Ranking Thursday’s NCAA Tournament Games

Finally, the best tournament in all of sports is underway. Below I rank all the games on Thursday’s in terms of fantasy potential. Good luck to everyone in the Survivor tournaments.

1. Iona vs. Iowa State: This will likely be the highest scoring game of the whole NCAA tournament. A.J. English is the highest price player on this slate and for good reason. Your casual CBB fan probably hasn’t even heard of English, but he is the real deal. If you don’t want to pay up for English you could take Isiah Williams or Aaron Rountree from the Gaels. Iowa State is a fantasy player’s dream as they basically run a six man rotation. The top two plays for the Cyclones are George Niang and Monte Morris. Morris price has really dropped especially on FD, but he is battling a shoulder injury. The rest of the Cyclones are in play, but it’s tough to predict which player will have a good game or put up a dud.

2. UNC Wilmington vs. Duke: The Seahawks won’t be afraid to run with the Blue Devils. Both teams love to shot the threes. Of course Brandon Ingram and Grayson Allen are the top plays for Duke. Marshall Plumlee isn’t a great basketball player, but he may be the best value play for Duke in this game. UNC Wilmington lacks size. If you want to play any of the Seahawks players look at Chris Flemmings and Denzel Ingram.

3. Providence vs. USC: This should be the most competitive game on Thursday’s slate. Of course the Friars two studs in are in play. Kris Dunn has battled some illness down the stretch, so his price has dropped. Ben Bentil has picked up his play with Dunn not at 100 %. Rodney Bullock and Jalen Lindsey could provide nice value for you. With the Trojans their backcourt of Julian Jacobs and Jordan McLaughlin are the only players you can trust. Bennie Boatwright and Nikola Jovanovic are the ultimate GPP plays.

4. Gonzaga vs. Seton Hall: If Isaiah Whitehead was playing at a bigger school he would be a bigger name right now. He is playing the best basketball of anyone in college basketball right now. The Pirates are a lot more than Whitehead thought, the rest of the starters are all in play. They don’t have a deep bench. For Gonzaga Domas Sabonis and Kyle Wiltjer are always great plays. Josh Perkins and Eric McClellan are both pretty good options for the Zags, but they have that potential to put up a dud.

5. Stony Brook vs. Kentucky: The Wildcats may not have the best player on the court in this game. Jameel Warney is coming off a 43 point 10 rebound game in his conference tournament championship game. I don’t like him in this matchup though against the frontcourt of Kentucky. The Wildcats feature the best backcourt in the country. Tyler Ulis and Jamal Murray are super safe plays. If you don’t want to pay up for them you could take Isaiah Briscoe. Good luck trying to figure out the Wildcats frontcourt.

6. Chattanooga vs. Indiana: For the Hoosiers it’s about Yogi Ferrell. He may not have that huge upside, but he is super consistent. Troy Williams is really the only other Indiana player I would look at. He has been playing very well in March. Thomas Bryant is too inconsistent for my liking. Indiana doesn’t like to play defense. So for Chattanooga, I would look at Justin Tuoyo and Tre McLean.

7. Buffalo vs. Miami: This is a great matchup for the Hurricanes. Miami will get a pace boost with Buffalo likening to play fast. The Hurricanes don’t have that one dominant player; but have a lot of consistent players. I like Sheldon McCLellan, Angel Rodriguez and Tonye Jekiri. Davon Reed is a great play on DK. For Buffalo their players are only in play on DK, they are priced way to high on FD. I like Lamonte Bearden and Blake Hamilton.

8. UConn vs. Colorado: March is the Huskies time of year. The theme in the Huskies previous runs is one dominant guard. This year Daniel Hamilton is that man for the Huskies; he has triple-double potential. He is the only Huskie in play for me, Jalen Adams, Sterling Gibbs, and Rodney Purvis are just too inconsistent. For the Buffaloes their offense runs through Josh Scott, but he does have a difficult matchup in this game against Amida Brimah. George King is the only other Colorado player I would look at.

9. Yale vs. Baylor: Justin Sears of Yale is one of the best big men in the country I am sure not a lot of people have heard of. I really don’t like Sears in this matchup against the zone and big frontcourt of Baylor. Makai Mason and Nick Victor are the players I like better for Yale. For Baylor the one player I really like I Taurean Waller-Prince. Ricardo Gathers priced has dropped a lot especially on FD. Ish Wainright and Lester Medford could be value plays for the Bears.

10. Texas Tech vs. Butler: The over/under for this game is a little higher than I would of thought. I really wouldn’t use any Red Raiders players. For the season they don’t have a player averaging over 12 points per game. You could use Toddrick Gotcher, Devaugntah Williams, or Keenan Evans as a value play. For Butler, Roosevelt Jones and Kelan Martin are in play, but I don’t see them hitting value at their prices. You could also look at Kellen Dunham, but he is just a scorer.

11. Fresno State at Utah: This is another game were I thought the total would be a lot lower. The only player I really like in this game is Jakob Poeltl. If tough predicting who else will produce for the Utes. You could take a chance on Jordan Loveridge, Kyle Kuzma, and Brandon Taylor. I don’t like anyone on Fresno State. Marvelle Harris is a good player, but not against this Utah defense.

12. Arkansas Little Rock vs. Purdue: This might be a very good game, but not for fantasy purposes. A.J. Hammons for Purdue is the ultimate GPP play. I would rather use Caleb Swanigan or Vince Edwards on Purdue.

13. Austin Peay vs. Kansas: Right now the Jayhawks are a 25 point favorite. For that reason alone I will be fading Kansas on Thursday. I wouldn’t blame you for taking Frank Mason, Devonte Graham, and Perry Ellis they could hit value in limited minutes. Don’t even think about taking any Austin Peay players.

14. Hampton vs. Virginia: If you have playing college basketball this year, you know not to target players against Virginia. The Cavaliers play at one of the slower paces in the country. Malcolm Brogdon is a very good player, but I would fade him in this matchup for numerous reasons.

About the Author

  • Scott Shirley (Scott121422)

  • Scott has been playing fantasy sports since the 2000s, and started playing daily in late 2012. While he plays all kinds of sports, he really enjoys playing and writing about the college sports. Since information for college players are hard to find, don’t be afraid to ask him some questions.

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