Busting Brackets

NCAA Basketball: Picks for day 58 of the 2023-24 season

There are a lot of NCAA Basketball conferences beginning their schedules today, but the best games are in the Big Ten and Pac 12. Will there be more upsets and buzzer beaters?

Dec 29, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Golden Gophers forward Isaiah Ihnen (5)
Dec 29, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Golden Gophers forward Isaiah Ihnen (5) / Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

I love the conference season where every game means something. There were a lot of great games yesterday. Fordham beat George Washington in triple overtime. The Rams made 19 threes in that game. Nebraska blasted Indiana in Lincoln. Seton Hall went to Rhode Island and beat Providence. The Friars may have lost star Bryce Hopkins for a long time due to injury. The Miami Hurricanes beat the Clemson Tigers for their signature win of the young season. NC State needed a buzzer-beater to beat Notre Dame. Villanova beat Xavier. Stanford won game number two in the Pac 12 as they beat UCLA at Pauley. The Bruins have fallen fast this season. Finally, the Big Sky leads the Summit League in their challenge. Everyone avoided a major upset yesterday but teams today may not be so lucky.

Yesterday I went 32-16 in my picks. That gives me a 57 day total of 1,606-560. There are more conferences that get underway today. The Northeast Conference, Atlantic Sun, and the West Coast Conference all begin play today. The Horizon League, WAC, Ohio Valley, and Sun Belt all dominate the action with conference games. The Big West and the American have a lot of games today as well. Picks for day 58 January 4, 2024, are below.

Sacred Heart over St Francis PA

Stephen F. Austin over UT Rio Grande Valley

Bellarmine over Austin Peay

South Florida over Temple

Monmouth over Towson

Stony Brook over Northeastern

UNC Wilmington over Drexel

Delaware over Hampton

William & Mary over Elon

Hofstra over Charleston

North Carolina A&T over Campbell

Michigan State over Penn State

Florida Gulf Coast over Jacksonville

Merrimack over Fairleigh Dickinson

Wagner over Long Island

Central Connecticut over Stonehill

Northern Kentucky over Youngstown State

Robert Morris over IUPUI

Oakland over Milwaukee

Green Bay over Detroit Mercy

Cleveland State over Wright State

Morehead State over Tennessee State

Troy over Old Dominion

Stetson over North Florida

Eastern Kentucky over Lipscomb

Memphis over Tulsa

James Madison over Louisiana

Little Rock over SIU Edwardsville

Southern Mississippi over Georgia State

Texas State over Coastal Carolina

Arkansas State over Georgia Southern

South Alabama over Appalachian State

Tarleton State over UT Arlington

Utah Valley over Cal Baptist

Southern Indiana over Tennessee State

Western Illinois over Southeast Missouri State

Grand Canyon over Southern Utah

Gonzaga over Pepperdine

Washington over Oregon

Wichita State over North Texas

Minnesota over Michigan

UT Martin over Eastern Illinois

New Mexico State over UTEP

Arizona over Colorado

San Francisco over Pacific

Seattle over Utah Tech

Long Beach State over Cal Poly

Hawaii over Bakersfield

UC Davis over UC Riverside

Santa Barbara over UC San Diego

UC Irvine over Fullerton

Washington State over Oregon State

Arizona State over Utah

LMU over Santa Clara

Saint Mary’s over San Diego

A lot of mid-major and low-major games today but Minnesota and Michigan is the best power conference games. Minnesota is 10-3 on the season and when they are going well can really shoot the ball from deep. Michigan is a mess under Juwan Howard and they don’t look to pose much of a threat to many teams in the Big Ten this year. Washington and Oregon are another great game but most of the country won’t be able to watch it because it is on the Pac 12 Network. Arizona and Colorado is the nationally televised Pac 12 game tomorrow night and I would not be surprised if Arizona comes out inspired and puts it to the Buffaloes. The Wildcats have a sour taste in their mouth after giving up 100 to Stanford.

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Cleveland State and Wright State is my favorite mid-major game. Wright State has a ton of offense but has not been able to put it all together this year and Cleveland State has one of the best starting fives in the Horizon League and has won some games. That will be a battle.