Bet the South Florida Bulls +1.5 at BookMaker.eu
The Bulls will be without second leading scorer and top assists-man Laquincy Rideau for this third go round with the Huskies, but I like USF to still come out on top of this one nonetheless. These teams split their regular season matchups with both home teams holding serve. UConn won by a deuce 60-58 but failed to cover the 3.5-point spread. USF won outright 76-68 as 3.5-point dogs. The main these in both matchups was the Bulls dominance on the glass outrebounding the Huskies 79-51. Even with Rideau out of the equation, the Bulls advantage on the glass and much better defense should see them through to the next round.
Bet the Florida State Seminoles +1.5 at BookMaker.eu
I’m pretty surprised to see the Hokies laying points in this bout with a Seminoles team that already took them to task once this season. Granted, FSU was forced to battle back from a 14-point halftime deficit, but did so with relative ease in the second half outscoring the Hokies 42-28 to push the game to an extra session where it then went on to win by a 73-64 final count. Both teams shot terribly in that matchup so points will likely be tough to come by making the under worth a look as well. Even so, I simply just foresee FSU’s length and more cohesive offense led by the unheralded Mfiondu Kabengele being the X-factor that allows the Noles to cash this dog ticket at offshore sportsbooks.
Bet the Iowa State Cyclones -3 at BookMaker.eu
If ever a team needed to make a run in the Big 12 Tourney, it’s the ISU Cyclones. Steve Prohm’s kids closed the regular season out terribly dropping three straight and five of six which included the 73-69 home defeat to this same Baylor squad. The Bears also logged a 73-70 home win over the Clones in early January to sweep the season rivalry. Even so, I’m just not enamored with this year’s squad from Waco. While the defense can be pesky, the offense is about as fun to watch as watching paint dry. While it far-exceeded its preseason expectations, I believe the road ends here. Marial Shayok averaged nearly 20 points in both regular season matchups with the Bears, and will be the deciding force that propels the Clones into the next round by margin.
Bet the Washington Huskies -5 at BookMaker.eu
That was a cute win for the Trojans on Wednesday taking it to a putrid Arizona Wildcats team that was nothing short of dog feces all season. USC now gets to play with a much different caliber of dog with the Pac-12 No. 1 seed Washington Huskies next up on the docket. Many are saying that Washington could be left out of the NCAA Tournament should it not cut the nets down on Saturday night. That’s blasphemous in my opinion! Washington has had nothing to play for for weeks. That’s not the case now with the opportunity to win the Pac-12 Tourney for the fourth time in program history as well as shut their naysayers up. I expect to see the early-season form of the Huskies take the floor of the T-Mobile Arena and pound the lesser Trojans into submission just like they did at the end of January when they cruised to the 75-62 win and cover as 7.5-point home chalk per the closing college basketball odds.
Bet the Minnesota Golden Gophers +3 at BookMaker.eu
Penn State is getting all kinds of attention from the talking heads as a team that can make a strong push in the B1G Tourney. Some are even calling them to win it! As good PSU closed the season out winning six of eight and going 8-0-2 ATS its final 10 games, this is still a team that was nothing short of average away from State College. They went 3-9 SU away from home and split their pair of neutral court matchups. On top of that, they fell to the Gophers in the Twin Cities 65-64 and would’ve gotten blown off the floor had Lamar Stevens not gone HAM with 27 points. Minny got much better balanced scoring with four players tallying double-digits including Jordan Murphy who had his way in accruing a double-double with 19 points and 21 rebounds. PSU uncharacteristically shot well from beyond the arc in that one as well. Before everyone crowns the Nittany Lions champs, they gotta show me they can handle a physical Gophers squad first. I’m betting they don’t!