NCAA Men's Basketball March Madness Tournament Preview

Brandon RibakSenior Writer IMarch 16, 2011

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 10:  Justin Brownlee #32 of the St. John's Red Storm reacts after a play in the second half against the Syracuse Orange during the quarterfinals of the 2011 Big East Men's Basketball Tournament presented by American Eagle Outfitters  at Madison Square Garden on March 10, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

The NCAA's Men's Basketball madness is on the cusp of beginning. Brandon Ribak breaks down the top three game match-ups, providing analysis, spreads and betting predictions.

9 Old Dominion vs 8 Butler

Old Dominion enter the madness on a nine game winning streak (with 13 wins in their last 14). The Monarchs ranked seventh in the nation in rebounds per game (40.2 per game) and led all teams in rebound differential (+12.2).

Butler made an unexpected run during March Madness betting last year and have yet another solid group of talent on their roster this season. 

The Bulldogs have won nine consecutive games and will need a strong performance from Matt Howard if they want any chance at defeating OD in this battle.

SBG Spread: Butler is +2

Prediction: OD have played very impressive basketball as of late, so it would be hard to go against them. Choose them to cover the spread.


12 Richmond vs 5 Vanderbilt

Richmond is composed of experienced seniors that have competed in madness play before. The team held a 27-7 overall record, including seven straight victories to finish off the season.

The Spiders were able to beat Purdue early on in the season and they have a great chance at knocking off Vanderbilt in the first round.

Vanderbilt ranked 30th in the nation in points per game, scoring just over 76 points per contest. They completed the season losing three of their final five games, two to Florida and one to Kentucky. 

Spread: Richmond is +3

Sportsbook Prediction: Select Richmond in this match-up as I can smell an upset in the making.


11 Gonzaga vs 6 St. Johns

Gonzaga ranked 10th in the nation in FG%, shooting just under 48 percent from the field. They ended the season winning nine straight games and have played spectacular basketball betting as of late.

St. Johns picked up very impressive wins during the season, defeating Duke, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, Georgetown, Connecticut, and Villanova. 

With victories like that, you can expect St. Johns to emerge as a major threat in the tournament this year.

Spread: Gonzaga is +1.5

Prediction: Although St.Johns will be without their leading scorer, the team is built up of plenty of seniors. Take St. Johns in this match-up.