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NCAA Basketball: Picks for Day 53 of the 2023-24 season

There was a huge upset on Friday. That day also saw buzzer-beaters and great individual performances. What does a large slate of Saturday games have for us?

Dec 20, 2023; Omaha, Nebraska, USA;  Creighton Bluejays guard Trey Alexander (23) dribbles against
Dec 20, 2023; Omaha, Nebraska, USA; Creighton Bluejays guard Trey Alexander (23) dribbles against / Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports
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The first Friday after Christmas delivered in a big way. There were upsets, buzzer-beaters, and large comebacks. That is what we are all going to be looking forward to every night as the season gets closer to the NCAA tournament. McNeese and head coach Will Wade went into Ann Arbor and beat Michigan. Michigan has now lost to McNeese and Long Beach State at home. Southeast Missouri hit a buzzer-beater to beat Southern Indiana. Illinois passed their first test without suspended star Terrence Shannon. Arizona State led for all of 30 seconds in their win over Stanford. What a day it was and I am so glad it is back.

Yesterday I went 34-12 in my picks. That brings my 52 day total to 1,474-511. It is another huge schedule of games today with the ACC conference play starting again. Sun Belt conference play starts. The Big East resumes their conference schedule. The Legends of Basketball Showcase takes place in Cleveland and tons of ranked teams are in action. Picks for day 53 December 30,2023, are below

Syracuse over Pittsburgh

Virginia over Notre Dame

Delaware State over Mount St. Mary’s

Navy over William & Mary

Rutgers over Stonehill

St. John’s over Hofstra

Florida State over Lipscomb

Rhode Island over Northeastern

Fordham over Columbia

Appalachian State over UL Monroe

UMass over Siena

Florida over Quinnipiac

Ohio over Davidson

Marquette over Creighton

Duke over Queens

James Madison over Texas State

Wake Forest over Virginia Tech

Loyola Chicago over Central Michigan

Bucknell over Saint Peter’s

Michigan State over Indiana State

La Salle over Howard

South Carolina over Florida A&M

Princeton over Delaware

Marist over Lehigh

Alabama over Liberty

Merrimack over Boston University

Harvard over Iona

George Mason over North Carolina A&T

Troy over Coastal Carolina

Georgia State over Arkansas State

Dayton over Longwood

Fairfield over Le Moyne

VCU over Gardner-Webb

Georgia over Alabama A&M

Western Kentucky over Abilene Christian

Southern Mississippi over Georgia Southern

Missouri over Central Arkansas

Kansas over Wichita State

Oregon over UCLA

Cornell over Colgate

Chicago State over DePaul

Richmond over Lafayette

Campbell over St Francis PA

Tennessee Tech over Tennessee Martin

Murray State over Middle Tennessee

Louisiana over Marshall

George Washington over Maryland Eastern Shore

Saint Bonaventure over Akron

Long Beach State over Northridge

Northern Colorado over Northern Arizona

Weber State over Montana State

Little Rock over Tennessee State

Vanderbilt over Dartmouth

Arkansas over UNC Wilmington

Utah Tech over FIU

UC Davis over Cal Poly

Idaho over Portland State

Eastern Washington over Sacramento State

BYU over Wyoming

San Francisco over Mississippi Valley State

Idaho State over Montana

Houston over Penn

Florida Atlantic over Florida Gulf Coast

Memphis over Austin Peay

Southern Illinois over Illinois Chicago

High Point over Bellarmine

Manhattan over Wagner

South Alabama over Old Dominion

Santa Clara over Yale

Texas A&M over Prairie View

Ohio State over West Virginia

UT Rio Grande Valley over Incarnate Word

Grand Canyon over Louisiana Tech

Santa Barbara over UC Riverside

UTEP over Seattle

Cal Baptist over New Mexico State

Auburn over Chattanooga

Oregon State over USC

UC Irvine over Bakersfield

Hawaii over Fullerton

There is a huge slate of games today headlined in the Big East with Marquette and Creighton. Those two teams were picked to finish near the top of the league in the preseason and nothing that either team has done so far would suggest that is not a possibility. Michigan State has a tough game against a great Indiana State team. If the Spartans keep playing like they have been over the last two weeks they will be fine. Arkansas is on upset watch against UNC Wilmington. The Seahawks went into Rupp Arena and won earlier this year.

Next. Top 10 two-time impact transfers. Top 10 two-time impact transfers. dark

Chicago State plays another game against a power school that they will likely win. Can the Cougars get two Chicago teams in one season?  The best mid major game is Grand Canyon and Louisiana Tech. The Lopes have one loss this year and don’t look like they are going to lose for a while and Louisiana Tech has a solid roster that is led by some power conference transfers.