Tom Fornelli
Tom Fornelli
A CBS Sports writer since 2010, the entertaining Fornelli is a consistent winner who was 271-232 in his popular college football "Six Pack" column entering the 2020 season. He's spreading his wings on SportsLine, demonstrating his expertise in every single sport. You'll get maximum access to Fornelli's picks only on SportsLine. For Tom Fornelli media inquiries, contact SportsLine@CBSInteractive.com.
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Pepperdine 77 @ BYU 82 | 03/09 | 4:59 AM UTC

BYU -8.5


ANALYSIS: These teams split their regular season meetings, but we saw a lot of splits this season when teams played each other in consecutive games. Based on what we've seen from both squads all year long, the 65-54 BYU win in the first meeting is a better indicator of where these teams sit in relation to one another, and I expect the Cougars to win by double-digits tonight to set up a likely final against Gonzaga.

Drexel 74 @ Northeastern 67 | 03/09 | 2:30 AM UTC



ANALYSIS: This game is somewhat of a perfect storm for me. Not only does it feature two teams who are playing on back-to-back days (with both teams coming off a significant layoff in the process), but it also features a total that my simulations say is two points too high as it is. I'm taking the full-game Under, and depending on how things go in the first half, I'll probably be looking to take the second-half Under as well.

Saint Mary's 55 @ Gonzaga 78 | 03/09 | 2:00 AM UTC

Gonzaga -18


ANALYSIS: The West Coast Conference is a two-team league, and this year St. Mary's is not one of those two teams. Gonzaga disposed of it with ease twice during the regular season, beating it by 14 points on the road and 22 points at home. That 14-point win saw St. Mary's storm out to a 20-11 lead after 10 minutes before Gonzaga put its foot on the gas and took control of the game. Gonzaga enters tonight's game well-rested while the Gaels are playing their second game in three days. That won't help their chances, either. Take Gonzaga.


Mercer 61 @ UNCG 69 | 03/09 | 12:00 AM UTC

UNDER 136.5


ANALYSIS: This is a blind play for me, so do with that what you will. I bet the Under in every conference tournament final. The logic is simple, and it has been effective in my years of doing it. The teams that reach these games are typically playing at least their third game in three days. In Mercer's case here, it's their fourth in four. They're tired. That leads to slower pace, and less accurate shooting. Also, particularly in one-bid leagues like this, there's the added stress of knowing the only way to reach the NCAA Tournament is to win this game. That leads to caution. So, cautious approaches and tired legs tend to result in lower-scoring games.

App. St. 80 @ Georgia St. 73 | 03/09 | 12:00 AM UTC



ANALYSIS: This is a blind system play for me. I bet the Under in every conference tournament final because teams are usually tired by the time they get there, and there's a lot on the line. Particularly in one-bid leagues like this one where the loser has almost no hope of reaching the dance. Georgia State is playing its third game in three days. Appalachian State is playing its fourth in four. Two tired teams with a lot on the line.