• North Carolina vs. Virginia: Virginia -1.5 (-115) at BetMGM
• TCU vs. Kansas State: Under 146.5 (-110) at BetMGM
• Arkansas vs. Auburn: Auburn +1.5 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook
Conference tournaments are wrapping up, and we are close to Selection Sunday, the one day when we finally know who is in the NCAA Tournament. Teams are still battling for position.
10 of the 68 slots are taken as of this writing, and more will be taken soon. Some seasons are over due to losses in conference tournaments, and others will end on Thursday.
The ACC Tournament has reached the quarterfinal stage, and the SEC Tournament is in the second round. Which teams will overcome adversity and move on to the later stages of these events?
More importantly, what are the best NCAAB picks to make for Thursday?
North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Virginia Cavaliers
Thursday, March 09, 2023 – 07:00 PM EST at Greensboro Coliseum
This is an intriguing matchup. Unlike last year, North Carolina needs some extra help if they want to reach the NCAA Tournament. Right now, they are on the wrong side of the bubble, and a few spots can still be taken by automatic qualifiers who would otherwise miss the NCAA Tournament.
However, a win against Virginia would go a long way. It may be enough to reach the NCAA Tournament. With a recent win at home against the Cavaliers, it’s safe to think that they can do so once again.
With multiple stars returning from last year’s team, it’s hard to understand why UNC has struggled so much this year. The offense is lacking, and the defense can only limit teams when the pace of the game slows.
Virginia has one of the best defenses in the country, and they can dictate the pace well. If they can limit Bacot’s impact on the glass, they should win this game and cover the spread.
The Cavs’ defense will smother the paint and win this one in a low-scoring affair, ending UNC’s hopes of reaching the NCAA Tournament.
NCAAB Pick: Virginia -1.5 (-115) at BetMGM
TCU Horned Frogs vs. Kansas State Wildcats
Thursday, March 09, 2023 – 09:30 PM EST at T-Mobile Center
It’s rare to see two ranked teams play this early in a conference tournament, but that’s what happens when the Big 12 is as stacked as it currently is. Seven teams are currently expected to reach the NCAA Tournament, but the conference is very top-heavy with plenty of contenders.
Neither team has played since Saturday, so expect some early rust. Some rest is valuable, but you don’t want to go this long without live action.
This rivalry is 1-1 so far this season, with the home team winning both games. It will be a nail-biter, and I don’t expect either team to back down.
Since I’m not comfortable with the spread, give me the total instead. These teams haven’t seen two successful offenses yet. It’s always been one team thriving with the other struggling. I’m not expecting a struggle, but I don’t see a situation where both teams reach 74 points or more.
As long as this game doesn’t reach overtime, I like the Under. With some early rust and late-game clock management, there will be fewer scoring opportunities than we’re used to seeing.
NCAAB Pick: Under 146.5 (-110) at BetMGM
Arkansas Razorbacks vs. Auburn Tigers
Thursday, March 09, 2023 – 07:00 PM EST at Bridgestone Arena
With a win over Tennessee to end the regular season, Auburn is likely safe in the NCAA Tournament and officially off the bubble. However, that doesn’t mean that they are a bonafide team. Injuries late in the year have limited them, and the offense relies heavily on unique nights from three.
This is one of the worst three-point shooting teams in the country, and they need to be stellar to compete with strong teams. Against Arkansas, they will have a tough time scoring from deep.
However, Arkansas is on a losing streak in recent weeks. This team is spiraling, and they will likely be one of the weakest SEC teams in the NCAA Tournament.
I like Arkansas on paper, but I prefer the Tigers due to some resiliency shown in recent weeks. They’re fighting hard, and effort goes a long way when shots aren’t guaranteed to fall.
NCAAB Pick: Auburn +1.5 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook