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James Madison vs. Wisconsin Expert Pick – March 22, 2024

James Madison vs. Wisconsin Expert Pick – March 22, 2024

JAMES MADISON VS. WISCONSIN EXPERT PICK – MARCH 22, 2024 – The Wisconsin Badgers started the season as one of the best teams in the Big Ten. Jumping out to a 16-4 conference record they stumbled down the stretch going 2-6 in February.

After a couple of wins prior to the Big Ten tournament and making a run to the conference finals, where they beat Purdue to get there, they may be ready to make a splash in the NCAA Tournament starting with James Madison on Friday.

The James Madison Dukes came out of the Sun Belt conference with a 31-3 overall record which includes a win against tournament regular Michigan State. Many experts had James Madison missing “the Madness” if they didn’t win their conference tournament. Since there wasn’t a classic #12 vs #5 upset last year, this could be ripe for the taking. 

Related: Colorado State vs. Virginia Pick and Prediction

The Odds 






James Madison

(31-3 SU,18-14-1 ATS) 






(22-13 SU,16-18-1 ATS) 






When: Friday, March 22 at 8:40 p.m. EST 

Where: Barclays Center, New York


Public Bets: Unavailable 

Public Money: Unavailable

Odds courtesy of DraftKings, as of March 19th, 2024

James Madison vs. Wisconsin In-Season Trends

This is the classic #12 vs. #5 matchup and will be one of the most analyzed bets of the tournament. JMU enters the tournament tied with UConn for most victories. They are on a 13-game winning streak and average 84.4 points per game which is 8th nationally.

The Dukes can play defense as the hold opponents to 28.8% three-point shooting (#5) and ranked 16th in steals per game (nine). The problem is the quality of opponents. They have 22 Quad 4 wins and have only one Quad 1 win, against Michigan State.

When you factor in the schedule strength (#293) and use the KenPom metrics this JMU squad nets an overall grade of 59. Another metric that doesn’t bode well for JMU is their 18-14-1 record against the spread. 

Wisconsin started the season making a push for a top seed in the NCAA Tournament. After a disappointing February the Badgers bounced back and are hot at the right time. The Badgers beat up Quad 3 and Quad 4 with eight victories and no losses. Their offensive efficiency ranking is 13th while the defense is 47th. They don’t like to cover the spread often with a 16-18-1 record ATS. 

Related: Boise State vs. Colorado Pick and Prediction

The Difference-Makers

After transferring for St. Johns AJ Storr has emerged as the top scoring option for Wisconsin. The guard has averaged 16.9 ppg, 3.9 rpg, and 0.9 apg. He has been complimented nicely by seven-footer Steven Crowl who averages 11.2 ppg, 7.1 rpg, and 2.1apg. 

The Dukes can score and have a slew of three-point shooters. Terrence Edwards Jr. (6-6, 190) averages 17.4 ppg and is their most impactful scorer. He will need help from his forwards Julien Wooden (9.9 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 40.9 3P%) and T.J. Bickerstaff (13.4 ppg, 8.5 ppg, 1.7 apg) to offset the Badgers offensive threats. 

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The Pick 

While this has all the makings of the classic tournament upset, I just don’t see it happening. It’s hard to ignore 22 Quad 4 victories and the quality of opponents Wisconsin has defeated. If JMU faced Wisconsin two weeks ago I would give them a chance. The Badgers are clicking at the right time and blow away the JMU Dukes. 

Mitch’s Picks 

 Badgers -5.5  

 Over 143.5 


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