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NCAA Basketball: Picks for day 116 of the 2023-24 season

After two days of mild slates the last major Saturday of the year brings a lot of intrigue.

Jan 18, 2024; Memphis, Tennessee, USA; South Florida Bulls forward Sam Hines Jr. (20) slaps forward
Jan 18, 2024; Memphis, Tennessee, USA; South Florida Bulls forward Sam Hines Jr. (20) slaps forward / Chris Day-USA TODAY Sports
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A lot has happened since we last talked and there have been a lot of huge impact games that have happened. I will give a quick recap of Thursday night. Ohio State continued their late-season surge with a win over Nebraska. The Huskers now have to win their last two games to get into the field. Gonzaga blew out San Francisco and St. Mary’s clinched the top seed in the WCC with a win over Pepperdine. Merrimack, South Dakota State, Eastern Washington, and Charleston all clinched the top seed in their conference tournament. 

Friday was a day I didn’t do picks because I had a lot going on at my day job and I was not able to get those in for the day. Appalachian State clinched the top seed in the Sun Belt, Quinnipiac is back in first place in the MAAC, Eastern Kentucky clinched the first seed in the Atlantic Sun tournament. In the biggest result of the day Loyola Chicago beat Dayton which pushed Dayton to the third seed in the conference tournament. It was not a great day of games which makes sense since Saturday is always a huge day of games.

On Thursday I went 33-17 in my picks that brings my 114 day total to 3,388-1,400 total. It is another huge Saturday and it is one of the last big ones of the year. Conference tournaments start on Monday and things are starting to wind down in the power conferences. Picks were not made on day 115. Picks for day 116 March 2nd, 2024, are below.

South Carolina over Florida

Georgia Tech over Florida State

Florida Atlantic over Tulane

Providence over Villanova

Butler over DePaul

Colgate over Lehigh

Boston University over Holy Cross

Saint Joseph’s over Fordham

Baylor over Kansas

Wisconsin over Illinois

Temple over Tulsa

Monmouth over Elon

Central Connecticut over Stonehill

Eastern Michigan over Miami Ohio

Wofford over VMI

Kentucky over Arkansas

Arizona over Oregon

Texas over Oklahoma State

UNC Asheville over Radford

Winthrop over Gardner-Webb

Presbyterian over Charleston Southern

UNC Wilmington over Towson

Charleston over Hofstra

William & Mary over Hampton

American over Navy

La Salle over George Washington

George Mason over Duquesne

Sacred Heart over Merrimack

Ball State over Western Michigan

Toledo over Buffalo

Furman over Mercer

Chattanooga over Western Carolina

Binghamton over New Hampshire

North Dakota over South Dakota

North Dakota State over South Dakota State

Creighton over Marquette

Davidson over UMass

SMU over UTSA

Samford over The Citadel

Vermont over UMass Lowell

Minnesota over Penn State

LSU over Vanderbilt

Kent State over Central Michigan

Morehead State over Lindenwood

Southern over Bethune

Iowa State over UCF

North Carolina over NC State

Auburn over Mississippi State

Charlotte over South Florida

Washington over USC

Eastern Shore over Howard

Colorado State over Wyoming

Drexel over Northeastern

Campbell over North Carolina A&T

Stony Brook over Delaware

Rhode Island over Saint Louis

Delaware State over Norfolk State

NC Central over Coppin State

Le Moyne over St Francis PA

UNC Greensboro over ETSU

Little Rock over Tennessee Tech

Bryant over NJIT

Albany over Maine

Lamar over Northwestern State

Utah Valley over UT Arlington

Weber State over Northern Arizona

Morgan State over South Carolina State

High Point over Longwood

Wagner over Fairleigh Dickinson

UT Martin over Tennessee State

Western Illinois over SIU Edwardsville

Texas A&M Corpus Christi over Southeastern Louisiana

Alabama State over Alabama A&M

Houston Christian over Texas A&M Commerce

Grambling over Florida A&M

Loyola MD over Army

McNeese over Nicholls

Jacksonville State over New Mexico State

Portland State over Sacramento State

Montana over Idaho

Eastern Washington over Montana State

Virginia Tech over Wake Forest

Northwestern over Iowa

Duke over Virginia

Cleveland State over IUPUI

Pittsburgh over Boston College

Texas Tech over West Virginia

Georgia over Texas A&M

Richmond over VCU

Akron over Northern Illinois

Milwaukee over Green Bay

Oakland over Detroit Mercy

Jackson State over Texas Southern

Incarnate Word over New Orleans

Brown over Dartmouth

Western Kentucky over Florida International

Pine Bluff over Mississippi Valley State

Prairie View over Alcorn State

Washington State over UCLA
Kansas State over Cincinnati

Wichita State over Rice

Bucknell over Lafayette

Santa Clara over San Francisco

Penn over Columbia

Fort Wayne over Robert Morris

Wright State over Northern Kentucky

Princeton over Cornell

Yale over Harvard

Liberty over UTEP

Xavier over Georgetown

Clemson over Notre Dame

Houston over Oklahoma

Purdue over Michigan State

Alabama over Tennessee

Syracuse over Louisville

Boise State over New Mexico

Portland over LMU

St Thomas over Denver

Cal Baptist over UT Rio Grande Valley

Sam Houston over MTSU

UC San Diego over Northridge

Riverside over Hawaii

Northern Colorado over Idaho State

Ole Miss over Missouri

Southern Indiana over Southeast Missouri State

Tarleton State over Southern Utah

Utah over California

BYU over TCU

Utah Tech over Abilene Christian

Fullerton over Santa Barbara

Saint Mary’s over Gonzaga

UNLV over San Jose State

San Diego over Pacific

Grand Canyon over Stephen F. Austin

Bakersfield over Cal Poly

UC Irvine over Long Beach State

This is not the best Saturday slate of the year but it is pretty good and has a lot to like. It starts off with a bang with Baylor and Kansas playing in Waco. The Bears can get that win over Kansas and likely will. Alabama and Tennessee have a showdown in Tuscaloosa, and Saint Mary’s and Gonzaga face off in the WCC. Can the Gaels remain undefeated in the WCC? Then there are bubble teams playing tomorrow like Ole Miss against the SEC winless Missouri Tigers. Kansas State and Cincinnati, Utah can’t lose to California, Boise State and New Mexico, and Michigan State desperately needs a win against Purdue. Wisconsin gets Illinois at home and needs to win that game to feel good about themselves heading into the stretch run. Virginia plays Duke needing a win, Iowa has to beat Northwestern, Wake Forest can not lose to Virginia Tech, and Villanova and Providence both need a win. It will be a great day of bubble games.

Next. Biggest storylines for each top-25 team. Biggest storylines for each top-25 team. dark

The game of the day is South Carolina and Florida in a top 25 matchup and then there is Charlotte and South Florida. The Bulls are winning the American and Charlotte is good enough to beat them on their home floor. That will be a game I will have eyes on.