vs 3 Creighton • BetMGM Sportsbook (1 Unit)

Oregon took down South Carolina in its first-round action, but Creighton is a much different beast. Unlike the Gamecocks, the Bluejays have an answer for Ducks star center N’Faly Dante in three-time Big East Defensive Player of the Year Ryan Kalkbrenner.

Kalkbrenner has averaged 3.9 blocks per game over his last 11, and his presence provides Creighton with a defensive anchor around the rim. He’s a big reason why the Bluejays have limited opponents to 45.8% shooting inside the arc — the 25th-best mark in the nation.

Oregon relies heavily on Dante’s contributions (and scoring inside the arc in general), making this look like a bad matchup for the Ducks. Even if Jermaine Couisnard gets going from deep, it may not be enough for Oregon to keep pace with red-hot Creighton.

Washington State (+245)

7 Washington State vs 2 Iowa State • FanDuel Sportsbook (0.5 Units)

The public has been heavy on Iowa State since it thrashed Houston in the Big 12 Tournament, but don’t sleep on Washington State. The Cougars have flown under the radar as a potential giant-killer for some time now despite the fact that they upset Arizona twice during the regular season.

It may not be a fun game to watch, but this 7 vs. 2 matchup could be much closer than expected. Both sides have phenomenal defenses, and Wazzou’s desire to slow the tempo could help keep them within reach throughout.

What concerns me about the Cyclones is their lackluster shooting from three-point range and the free-throw line. Many faded Washington State in the first round due to its 70.3% clip at the stripe, but Iowa State fares even worse at 69.6%.

If this one is close at the end, I could see the Cougars bringing it home. Combine this pick with FanDuel’s March Madness promos to make the most of what could be an instant classic.

March Madness Round 2 Betting Odds

Find odds for this year’s NCAA Tournament games at the best March Madness betting apps.

Author

Garrett Chorpenning

Garrett Chorpenning is the Lead NBA Editor for The Game Day. His previous work includes covering the LA Clippers for Sports Illustrated and FanSided. He graduated from Ball State University in 2021.

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