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Wake Forest vs Texas – Thursday, March 18, 9:35 PM ET
NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament- First Round
Wake Forest +4.5 (-110)
Texas -4.5 (-110)
NCAA Basketball Betting – Longhorns meet Demon Deacons in battle of underachievers
March Madness betting is about to get underway, and one of the most intriguing matchups come out of the East region in New Orleans, where No.8 Texas will take on No.9 Wake Forest. These two have struggled badly over the second half of the season after having high expectations, and this will boil down to which team doesn’t fold down the stretch.
The Demon Deacons have lost five of their last six games, and they were routed 83-62 by Miami in the first round of the ACC tournament. This wouldn’t be so alarming if the Hurricanes weren’t the worst team in the conference, and they handled the Demon Deacons easily. Ishmael Smith led the way with 14 points, five assists and four rebounds for the Demon Deacons, who shot 35.1% from the floor. The shots wouldn’t fall, so Wake Forest’s desire on the defensive end of the floor did the falling as Miami shot 51.7% from the field.
Al-Farouq Aminu is being tipped a lottery pick in this year’s NBA draft if he decides to declare, but he had 11 points and seven boards, and he lost his starting job, which he’ll probably get back for this game.
The Longhorns were the No.1 team in the country, then they lost back-to-back games at Kansas State and Connecticut and the rest is history. Texas was thumped 86-67 by Baylor in the Big 12 semifinals, but Damion James did his part with 18 points and 12 rebounds. Dexter Pittman and Avery Bradley had 14 points each for the Longhorns, who shot 36.4% from the field.
The freshman trio of Bradley, Jordan Hamilton and J’Covan Brown combined to shoot 8-of-34 from the floor, including 2-of-12 from beyond the arc.
NCAA March Madness odds are backing the Longhorns by four points in this contest, and these two haven’t played each other since 2004, when the Demon Deacons beat the Longhorns 89-88 at home to avenge a 94-81 loss at Texas the previous season.
They’ve also met once in the NCAA Tournament, when the No.2 Demon Deacons beat the No.10 Longhorns 65-62 in the second round in 1996. This will be a battle of Aminu vs James in the post, and you have to give the edge to James, who just doesn’t get enough touches from the young guards.
Texas needs to realize that James holds their best chance at making some noise in the big dance, while Bradley needs to stick to Smith like glue on defense. While he takes some bad shots, Bradley is an excellent defender for a freshman.
Longhorns are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 neutral site games as a favorite
Longhorns are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 vs. Atlantic Coast
Longhorns are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 neutral site games
Demon Deacons are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a double-digit loss at home
Demon Deacons are 6-24 ATS in their last 30 neutral site games
Demon Deacons are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 neutral site games as an underdog
Demon Deacons are 1-10 ATS in their last 11 NCAA Tournament games
Over is 7-0 in Longhorns last 7 neutral site games
Over is 4-0 in Longhorns last 4 NCAA Tournament games as a favorite of 0.5-6.5
Over is 5-0 in Longhorns last 5 NCAA Tournament games
Demon Deacons vs. Longhorns Free Pick:
Bet college basketball: Texas -4
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