March Madness odds, lines, predictions: Expert picks for 2024 NCAA Tournament games on Day 4 (March 24)

Who will fill out the rest of the Sweet 16? 

The second round of the 2024 Men’s Basketball Tournament will conclude Sunday, and three more double-digit seeds are in action. 

No. 13 Yale is the longest shot worth watching. The Bulldogs take on No. 5 San Diego State in the final game of the first weekend. Will Yale replicate Princeton’s run to the Sweet 16 last season? 

A pair of No. 12 seeds will try to break through against No. 4 seeds. No. 12 James Madison takes on Duke, and No. 12 Grand Canyon will try to knock off Alabama. 

Live NCAA bracket news | TV schedule | Printable PDF

Three No. 1 seeds also face tricky matchups. No. 1 Purdue takes on No. 8 Utah State. No. 1 UConn gets No. 9 Northwestern, and No. 1 Houston will get No. 9 Texas A&M. No. 1 seeds make the Sweet 16 with a 84.2% percentage since 1985. Will somebody beat the odds? 

It’s a loaded schedule with eight games. Will the chalk dominate? Odds according to

Sporting News picked every second-round game Here are our picks for Day 4: 

March Madness picks, predictions for Round 2

  •  No. 2 Marquette (-3.5) vs. No. 10 Colorado (South) 

Colorado’s K.J. Simpson averages 21 points in two tournament victories, but he’s just 1 of 9 from 3-point range. Every Colorado starter had at least four assists in the 102-100 victory against Florida. Marquette is much tighter on the defensive end, and the matchup inside between Eddie Lampkin Jr. and Oso Ighodaro will be interesting. Tyler Kolek had 18 points and 11 assists in his return from an oblique injury. Both teams have balanced scoring, and that makes for a second-half shootout. The Golden Eagles are 4-1 S/U and 4-1 ATS when favored by four points or less. It’s tight into the second half, but Shaka Smart gets back to the Sweet 16 for the first time since the Final Four run with VCU in 2010-11. 

Pick: Marquette 78, Colorado 72 

  • No. 1 Purdue (-11.5) vs. Utah State (Midwest) 

Purdue silenced the first-round critics, and Zach Edey had 30 points and 21 rebounds. The Boilermakers still have a pressure-packed matchup here. Utah State limits opponents to 28.6% shooting from 3-point range – which is third in the nation. Great Osobor is a 6-8 forward who can draw fouls inside, and point guard Darius Brown II ranks 10th in the nation with 6.6 assists per game. This is a solid Aggies team under first-year coach Danny Sprinkle, and they can push Purdue to the limit if those 3-pointers aren’t going down. Utah State was 2-5 S/U as an underdog this year, but this is their first-double digit spread. Purdue is 13-0 S/U but 4-9 ATS when favored between 10-20 points. Seems like an easy call here with the line bumping up a point. 

Pick: Purdue 84, Utah State 76

  • No. 4 Duke (-7.5) vs. No. 12 James Madison (South) 

Can the Dukes take down Duke and endear themselves as the next double-digit Cinderella in the Sweet 16? Kyle Filipowski had just three points in the first round victory against Vermont, but he should have a bounce-back game. The Blue Devils also didn’t shoot the ball well from 3-point range. James Madison can feed off its backcourt – and Terrence Edwards and T.J. Bickerstaff will need to take advantage of open looks from 3-point range. James Madison is 3-1 S/U as an underdog this year, so we were already taking the cover. Can they pull the upset outright? That’s what we penciled in on Selection Sunday – so we’re sticking with it. 

EXPERT PICKS: DeCourcy (UConn) | Bender (UConn) | Iyer (UConn) | Yanchulis (South Carolina women)

Pick: James Madison 74, Duke 71 

Ja'Kobe Walter

(Getty Images)

  • No. 3 Baylor (-4.5) vs. No. 6 Clemson (West) 

After a late-season fade, Clemson had one of the best first-round performances of the tournament in a 77-56 victory against New Mexico. Clemson’s top three scorers – PJ Hall (18.7 ppg.), Joseph Girard (15.4) and Chase Hunter (12.5 ppg.) — are seniors, and that experience adds up in the tournament. Baylor is balanced, and they shot 16 of 30 from 3-point range in a 92-67 victory against Colgate. Baylor’s balance on offense is impressive. The Tigers are one of the nation’s best free-throw shooting teams at 79.6%, which is better than the Bears at 73.6%. Keep an eye on that in a tight game, but we still think the Bears get through here. Baylor is 4-1 S/U and 3-2 ATS when favored by five points or less. Clemson is 3-2 S/U and 4-1 ATS as an underdog of five points or less. Those lines make for a fun game. 

Pick: Baylor 82, Clemson 77

  • No. 4 Alabama (-5.5) vs. No. 12 Grand Canyon (West)

Grand Canyon is the other No. 12 seed that pulled a first-round upset, but the Antelopes face a different challenge with the Crimson Tide. Alabama leads the nation in 91.3 points per game, and they hit 13 of 23 from 3-point range in a 109-96 victory against Charleston. Mark Sears had 30 points and is one of the best scorers in the country, and Latreell Wrightsell hit five 3-pointers. How does Kansas transfer Tyon Grant-Foster match up with Sears, and can Grand Canyon slow down that Alabama offense just enough for Bryce Drew to author another March Madness moment? Grand Canyon beat Saint Mary’s and San Diego State as underdogs, but this is an up-tempo team. Look for the Antelopes to take their best shot, but Alabama closes in crunch time. 

Pick: Alabama 92, Grand Canyon 83

  • No. 1 UConn (-13.5) vs. Northwestern (East) 

Northwestern has a fantastic backcourt led by Boo Buie (19.3 ppg.), Brooks Barnhizer (14.5 ppg.) and Ryan Lanborg (12.7 ppg.) – and they combined to shoot 8 of 20 from 3-point range in the first-round victory against FAU. Yet there was a prolonged first-half scoring drought, and that can’t happen against a team with the efficiency level of UConn. The Huskies have five players that average double figures. Tristen Newton will take better care of the basketball than FAU did, and 7-2 center Donovan Clingan is an issue. The Wildcats average just 8.8 turnovers per game – which is fifth in the nation – and that will allow them to hang around into the second half. Northwestern is 2-4 S/U and 4-2 ATS as an underdog of five points or more. 

Pick: UConn 81, Northwestern 69 

DECOURCY: Coach K, Billy Donovan discuss UConn’s challenge to repeat

  • No. 1 Houston (-9.5) vs. No. 9 Texas A&M (South) 

This is a fun in-state matchup that will bring back some Southwest Conference memories. The Aggies are a certified chaos team with a talented backcourt that includes Wade Taylor (19.0 ppg.) and Tyrece Radford (16.1 ppg.). Texas A&M is averaging 91.2 ppg since the start of the SEC Tournament, and Buzz Williams is going to want to turn that tempo up. Houston beat Longwood 86-46 in the first round, and forward J’Wan Roberts (shin) played 19 minutes. Guard Jamal Sheard also had a bounce-back game and will slow down that tempo here. In the Cougars’ four losses, they shot 42% or less from the field. The Aggies are 3-7 when they are limited to 70 points or less. 

Pick: Houston 75, Texas A&M 70

  • No. 5 San Diego State (-5.5) vs. No. 13 Yale (East) 

The key for Yale in the 78-76 upset against Auburn was the ability to just hang around. The Bulldogs shot 45% from 3-point range and had just nine turnovers. The Aztecs limit opposing teams to 30.5% shooting from 3-point range, and Jaedon Ledee is coming off a 32-point, eight-rebound performance in the first round. Yale survived against the Tigers despite a decided rebounding disadvantage. That will be more difficult in this matchup. Yale is 3-5 S/U as an underdog, so another upset is possible if John Poulakidas keeps knocking down the 3-pointers. 

Pick: San Diego State 71, Yale 61


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *