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2011 Elite 8 Matchup Betting Preview

2011 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Betting Preview- The Elite Eight

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Over the past two days, eight men’s college basketball teams took one more step toward realizing their dream of winning this year’s national championship by adding another victory to their already impressive resume in the Sweet 16 round this year’s NCAA Tournament. It is now onto the Elite Eight which will be held today and tomorrow, where they will all be fighting for a spot in the Final Four.

Here is a brief look at all four matchups along with their current pointspread and total line as provided by Sportsbook.com.

Elite 8 – Saturday, March 26 – Southeast Region Final

No.8 Butler Bulldogs vs. No.2 Florida Gators (-4)
Over/Under 132

Butler is back in the Elite Eight for the second straight year after a 61-54 win over No.3 seed Wisconsin on Thursday as a 4 ½-point underdog. The two principal stars of this year’s team have been Matt Howard and Shelvin Mack. Howard had a team-high 20 points in the win over the Badgers while Mack came up big in the Bulldogs’ 71-70 win over No.1 seed Pittsburgh as an eight-point underdog with a game-high 30 points.

Florida needed an extra five minutes to get it done, but it knocked-out No.3 seed BYU 83-74 as a 2 ½-point favorite in Thursday’s Sweet 16 game. There were four Gators in double-figures led by Alex Tyus’s 19 points. Erving Walker and Kenny Boynton have also been key contributors to Florida’s run in this year’s tournament, helping the Gators shoot close to 49 percent from the field in their past two games.

This could be the end of the line for the Bulldogs, but they will not go down without a fight. Florida finds a way to pull out the win, but Butler covers with the four points.

West Region Final

No.5 Arizona Wildcats vs. No.3 Connecticut Huskies (-3)
Over/Under 145

Arizona, fueled by Derrick Williams 32 points, found a whole other gear to race by No.1 seed Duke 93-77 as a 9 ½-point underdog in Thursday’s game. Williams scored 25 points in the first half to keep the game close and the rest of the team kicked it up a notch or two down the stretch to upset the Blue Devils. The Wildcats outrebounded Duke 40-27 and shot 54 percent from the field.

Connecticut ran its current winning streak to eight games with a solid 74-67 win over No.2 seed San Diego State as a two-point underdog this past Thursday. It was a two-man show for the Huskies with Kemba Walker and Jeremy Lamb combining for 81 percent of the scoring. Walker put up a game-high 36 points and Lamb adding 24 in the win. They also combined to go 7-of-11 from three point range.

Stick with the Huskies to keep the streak alive as Walker outduels Williams for the win.

Elite 8 – Sunday, March 27 – East Region Final

No.2 North Carolina Tar Heels vs. No.4 Kentucky Wildcats (-1.5)
Over/Under 147.5

Friday night’s 81-63 win over No.11 seed Marquette as a four-point favorite was never in doubt after North Carolina rolled to a 40-15 lead at the half. Tyler Zeller scored 27 points and Harrison Barnes added 20 more to pace the Tar Heels. They shot just 41.9 percent from the field and 31.2 percent from three-point range, but pulled down 44 rebounds against the Golden Eagles.

Kentucky stepped up to the plate in a big way on Friday night by taking out No.1 seed Ohio State 62-60 as a 5 ½-point underdog. Brandon Knight nailed a 15-foot jumper with five seconds left to play to seal the win. Josh Harrellson added some veteran leadership to the youthful Wildcats with a team-high 17 points and DeAndre Liggins scored 15 points off the bench to help pull off the upset.

The overall depth and talent of Kentucky is coming together at the right time as the Wildcats return to the Final Four with a win over North Carolina.

Southwest Region Final

No.11 VCU Rams vs. No.1 Kansas Jayhawks (-10.5)
Over/Under 147.5

VCU continued its improbable run through this tournament with a thrilling one-point 72-71 overtime win over No.10 seed Florida State on Friday night as a 4 ½-point underdog. Bradford Burgess was unstoppable with a game-high 26 points, including a 6-for-7 performance from three-point range, and Joey Rodriguez dished out 10 assists in the win.

Kansas jumped on No.12 seed Richmond early to build a 19-point lead at the half on its way to a 77-57 win on Friday night as a 10-point favorite. Brady Morningstar came up big for the Jayhawks with a team-high 18 points and Thomas Robinson added 12 points off the bench in the lopsided win.

Take the Rams to cover the 10.5 points as they will remain scrappy until the end, but the Morris twins (Marcus and Markieff) will prove to be too much to handle for VCU.



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About Dave Schwab

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