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NCAA Tournament Bracket Picks: J. Brady McCollough’s Prediction For Every Game

Baylor forward Jalen Bridges (11) celebrates with forward Josh Ojianwuna (15) after making a shot at the buzzer that ended the first half against Iowa State in the second round of the Big 12 Conference tournament March 9 in Kansas City, Mo.

(Charlie Riedel/Associated Press)

No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 16 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
Thursday, 11:45
Television: CBS
Line: N/A
Choose: Alabama has been outplaying outplayed teams all year. The Crimson Tide will show no mercy.
Alabama 104, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 59

No. 8 Maryland vs. No. 9 West Virginia
Thursday, 9:15 a.m.
Television: CBS
Line: West Virginia for 2.
Choose: The Big 12 garnered so much respect as a league that West Virginia, with seven wins, entered the tournament. The Mountaineers will prove that the committee’s reading was correct.
West Virginia 66, Maryland 61

No. 5 San Diego State vs. 12 Charleston
Thursday, 12:10
TV: Tru TV
Line: San Diego State for 5.
Choose: The Aztecs’ reward for having a great year and winning the Mountain West? A cross-country trip to Orlando to play a potential Cinderella with a 31-3 record. San Diego State’s defense will help him survive.
San Diego State 62, Charleston 58

No. 4 Virginia vs. No. 13 Furman
Thursday, 9:40 a.m.
Line: Virginia by 5.5.
Choose: The Cavaliers, even after winning the 2019 national title, will never escape their distinction as the only No. 1 seed to lose to a 16th seed. They’ll be a popular surprise pick this week, but Tony Bennett’s team will find a way .
Virginia 66, Furman 59

No. 6 Creighton vs. No. 11 State of North Carolina
Friday, 1:00 p.m.
Television: TNT
Line: Creighton for 5.5.
Choose: The Bluejays have a deep, experienced roster that plays well together. NC State is too reliant on one-on-one basketball to prevail.
Creighton 73, State of North Carolina 60

No. 3 Baylor vs. No. 14 UC Santa Barbara
Friday, 10:30
Television: TNT
Line: Baylor for 10.5.
Choose: There is a window for the gauchos to make a surprise if the Baylor guards are cold on the field. But after losing in the second round last year, the Bears will be scarred.
Baylor 72, UC Santa Barbara 63

No. 7 Missouri vs. No. 10 Utah State
Thursday, 10:40 a.m.
Television: TNT
Line: Utah State by 1.5.
Choose: The Aggies and Tigers rank in the KenPom top 15 in offensive efficiency, so it should be fun to watch. Utah State is less offensive on defense.
Utah State 76, Missouri 75

No. 2 Arizona vs. No. 15 Princeton
Thursday, 1:10 p.m.
Television: TNT
Line: Arizona for 14.5.
Choose: Princeton will try to muddy this and may succeed early, but Arizona is too explosive to stay grounded for long.
Arizona 88, Princeton 65