2024 March Madness predictions: Expert picks, elite eight odds for UConn vs. Illinois, Alabama vs. Clemson

Week 2 of the 2024 NCAA Tournament consists of four Elite Eight games that will determine which teams advance to the Final Four in Glendale, Arizona. What was previously 68 teams at the start of the Big Dance is down to eight regional finalists, who will once again be split in half by the end of the weekend.

Action begins Saturday at 6:09 PM ET as No. 1 seed UConn takes on No. 3 seed Illinois in its toughest March Madness test by a wide margin. The reigning champion Huskies have overwhelmed their opponents to this point, but the Illini should pose a tougher challenge as UConn seeks to become the first team to make a comeback in the NCAA Tournament since Florida in 2006-07.

The second game of the night features a matchup one would expect to see in the College Football Playoff as No. 4 seed Alabama takes on No. 6 seed Clemson. Both teams are playing in their second ever Elite Eights tournament with the winner advancing to the Final Four for the first time in program history.

Not only should you continue to follow your bracket, but you can enhance your viewing experience via Saturday night matches. how? Our CBS Sports experts have come together to bring you more information on the Elite Eight with live and against-the-spread picks. our Expert brackets It may also provide some help, especially if you are considering seedline disturbances.

The NCAA Tournament is about survival and advancement, but for those who ride their trainer or stand at their desks to consume as much as possible… March Madness As content as possible, teams covering their spreads will also be important. The CBS Sports team has covered the sport extensively all season, and they're not shy about their picks for these matchups.

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Be sure to stick with CBS Sports for the rest of the month as NCAA Tournament coverage continues through the Final Four. Let's take a look at our experts' picks as the Elite Eight tournament gets underway on Saturday.

Odds via SportsLine Consensus | All times Eastern

2024 NCAA Tournament: Elite Eight picks

(1) UConn vs. (3) Illinois

Saturday 6:09 PM | tps, March Madness Live: UConn is in machine mode. The Huskies have won nine straight NCAA Tournament games by double digits and are thriving on both ends of the floor. Illinois will pose a major challenge with its dynamic duo of scoring wings in Marcus Damasek and Terrence Shannon Jr., but the Huskies can counter with multiple offensive sources against an Illinois defense that has been spotty all season. It will take a tremendous 3-point shooting effort for the Illini to accomplish this. Look for UConn to keep it going and secure their spot in the Final Four with another convincing victory. The dynamic nature of the Huskies' offense will be too much for Illinois to handle for 40 minutes. Select: Yukon -8.5 — David Cobb

(4) Alabama vs. (6) Clemson

Saturday 8:49 PM | tps, March Madness Live: Clemson beat Alabama 85-77 on the road in November as the Crimson Tide struggled to a 6-5 start that featured a string of losses to quality teams. Now, they compete on a neutral field with Alabama favored. While the Crimson Tide have certainly improved since the first meeting, they are facing a Clemson team that is playing its best basketball of the season. The Tigers get the job done on both ends of the floor and just showed the ability to slow down a powerful offense when they beat Arizona in the Sweet 16. The Crimson Tide also likes to run and score a lot of goals, but the Tigers can control the pace of the game with their physicality and toughness and win this game outright. Pick: Clemson +3 — David Cobb

Who will win every college basketball game, and which candidates should be on the lookout for? Visit SportsLine now for picks and predictions for every college basketball gameAll from a model that simulates each game 10,000 times.

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