Big Al's Daily Angle: NHL, NBA and NCAA Basketball Previews and Odds - 03/18/2021

by Big Al Staff

The NCAA Tournament begins with the First Four play-in games. Mount St. Mary’s faces Texas Southern on truTV at 5:10 PM ET in the opener. The Mountaineers won the Northeast Conference tournament with their 73-68 upset win at Bryant as a 6.5-point underdog on March 9th. They have won four games in a row to raise their record to 12-10. The Tigers won the Southwest Athletic Conference tournament with an 80-61 upset win against Prairie View as a 1.5-point underdog on Saturday. Texas Southern has won nine in a row to improve to a 16-8 record. Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Indiana, is the site for the game. The winner of this game inherits the 16 seed to play Michigan on Saturday. Mount St. Mary’s is a 1-point favorite with the total set at 133 (all odds from BetOnline). 

Drake plays Wichita State on TBS at 6:27 PM ET. The Bulldogs lost to Loyola-Chicago in the Missouri Valley Conference Championship Game, 75-65, as a 9-point underdog on March 7th. They have lost two of three games to fall to 25-4. The Shockers were upset by Cincinnati, 60-59, as a 5.5-point favorite in the semifinals of the American Athletic Conference tournament on Saturday. Wichita State is 16-5 after their eight-game winning streak ended against the Bearcats. The winner of this game slides into the 11th seed to play USC on Saturday. Drake is a 2-point favorite with an over/under of 140.5.

Norfolk State battles Appalachian State on truTV at 8:40 PM ET. The Spartans won the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Tournament with their 71-63 win against Morgan State as a 2.5-point favorite on Saturday. They have won six in a row to raise their record to 16-7. The Mountaineers won the Colonial Athletic Association tournament with their 80-73 upset victory against Georgia State as a 7-point underdog on March 8th. Appalachian State has won four in a row to improve to 17-11. The winner of this game takes the 16th seed to face Gonzaga on Saturday. The Mountaineers are a 3-point favorite with a total of 133.5.

UCLA takes on Michigan State on TBS at 9:57 PM ET. The Bruins were upset in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 tournament against Oregon State, 83-79, as a 5-point favorite on March 11th. They have lost four in a row to fall to 17-9 on the season. The Spartans were beaten in the second round of the Big 10 tournament, 68-57,  to Maryland as a 2-point underdog last Thursday. They have lost three of five to drop to 15-12. The winner of this game takes the 11th seed slot to face BYU on Saturday. Michigan State is a 2-point favorite with an over/under of 135.5.

The first round of the National Invitational Tournament continues with two games. North Carolina State plays Davidson on ESPN at 7 PM ET. The Wolfpack, 13-10, had their five-game winning streak snapped in the first round of the ACC tournament in an 89-68 loss to Syracuse as a 3-point underdog last Wednesday. The Wildcats, 13-8,  lost to VCU, 64-52, in the semifinals of the Atlantic 10 tournament as a 2-point underdog on March 6th. The UNT Coliseum in Denton, Texas, is the game site. Davidson is a 1.5-point favorite with the total at 138.

Boise State plays SMU on ESPN at 9 PM ET in the nightcap of the NIT. The Broncos, 17-8, lost their fourth in a row in an 89-82 upset loss to Nevada as a 4-point favorite in the quarterfinals of the Mountain West Conference tournament last Thursday. The Mustangs, 11-5, were upset in the quarterfinals of the American Athletic Conference tournament, 74-71, to Cincinnati as a 5-point favorite last Friday. The Comerica Center in Frisco, Texas, is the site. Boise State is a 1.5-point favorite with an over/under of 145.

Six games are on the NBA docket. Utah visits Washington to begin the slate at 7 PM ET. The Los Angeles Lakers host Charlotte at 10:30 PM ET to close out the card as an 8-point favorite with a total of 227.5. 

Ten games are on the NHL slate. Six games begin the card at 7 PM ET. Arizona visits Anaheim at 10 PM ET as a -130 money line favorite with an over/under of 5.5.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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