March Madness is officially under way, and Round 1 of the NCAA Tournament opened with multiple upsets. The chaos has begun, as five of Thursday’s 16 matchups saw the lower seed advance. That, of course, included a monumental victory by the 14th-seeded Oakland Golden Grizzlies, who defeated No. 3 seed Kentucky in their South Regional debut.

Here we’ll take a moment to predict which of the second round’s underdogs might add to the growing list of upsets. Which lower seeds are poised and ready to take down their opponents and advance to the Sweet 16 round? Here are three potential March Madness upsets for Round 2.Best March Madness Second-Round Upset Predictions and Bets Today

No. 11 Duquesne vs. No. 3 Illinois Prediction and Pick

Looking back on Illinois’ first-round matchup against 14th-seeded Morehead State, it’s clear that the Illini didn’t exactly dominate in the way they probably thought they would. The Eagles jumped out to an early lead on a 9-0 run out the gate, and they played far better than expected against an Illinois team ranked eight spots ahead of them.

In his final game as an Eagle, Morehead State senior small forward Riley Minix was outstanding with 27 points on 42 percent shooting from the field. In the end, however, Illinois proved exactly why it came into the tournament as a No. 3 seed.

The Illini put together a huge scoring run early in the second half, which allowed them to pull away from the Eagles for good. Overall, Illinois used the second half to demonstrate what fans can expect from them going forward, as Marcus Domask recorded the first NCAA Tournament triple-double since 2019, and teammate Terrence Shannon Jr. scored 26 points.

Duquesne, on the other hand, was not supposed to reach Round 2, but that is the beauty of March Madness. Facing what most observers considered to be a far superior BYU squad, the Dukes surprised everyone by leading the game from start to finish.

It was a hard-fought battle for its full 40 minutes, but an upset was in the cards all along. Both teams put their physicality on display, but Duquesne simply shot the ball better, making 46 percent of its shots from the field, compared to BYU’s 39 percent. That shooting performance landed the Dukes in the tournament’s second round, and they are now setting their sights on the Fighting Illini.

Duquesne, a March Madness underdog, has absolutely nothing to lose at this point. With head coach Keith Dambrot set to retire at the end of the season – and coming off the first NCAA Tournament win in school history – the Ducks are playing with house money. Illinois showed the level of talent it has across the board in Thursday’s victory, but Duquesne is a scary matchup for anybody at this point in the tournament.

Keep an eye on a potential upset here. I’ll take the Dukes and the points.

The Pick: Duquesne +9.5 (-105)

No. 1 North Carolina vs No. 9 Michigan State

In the NCAA Tournament’s first round, UNC did what it has been doing all season in dominating a Wagner team that clearly didn’t belong on the same court.

North Carolina forward Armando Bacot missed multiple easy layups in the paint, but at 6-foot-11, he was able to grab his own rebounds and dominate for a 20-point, 15-rebound double-double. RJ Davis led the Tar Heels with 22 points on what was an easy day at the office for UNC.

Michigan State also played very well in its 69-51 “upset” win over eighth-seeded Mississippi State on Thursday. Tyson Walker emerged as the Spartans’ leading scorer, racking up 19 points on the day, as Michigan State shot and rebounded very well in a great team win. The team’s energy was high on Thursday, and it now has the opportunity to take down one of the tournament’s No. 1 seeds.

On paper, North Carolina should be a heavy favorite to win this matchup against head coach Tom Izzo’s Spartans, but that doesn’t always translate to the court. This is already shaping up as one of the tournament’s best second-round games.

While North Carolina is expected to win, it’s a remarkably close call, as the spread only favors the Tar Heels by three points. I would have this second-round matchup on upset alert for Saturday, because it's shaping up to be a must-watch game

The Pick: Michigan State +3.5 (-105)

No. 3 Creighton vs No. 11 Oregon

One of the beautiful things about March Madness is that when a single player gets hot, anybody can beat anybody. This was certainly the case in Oregon’s monstrous upset win over South Carolina on Thursday. The Ducks’ Guard Jermain Couisnard led the charge, dropping 40 points in a revenge game against his former team.

Oregon shot just under 60 percent from the field, and if their shots keep falling like they did on Thursday, the Ducks will  be a team nobody wants to face in the coming rounds.

Creighton had a great game of its own on Thursday, cruising to a 77-60 victory over Akron. All five of the Blue Jays' starters scored in double-figures, including a game-high 23 points from Ryan Kalkbrenner and a double-double by Baylor Scheierman.

Oregon and Couisnard deserve the hype after their big Round 1 win, but Creighton is still favored by 5.5 points. This matchup features two of the hottest teams in the entire tournament, and it might be the most intriguing among those set for Round 2 so far.

While Creighton is expected to advance, a potential upset wouldn’t surprise me at all. I’ll finish off my March Madness upset picks by selecting Oregon with the spread.

The Pick: Oregon +5.5 (-110)

WELCOME OFFER: Bet $50 Get $200 if your first bet wins. Download Betway Sportsbook today!

Bet on March Madness at Betway

Find season-long NCAAB odds on the Betway sportsbook. You'll find all the latest spreads, totals, money lines and over/under. Missed tip off? No problem, Betway also offers live betting. All your NCAAB betting needs are covered at our online sportsbook.

Visit Betway’s NCAAB picks page for picks and predictions throughout the season.