2023 March Madness Elite Eight Top Picks for Saturday: UConn Looking Dangerous and Profitable

Donovan Clingan Connecticut Huskies Arkansas Razorbacks
Donovan Clingan #32 of the Connecticut Huskies blocks a shot by Ricky Council IV #1 of the Arkansas Razorbacks during the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images/AFP.

We are coming to a close on the NCAA Tournament, and we already have half of the Elite Eight field settled. On Thursday, we were gifted with four competitive games, and the best is yet to come. On Saturday, we will have half of the Final Four finalized, and we will know what to expect from these top teams.

The first team to punch a ticket into the Elite Eight was Kansas State after a stunning overtime game. UConn blew the brakes off of Arkansas, and the final two games went down to the wire. It seems that any team that won on Thursday could compete for a national title, and we will have two great games on Saturday to learn who reaches the Final Four.

So, what should we expect from these two matchups for our NCAAB picks? We have minimal rest for all programs, and most teams are coming off of a long night to reach the Elite Eight in the first place. Let’s start with a pair of underdogs in the East.

Kansas State Wildcats vs. Florida Atlantic Owls

Saturday, March 25, 2023 – 6:09 PM EDT at Madison Square Garden

You could easily say that FAU had the easiest path to the Sweet 16 after avoiding Purdue and beating Fairleigh Dickinson, but the Wildcats proved that they deserve to be in the Elite Eight with a great comeback against Tennessee. They never backed down, and they beat the Volunteers after a great second half.

Despite losing the turnover battle, Kansas State won this game thanks to great perimeter defense and transition points. The rebounding numbers were not ideal on the defensive side, but they forced enough bad shots to overcome this.

Kansas State won due to one of the best offensive performances in recent history. With only five turnovers, the Wildcats put up 98 points with just one overtime. Markquis Nowell was the savior for KSU due to 19 assists, and he made key defensive stops when the team needed him most.

This will be a strange pairing of styles. FAU would love to play slower, but Kansas State likes to speed up the pace of play. Also, the Wildcats will turn to Nowell once again, while FAU won’t rely on any one player. With a difference in style of play, what can we expect?

Picks and Predictions

FAU seems to be the true underdog story of the second weekend, but I don’t see them slowing down Kansas State’s offense for 40 minutes. This will inevitably turn into a shootout, and Kansas State has the shooters capable of winning that game.

A star player can win you a game, and Nowell can be that person on Saturday. Give me the Wildcats to cover despite being favorites and for the Over to hit.

NCAAB Pick: Kansas State -2 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook

NCAAB Pick: Over 143 (-108) at BetRivers

Connecticut Huskies vs. Gonzaga Bulldogs

Saturday, March 25, 2023 – 08:49 PM EDT at T-Mobile Arena

UConn looks like one of the best teams in the country right now. They have cake-walked their way to the Elite Eight not because of easy matchups, but because of a great play style. This team has shooters and size, and they can clamp down star players on defense.

Gonzaga somehow survived both a comeback and a near collapse against UCLA. The Bulldogs were carried on offense by Drew Timme and won a game that came down to the final shot.

Gonzaga is the higher seed, and they have proven that they can win tough games. However, UConn has been the better team so far in the NCAA Tournament. Will they finally be tested?

Picks and Predictions

UConn feels like a weak seed that can win the NCAA Tournament. The offense is electric, and they have enough size and depth to stop Drew Timme.

Also, Gonzaga is coming off a roller coaster of emotions. It’s hard to get your mind right and face off against a new team in 24 hours. They have veteran leadership, but I don’t see them beating the Huskies.

Give me UConn to cover as they reach the Final Four, and give me the Over due to UConn’s ability to run up the score in recent weeks.

NCAAB Pick: UConn -2 (-110) at Bet365

NCAAB Pick: Over 153.5 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook