NCAA Tournament Parlay Picks for Friday, March 22, 2024

NCAA Tournament Friday, March 22, 2024 Parlay Picks

It’s pretty much a given that you can throw out all the records and stats once the NCAA Tournament starts since anything can happen in a one-and-done situation. Even seedings are mostly irrelevant with the talent gap closing. That was evident last season when No. 1 Purdue was upset in the first round and no team lower than a four-seed reached the Final Four. Well, here we are again with the madness ready to unfold on Friday, March 22 with another 16 first round games on tap to build a college basketball parlay.

Three No. 1 seeds will tip off with Tournament favorite Connecticut a massive 26-point favorite over No. 16 Stetson. For the second year in a row the Houston Cougars earned a No. 1 seed after winning the Big 12 regular season title in their first year. UH was bounced by five-seed Miami in the Sweet 16 last year. The Cougs are also a massive favorite laying 24-points to Longwood. In 2023 Purdue became the second No. 1 seed to lose in the opening round and the Boilermakers are back looking to make up for that embarrassment. They will be heavily favored against the winner of the Grambling/Montana State First Four contest.

Bet NCAA Tournament at

Friday, March 22, 2024

Purdue ATS vs. Grambling/Montana St.

Grand Canyon +5.5 vs. Saint Mary’s

New Mexico -2 vs. Clemson

UConn -26 vs. Stetson

Bet $100 to win $1217

For the college basketball enthusiast it doesn’t get any better than March Madness. The first round is especially chaotic with 32 games spread over two days and the Tournament got its name for a good reason. I went with a four-team parlay for Thursday’s games and will do the same for Friday’s matchups as I look to partake in the madness. So, without further ado, on to the Tournament parlay picks.

As of this writing we don’t know the opponent for Purdue. But based off last year’s premature exit and the fact that Zach Edey returned for another crack at the trophy, I’m going to assume it doesn’t matter. In 2018 Virginia was the first No. 1 seed to lose to a 16-seed. The Cavs rebounded the following season to win the National Championship, but they’ll always be remembered for that flub. I’m not saying Purdue is going to win the title, but I can tell you they won’t lose in the first round again.

The Boilermakers will be a significant favorite over either Grambling or Montana State. The Tigers had a nice season winning 20 games and the SWAC tournament. The Bobcats needed three Big Sky tournament wins just to reach .500 and I don’t see either squad putting up much of a fight against a determined Purdue group.

The committee didn’t do WCC champ Saint Mary’s any favors matching them against Grand Canyon in the first round. The Gaels have just two losses since the start of December and beat conference heavyweight Gonzaga twice, including in the WCC title game. But the Lopes are no slouch and I believe they are undervalued as a 12-seed. The Lopes can defend and they don’t hurt themselves limiting turnovers and fouls. Three players average more than 13 points, but they could be impacted by a lack of depth. I’ll still back Grand Canyon and the points in this one.

I took a look at Clemson and I like their roster, especially PJ Hall, who is one of the top talents in the game. However, as a team they failed going just 11-9 in ACC games and losing to BC in the first round of conference tournament. Meanwhile, New Mexico won four games in four days to survive the brutal Mountain West and the Lobos play defense as good as any team. It’s odd for an 11-seed to be favored, but I’ll lay the points with UNM.

I don’t feel comfortable giving 26 points, but I do feel good about UConn’s chances of not only covering but also running the table for a second straight title. They are the best team in the country with an efficient offense led by Donovan Clingan, and they excel on the defensive end of the floor. The Huskies played with some enormous spread during the season going 5-4 ATS when favored by more than 20 points. Three times they failed to payout they were laying more than 30 points.

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