March Madness odds, predictions: LSU will be trouble for Michigan

Two of VSiN’s college hoops handicappers drill into some of Monday’s second-round games in the NCAA Tournament.

No. 1 Michigan vs. No. 8 LSU

Youmans: It’s obvious the Big Ten’s strength has been overhyped by the media. I do not think Michigan is an overrated team. The Wolverines truly had NCAA title potential, but that was before senior guard Isaiah Livers was sidelined by injury. Livers, the team’s No. 2 scorer, was especially important on the offensive end because his presence spread the floor and created better scoring opportunities for others. Seven-foot freshman Hunter Dickinson will be a matchup problem for the Tigers, who are a little soft inside.

The Wolverines are not a deep team, though, and Livers’ absence will begin to become a problem. LSU excels in fast-paced games, and Michigan wants to slow the tempo and win with defense. Freshman guard Cameron Thomas scored 27 points in the Tigers’ 76-61 victory over St. Bonaventure in the first round. Thomas is a star who gives LSU a legit shot to win this game.

Pick: LSU, +5.5.

No. 2 Iowa vs. No. 7 Oregon

Peterson: Iowa ranks 221st in the country in opponent 3-point shooting percentage defense and has to face a well-rested Oregon team that has five different players averaging over 10 points per game and shooting over 35.5 percent from 3-point range.

Oregon, which received a bye into the second round because of VCU’s withdrawal from the tournament due to COVID, has also been consistent on defense. The Ducks have given up more than 75 points just once in their past 25 games.

Iowa ranks third in points scored on a per-possessions basis and commits the fewest turnovers per possession of any team in the country. However, the Hawkeyes are 5-8-1 against the spread away from Iowa City and allow opponents to rebound 27.4 percent of their misses.

Pick: Oregon +5.

No. 4 Florida State vs. No. 5 Colorado

Youmans: My worst bet of the tournament was on Georgetown in its 23-point loss to Colorado. The Hoyas failed to defend the 3-point line and paid for it. I typically fade a team after a red-hot shooting outing — the Buffaloes shot 16-for-25 on 3s and 60.7 percent from the field for the game — and expect Colorado to return to reality against the Seminoles.

On the flip side, Florida State’s first-round performance was less than inspiring. M.J. Walker and Scottie Barnes, two of the Seminoles’ top three scorers, combined for just eight points. This is a buy-low spot on Florida State, a team with the talent to reach the Final Four. The Buffaloes have a lower ceiling.

Pick: Florida State, -1.5.

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