ROUND OF 32 THOUGHTS

22 Mar

8 Pitt vs 1 Florida

This one likely comes down to whether or not Florida shots are falling from outside, which is a very distinct possibility. Pitt seemingly has a new lease on life, and that’s been personified through the play of Talib Zanna. Florida didn’t look great vs Albany, and Donovan was none too pleased with the Gators’ effort. I expect we’ll see a strong, focused Florida team in the first few minutes, but I think Pitt is actually the better basketball team right now.

ADVANCE: FLORIDA 

ATS: PITT +5.5 

5 St. Louis vs 4 Louisville

We might see Louisville run St. Louis of the arena today. This Billiken team has trouble taking care of the ball, and they don’t really have a shooter who can burn the matchup zone after the pressure. Louisville in a route here.

ADVANCE: LOUISVILLE

ATS: LOUISVILLE -9.5 

7 UConn vs 2 Villanova

This was a turnover plagued game last year, but this one likely comes down to who hits more 3s. I know it sounds facile to say that, but I can’t really see any other way around this game. With the exception of little used reserve Kris Jenkins, Villanova has been ice cold from 3. Think that has to change today, but UConn will stay in the game simply because of their guard play. Bazz/Boatright will go right at Arcidiacono every time. He’s a major defensive liability.

ADVANCE: VILLANOVA

ATS: VILLANOVA -3.5 

7 Texas vs 2 Michigan 

The issue here is Michigan’s lack of interior defense vs Holmes/Ridley, and Texas’s inability to guard anyone on the perimeter. The Horns backcourt is tiny and prone to defensive lapses. I think that ultimately trumps UM’s defensive issues inside.

ADVANCE: MICHIGAN

ATS: MICHIGAN -4.5 

12 North Dakota State vs 4 San Diego State 

To beat NDSU’s modified pack line, you have to be able to shoot the ball, and I just don’t trust SDSU enough in this situation. NDSU is a very experienced team, and they’re just not going to turn the ball over, and thus the already limited SDSU offense will struggle. Taylor Braun is a better ball handling Larry Nance, who SDSU has struggled against.

ADVANCE: NDSU

ATS: NDSU +4

11 Dayton vs 3 Syracuse 

This could be the biggest blowout of the day. Unless Sibert provides a Herculean effort from outside, the Cuse zone will dominate. Dayton doesn’t have the ability to penetrate a zone (watch highlights of their game vs Duquesne), and that will ultimately prove to be the difference.

ADVANCE: SYRACUSE

ATS: SYRACUSE -8

7 Oregon vs 2 Wisconsin 

Wisconsin’s defense is tremendous at funneling shots to the middle of the court. Kaminsky and Dekker are brought up to the FT line extended, and totally deny penetration. Now, the issue is that Bo has to do that because the Badger guards can’t stay in front of anyone. If the Wisconsin bigs get in any sort of foul trouble early, Oregon will get to the rim with ease and thus control this game. Potential to be the best game of the day.

ADVANCE: WISCONSIN

ATS: OREGON +5.5 

12 Harvard vs 4 Michigan State

MSU looks the part of a national champion. They’re healthy and playing as well or better than anyone right now. The key here is that Michigan State really limits the midrange game defensively, and Harvard can be reliant on Saunders’ mid range game offensively. Can the Crimson get hot from outside and win this game? Sure, they have the shooters, and that’s MSU’s weakness defensively. You have to press Harvard. They looked really awful when Cincy brought pressure. The press break schemes simply aren’t there for Harvard.

ADVANCE: MICHIGAN STATE

ATS: MICHIGAN STATE -7.5 

 

 

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