The No. 11 Pittsburgh Panthers pulled off the upset over Iowa State to advance to the second round, where they will meet the No. 3 Xavier Musketeers. The game will air on CBS at 12:10 p.m. ET from the Greensboro Coliseum. Xavier enters as a 5-point favorite.
No. 11 Pitt (23-11, 14-6 ACC):
First round result: Defeated Iowa State, 59-41
KenPom rating: 78 Overall, 24 Offense, 143 Defense
NET ranking: 67, (4-4 VS Quad 1)
Leading scorer: Blake Hinson, 15.6 ppg
Key stat: 23-7 ATS in last 30 games
Pitt had quite the statement win over Iowa State. The Panthers may not be ranked particularly high on defense, but the Cyclones couldn't make a shot on Friday, going 23.3% from the field and 2-of-21 from 3-point range. Pitt's Nelly Cummings led the offense with 13 points, but the team was just 34.1% from the field.
No. 3 Xavier (26-9, 15-5 Big East):
First round result: Defeated Kennesaw State, 72-67
KenPom rating: 16 Overall, 8 Offense, 73 Defense
NET ranking: 22, (8-6 VS Quad 1)
Leading scorer: Souley Boom, 17 ppg
Key stat: 81.4 ppg (12th in the nation)
Xavier vs. Kennesaw State was March Madness at its purest. Down 13 points with an upset in the making, the Owls went cold and Xavier never gave up. They put together a seemingly impossible comeback in the final eight minutes of the game to hand Kennesaw State a heartbreaker. They were led by Jerome Hunter with 24 points. The Musketeers struggled to get their footing in the first half against an all-sides Kennesaw State attack, but held on where it mattered.
Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook
Point spread: Xavier -5
Point total: 151
Moneyline: Xavier -200, Pitt +170
Against The Spread Pick: Pitt +5
Point total pick: Under 151
Pick to Win: Pitt +170
Pitt is 23-7 ATS in their last 30 games and have been heating up lately, while Xavier struggles to cover on away and neutral courts and has only covered the spread in one of their last five games. I like Pitt's matchup here against a shaken-up Xavier team on both ends of the court.