The legend of the No. 12 seed continued to grow Thursday when the North Dakota State Bison upset the No. 5 Oklahoma Sooners.
Harvard added more infamy to this March Madness pairing by defeating No. 5 Cincinnati. The Bison now go in search of another victim and a 10th straight victory when they challenge the San Diego State Aztecs in the West Region on Saturday afternoon.
There have been seven games since 2006 when a 12th seed has faced a fourth seed, and the lower seeds are 6-1 against the spread. So No. 12 regularly wrecks bracket against No. 5 schools and has a knack against No. 4 seeds too, according to the March Madness database at Odds Shark.
Spread and total points scored betting line
The Bison opened as three-point underdogs, while the total was sitting at 125 Friday. (Compare lines and consensus on the Odds Shark matchup report.)
Odds Shark computer pick
68.1-63.3 North Dakota State
Why pick North Dakota State to cover the spread
The Bison won both the Summit League's regular-season and conference tournament titles to make the Big Dance as a No. 12 seed. North Dakota State then held up that seed's reputation as a dangerous dog when it upset the Sooners on Thursday night 80-75 in overtime.
The Bison, who led the NCAA in field-goal shooting this season at 51 percent, shot 53 percent against Oklahoma, getting a game-tying three-pointer from Lawrence Alexander with 11 seconds left to force OT.
North Dakota State, which returned almost the entire team after winning 24 games last year, has won 24 of its last 27 games and covered the spread in five of its last seven.
Why pick San Diego State to cover the spread
The Aztecs made the NCAA tournament as a No. 4 seed after winning the Mountain West regular-season title and making it to the conference tournament championship game. San Diego State then avoided an Oklahoma-like fate by holding off New Mexico State Wednesday night 73-69, also in overtime.
The Aztecs only shot 39 percent from the floor, but in typical San Diego State fashion, they held the Aggies to 40 percent shooting. On the season, they have limited opponents to just 57 points per game and 38 percent shooting. That accounts for the low over-under number here Saturday.
Smart betting pick
North Dakota State is looking to extend that 12th-seed magic and gets a good matchup to do it. While San Diego State can play some tough defense, it can also struggle offensively.
If the Bison can work for some open shots and hold their own on the boards, they'll be all right in this one. Believe the computer and take North Dakota State.
North Dakota State Bison: No. 19
San Diego State Aztecs: No. 9 (per Odds Shark power ranks)
March Madness betting trends
- No. 12 seeds are 6-1 against the spread versus No. 4 seeds since 2006.
- San Diego State is 24-2 straight up in the past 26 games when favored.
- San Diego State is 1-4 against the spread in the tournament after Thursday's against-the-spread loss to New Mexico State.
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