Rodger Sherman of The Ringer has released his top 3 upset picks, predictions, and best bets for the First Round of March Madness of the 2023 NCAA Tournament. The sportswriter has No. 13 Furman upsetting No. 4 Virginia, No. 14 Kennesaw St. winning over No. 3 Xavier, and No. 15 UNC Asheville defeating No. 2 UCLA. BetOnline odds are below.
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Rodger Sherman Analyzes Top 3 Upset Predictions, Picks for the First Round of March Madness 2023
For the First Round of March Madness 2023, the sportswriter has his sights set on these three possible outcomes: No. 13 Furman defeating No. 4 Virginia, No. 14 Kennesaw St. upsetting No. 3 Xavier, and No. 15 UNC Asheville beating No. 2 UCLA. Not many FS1, ESPN, and CBS analysts are predicting upsets in the First Round.
Fans and college basketball analysts believe No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 UCLA are both a shoo-in for the Final Four. So, Rodger Sherman will look like a genius if he’s correct on one or two of his picks. Check out the summary for these predictions below.
No. 13 Furman upsets No. 4 Virginia (+450) | Free Predictions
First off, Rodger Sherman is high on No. 13 Furman finding a way to upset No. 4 Virginia during the First Round of March Madness. “What makes Furman such an appealing upset pick? No. 1 is that they’re playing Virginia,” explained Sherman. “Have you heard of the University of Virginia? They’re the school that loses in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament.
“That’s what they do… They are a very good college basketball team that is perfectly designed to lose first-round NCAA Tournament games… If you’re going up against a team that hits a couple of 3s, you could lose. Guess what Furman does? They take a lot of 3s.”
No. 14 Kennesaw St. over No. 3 Xavier (+580) | Free March Madness Picks
Next, Rodger Sherman expects No. 14 Kennesaw St. will make some noise in the NCAA Tournament for a few logical reasons. “Kennesaw St. appearing in the NCAA Tournament for the very first time,” said college basketball analyst. “It’s their first ever winning season as a Division I program. They have never gone above .500 before…
“Out of the 363 teams in college basketball, Kennesaw St. was number two in this [minutes continuity] category. Kennesaw St. started at the bottom, and now they are in the NCAA Tournament. And I think they have what it takes to beat Xavier.” The Owls enter this matchup as a 12.5-point underdog. They’re 6-6 as an underdog this season. More March Madness picks and predictions are on the main page.
No. 15 UNC Asheville defeats No. 2 UCLA (+1150) | Rodger Sherman Picks
Additionally, Rodger Sherman is hoping No. 15 UNC Asheville will upset No. 2 UCLA in the First Round of March Madness. “When we talk about UNC Asheville, we are talking about mainly one dude, Drew Pember, transfer of the University of Tennessee,” mentioned Sherman. “Nobody in college basketball draws fouls at a higher rate than Drew Pember. He led college basketball in free throws attempted, and free throws made.
“He scored more points in a single game this year than anybody else. And he scored 48 points against Presbyterian. He hit eight 3s in that game… Now he’s going up against a team that won the Pac-12 regular season title. A team that has Pac-12 Freshman of the Year at center, Adem Bona. Well, we’re not sure Bona is gonna play in this game… UNC Asheville is a team that is sixth in all of college basketball in 3-point percentage.”