Busting Brackets

NCAA Basketball: Picks for Day 79 of the 2023-24 season

After a big night that saw two top 10 teams go down, the schedule on Thursday is a lot lighter with not many power five teams playing.
Vermont's TJ Long moves to the basket against Bradley's Darius Hannah, top, and Connor Hickman (10)
Vermont's TJ Long moves to the basket against Bradley's Darius Hannah, top, and Connor Hickman (10) / MATT DAYHOFF/JOURNAL STAR / USA TODAY

Last night was another one of those nights for teams ranked in the top 10.  Those teams ran into good teams on the road and were not able to come out with victories.  Northwestern had a big bounceback win against Illinois in Evanston.  Illinois had previously beaten Northwestern by 30 a few weeks ago. Alabama beat Auburn in Tuscaloosa.  The Auburn Tigers still do not have a quad 1 win this late into the season.  Maryland rallied to beat Iowa in Iowa City at the buzzer, Washington State beat Utah, Nevada beat Colorado State and finally, UTSA got a buzzer-beater to beat Tulane.

 There were some top 25 teams who held serve.  Iowa State beat Kansas State at Hilton.  Marquette beat DePaul and Florida Atlantic beat Rice.  There was one game that huge implications on the bubble and that was Providence beating Seton Hall in New Jersey.  It was a win Providence had to have.  The other key result from last night was St. John’s blowing out Villanova in Jamaica.  Those two teams should still make the tournament but St. John’s is far safer than Villanova at the moment.  Samford lost to Furman which ended their 17-game winning streak.  That was the longest winning streak in the country.

Yesterday I went 33-14 in my picks.  That gives me a 78-day total of 2,202-860 overall.  There is a large number of games today but if you are looking for Power 5 games then you are going to have to wait a while for the Pac-12 to start. Otherwise, it is a lot of low and mid-major games today to get us ready for the weekend games. America East, Northeast, CAA, Sun Belt, Atlantic Sun, American, MAAC, Horizon, Summit, Conference USA, Ohio Valley, WAC, Pac 12, West Coast, Big Sky, and the Big West are all in action today. Picks for day 79 January 25, 2024, are below.

Campbell over Elon

Central Connecticut over Fairleigh Dickinson

Maine over Albany

Stony Brook over Monmouth

Appalachian State over Georgia Southern

UMass Lowell over Vermont

North Florida over Bellarmine

North Texas over SMU

Hofstra over William & Mary

UNC Wilmington over Northeastern

Delaware over North Carolina A & T

Drexel over Towson

Charleston over Hampton

Saint Peter’s over Rider

Florida Gulf Coast over Lipscomb

Wagner over Merrimack

Long Island over Stonehill

Sacred Heart over St Francis Pa

Youngstown State over IUPUI

Cleveland State over Wright State

Green Bay over Oakland

Northern Kentucky over Fort Wayne

Bryant over NJIT

New Hampshire over Binghamton

South Dakota State over Kansas City

Eastern Kentucky over Jacksonville

Stetson over Austin Peay

Louisiana Tech over UTEP

Quinnipiac over Mount St. Mary’s

Little Rock over Lindenwood

Grand Canyon over Stephen F. Austin

Cal Baptist over Texas Rio Grande Valley

Milwaukee over Detroit Mercy

Oral Roberts over Omaha

St Thomas over North Dakota State

Abilene Christian over Utah Tech

Tarleton State over Southern Utah

Western Kentucky over Florida International

UT Martin over Southeast Missouri State

Eastern Illinois over Tennessee Tech

South Alabama over UL Monroe

Louisiana over Arkansas State

Oregon over Arizona State

Gonzaga over San Francisco

Western Illinois over Southern Indiana

Denver over South Dakota

Sam Houston over New Mexico State

Sacramento State over Montana State

Northern Arizona over Idaho

Eastern Washington over Northern Colorado

Santa Clara over Pepperdine

LMU over Portland

Northridge over Bakersfield

Fullerton over Cal Poly

Long Beach over UC Irvine

UC San Diego over UC Riverside

Portland State over Montana

Arizona over Oregon State

Saint Mary’s over Pacific

Hawaii over Santa Barbara

There are a ton of games today and some of the games have a lot of intrigue.  UMass Lowell and Vermont are both undefeated in the America East and the winner of that game is going to be in the driver’s seat for home court advantage in the America East tournament.  That is unless the third undefeated team in that league the Bryant Bulldogs have anything to say about it.

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Drexel is undefeated at 7-0 in the CAA and travel to Towson.  That is a tough game for the Dragons, but I do have them winning. Eastern Washington is undefeated in the Big Sky, and they have a huge challenge tonight against Northern Colorado.  The winner of that game is in first place in the Big Sky.  Saint Mary’s is the other undefeated conference team, but they play Pacific and will likely win going away in that one.  The nation's leading scorer Tommy Bruner is in action for Denver tonight.