March Madness Sweet 16 preview and Best Bets with Sportsbet Magazine Top Rated Hanidcapper. Around the Rim and Out… twice. As many temporary Blue Devils’ Fans hearts dropped, the heavy favorite somehow pulled out a win and moved on to the sweet 16. While other top seeds advanced in much more dominating fashions, is Duke still the team to beat in this 2019 NCAA Tournament? With my final 4 predictions still in tact, in this article I will give a breakdown of the remaining teams and my picks for the upcoming games.
In a rematch of last years sweet 16 contest, Gonzaga has plenty of revenge after suffering a devastating loss last season. With the addition of a big man (Killian Tilie) and a dynamic scoring guard(Brandon Clarke), the Zags seem up to the task on paper. However, St. Mary’s exposed how to beat them. With the athleticism of FSU and coaching that already showed an edge in the previous matchup, if the Seminoles do not pull the outright upset, keeping it close and covering the 7.5 seems like a safe bet here.
Purdue has breezed through the tournament thus far and has everyone thinking they are a no brainer to advance (except the odds makers..hmmm). While they match up well against teams with no inside presence, Grant Williams will be a whole new animal for the boilermakers to face. I trust Rick Barnes and his ability to capitalize on this matchup and lockdown that flimsy perimeter defense. Vols advance…
In a matchup of Big Men vs Guards, can you say points? In a barnburner I see Michigan getting some clutch late offensive rebounds that decide the game as the Wolverines advance…
Lets not forget that Oregon’s seed in the tournament once matched their rank in the country to start the season. Virginia has shown weakness and Oregon has gotten healthy and developed as a team at the right time. I would not be surprised here if Oregon won this game outright, but I love the points in this one.
While LSU has been playing good basketball, Michigan St has been on their own planet. Tom Izzo’s squad seems beyond dialed in this season. With a top guard in Cassius Winston, I do not see Michigan St having trouble in clutch time and pulling out the win. LSU likes to play close games, I would go moneyline here to guard against the backdoor cover.
I see this as the best chance for a number one seed to fall. Auburn’s athleticism is off the charts, and as of late their minds seem to be catching up to their bodies. With such a small line, I believe the odds makers are thinking the same. Auburn is more athletic than North Carolina, and Roy Williams simply will not be able to overcome that fact if Auburn does not beat themselves.
After the UCF scare look for the all star squad known as Duke to make a statement and win in a route… PERIOD
While fittingly they have saved the best for last, the looming question is Will PJ Washington play? I honestly believe with or without him, Houston was exposed in the Conference tournament and Calipari will take advantage. I picked Kentucky to lose to Duke in the finals and if Washington makes it back I stick by that. Until then Wildcats advance with or without him.
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