Ohio State’s Duane Washington Jr. (4) drives against Oral Roberts’ Carlos Jürgens (11) during the … [+]
The 2021 NCAA Tournament began on Friday with one of the most exciting opening days that March Madness has seen in quite some time.
There were several notable upsets across the 16 games that started the Big Dance, including one of the most shocking results in tourney history when No. 15 seed Oral Roberts downed No. 2 seed Ohio State in overtime. The Golden Eagles were a 16-point underdog against the Buckeyes in the contest, making it the largest NCAA Tournament upset—in terms of the point spread—since No. 16 UMBC toppled No. 1 Virginia in 2018.
Some other major March Madness upsets yesterday included No. 13 North Texas over No. 4 Purdue, No. 12 Oregon State over No. 5 Tennessee and No, 11 Syracuse over No. 6 San Diego State.
While these results busted almost every March Madness bracket—only one remains unblemished in the CBS Sports challenge—it’s not too late to turn things around for those in do-over pools or just looking to make some predictions against the spread on the second day of the NCAA Tournament.
There are only a few short hours left before the March Madness action gets underway again today, so get ready for another thrilling day of college basketball by reading on. You can check out the full list of NCAA Tournament 2021 scores, catch some highlights from Friday and see the complete viewing guide for Saturday’s schedule, including start times, TV channels and odds for every game on tap today. The matchups for tomorrow’s second round start are also finalized and you can see which schools will be battling for a Sweet 16 spot in the table below.
There is also an updated printable March Madness bracket and pro predictions from Jon Price of SportsInformationTraders.com regarding which teams have the best chance to pull an upset during today’s NCAA Tournament games.
2021 NCAA Tournament Bracket
You can find the updated 2021 NCAA Tournament printable bracket by clicking here.
Friday, March 19 (First Round)
(7) Florida 75, (10) Virginia Tech 70 (OT)
(3) Arkansas 85, (14) Colgate 68
(1) Illinois 78, (16) Drexel 49
(6) Texas Tech 65, (11) Utah State 53
(15) Oral Roberts 75, (2) Ohio State 72 (OT)
(1) Baylor 79, (16) Hartford 55
(8) Loyola Chicago 71, (9) Georgia Tech 60
(12) Oregon State 70, (5) Tennessee 56
(4) Oklahoma State 69, (13) Liberty 60
(9) Wisconsin 85, (8) North Carolina 62
(2) Houston 87, (15) Cleveland State 56
(13) North Texas 78, (4) Purdue 69
(10) Rutgers 60, (7) Clemson 56
(11) Syracuse 78, (6) San Diego State 62
(3) West Virginia 84, (14) Morehead State 67
(5) Villanova 73, (12) Winthrop 63
Team (Betting Line) at Team, Over-Under, Start Time (ET), TV Channel
Saturday, March 20 (First Round)
No. 12 Georgetown (+4.5) at No. 5 Colorado, O/U 138.5, 12:15 p.m., CBS
No. 13 UNC Greensboro (+10.5) at No. 4 Florida State, O/U 144.5, 12:45 p.m., truTV
No. 14 Eastern Washington (+10.5) at No. 3 Kansas, O/U 142.5, 1:15 p.m., TBS
No. 9 St. Bonaventure (+1.5) at No. 8 LSU, O/U 144.5, 1:45 p.m., TNT
No. 16 Mount St. Mary’s/Texas Southern at No. 1 Michigan, 3:00 p.m., CBS
No. 12 UC Santa Barbara (+6.5) at No. 5 Creighton, O/U 139.5, 3:30 p.m., truTV
No. 15 Iona (+16.5) at No. 2 Alabama, O/U 145.5, 4:00 p.m., TBS
No. 11 Wichita State/Drake at No. 6 USC, 4:30 p.m., TNT
No. 15 Grand Canyon (+14.5) at No. 2 Iowa, O/U 144.5, 6:25 p.m., TBS
No. 10 Maryland (+2.5) at No. 7 UConn, O/U 129.5, 7:10 p.m., CBS
No. 13 Ohio (+7.5) at No. 4 Virginia, O/U 131.5, 7:15 p.m., truTV
No. 9 Missouri (+2) at No. 8 Oklahoma, O/U 140.5, 7:25 p.m., TNT
No. 16 Norfolk State/Appalachian State at No. 1 Gonzaga, 9:20 p.m. TBS
No. 11 Michigan State/UCLA at No. 6 BYU, 9:40 p.m., CBS
No. 14 Abilene Christian (+9) at No. 3 Texas, O/U 139.5, 9:50 p.m., truTV
No. 10 VCU (+5.5) at No. 7 Oregon, O/U 136.5, 9:57 p.m., TNT
Sunday (Second Round)
No. 1 Illinois vs. No. 8 Loyola Chicago, 12:10 p.m., CBS
No. 1 Baylor vs. No. 9 Wisconsin, 2:50 p.m., CBS
No. 3 West Virginia vs. No. 11 Syracuse, 5:15 p.m., CBS
No. 3 Arkansas vs. No. 6 Texas Tech, 6:10 p.m., TNT
No. 2 Houston vs. No. 10 Rutgers, 7:10 p.m., TBS
No. 7 Florida vs. No. 15 Oral Roberts, 7:45 p.m., truTV
No. 5 Villanova vs. No. 13 North Texas, 8:45 p.m., TNT
No. 4 Oklahoma State vs. No. 12 Oregon State, 9:40 p.m., TBS
The Hoyas come into March Madness as one of the hottest defensive teams in the nation. They blitzed through the Big East Tournament by locking down foes and giving up an average of just 56.5 points per game during their run to a championship.
The Buffaloes will need to take good care of the rock if they are going to avoid being upset on Saturday, something the team has done well all year. They have a respectable +2.0 turnover margin for the 2020-21 college basketball season, a far better mark than Georgetown, which has average nearly four turnovers per game more than their opponent this year.
Colorado is a savvy defensive program, having led the Pac-12 with a 63.3 points against average this year. That, coupled with a senior leader in McKinley Wright IV—who puts up 15.5 points, 5.6 assists and 4.3 rebounds per game—will make them a tough out in the NCAA Tournament.
If Georgetown is going to advance to the Round of 32, it will need senior guard Jahvon Blair to continue his quality play. The Hoyas leader piled in 18 points in the Big East title game and has been a steady presence for the school all season long, averaging 15.8 points, 3.8 boards and 3.7 dimes per contest. If he gets going early, the Buffaloes will be in trouble.
The x-factor for the Hoyas will be center Qudus Wahab, a double-double machine that put up 12 boards and 11 points in a performance that helped Georgetown claim a conference title over Creighton. If Wahab can secure the paint and bang for boards, it will allow his teammates to focus on shutting down the perimeter and keep Colorado from getting easy buckets.
This could wind up being one of the lower-scoring games of the first round, with Georgetown having an edge due to their locked-in defense and momentum from a surprise run through the Big East. Take the points if you are betting this game, but don’t be surprised when the final whistle blows and the Hoyas are the side that advances to the next round of March Madness.
Prediction: Georgetown 64 – Colorado 62
It has been a weird stretch for the Cavaliers, as they weren’t able to get a chance to defend their national title last year with the cancellation of the NCAA Tournament and didn’t get an opportunity to play for the ACC Championship this year despite the fact that they never lost a game during the event. Virginia was forced to forfeit in the conference semifinals after besting Syracuse in the quarterfinals due to a positive coronavirus test, an issue that has afforded the Wahoos little time to prepare for March Madness.
That lack of practice could cost UVA in its opening round matchup with Ohio, which comes into the Big Dance as one of the hottest teams in the field. The Bobcats surged to a MAC title with an average margin of victory of nearly 15 points per game during the conference tourney and appear poised to topple a giant.
Regardless of who they have played, the Bobcats have found a way to put up incredible offensive numbers. Over their last 10 games, they have won nine while averaging an eye-popping 82.3 points in that span. Ohio has proven it can hang with anyone in the country, having gone blow-for-blow with a top-seeded NCAA Tournament team in Illinois back in November.
While the Bobcats ultimately lost by two in that game against the Fighting Illini, they saw a 31-point, eight-assist, six-rebound outing out from guard Jason Preston. Preston has the potential to be one of the brightest stars of March Madness this year and will certainly be the focal point for Virginia’s stingy defense in the first round.
One area in which the Bobcats simply can’t compete with the Cavaliers is height, especially in the frontcourt. UVA boasts a 7’1” starter in Jay Huff, a massive center that towers five inches above Ohio’s tallest rotation player. Huff is going to be the biggest obstacle for a Bobcats squad that has shot extremely well from inside the arc this season, making two-pointers at ridiculous 56.4% clip in 2020-21.
Even though Ohio might not have a height advantage in this contest, the school plays sound basketball and has multiple ways to win thanks to a prolific and well-rounded offense. The Bobcats are a steal against the spread—getting seven points—and have a great shot at handing the Cavaliers another first-round exit, which would be their second over their last three NCAA Tournament appearances.
Prediction: Ohio 68 – Virginia 67
I’ve been working in the realm of sports my entire career, starting as a breaking news writer right out of Arizona State University. After three years of writing, I