Elite 8 Tournament Odds + Predictions
Saturday, March 27th
West Virginia Mountaineers vs. Kentucky Wildcats -4
Current Over/Under 133.5
After coasting through their first two rounds in the East Regional, #2 seed West Virginia (30-6) beat #11 seed Washington 69-56 in a game that both teams turned the ball over way too much. They will need a much tighter performance from their top three guys; senior F Da’Sean Butler and sophomore F’s Kevin Jones and Devin Ebanks to have any chance of winning this game.
#1 seed Kentucky (35-2) has won their first three games by an average margin of 25 points. With the talent they have on this team in a trio of freshmen; G John Wall, F DeMarcus Cousins, and G Eric Bledsoe along with sophomore G Darius Miller and junior F Patrick Patterson this team could beat the New Jersey Nets.
The Mountaineers are a very good team, but it hard to bet against a team with four or five potential NBA stars that looks like they are just getting warmed up. Take the Wildcats -4.
Butler Bulldogs vs. Kansas State Wildcats -4
Current Over/Under 135
#5 seed Butler (31-4) is on a 23 game winning streak with #1 seed Syracuse being its latest victim 63-59. Their defense held the Orange scoreless for almost the final five minutes of the game to erase a four point deficit. Sophomore G-F Gordon Hayward led the Bulldogs with 17 points and sophomore G Shelvin Mack added 14 to help pull off the stunning upset in the West Regional.
In one of the most exciting games in NCAA tournament history, #2 seed Kansas State (29-7) survived double overtime to knock off #6 seed Xavier 101-96 to advance to the Elite 8. Junior G Jacob Pullen (28 points), senior G Denis Clemente (25 points), and junior F Curtis Kelly (21 points, eight rebounds) were sensational, hitting key shots when they needed them the most.
This one has the makings of another knock down drag out fight. Butler has proven they are for real and their winning streak continues all the way into the Final Four. Take the Bulldogs +4.
Sunday March 28th
Michigan State Spartans vs. Tennessee Volunteers-2
Current Over/Under 135
You have to believe that #5 seed Michigan State (27-8) felt a bit lucky to even make it to the Sweet 16 in the Midwest Regional after squeaking out victories in their first two rounds. After Friday night’s 59-52 win over the tenacious Northern Iowa Panthers, they have earned a spot in today’s game. With their leading scorer, Kalin Lucas out of the lineup junior G Durrell Summers picked up the slack with 19 points.
#6 seed Tennessee (28-8) advanced to the Elite 8 with a hard fought 76-73 win over #2 seed Ohio State. Senior F-C Wayne Chism led the way with a team high 22 points and 11 rebounds, but J.P. Prince made the play of the game, blocking a three point attempt by Buckeye’s G Evan Turner at the buzzer to preserve the win.
Michigan State came together as a team in the absence of Lucas to beat Northern Iowa, but they will sorely miss his production against a very good Tennessee defense. Take the Volunteers -2.
Baylor Bears vs. Duke Blue Devils -4
Current Over/under 144
#3 seed Baylor (28-7) put an exclamation point on booting #10 seed St. Mary’s out of the South Regional with a convincing 72-49 win. This game was never close as the Bears made mince meat out of the Gaels from the opening tip. Junior G LaceDarius Dunn led the way with a game high 23 points.
After a sluggish first half against #4 seed Purdue, head coach Mike Krzyzewski got his #1 seed Duke Blue Devils back on track in the second en route to a 70-57 win over the Boilermakers. Junior F Kyle Singler scored 24 points and senior G Jon Scheyer added 18 points in the winning effort. Duke has now won 15 of their last 16 games.
Baylor looked extremely impressive in their win over St.Mary’s and should be able to hang with Duke for most of this contest. Take the Blue Devils to win, but stick with the Bears to cover the four.
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