Everybody get a chance to catch your breath?
Good, now here we go again.
After six days of college hoops, four of them delivering wall-to-wall action, we find ourselves heading to the Sweet 16, circa 2015.
Let’s have a look at a handful of those Sweet 16 matchups scheduled for Thursday and Friday
Thursday, 6:45 pm PT
NCAA Odds: Kentucky -13
Believe the hype. Kentucky are that good. I’d make West Virginia a 9-point dog vs. the 2011-12 Charlotte Bobcats, so the Wildcats at -13 seems about right.
Five years ago, the Mountaineers knocked Kentucky out of the tournament to move on to the Final Four. A repeat is not in the cards.
The WVU press isn’t going to be enough and the Cats should have their way on the offensive boards, pulling away.
Everyedge Lean: Kentucky covers the big number
Notre Dame (3) vs. Wichita State (7)
Thursday, 4:15 pm PT
NCAA Odds: Wichita State -1
This should be a good time for us watching. The Shockers come in off a HUGE emotional win over in-state bully Kansas. Can these college kids come back to earth and get focused to beat Notre Dame?
We’ll put our trust in Fred VanVleet and Ron Baker to win the battle at guard, with a helping hand from Evan Wessel and Tekele Contton as they hit their shots.
Everyedge Lean: Wichita State
Wisconsin (1) vs. North Carolina (4)
Thursday, 4:47 pm
NCAA Odds: Wisconsin -5.5
Kaminsky hangs around for another year, the Badgers grab a 1-seed, face UNC in the Sweet 16 and move on to the Elite Eight and then the Final Four and on to the Championship game and then Frank cuts down the net after the big win….hold on a sec. That might be the storyline Kaminsky had in mind when he hung around for this season, but this is going to be a battle.
The Badgers do protect the ball so well and are efficient when they head down the court. Without those transition points, the Tar Heels could struggle, but we still think they have enough talent and scoring to fight through and keep it close.
Everyedge Lean: The Tar Heels cover.
Xavier (6) vs. Arizona (2)
Thursday, 7:17 pm
NCAA Odds: Arizona -11
The annual Xavier March Madness fun comes to an end on Thursday. Gotta give it up for the Musketeers though, as they love to give their fans a spring thrill.
But it is worth noting, Xavier haven’t played anyone yet that wasn’t a favorable matchup. Clearly that changes on Thursday. Arizona’s too loaded everywhere for this to be an upset. Arizona heads though to the Elite Eight and has a decent chance of covering double digits, but we won’t be laying the points.
Everyedge Lean: Arizona moves on, and likely does in convincing fashion, but not loving either side on the spread.
North Carolina State (8) vs. Louisville (4)
NCAA Odds: Louisville -2.5
NC State are a good story, but lightning is not going to strike twice. They got by a surprisingly panicky ‘Nova team, but we think the story ends this Friday.
Everyedge Lean: We like Louisville to cover.
Oklahoma (3) vs. Michigan State (7)
Friday, 7:07 pm
NCAA Odds: Michigan State -2
The Big 12s’ “Last Man Standing”, Oklahoma is the higher seed, but we all know what that’s meant every time a Big 12er has taken the court – bupkus. And now they have to beat Izzo, in March.
We like this Sooner starting five, but not enough to back them in this spot.
Everyedge Lean: Lean to MSU, but not 100% sold on backing them.
UCLA (11) vs. Gonzaga (2)
Friday, 5:15 pm
NCAA Odds: Gonzaga -8.5
Gonzaga catches a break getting UCLA in the Sweet Sixteen. It’s not a great matchup for the Bruins, but we don’t think they’ll get steamrolled by this ‘Zag offense. Gonzaga goes through, but UCLA acquits themselves well while bowing out.
Everyedge Lean: Taking the points is interesting.
Duke (1) vs. Utah (5)
Friday, 7:45 pm
NCAA Odds: Duke -5
How can you not like Utah? And how can you really not like Utah when they’re playing Duke!
(We just finished watching that Christian Laettner 30-for-30)
Utah can push a very athletic, tough Duke team. That is fact. But Coach K, Okafor and the Blue Devil guard play gets them to the weekend.
Everyedge Lean: Should be a close one, but the team everyone loves to hate, and hate a lot, should go through.
Check out the Everyedge Sports Betting Forums for more discussion on all of the Sweet 16 games.