March 21st, 2018
By Des Boodam
OK you’re probably not “dancing”… no one is dancing this season… except those who made picks based on mascots and team names. Brackets everywhere are a disaster but that doesn’t mean there’s not a market for some single game action where the game is not a pick em’ and the spread can be on your side.
There are eight games so I’m going to attempt an abbreviated break down of all eight games so here we go… one final thought – this has been the best year in recent memory… a bunch of close games, high seeds making it through, and totally unpredictable.
Michigan -2.5 vs Texas A&M
After the Houston win, and losses by Xavier and UNC the Wolverines seemed primed for a final four appearance. Texas A&M is a smoke and mirrors team that lost twice to Alabama. I expected Michigan to handle Houston a little easier, but I’m attributing it to continued rust from an almost two week lay off. Michigan covers… it’s less than three points.
Loyola-Chicago +1.5 vs Nevada
Both these teams are ecstatic to face each other given who their opponents could’ve been. Loyola-Chicago is the team of destiny this year… Nevada isn’t. Loyola covers out right with a trip to the elite eight –
Kentucky -5.5 Kansas State
This is the team that everyone was afraid was going to peak at exactly the right time. They are shooting well, their bench is deep and they are playing some amazing defense. Vegas has this game right on the button, I’m looking at a six point UK win.
Gonzaga -5.5 vs Florida State
Another game that is super scary to bet because FSU is so well coached. I Still think FSU backed into this tournament, and are here on the strength of their coaching. The shots stop falling for the Seminoles in this one and the former National finalists step on the gas. Zags win and cover.
Clemson +4.5 vs Kansas
I’m as shocked as any with this Clemson team. They played an impossible schedule, won big games and sputtered at the end of the season. But I can’t get over that they were beating Auburn by 41 points. If they win, it wouldn’t even be the top three improbable things that have happened this tournament. I still think the Tigers lose, but make it close enough to cover.
Villanova -5.5 vs WVU
Villanova is really good. They blew away Alabama with no Brunson in the first half, and couldn’t miss from the outside. WVU and their press have been ok, not great. They’ve won two games easily in the tournament, but haven’t seen a team like Nova yet this season. The Mountaineers are merely victims of the buzz saw.
Syracuse +11 vs Duke
Duke wins, ‘Cuse covers – this is the easiest bet of the third round. Duke and Michigan State are a similar matchup for the Syracuse zone. Duke will shoot better than Michigan State did, but that zone defense will give the Blue Devils enough fits that they can’t cover.
Texas Tech +1.5
Texas Tech as a #3 seed has quietly looked really good which should be a major concern for Purdue who will likely be without star Center Isaac Haas. Vegas says this game is a toss up, but I can’t see how not having Hass doesn’t neutralize Purdue’s offense. Texas Tech has great guard play just like Purdue and has looked slightly better as well. Easily the toughest game to call, but I’m going with Tech’s slight speed and size advantage without Haas.