Villanova, St. Peter’s, Providence | The picks with Sweet 16 on tap this week

Colby Dant, Sports Gambling Podcast Network’s (SGPN) college basketball expert, has been riding Villanova since the NCAA tournament began and this week is no different.  Colby goes in-depth on the College Basketball Experience Podcast with all the selections. (Point spreads are as of Wednesday and dates and times are set in stone.) Enjoy the games!

Villanova vs Michigan (Nova -5) – Thursday, 7:29 p.m.

Michigan has been a great story since they entered the NCAA Tournament. The Wolverines and Juwan Howard overachieved and won as an underdog against both Colorado State and Tennessee. That was a nice story, but this game seems to be quite the matchup problem for Michigan. Villanova is a top 25 three-point team and the number 1 free-throw shooting squad in America. The Wildcats also avoid turnovers, charting at 15th in the nation at taking care of the ball and 16th at offensive rating. Meanwhile, Michigan struggles to shoot the three and is 253rd in overall defense. Mix that in with giving Jay Wright a few days to prepare for guarding Hunter Dickinson and give me Villanova minus the points.

Saint Peter’s vs Purdue (Purdue -12.5) – Friday, 7:09 p.m.

If you dive into the analytics, then you’ll say there is no way St. Peter’s will win this game. However, the analytics also would have told you they’d be destroyed by Kentucky and Murray State. But not this Peacocks team. First of all, this game is being played in Philadelphia, about an hour and a half from St. Peter’s University. Add in the fact that St. Peter’s is completely out-sized by Purdue. But, the small ball works in 2022. Just look at what St. Peter’s did to Kentucky. That same formula worked for Miami as they took down Auburn in a game they were completely outsized in. Purdue may have the NBA talent in Jaden Ivey but they are still charting at 204th defensively. I think St. Peter’s plus the points is the play.

Providence vs Kansas (Kansas -7.5) – Friday, 7:29 p.m.

Ed Cooley and the Providence Friars are in the middle of their most successful season in school history, and you could argue that they are playing with house money here. Kansas is the number 1 seed, and they should have the home-court advantage since this game is being played in Chicago. However, Providence is super experienced and, well, they’ve been doubted all year long, so the chip on the shoulder is proudly worn within the Friars program. Providence is an analytics nightmare, but they win games. Especially close games. Providence takes better care of the ball than Kansas and they simply find ways to stay in the hunt. Give me the Friars plus the points in Chicago.

(Colby Dant is SGPN’s college basketball expert. He picks all tournament games against the spread at and provides in-depth analysis on The College Basketball Experience podcast multiple times per week. All SGPN content is free here.)  

Photo: ICON Sportswire