Submitted by Jim Hurley on Saturday, March 30, 2019 at 12:00 AM
IT’S THE ELITE 8 WEEKEND – HOOPS HEAVEN
The NCAA Tournament’s down to the regional finals – just eight teams left to fight it out for the right to cut down the nets in Minneapolis on the evening of April 8th.
And now hear this …
Jim Hurley’s Network brings you all the winners in the NCAA Tournament Elite 8 this weekend along with all the other College Basketball Tournies, the NBA, MLB and the AAF … get all the winners right here at www.jimhurley.com or via our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453.
THE NCAA TOURNAMENT – ELITE 8
On Saturday, it’s …
WEST – at Anaheim, CA
#3 TEXAS TECH (29-6) vs. #1 GONZAGA (33-3) – 6:09 p.m. ET, TBS
Some folks think this is a case of irresistible force versus immovable object – Gonzaga’s high-octane offense (averaging 88.2 ppg / tops in the land) against Texas Tech’s strangulating defense (allowing 56.4 ppg / fourth-best in the country) but consider the other sides of the coin here: The Zags can hunker down on “D” when the time calls for it as exhibited in that 72-58 win/cover against 7.5-point underdog Florida State in Thursday’s Sweet 16 bash while T-Tech Jarrett Culver averages 19 ppg and can beat just about anyone on the college level in a one-on-one duel. The underdog Red Raiders were bounced in this Elite 8 round last year – might that experience pay off here while looking to apply the clamps to Rui Hachimura, Brandon Clarke and friends? Spread Note … Gonzaga is 23-13 ATS (against the spread) this year.
SOUTH – at Louisville, KY
#3 PURDUE (26-9) vs. #1 VIRGINIA (32-3) – 8:49 p.m. ET, TBS
Gotta love the TV shots of one-time Virginia legend Ralph Sampson rooting on his alma mater – but did you know the last time the Cavaliers made it to a Final Four was back in 1984 and that was the year after Sampson graduated … really! Now, this get-down-and-dirty Virginia team allows just a shade under 55 points a game (best in the country) and you might have noticed Tony Bennett’s team held Oregon without a single field goal in the game’s final 5:43 the other night in the Wahoos’ 53-49 non-cover win. If Virginia can limit the Carsen Edwards / Ryan Cline backcourt to 40 points or less between ‘em here (they combined for 56 big points in the wild 99-94 overtime win in the Sweet 16 round) then Virginia should be Final Four-bound. Spread note … Purdue’s covered six of its last eight games and all three of its NCAA Tourney tilts.
On Sunday, it’s …
MIDWEST – at Kansas City, MO
#5 AUBURN (29-9) vs. #2 KENTUCKY (29-6) – 2:20 p.m. ET, CBS
Here’s what is left of the SEC in this man’s tournament … a dynamic Auburn bunch that’ll sorely miss stat-sheet stuffer Chuma Okeke (20 points / 11 rebounds in the rollicking 97-80 upset of 5.5-point fav North Carolina in the Sweet 16 round) against a gritty Kentucky team that needs another 25-plus minutes from big man PJ Washington (see 16 points and one hellacious last-minute block against 2-point underdog Houston in Friday’s 62-58 win/cover). Sure, Kentucky nearly gagged up a 13-point lead in that latest tourney adventure but John Calipari’s crew gets high marks for holding the Coogs to 21-of-53 FG shooting and the ‘Cats better get out to guard the triple tries here or War Eagle (17-of-37 from downtown against UNC) may bag another stunner. Spread Note … Auburn’s covered seven of its last nine games.
EAST – at Washington, DC
#2 MICHIGAN STATE (31-6) vs. #1 DUKE (32-5) – 5:05 p.m. ET, CBS
Let’s just say that this year’s Duke team is living on the edge these days … as in the edge of the rim. The Round of 32 win against UCF was drama-filled but how about Virginia Tech missing a “bunny” that would have sent Friday’s Sweet 16 tilt into overtime. Oy-vay! The Blue Devils stepped up their defensive intensity after intermission the other night and Zion Williamson / RJ Barrett / Tre Jones stepped it up while combining for 63 points in that 75-73 non-cover win and gotta wonder whether the depth-shy Dookies will be able to absorb the under-the-basket blows here from a Michigan State squad that pounds the boards and gets loads of second-chance points. Tell us whether Sparty’s freshman pairing of Aaron Henry and Gabe Brown are gonna go for 14-of-21 from the floor (with six trifectas) and we’ll tell you whether M-State coach Tom Izzo is still dancing after this one. Spread Note … Michigan State’s 26-11 ATS this season.
NCAA TOURNAMENT POINTSPREAD BREAKDOWN CHART
Here’s a pointspread look at the conferences / leagues still alive in this year’s NCAA Tournament as we head into Elite 8 action:
CONF/LEAGUE WON LOST TIED PCT
Big 10 12 6 0 .667
Big 12 7 4 0 .636
West Coast 2 2 0 .500
SEC 6 10 0 .375
ACC 5 12 0 .294
Note that NCAA Tournament Betting Favorites are a collective 29-31-0 ATS this year (a .483 winning rate).