Submitted by Jim Hurley on Saturday, March 23, 2019 at 12:00 AM
NCAA TOURNAMENT –
WE HIT THE WEEKEND’S ROUND OF 32 AND
AND – BELIEVE IT OR NOT –
ONE-FOURTH OF THE STILL-ALIVE
TEAMS ARE TWIN-DIGIT SEEDS
We looked it up:
Last year entering the NCAA Tournament’s Round of 32 games, there were a half-dozen teams that sported double-digit seeds and we were busy going gaga over that factoid.
Now, here in March 2019 there are even more … eight of the still-alive teams sport #10-or-lower seeds and so no wonder the NCAA Tourney Underdogs covered 20 of the 32 games played this past Thursday / Friday with the updated spread figure through Friday night’s action reading like this ….
NCAA Tournament Betting Favorites are now 15-21-0 for a .417 winning rate while we zip into Saturday / Sunday action.
We’ll have quick-hitter comments about all of the double-digit seeds still breathing but first let’s have a review of Friday’s key categories:
Team of the Day – Give me Liberty or give me … aww, forget it! The Flames didn’t flame out when pressed Friday night en route to their stunning 80-76 win against 6.5-point fav Miss State as guard Caleb Homesley (30 points in 33 minutes) was a true stud.
Player of the Day – Washington F Noah Dickerson was way more than just a pretty stat line (see 20 points and 12 rebounds) in his club’s 78-61 triumph as a couple of ferocious dunks surely did mind games on 3.5-point favorite Utah State.
Bummer of the Day – Ole Miss simply didn’t show up for its 12:40 ET tilt against run-run Oklahoma. The Rebels defended nobody and that absolutely drove head coach Kermit Davis nuts in the Sooners’ 95-72 win. P.S., we said all along Ole Miss was seeded way too high at #8.
Best Bet of the Day – Buffalo cruised 91-74 against direction-less Arizona State as the 6-point favored Bulls had all the advantages here with good health, plenty of rest time (remember Arizona State were coming in off its win against St. John’s at Dayton) and a major axe to grind considering head coach Nate Oats let it be known he thought his Mid-Am champs should have been seeded higher (and we agree).
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Here’s to those double-digit seeds still part of the Big Dance …
#10 MINNESOTA (22-13) – The Golden Gophers lost their only regular-season meeting with Michigan State 79-55 but if frosh Gabe Kalscheur (24 points against Louisville) heats up this could be close for the 10-point dogs on Saturday night.
#10 FLORIDA (20-15) – The Gators nearly gagged up an 18-point lead the other night in that 70-61 win against 3-point fav Nevada and somehow survived while shooting just 5-of-18 from downtown. Next up Florida’s a 6.5-point pup versus mighty Michigan.
#10 IOWA (23-11) – Gotta hand it to the Hawkeyes who overcame a hellacious start (down 18-5 to Cincinnati) before rallying with a flurry of made triples (see 11-of-22). The oddsmakers have Iowa an eight-point pup versus Tennessee on Sunday.
#11 OHIO STATE (20-14) – A month ago Buckeyes’ head coach Chris Holtmann was lobbying for an at-large berth to this NCAA Tournament and now, what do you know, Ohio State’s alive and well following a 62-59 rock-fight win against 5.5-point favorite Iowa State. Can Kaleb Wesson (21 points, 12 rebounds against the Cyclones) shine here?
#12 MURRAY STATE (28-4) – Soon-to-be NBA star PG Ja Morant finished with a triple double in that opening-round win/cover against Marquette and note the Racers are an electric 20-10 ATS (against the spread) this year heading into Saturday’s game against #4 seed Florida State.
#12 LIBERTY (29-6) – This club’s no joke as the Flames are now 19-13-1 ATS while heading into Sunday’s game against favored Virginia Tech.
#12 OREGON (24-12) – in case you lost track, the Ducks’ rollicking 72-54 win against 1.5-poing fav Wisconsin on Friday makes it nine consecutive covers for Dana Altman’s gang. Va-va-va voom!
#13 UC-IRVINE (31-5) – Sure, lots of folks penciled in the Anteaters as their #5 seed vs. #12 seed upset (and who knew there would be three of them this year!) but the Big West champs went out and got mission accomplished in a 70-64 win against short-handed Kansas State as Evan Leonard keyed a late spurt with back-to-back triples. Next: It’s a date with Oregon in not-so-neutral San Jose. Hey, Irvine’s now 21-14 against the odds this season.
NOTE: We’ve got NCAA Basketball coverage all this weekend right here at Jim Sez – so don’t miss out and make sure you’re rollin’ up all the winners at 1-800-323-4453 or right here online at www.jimhurley.com