March Madness arrived with plenty of fireworks, and the action isn't over yet as more first-round games are underway during Friday. Now it's time to chop another 16 out of the field as we slim down to a tidy 32 entering the weekend.
Friday's final cuts ahead of Round 2 look to be plenty dramatic and loaded with several potential upsets from teams with both high and low seeds. Of the 16 games, six have spreads inside 5 points, so if the Las Vegas oddsmakers are on their game, some fun finishes may pop up in true NCAA Tournament fashion.
To get you prepped for the final day of Round 1, I've called our experts together to make picks straight up and against the spread for some of the games we've decided are worthy of picking outside your bracket. If you don't see a game below, be sure to check our expert brackets to get a feel for who we like if you're taking teams on the moneyline.
Be sure to stick with CBS Sports throughout the rest of the month for NCAA Tournament coverage through the end of the Final Four. Let's take a look at our expert picks for the final slate of first-round games on Friday.
Odds via Caesars Sportsbook | All times Eastern
Featured NCAA Tournament picks
(2) Duke vs. (15) Cal State Fullerton
Friday, 7:10 p.m. | CBS, March Madness Live: Duke lost its regular-season finale to rival North Carolina and failed to make the ACC Tournament title game, so nearly a week off before this game was probably necessary. Its defense has some real holes that were exposed by Virginia Tech last week. With that much time to prepare, Coach K will have his Blue Devils raring to go -- and this feels like a statement game incoming from a team that has No. 1 seed talent. Pick: Duke -18.5
|DUKE -18.5||DUKE -18.5||DUKE -18.5||DUKE -18.5||DUKE -18.5|
(6) LSU vs. (11) Iowa State
Friday, 7:20 p.m. | TBS, March Madness Live: Everyone is going to be in on Iowa State as an upset pick after LSU fired its coach ahead of the NCAA Tournament. I have chosen not be everyone. The Tigers have a top-five defense in college basketball, and they're up against a flailing Iowa State offense that put up a measly 41 points vs. Texas Tech in the Big 12 tournament and 36 (!) points two games prior to that. Like LSU in this spot a lot. Pick: LSU -4
|LSU -4||ISU +4||LSU -4||ISU +4||LSU -4|
Friday, 9:50 p.m. | TBS, March Madness Live: The health of Wisconsin star Johnny Davis looms large over this game and over the entire Midwest Region. If healthy, the Badgers are in business in a pretty weak bracket and capable of making the Final Four. If not, they could be vulnerable here with Colgate. We'll see. I'm willing to take my shot that he's at least somewhat better than his 3-of-19 shooting performance in the Big Ten tourney showed, where he didn't quite look 100%. Badgers have the talent to win this by 20. Pick: Wisconsin -8
|COLG +8||COLG +8||COLG +8||WISC -8||COLG +8|
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(2) Auburn vs. (15) Jacksonville State
Friday, 12:40 p.m. | truTV, March Madness Live: Auburn lost four of its final nine games before the NCAA Tournament and played its way out of a No. 1 seed with an early exit in the SEC Tournament, but the Tigers are due to enjoy a get-right spot here against Jacksonville State. They'll have a huge edge in the post led by Walker Kessler and Auburn's No. 1-ranked shot-blocking unit in the country, and Jacksonville State's going to have no answers for potential No. 1 pick Jabari Smith Jr. LayT those points with Auburn despite its recent inconsistencies. Pick: Auburn -15.5
|AUB -15.5||AUB -15.5||AUB -15.5||JAXST +15.5||JAXST +15.5|
(3) Texas Tech vs. (14) Montana State
Friday, 1:45 p.m. | TNT, March Madness Live: Texas Tech has the No. 1-ranked defense in adjusted efficiency in all of college basketball, and that unit should be up for the task. It's on offense where the Red Raiders have more questions. Bryson Williams and Terrence Shannon should be able to lead that unit to a comfy win, but I'll happily take the points here with Montana State. Big number, and I think Montana State could wind up with a backdoor late when the game is potentially no longer in question. Pick: Montana State +15
|TT -15||TT -15||MTST +15||MTST +15||TT -15|
(7) USC vs. (10) Miami (Fla.)
Friday, 3:10 p.m. | truTV, March Madness Live: I like Miami as an underdog on the moneyline against USC -- I've got them advancing in all my brackets -- so I'll take the 1.5 points it is getting here. This Miami team never quits and is always in the mix, and it feels like it is due for some positive regression after losing so many close games during the season. Pick: Miami +1.5
|MIA +1.5||MIA +1.5||MIA +1.5||MIA +1.5||MIA +1.5|