Busting Brackets

NCAA Basketball: Picks for Day 120 of the 2023-24 season

There are 5 days left of the regular season and there is still a lot of movement left to happen on the bubble. There are some key games today as well as some conference tournaments starting.

Feb 28, 2024; College Park, Maryland, USA;  Northwestern Wildcats forward Luke Hunger (33) reacts
Feb 28, 2024; College Park, Maryland, USA; Northwestern Wildcats forward Luke Hunger (33) reacts / Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

It was only the second day of Championship Week and there have already been some upsets. The Atlantic Sun conference tournament has been crazy already after just two days. Jacksonville beat top seed Eastern Kentucky; North Alabama beat betting favorite Lipscomb. Austin Peay beat North Florida in Overtime. Stetson beat Queens, and the Hatters are now the top remaining seed in the tournament and move one step closer to securing their first NCAA tournament ever. The Patriot League tournament didn’t have much drama last night Holy Cross beat Army and Navy beat Loyola MD.

Then there was the Horizon League tournament which had some almost upsets. Milwaukee escaped Detroit Mercy, and Cleveland State beat IUPUI. It is the last time that the university will ever be known as IUPUI. Fort Wayne beat Robert Morris. Finally, the Sun Belt got started last night and that had some drama as well. Coastal Carolina won a close game against Louisiana Monroe. Texas State beat Old Dominion in Overtime. The Monarchs hit a half-court shot that would have won it in OT, but it was ruled that it went off after the clock and the game was headed to Overtime. Tough break for Old Dominion. That wraps up tournament play for yesterday.

It was not a good night for bubble teams as many of them are now out of consideration for the at-large field. Ole Miss lost to Georgia, Syracuse lost to Clemson, Wake Forest lost to Georgia Tech, and Kansas State got hammered by Kansas. Cincinnati also blew a late lead and lost to Oklahoma. All of the losers are now out of consideration for the NCAA tournament. It was a good night for St. John’s who buried DePaul, Providence who beat Georgetown, and Pittsburgh who beat Florida State. Those teams just need to keep winning. Finally, Florida beat Alabama in Gainesville, and Purdue won the outright Big Ten title for the second year in a row after beating Illinois in Champaign.

Yesterday I went 29-14 in my picks for a 119 day total of 3,538-1,469 overall. There are a ton of bubble games in the Big East, Big Ten, American, and the SEC. The Ohio Valley, NEC, and Big South start their tournaments today. The first auto bid is going to be handed out on Saturday and then they are going to come fast after that. It is time for the NCAA tournament to be selected and seeded. Enjoy this time of year if you are a fan. Picks for day 120 March 6, 2024, are below.

Seton Hall over Villanova

Houston over UCF

Tennessee over South Carolina

Central Connecticut State over St Francis PA

Merrimack over Long Island

Sacred Heart over Wagner

Le Moyne over Fairleigh Dickinson

Miami over Boston College

TCU over West Virginia

Charlotte over Rice

Michigan State over Northwestern

Arkansas over LSU

Loyola Chicago over Davidson

George Mason over Rhode Island

St Bonaventure over George Washington

Richmond over Saint Joseph’s

Tennessee State over Southern Indiana

Butler over Xavier

UMass over Fordham

Radford over South Carolina Upstate

SMU over East Carolina

North Texas over Florida Atlantic

McNeese over New Orleans

Lamar over Houston Christian

UConn over Marquette

Texas A&M Corpus Christi over Incarnate Word

Texas A&M Commerce over Northwestern State

Iowa State over BYU

Kentucky over Vanderbilt

Minnesota over Indiana

Texas A&M over Mississippi State

Utah State over San Jose State

Eastern Illinois over SIU Edwardsville

New Mexico over Fresno State

Hawaii over Northridge

There is going to be a lot of movement around on the bubble today. Michigan State needs to beat Northwestern to stay in the field. Butler needs to beat Xavier to keep their name in consideration. The winner of the Texas A&M and Mississippi State game has a leg up on the bubble the other is going to drop. If Florida Atlantic loses to North Texas today, they are likely out.

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Then the conference tournaments in the NEC Central Connecticut and St Francis, Merrimack and Long Island, Sacred Heart and Wagner, and Le Moyne and Fairleigh Dickinson all get started today.  Then there is the Ohio Valley between Eastern Illinois and SIU Edwardsville and Tennessee State and Southern Indiana. Radford and South Carolina Upstate is the only game in the Big South tournament today.