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2022 March Madness predictions: NCAA bracket expert picks against the spread, odds in Saturday’s Round 2 games

The college basketball marathon is far from over, and have already jumped right into the weekend action. The First Round festivities closed on Friday night and Second Round play in the 2022 NCAA Tournament will get started beginning Saturday with a field half as big as the one that was in it ahead of Round 1. Over the next few days, the bracket will again eliminate half the field as it goes from 32 to a Sweet 16, setting up the second weekend of this year’s tournament.

If this tournament has taught us anything so far, it’s that Saturday’s slate should provide us with drama. We’ve already had several overtime games, some Cinderella candidates have emerged, and upsets have thus far been plentiful. Round 2 action features six single-digit spreads out of eight games, so as the bracket continues to unfold, oddsmakers are expecting more close contests to continue.

To get you prepped for the first day of Round 2, I’ve called on our experts together to make picks straight up and against the spread to help you pick your bracket (and hopefully make some cheddar along the way). You can also check our expert brackets.

LIVE updates: Follow all the scores, highlights and analysis in the Second Round on Saturday.

Be sure to stick with CBS Sports throughout the rest of the month for NCAA Tournament coverage through the end of the Final Four. Let’s take a look at our expert picks for the final slate of second-round games on Saturday.

Odds via Caesars Sportsbook | All times Eastern

NCAA Tournament: Round 2 picks

(1) Baylor vs. (8) North Carolina

Saturday, 12:10 pm | CBS, March Madness Live: Baylor may be the most vulnerable of all the No. 1 1 seeds in this year’s tourney — it remains without leading scorer LJ Cryer and glue guy Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua because of injury — but I’m still laying the points here with the Bears . They have the personnel to limit Brady Manek and Armando Bacot and match up well in the backcourt thanks to a veteran bunch led by Adam Flagler and James Akinjo. Pick: Baylor -5.5

Spread

UNC+5.5

BAY-5.5 BAY-5.5 BAY-5.5 UNC+5.5 UNC+5.5

straight-up

BAY

BAY BAY BAY UNC UNC

(1) Kansas vs. (9)Creighton

Saturday, 2:40 p.m. | CBS, March Madness Live: Creighton was fortunate to escape in Round 1 in overtime against a San Diego State team that led nearly the entire game. It won’t have the luxury of playing with fire against Kansas, though, and I don’t envision it will get a chance to do that, either. KU’s starting to fire on all cylinders with Remy Martin stepping up to play a key role next to star Ochai Agbaji in the backcourt. Jayhawks should cruise to a comfortable win. Pick: Kansas -11.5

Spread

KAN -11.5

KAN -11.5 KAN -11.5 KAN -11.5 KAN -11.5 KAN -11.5

straight-up

KHAN

KHAN KHAN KHAN KHAN KHAN

(3) Tennessee vs. (11) Michigan

Saturday, 5:15 p.m. | CBS, March Madness Live: Since a blowout loss to Kentucky on Jan. 15, Tennessee has the No. 2 defense in the country and a No. 25 offense to complement it, according to Bart Torvik data. The Volunteers since then have won 16 of 18 and are coming off a 29-point blowout win of Longwood in Round 1. The six-point spread is well within reach for them to cover against a Michigan team that had some struggles in Round 1 vs. . Colorado State. Pick: Tennessee -6

Spread

TENN-6

TENN-6 MICH +6 TENN-6 TENN-6 MICH +6

straight-up

TENN

TENN TENN TENN TENN TENN

(4) Providencevs. (12) Richmond

Saturday, 6:10 p.m. | TNT, March Madness Live: Providence made a statement in its first-round win over South Dakota State, the top 3-point shooting team in the country, by yucking up the game with physicality and limiting the Jackrabbits’ strengths. The Friars know how to play out a scouting report. So, this game should favor them by a smidge, but I’m taking the points with Richmond, which is on a tear after winning four games in four days in the Atlantic 10 tourney and just knocked off arguably the hottest team in the sport in Iowa. This Spiders team is rolling with Jacob Gilyard riding a heater, and I’m ready to ride the wave with them. Pick: Richmond +3

Spread

PROV-3

PROV-3 PROV-3 RICH +3 RICH +3 RICH +3

straight-up

PROV

PROV PROV PROV PROV RICH

(4) UCLAvs. (5) Saint Mary’s

Saturday, 7:10 p.m. | TBS, March Madness Live: UCLA played with fire a bit against Akron in Round 1 after uncharacteristically inefficient outings from both Jaime Jaquez Jr. and Johnny Juzang. I’m expecting bounce-back showings from both in this one to cover the points. Gaels have the goods to keep this close throughout, and I expect they will, but UCLA’s talent and tourney experience will eventually win out. Pick: UCLA -2.5

Spread

UCLA-2.5

SCM +2.5 SCM +2.5 UCLA-2.5 SCM +2.5 SCM +2.5

straight-up

UCLA

SCM SCM UCLA SCM SCM

(7) Murray State vs. (15) Saint Peter’s

Saturday, 7:45 p.m. | CBS, March Madness Live: Call me a sucker for a good story — I’m a writer, sue me! — but I like the Peacocks of Saint Peter’s to cover against Murray State and maybe they even replicate their magic from Round 1 when they upset No. 2 seed Kentucky. Maybe they don’t, but the scoring punch of Daryl Banks III and Doug Edert in the backcourt is enough firepower to keep it within the number even against a Murray State team that has not lost since Dec. 22. Pick: Saint Peter’s +8

Spread

SPC +8

MURST-8 MURST-8 SPC +8 SPC +8 MURST-8

straight-up

MURST

MURST MURST MURST MURST MURST

(4) Arkansas vs. (12) New Mexico State

Saturday, 8:40 p.m. | TNT, March Madness Live: Teddy Allen’s 37 points willed New Mexico State to a first-round upset of UConn, but on two days rest after playing 39 of 40 minutes, can he play superhero again? I’m skeptical the underdog Aggies do it back-to-back. This Arkansas team has a respectable defense that’s going to strategically try to take the ball out of Allen’s hands and throw enough defenders at him to make him really work, too. New Mexico State keeps things within the number, but Arkansas wins something like 71-66. Pick: New Mexico State +6.5

Spread

NMST +6.5

NMST +6.5

ARK-6.5

NMST +6.5

NMST +6.5

NMST +6.5

straight-up

ark

NMST

ark

ark

NMST

ark

(1) Gonzaga vs. (9) Memphis

Saturday, 9:40 p.m. | TBS, March Madness Live: The combination of Gonzaga’s early struggles in Round 1 and Memphis’ late-season surge — culminating with a cozy Round 1 win over Boise State — should make the Zags-Tigers game a must-watch finale on Saturday. But the top overall seed hit a new gear in the second half of the first round and with the star power of Chet Holmgren and Drew Timme, I’m laying the points here expecting it can pick up where it left off on Thursday. Pick: Gonzaga -10.5

Spread

MEM +10.5

ZAGS-10.5

ZAGS-10.5

ZAGS-10.5

MEM +10.5

ZAGS-10.5

straight-up

ZAGS

ZAGS

ZAGS

ZAGS

ZAGS

ZAGS

Who will win every college basketball game, and which teams will sink your bankroll? Visit SportsLine now to see how to pick the spread, money, line, and over-under in each tournament gameall from the model that’s up almost $1,500 on top-rated college basketball picks and simulates every possession 10,000 times.

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