Busting Brackets

NCAA Basketball: Picks for Day 125 of the 2023-24 season

The first official day of Championship Week is upon us. The regular season is over and there it nothing but conference tournaments and the NCAA tournament left.

Jan 6, 2024; Hattiesburg, Mississippi, USA; James Madison Dukes players Noah Freidel (1), Xavier
Jan 6, 2024; Hattiesburg, Mississippi, USA; James Madison Dukes players Noah Freidel (1), Xavier / Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

The last day of the regular season delivered. It also happened to be a day when three NCAA tournament bids were handed out last night as well. If you loved upsets than yesterday was a day you can talk about for a long time. Starting in the Big South Longwood crushed UNC Asheville to claim the auto bid into the NCAA tournament. It is the Lancers second time in the dance. In the Atlantic Sun Stetson beat Austin Peay behind 43 points from Jalen Blackmon. It is the first ever appearance for the Hatters in the Big Dance. The last auto bid may have been a bid steal as the Drake Bulldogs beat the Indiana State Sycamores. Indiana State was good enough to make the NCAA tournament before they lost the auto bid.

In other conference tournaments the top seeds were all in danger. Colgate narrowly escaped Bucknell, Appalachian State lost to Arkansas State at the buzzer. Eastern Washington lost to 10-win Sacramento State and Idaho State beat Northern Colorado to throw the Big Sky tournament is chaos. In the Summit League Omaha beat North Dakota at the buzzer. Lots of upsets in conference tournaments. In the Big Ten Nebraska beat Michigan, Purdue beat Wisconsin, Illinois beat Iowa, Indiana beat Michigan State, Ohio State beat Rutgers, and Penn State beat Maryland. That means that Nebraska is the 3 seed, Indiana is the 6 seed, Iowa is the 7 seed, Wisconsin is the 5 seed, Michigan State is the 8 seed, Ohio State is the 10 seed, Penn State is the 11 seed, Maryland is the 12 seed, and Rutgers is the 13 seed.

Yesterday I went 14-13 in my picks that brings my 124 day total to 3,698-1,545 overall. There is nothing but conference tournaments the rest of the way so happy start of Championship week. It is officially 6 days from selection Sunday and 8 days from the first official game of the NCAA tournament. Two more tournament bids will be handed out today in the Sun Belt and the Southern Conference. There are a lot more semifinal games in league tournaments today as well. Today is a quiet day before things really get kicked off on Tuesday morning and then day basketball all day from Tuesday to Selection Sunday. Picks for day 125 March 11, 2024, are below.

Charleston over Towson

Lamar over New Orleans

Oakland over Cleveland State

James Madison over Arkansas State

Samford over ETSU

South Dakota State over St Thomas

Weber State over Montana State

Stony Brook over Hofstra

Nicholls over Texas A&M Commerce

Saint Mary’s over Santa Clara

Northern Kentucky over Milwaukee

Omaha over Denver

Montana over Portland State

Gonzaga over San Francisco

There are not a lot of games today but almost every game is a game that could mean the end of your season. Outside of Saint Mary’s and Gonzaga, no other team will be guaranteed another game if they lose today. James Madison and Arkansas State is the battle for the Sun Belt Title. The winner heads to the NCAA tournament.

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Samford and ETSU is the battle for the Southern Conference Championship. The winner heads to the NCAA tournament. Outside of that every game is either a quarterfinal or semifinal game and they will all be hotly contested and likely there are going to be multiple upsets.