Busting Brackets

NCAA Basketball: Picks for Day 45 of the 2023-24 season

Yesterday we saw NCAA Basketball Upsets and Buzzer Beaters. Today is one of the better schedules we will have all season on a weekday. Who will have their Christmas break ruined with an upset?

Arizona Wildcats guard Caleb Love (2) drives to the basket during the NCAA men   s basketball game
Arizona Wildcats guard Caleb Love (2) drives to the basket during the NCAA men s basketball game / Alex Martin/Journal and Courier / USA

Yesterday I mentioned that there were a lot of games on the schedule that had upset potential. It delivered. The biggest upset of the night came in Westwood as UCLA lost to Cal State Northridge. UCLA is now officially in trouble. They have zero good wins and now they officially have a terrible loss. Doesn’t look like a tournament for UCLA. The Citadel beat Notre Dame; are the Bulldogs a potential sleeper in the Southern Conference? Western Carolina, Chattanooga, and Montana State won on buzzer-beaters. Indiana avoided the upset with a late 20-4 run to beat Morehead State by 1 point. Maryland avoided an upset against Nicholls. Finally, Providence blasted Marquette at the Dunk. The Friars are going to be just fine with current head coach Kim English.

Yesterday I went 32-9 in my picks. That gives me a 44 day total of 1,286-457 overall. The Wednesday before Christmas offers a great schedule of games. Big East conference play resumes. There is a game between two ranked opponents. The Sun Bowl Invitational and Hall of Fame Series in Phoenix begin and the Jumpman Invitational resumes. Today is also the last game for a lot of power schools before the Christmas break. It is imperative they win the games. Picks for day 45 December 20,2023, are below.

Central Arkansas over Western Illinois

Oklahoma State over Wofford

North Carolina Central over Longwood

UC San Diego over California

UConn over Seton Hall

Duke over Baylor

St. John’s over Xavier

Southeastern Louisiana over Grambling

Delaware over Rider

Georgia over Mount St. Mary’s

Robert Morris over St Francis PA

East Carolina over Delaware State

NC State over Saint Louis

Wyoming over South Dakota State

Toledo over Vermont

Pitt over Fort Wayne

Dayton over Oakland

West Virginia over Radford

ETSU over Kansas City

Nebraska over North Dakota

Belmont over Arkansas State

Rice over Prairie View

Evansville over Tennessee Tech

Grand Canyon over Sam Houston

Utah Valley over Liberty

Iowa over UMBC

Chicago State over Bethune

Northwestern over Arizona State

Oklahoma over North Carolina

Creighton over Villanova

Gonzaga over Jackson State

New Mexico over UC Irvine

Utah over Bellarmine

UTEP over Norfolk State

Santa Barbara over Howard

Seattle over Louisiana Tech

San Francisco over Northern Arizona

San Jose State over Santa Clara

Fullerton over Pacific

Arizona over Alabama

That is a huge and loaded schedule today. One thing to remember about Christmas break games. The students are not in attendance, so the power schools need to create their own energy and take care of their business at home. That was difficult for some schools yesterday. There are some trap games on the schedule for some of those teams. Pitt and Fort Wayne has tons of upset potential, as does Radford and West Virginia. UC San Diego is going to be beat California. Chicago State is favored in a game today.

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The best game of the night is the last game of the night between Arizona and Alabama. That one is going to be a track meet and extremely fun to watch. Oklahoma and North Carolina is another great game that also has tons of intrigue. Duke/Baylor and Creighton/Villanova will also be excellent watches. Toledo and Vermont and New Mexico and UC Irvine are the best mid major games of the day. The slate is loaded today with a ton of impact games. How many upsets will we see today?