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NCAA Tournament: A misinformed and dubious gambling guide to day one - part two

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Will Potts and Brandon Anderson go through every game and attempt to make sense of Vegas.

NCAA Basketball: ACC Conference Tournament-North Carolina vs Miami Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

In part two of this two-part series, Tar Heel Blog writers Will Potts and Brandon Anderson continue to discuss every game on day one of the NCAA Tournament. All betting lines are from

Maryland (-2) vs. Xavier, 6:50 PM, TNT

Will: Start us off on part 2.

Brandon: Ah yes so Maryland -2. This line is weirdly low. I don't know if this was done with a buzzer beater in mind or what. I can safely say I have more faith in Maryland than Xavier, I definitely don't think they'll only win by 2. If they do, I feel like MD will get knocked out the very next round.

W: Xavier has been TERRIBLE since they lost Edward Sumner.

B: Yeah that was a big blow for sure.

W: They were a team that was legit on the bubble before they somewhat righted the ship and beat Butler last week. Maryland has kind of flown under the radar all year. Beat teams they were supposed to beat and lost games they were supposed to lose. Seems like a trick line but I am taking Maryland by a healthy margin. I trust Melo Trimble that much.

Villanova (-27) vs. Mount Saint Mary’s, 7:10 PM, CBS

W: I watched Mount Saint Mary's barely beat a team who had a player choke a teammate during the game. I don't even trust the Mount to make it to the gym much less cover. By the way, hearing Seth Davis give analysis on the choke was laugh out loud funny: "I gotta say Jim you just can't be choking your teammate during the game". I love the tournament.

B: Of course the "Making the Band" skit from the Chapelle's Show entered my head when you said that. "Listen Dylan, we can either make this record or not make this record." "You're too close man! YOU'RE TOO CLOSE!" Anyways, I agree. Give me that team in Philly.

W: Sticking with my under 20 or greater than 25 theory for the 1 seeds. I really hope that Villanova can finally get that monkey off their back and finally do something in the tournament.

B: You and I both. Maybe they'll upset a Triangle team. I hear there's one in Durham that could use a good soul-crushing.

St. Mary’s (-4.5) vs. VCU, 7:20 PM, TBS

W: I feel like my answer is pretty obvious here and I feel like you may agree. We spent a decent amount of time slandering Gonzaga in part 1. Why in the world would I pick bootleg Gonzaga? Gonzaga but worse is not exactly inspiring confidence from me.

B: Yeah I definitely agree. I just can't do it. I don't know that I even have any kind of logical argument about it either. I just simply can't do it. Definitely another "Prove me wrong" team. I'm just not going to count on bootleggers proving me wrong.

Purdue (-10.5) vs. Vermont, 7:27 PM, TruTv

W: It isn't that i love Vermont so much as it is that I hate Purdue. I had Purdue in the final 4 last year. I don't know why. I mentioned earlier that I have a dumb brain. Of course they lost first round and I burned my bracket in my fireplace to the sound of Sarah McLachlan. I will not fall for that trick again. Plus Vermont hasn't even lost since before Christmas. I like Vermont not only to cover +10.5 but win outright.

B: You pretty much said it all. Purdue screwed me last year. They do this all the time, they are like that sneaky "good" team in the Big Ten that gets into the NCAA Tournament and then suddenly they forget how to play basketball. I'm not falling for that trap again. I won't do it. Besides, as you pointed out undefeated since Christmas? Vermont hasn't proved me wrong yet because well, they've never got a chance to prove anything to me at all. So I'll give them this chance. I'll take them outright as well.

W: Damn this is turning into an echo chamber. I miss Taylor Coppenrath.

B: I'd be lying if I told you I didn't have to google who that was.

W: For shame.

Florida State (-11.5) vs. Florida Gulf Coast, 9:20 PM, TNT

W: I am ending this chat immediately if you dare call them Dunk City.

B: Is that a thing? Like a real thing? No I'm not calling them that. Kind of disappointed Brice Johnson didn't get to become initiated into Lob City though. That would've been entertaining.

W: Let’s take a moment to remember Seth Davis embarrassing himself yet again by picking Florida Gulf Coast to upset UNC last year.

B: Let's take a moment to remember that Seth Davis............................see I can't finish that without going off on a 10 hour rant. I'll just stop there. I think FSU wins this, but only by 5-ish. I have no logic to this, but I feel like they'll need to get the first win out of the way to really get rolling in the tournament

W: Finally a disagreement! I think Florida State wins by 15+. They are insanely long. Just a terrible matchup for mid-major teams with their athleticism. It is now or never for Leonard Hamilton to make the Final 4.

B: They definitely are a big group. I walked the floor of the Dean Dome while they were warming up and I felt like a midget. Not that I'm very tall, but they definitely tower. I just need to see them play an NCAA Tournament game and see if they can handle the intensity levels. I feel like it's been a while since they've been there? When was the last time they were there? Not to discredit them this year, they're good. They're really good. But yeah, I'll stand by 5.

Wisconsin (-5.5) vs. Virginia Tech, 9:40 PM, CBS

W: I wouldn't touch this line in a million years with actual American dollars but in this hypothetical situation, I am taking Wisky. VT is such a bland and average team. Wisconsin had a rough February but they have the talent and they are going to be pissed about the seeding. They'll make a lovely sacrificial lamb for Villanova but I think they cruise first round.

B: It's funny because I think on all of my brackets I picked Virginia Tech. I won't lie, I don't know what I was thinking because going through their wins and losses and their best win? Against Virginia. 80-78 in overtime. Might be the highest scoring game in UVA history. Worst loss? NC State. By a lot actually. 104-78. Wisconsin's going to destroy them. I'll take them outright. Now I'm going to go cry knowing how badly I messed up on my brackets.

W: Just going to silently judge over here at the multiple brackets situation.

B: Trust me, I'm never happy about it. My brother has a bracket, my job has a bracket, my former co-worker has a bracket. It's too much.

W: Got to ride and die with the one bracket. I would rather lose with one bracket than win with multiples.

Arizona (-17) vs. North Dakota, 9:50 PM, TBS

B: Sound the alarms: we have another Gonzaga Alert.

W: Oh lord. Are we about to have some Arizona slander?

B: Just a little. I'll get out my positives before I bash them: I think they are for real this year. I think that they look better than previous teams and I don't think that winning the PAC-12 was an accident by any stretch.


B: But so help me God, they need to stop ruining my bracket every year. Always always always always always. If I don't have them making the final four I usually have them close, and it NEVER pans out. Sick of them.

W: So are you taking North Dakota and the points?

B: I'll take Arizona. I just had to get that off my chest.

***takes deep breaths***

So Will, who's your pick?

W: Well that was a let-down. I am taking Arizona. They are going to win even bigger than Gonzaga is.

Iowa State (-7) vs. Nevada, 9:57 PM, TruTv

W: Last one.

B: I can't in good conscience pick an Iowa team. I refuse. I still want revenge on Iowa State from a few years ago. I still haven't forgotten that game. I feel like Marcus Paige playing for UNC was the ultimate setup for the whole state of Iowa to troll UNC repeatedly.

W: Still not 100% sure why Nate Britt thought he could dribble the length of the court in 2 seconds. I came close to putting Iowa State in the Final Four. I think they are legit this year. Burton is a monster. Give me Iowa State by double digits here.

Any final thoughts?

B: I think the most noteworthy games will be Notre Dame/Princeton, and Vanderbilt/Midwestern. I don't know why, but as soon as the dates were announced for the Thursday games those are the ones that caught my eye the most. It'll be a relatively tame day, but I wouldn't be surprised if we get a couple upsets / bracket busters.

W: I plan on having a good number beverages along a good number of unhealthy foods and watch the world burn tomorrow.

B: There is no better way to live, good sir.