March Madness Picks: Take Duke-Michigan State Over, Arizona on spread

The Sunday college basketball slate is chock full of top-tier programs.

Sunday's headliner is the clash of coaching titans between Duke's Mike Krzyzewski and Michigan State's Tom Izzo.

Duke is a 6.5-point favorite and it should advance, but the spread may be tricky to cover in what could be a tight game. The two offenses should go back and forth and allow the over to hit.

A handful of other programs with NCAA tournament experience are in play on Sunday, including one that opens up Sunday's slate that can deal with a difficult challenge.

Sunday March Madness Picks

Overall Record: 22-22

No. 5 Houston (-3.5) vs. No. 4 Illinois (12:10 p.m. ET, CBS)

I've been waiting for this line to drop and it has.

Houston had little trouble with UAB in the first round and its defensive play could hurt Illinois.

The Cougars have enough length, led by Fabian White, to deal with Kofi Cockburn and they have the more reliable guards.

I can't trust Andre Curbelo on every possession. I can place faith in Jamal Shead and the four seniors around him in the starting lineup.

Don't forget that Houston has a Sweet 16 and Final Four appearance in their last two NCAA tournaments and that experience could be vital on Sunday.

No. 7 Ohio State vs. No. 2 Villanova (Over 132) (2:40 p.m. ET, CBS)

I feel like this line is perfect for the matchup.

Villanova should be favored and it has a ton of experience to deal with Ohio State's athleticism.

The Wildcats were not fazed by Delaware's early scoring surge and ended up scoring 80 points in a 20-point victory.

Ohio State will get points of its own and it would be wise to lean on EJ Liddell in the paint to exploit Villanova's lack of size.

Both teams rank in the top 15 in offensive adjusted efficiency and can easily hit the 65-point mark no matter what the pace ends up being.

No. 7 Michigan State vs. No. 2 Duke (Over 145) (5:15 p.m. ET, CBS)

I feel like Duke is going to try and push the pace against Michigan State.

The Blue Devils have the better collection of athletes and they should be able to get up and down fairly easily.

Michigan State does not have a terrible offense. It ranks 22nd in three-point offense and 36th in offensive adjusted efficiency.

The Spartans need to score in the 70s to beat Duke, and the Blue Devils may force them to score in the high 70s to spring an upset in Greenville.

No. 11 Iowa State vs. No. 3 Wisconsin (-4.5) (6:10 p.m. ET, TNT)

Wisconsin went through its scare on Friday against Colgate.

The Badgers are a much better team than Iowa State and they should overwhelm the Big 12 side with their combination of Johnny Davis, Chucky Hepburn, Brad Davison and others.

Wisconsin also has the biggest home-court advantage of any team in the round of 32 since the game is being played in Milwaukee.

No. 11 Notre Dame vs. No. 3 Texas Tech (-8) (7:10 p.m. ET, TBS)

I think Notre Dame's luck and legs run out of gas against Texas Tech.

The Red Raiders play one of the most unrelenting styles of defense in college basketball and that could tire out the Irish.

Texas Tech ranks first in defensive adjusted efficiency and its offense played well enough to pull away and leave any doubt in a handful of games lately.

Notre Dame's tired legs combined with Texas Tech's tough defense could make this a lopsided affair.

No. 10 Miami vs. No. 2 Auburn (Over 143.5) (7:45 p.m. ET, truTV)

Auburn's offense produced 80 or more points in its last three victories.

Auburn's athleticism could be too much for an inconsistent Miami team to handle over 40 minutes.

Miami does not have a ton of length to deal with Walker Kessler and Jabari Smith. Kessler could feast down low, especially if he gets Sam Waardenburg in foul trouble.

Miami's guard trio of Cameron McGusty, Isaiah Wong and Charlie Moore should make enough shots to keep the contest relatively close, but if the Canes try to go inside, they will be turned away by Kessler.

As long as Miami's guards put up points, the over should cruise. Auburn should score 75-80 points with its athleticism advantage,

No. 6 Texas (+3) vs. No. 3 Purdue (8:40 p.m. ET. TNT)

My gut tells me Texas will be competitive and could even win against Purdue.

Chris Beard has been to a Final Four and he has a handful of experienced guards at his disposal to deal with Jaden Ivey.

Purdue has the advantage down low with Zach Edey, but I think the Longhorns put together a game plan to slow down the Boilermakers big man.

No. 9 TCU vs. No. 1 Arizona (-10) (9:40 p.m. ET, TBS)

Arizona can overpower TCU with its well-rounded offense.

The Wildcats are seventh in offensive adjusted efficiency and they are only 14 spots back of the Horned Frogs, who are the top offensive rebounding team.

TCU is 314th in three-point offense and 321st in free-throw shooting and that could hurt the Big 12 side as it tries to keep pace with the top-seeded Wildcats.

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