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Wake Forest vs Kentucky – 8:15 P.M. Saturday, March 20th
NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament 2nd Round
Wake Forest + 9 (-110)
Kentucky – 9 (-110)
No. 9 seed Wake Forest squares off against No. 1 seed Kentucky in the second round of the East regional with tip-off slated for 8:15 P.M. Saturday, March 20th.
After losing four out of their last five regular season games to finish with a 9-7 conference record and getting knocked out of the ACC Tournament by Miami 63-82 in the first round, you have to wonder what the selection committee saw in Wake Forest (20-10) to not only give them an at-large bid but to make them a No. 9 seed.
They did have some early season wins against other tournament teams like Richmond and Xavier, but I think they relied heavily on their reputation to gain such a lofty spot.
They earned a bit of respect back with their first round win over Texas 81-80 in overtime, but the Longhorns have been headed in the opposite direction ever since they reached the No. 1 spot in the rankings midway through the season.
In the win over Texas, senior G Ishmael Smith’s 17 foot jumper with 1.3 seconds left in the first overtime gave the Demon Deacons the unlikely win, after they were trailing by eight in the extra period. This game was more about another Texas collapse than a Wake Forest win.
Kentucky has been atop of the polls all season long as one of the two or three best teams in the nation.
They have an overall record of 33-2 and were 14-2 in conference play.
They were the SEC East regular season champions as well as won the SEC Tournament with a dramatic last second 75-74 win over Mississippi State in overtime so it is no wonder they earned a number one seed for this tournament.
The Wildcats are an extremely young team, led by a pair of freshman studs, G John Wall and F DeMarcus Cousins who make up for a lack of experience with a ton of talent.
In their opening round 100-71 rout over East Tennessee State, Wall scored 17 points and had 11 assists, but it was another freshman, Eric Bledsoe that stole the show with 29 points to lead the way.
Junior F Patrick Patterson added 22 points as the Wildcats coasted to the first tournament win ever for the majority of the starting five.
I am still scratching my head trying to figure out how Wake Forest or Texas for that matter even got into this tournament, let alone earn a 9 and 8 seed respectfully.
These young cats are just getting warmed up as they roll their way into the Sweet 16.
Wake Forest is 16-8 SU in its last 24 games
Wake Forest is 2-5 SU in its last 7 games
Kentucky is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
WAKE FOREST is 18-37 ATS (-22.7 Units) in all tournament games since 1997
WAKE FOREST is 2-10 ATS (-9.0 Units) in a NCAA tournament games since 1997
WAKE FOREST is 12-4 ATS (+7.6 Units) as an underdog over the last 2 seasons
WAKE FOREST is 15-6 ATS (+8.4 Units) versus good offensive teams – scoring 77+ points/game over the last 3 seasons
Wildcats vs. Demon Deacons Round 2 Free Pick: Kentucky -9
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