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NCAA Basketball: Picks for Day 46 of the 2023-24 season

There were a ton of upsets yesterday, especially in the Big East. Today there are a lot more teams on upset alert and the best Christmas tournament starts in Hawaii.

Dec 17, 2023; Louisville, Kentucky, USA;  Louisville Cardinals head coach Kenny Payne reacts during
Dec 17, 2023; Louisville, Kentucky, USA; Louisville Cardinals head coach Kenny Payne reacts during / Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports
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It was the second day in a row that Christmas break games with no students got interesting. Oklahoma State had trouble beating Wofford and Nebraska could not seem to put away North Dakota. The power schools won and for Nebraska who is on the bubble that is the most important thing. Let's get into the upsets that happened last night. Seton Hall blew out UConn in Jersey. Villanova beat Creighton in Omaha. Rider beat Delaware. Radford beat West Virginia. Depending on who you ask that isn't really an upset. The Big East is interesting because the preseason top 3 of UConn, Marquette, and Creighton are all 0-1 in the league. 

There were some other awesome things that happened last night. Chicago State won their fourth game in a row. Arizona beat Alabama in the nightcap. That game was fast paced and great to watch. North Carolina picked up a huge win against previously undefeated Oklahoma at the Jumpman Invitational. Northwestern beat Arizona State. California blew a 26 point second half lead only to barely squeak by UC San Diego. Finally Pitt and Iowa avoided the upset against two capable teams. Power schools taking care of business is a challenge at this time of year. 

Yesterday I went 31-9 in my picks. That gives me a 45 day total of 1,317-466 overall. Today is the final day of games for a lot of schools and the schedule is loaded today. There are a ton of daytime basketball games followed by some late games in Hawaii for the Diamond Head Classic. The Sun Bowl Invitational finishes up and there are some ranked teams in action. Picks for day 46 December 21, 2023, are below.

Sacred Heart over Dartmouth

Fordham over Central Connecticut

Eastern Michigan over Hampton

Texas Tech over UT Arlington

Youngstown State over Navy

Monmouth over Manhattan

Harvard over Holy Cross

George Washington over Alcorn State

Illinois-Chicago over Incarnate Word

Quinnipiac over Lafayette

Little Rock over Jacksonville State

Nevada over Temple

Wake Forest over Presbyterian

Air Force over Northern Colorado

Syracuse over Niagara

Virginia Tech over American

Coastal Carolina over North Carolina A&T

TCU over Old Dominion

Kentucky over Louisville

Boston College over Lehigh

Cleveland State over Western Michigan

Ohio State over New Orleans

Rhode Island over New Hampshire

Purdue over Jacksonville

Tennessee over Tarleton State

Akron over Gardner-Webb

Michigan State over Stony Brook

Penn State over Le Moyne

Davidson over South Carolina Upstate

Arkansas over Abilene Christian

Oregon State over Idaho State

Richmond over Buffalo

Colorado over Utah Tech

Troy over Eastern Kentucky

Central Michigan over Detroit Mercy

UNC Wilmington over Marshall

Appalachian State over UNC Asheville

Colgate over Iona

Norfolk State over South Dakota State

Samford over Texas Southern

Florida International over Maine

Charleston over Saint Joseph’s

Pepperdine over William & Mary

Fairleigh Dickinson over Fairfield

UCF over Florida A&M

Houston over Texas State

South Alabama over Alabama A&M

Miami over Stonehill

Northern Illinois over Northern Iowa

Minnesota over Ball State

Bradley over SIU Edwardsville

UTSA over Army

Riverside over Idaho

Illinois State over Southeast Missouri

Iowa State over Eastern Illinois

Indiana over North Alabama

Kansas State over Wichita State

San Diego State over Stanford

Oregon over Kent State

LSU over Lamar

Washington over Eastern Washington

UTEP over Wyoming

UMass over Georgia Tech

San Diego over South Dakota

Saint Mary’s over Northern Kentucky

UNLV over Hofstra

Omaha over Cal Poly

Hawaii over Portland

Washington State over Boise State

What a schedule today. There are some games with upset potential to watch out for. UT Arlington has some high-quality transfers and has been playing great basketball this year. If the Red Raiders are not ready to play they could pose a problem for the Red Raiders. New Hampshire is going to give Rhode Island a game and if Clarence Daniels has one of those nights New Hampshire will head into Christmas happy. Texas Southern is another team to watch for the upset. They finally get a home game, but I do think Samford is just flat-out better than the Tigers.

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It was a year ago today that Eastern Illinois beat Iowa. The Panthers are in Ames today, can they do the unthinkable two years in a row? Will this be the last game that Kenny Payne coaches at Louisville today? The best game of the day is in Hawaii with Nevada and Temple. The best mid-major game today is UNLV and Hofstra. Today is a big day and the schedule lightens considerably as we get closer to the holiday.