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NCAAB News and Notes Sunday 3/22

NCAAB News and Notes Sunday 3/22

Sunday's Big 10 Battles
By Brad Young

Cinderella decided to make an appearance at the Big Dance Friday night, and now eight teams with double digit seedings have advanced to the round-of-32. The Big 10 went 4-3 straight up during first-round action, but just 2-5 against the spread. Two Big 10 teams take the court Sunday under different circumstances.

Wisconsin was one of the last teams to make the at-large field as a 12 seed, but advanced to the second round after a memorable overtime matchup with Florida State. The Badgers also advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament last year as a second seed before falling to UNLV, 74-68.

Michigan State is a second seed this year, and is hoping to advance to this year’s Final Four that will be played in Detroit. The Spartans knocked off Robert Morris in the opening round, but will now face a much tougher test against a streaking Southern Cal squad. Michigan State advanced all the way to the regional semifinals last season as a five seed before losing to eventual national runner-up Memphis.

Now let’s take a closer look at the two Big Ten teams playing on Sunday’s schedule.

**Southern Cal (10) versus Michigan State (2)**

-The Las Vegas Hilton installed Michigan State as a 4 ½-point ‘chalk’ over Southern Cal, with the total set at 130. The Spartans opened as a four-point favorite, with the total listed at 129 ½. CBS Sports will provide coverage of this contest beginning at 5:00 p.m. ET from HHH Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

-Southern Cal (22-12 SU, 18-14 ATS) cruised past seventh-seeded Boston College Friday as a two-point ‘chalk,’ 72-55. The Trojans are currently riding a six-game SU and ATS winning streak to reach this stage. USC appeared to be headed to the National Invitational Tournament before unexpectedly winning the Pac-10 Tournament.

-The Trojans toppled Boston College by outscoring the Eagles in the second half, 42-21. USC finished the game by outrebounding Boston College, 33-28, while shooting a stellar 53 percent (27-of-51) from the field and 44 percent (4-of-9) from behind the arc.

-Taj Gibson led all scorers with 24 points on 10-of-10 shooting while also grabbing six rebounds. Guard Dwight Lewis stepped up with 20 points and six rebounds, while forward DeMar DeRozan added 18 and nine.

-The Trojans are 7-10 SU away from home, but 10-7 ATS. USC has been winning its road endeavors this season by an average score of 68-67.

-Michigan State (27-6 SU, 16-14 ATS) disposed of 15th-seed Robert Morris Friday as a 15 ½-point favorite, 77-62. That marked the second consecutive contest that the Spartans failed to cover.

-Coach Tom Izzo’s team cruised after opening up an 11-point halftime advantage, 41-30, and finished the contest by controlling the boards, 43-25. Michigan State connected at a 46-percent clip (28-of-61) from the field, and 31 percent (4-of-13) from 3-point land.

-Forward Raymar Morgan led a balanced effort with 16 points and five rebounds, while center Goran Suton had 11 and 17. This game was actually tied at 30 before the Spartans went on an incredible 21-0 run to put the game away.

-Michigan State sports a solid 15-3 SU and 9-7 ATS road record, winning those matchups by an average score of 71-65.

**Wisconsin (12) versus Xavier (4)**

-The Las Vegas Hilton lists Xavier as a four-point ‘chalk’ over Wisconsin, with the total set at 123. The Musketeers opened as a 3 ½-point favorite in this contest, with the total listed at 120 ½. CBS Sports starts its coverage of this matchup at 2:20 p.m. ET from Taco Bell Arena in Boise, Idaho.

-Wisconsin (20-12 SU, 13-17 ATS) needed overtime to dispatch of fifth-seed Florida State Friday night as a three-point underdog, 61-59. The Badgers are now 2-3 ATS their last five games.

-Wisconsin had to rally from a 12-point halftime deficit, 31-19, to force the extra stanza. The Badgers were outrebounded, 28-25, but prevailed by shooting 41 percent (22-of-54) from the field and 33 percent (9-of-27) from behind the arc.

-Guard Jason Bohannon paced the offense with 16 points and four rebounds, while backcourt mate Trevon Hughes hit the overtime winner to finish with 10 and four assists.

-Wisconsin is now 7-9 SU and ATS away from home, dropping those affairs by an average score of 61-60.

-Xavier (26-7 SU, 18-12 ATS) punched its ticket to the second round after defeating 13th-seeded Portland State Friday as a 10-point favorite, 77-59. The Musketeers have alternated ATS wins and losses their last five outings.

-Xavier controlled the boards, 30-20, while shooting a robust 54 percent (29-of-54) from the field and 42 percent (8-of-19) from 3-point land. Four starters reached double digits in scoring, led by C.J. Anderson’s 14 points while Derrick Brown, B.J. Raymond and Dante Jackson all netted 13.

-The Musketeers maintain a solid 12-6 SU and 11-7 ATS road record, winning those contests by an average score of 70-65.

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Re: NCAAB News and Notes Sunday 3/22

Second Round Tip Sheet
By Judd Hall

Half of the Sweet Sixteen will be set when play resumes on Sunday afternoon. And the last eight regional semifinalists will get their tickets punched before the Monday comes.

The action gets underway with the Orange and Sun Devils holding court in Miami, and then Mizzou faces the Golden Eagles to later in the day.

Plenty of games to go over, let’s get started…

Syracuse Orange vs. Arizona State Sun Devils – 12:10 p.m. EDT

--The Big East and Pac-10 will see who stands taller in this 3/6 matchup from the South Region at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, FL. The winner will take on either the Wolverines or Sooners in the Sweet Sixteen.

--Las Vegas Sports Consultants made Syracuse (27-9 straight up, 18-14 against the spread) an early two-point favorite with the total coming in at 138. As of early this morning, the total held tight but the Orange were posted at 2 ½.

--The Orange had no problems with their opening round opponent, Stephen F. Austin. Jim Boeheim’s club took a 38-22 lead into halftime and never looked back to win 59-44 on Friday afternoon. Bettors got a nice start to the day as the ‘Cuse covered as an 11 ½-point “chalk.”

--Rick Jackson scored 12 points with 10 rebounds in the victory over the Lumberjacks. Jonny Flynn led Syracuse’s attack with 16 points and seven assists in the winning effort. Eric Devendorf may very well have scored the quietest 10 points in NCAA Tournament history versus SFA.

--While this looks like another impressive win for Syracuse, the stats tell another story. The ‘Cuse were awful from the perimeter, connecting on just two of its 16 three-point shots against Stephen F. Austin. Luckily for them, they owned a major 21-10 advantage in the turnover battle to upend the ‘Jacks.

--Arizona State (25-9 SU, 19-11 ATS) had little to no problems in clipping the Owls as a five-point favorite, 66-57. Jeff Pendergraph and Derek Glasser each had 22 points for the Sun Devils. It was a good thing that Pendergraph and Glasser stepped up since James Harden was off his game, scoring just nine points with seven boards.

--Harden may have been the only guy having a bad day for the Sun Devils as the team shot 51 percent from the field. And they connected on eight of 14 shots from beyond the arch.

--Even though the ‘under’ cashed tickets on Friday for the Orange, the ‘over’ is an impressive 20-12 for the season.

--Arizona State has seen the ‘over’ go 4-2 in its last six games.

--Boeheim’s team has been a great wager all year long as a single-digit fave, going 7-1 SU and 6-2 ATS. The ‘over’ is 6-2 in that stretch as well.

--The Sun Devils haven’t been single-digit ‘dogs much this season, but they made the most of the spot for the gambling public. ASU is 3-1 SU and 4-0 ATS in this spot. The ‘over’ is 3-1.

--Syracuse doesn’t see that many teams from the Pac-10, but they have gone 2-1 SU and 1-2 ATS in those games since 1997.

--Arizona State has only played one current Big East team over the last 12 years. The Sun Devils beat Cincinnati 87-79 in 1997 as 14-point underdogs.

Pittsburgh Panthers vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys – 2:50 p.m. EDT

--This 1/8 showdown puts the Big East against the Big XII at the University of Dayton Arena in Dayton, Ohio. A date with either Xavier or Wisconsin in Boston awaits the winner.

--LVSC has made Pittsburgh (29-4 SU, 16-10-1 ATS) a 10-point “chalk” with a total of 148. While the total stays the same at most betting shops, you can get the Panthers as 8 ½-point favorites. I’d imagine that LVSC will bring their number down to that level well before tip-off.

--Some people might have expected that line to be a lot bigger than what it is, but Pitt isn’t exactly instilling confidence in itself after its first round game. The Panthers couldn’t handle East Tennessee State’s full court pressure, turning the ball over 18 times. Pittsburgh was only up by two points with four minutes to go. They wound up winning 72-62 to advance, but failed to cover as 20 ½-point faves.

--DeJuan Blair helped the Panthers avoid the upset of the millennia as he muscled his way to 27 points and 16 rebounds. Sam Young scored 14 points, making four of his six three-point shots, and grabbing 13 boards in the triumph.

--Oklahoma State (23-11 SU, 15-12-1 ATS) fought tooth and nail with the Volunteers through all 40 minutes of its opening contest. Byron Eaton was able to part the orange sea for a three-point play with just over second seconds remaining for the 77-75 victory. The Cowboys not only won the game itself, but they covered as 2 ½-point pups versus Tennessee.

--The Cowpokes could have been ran out of the building on Friday afternoon as they had to shoot an unconscious 56.6 percent (30-of-53) from the field. Especially considering that the Vols nailed only 42.9 percent of their shots. Eaton scored 20 points with seven helpers overall. Marshall Moses popped in 16 points and had 11 rebounds for the win.

--Pitt has enjoyed success as a single-digit favorite during the campaign, going 7-4 SU and ATS. Bettors have backed the ‘under’ in those matches as well since it’s cashing tickets at a 10-1 clip.

--The Cowboys are just 3-9 SU when posted as single-digit ‘dogs. Yet they are 8-4 ATS in those tilts. The totals are a wash in this spot (6-6), but the ‘under’ has come through in their last three games.

--These two schools have met often over the past few years as OSU has posted a 2-1 SU and ATS mark. Pitt did win the last game as a 13 ½-point favorite in 2007, 85-68. The ‘over’ is 2-1 in those fixtures.

Missouri Tigers vs. Marquette Golden Eagles – 4:50 p.m. EDT

--Finally, we have a 3/6 battle from the West Region being played at the Taco Bell Arena in Boise, Idaho. The winner earns the right to face Memphis or Maryland in the regional semis.

--LVSC has opened Missouri (29-6 SU, 18-10 ATS) as a three-point favorite with a total of 148. As of Saturday morning, that line has moved to 3 ½ and the total was knocked down to 146 ½ at some sportsbooks.

--The Tigers got all they could handle from Cornell in the first 20 minutes, leading just 29-25 at the half. Mizzou pushed that four-point advantage early in the second half and cruised in with a 78-59 victory over the Ivy League champs. Mike Anderson’s team even covered the 12-point line send some bettors home happy.

--Leo Lyons was a force not be reckoned with by the Big Red as he scored 23 points with 10 rebounds. He also went a perfect five-for-five at the free throw line. Kim English kept Cornell’s defense honest by connecting three of his four shots from beyond the arch; he finished with 13 points.

--While the Tigers ran away with the win, they still turned the ball over nine times to Cornell’s four. They also shot a meager 25 percent from three-point land, which is well below their season average of 35.8 percent.

--Marquette (25-9 SU, 14-14-1 ATS) got all they could handle in its first round game against the Aggies. The Golden Eagles appeared to be set for a rout after leading by eight at halftime. Utah State came out swinging in the second half, but Maurice Acker made a pair of free throws with 34 seconds left and the Eagles never looked back to win 58-57 as six-point favorites.

--Mizzou has performed well as a single-digit fave over the year with an 8-4 SU mark, but are 6-6 ATS. The Golden Eagles are 2-6 SU and 4-4 ATS when posted as single-digit ‘dogs.

--The Tigers have watched the ‘under’ hit in their last four games. Marquette has seen the ‘under’ go 2-1 in its past three matches.

--These schools haven’t seen each other since the 2003 NCAA Tournament. Marquette won that second round game as a three-point “chalk” in overtime, 101-92. The Golden Eagles parlayed that win into a trip to the Final Four.

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Re: NCAAB News and Notes Sunday 3/22

(11) Dayton (27-7, 14-15 ATS) vs. (3) Kansas (26-7, 19-7-1 ATS)

Kansas opened the NCAA Tournament with Friday’s hard-fought 84-74 win over North Dakota State, narrowly cashing as a 9½-point chalk. The defending national champs got 32 points and eight assists from Sherron Collins, and Cole Aldrich added 23 points and 11 rebounds in the win as the Jayhawks improved to 7-3 SU in their last 10 (7-2-1 ATS) and 6-1 ATS in their last seven Big Dance outings.

Dayton, a nine-point underdog, pulled off a 68-60 upset of West Virginia on Friday for its first Tournament win since 1990, as Chris Wright led the way with 27 points an 10 boards. The Flyers, who scored two wins in the NIT a season ago, are in the Tournament for the first time since 2004. They’re 5-2 ATS in their last seven overall.

Kansas is on ATS streaks of 25-8-1 overall, 20-6-1 as a favorite, 20-8-1 after a straight-up win, 14-6 in non-conference action and 37-15-1 against teams with winning records. Dayton is on ATS runs of 8-3 against teams with winning records, 5-1 as a ‘dog, 5-2 in non-conference action and 4-1 as a neutral-site pup, but the Flyers are just 1-5 ATS in their last six on Sundays and 6-14 ATS in their last 20 after a spread-cover.

Kansas is on “under” streaks of 9-5 overall, 8-1 in NCAA Tournament action, 7-2 in neutral-site games, 9-2 after a straight-up win and 5-2 as a neutral-site favorite. However, the Flyers are on “over” streaks of 6-1 overall, 4-0 at neutral venues, 6-2 as a neutral-site ‘dog and 35-16-1 after a straight-up win.


(10) USC (22-12, 18-14 ATS) vs. (2) Michigan State (27-6, 17-13 ATS)

Michigan State put together a workmanlike performance in a 77-62 win over Robert Morris on Friday, but came up just short as a 16-point chalk. The Spartans got 16 points from Raymar Morgan in just 20 minutes of action and got 11 points and 17 rebounds from Goran Suton. Michigan State has now won seven of its last eight (5-4 ATS) with the only loss being an upset by Ohio State in the Big Ten tournament semifinals.

USC continued its late-season surge in Friday’s opening round, rallying from a four-point halftime deficit for a 72-55 victory over seventh-seeded Boston College, cashing easily as a two-point favorite. Taj Gibson led the way with 24 points on a perfect 10-of-10 shooting as the Trojans won and cashed for the sixth straight game, a streak that comes after a three-game losing skid (1-2 ATS) in late-February.

Michigan State is making its 12th consecutive Big Dance appearance, the fourth-longest active streak. Last year, the Spartans went 2-0 SU and ATS in wins over Temple and Pitt to get to the Sweet 16, where they got steamrolled by Memphis 92-74 as 5½-point ‘dogs. Under coach Tom Izzo, Michigan State is 27-10 SU in the Tournament, reaching four Final Fours, seven Sweet 16s and one national championship (2000).

USC advanced to the Sweet 16 of the Big Dance in 2007, but was knocked out in the opening round a year ago, falling 80-67 to Kansas State as three-point favorites.

Izzo’s Spartans are on ATS runs of 17-9-1 in NCAA Tournament games, 7-4 as a chalk, 19-7-2 as a favorite of less than seven points, 13-4-1 when laying points in the Big Dance and 5-1 on Sundays. USC is on ATS streaks of 6-0 overall, 4-0 in neutral-site games, 5-0 as a neutral-site ‘dog and 7-3 in the Big Dance.

Michigan State is on “under” streaks of 9-3 overall, 8-2 as a favorite, 9-0 against Pac-10 opposition, 7-2 after a straight-up win and 6-1 after a spread-cover. The Trojans are riding “under” trends of 30-14 in non-conference action, 11-4 in neutral-site games, 6-1 on Sundays and 5-1 as a neutral-site pup.


(13) Cleveland State (26-10, 19-12 ATS) vs. (12) Arizona (20-13, 19-13 ATS)

Arizona led virtually wire-to-wire in its 84-71 victory over fifth-seeded Utah on Friday, prevailing as a 1½-point ‘dog. The Wildcats got 29 points from point guard Nic Wise and shot 30-of-55 from the field while holding the Utes to 27-of-64 shooting. Arizona went just 1-5 SU (3-3 ATS) down the stretch to create some doubt as to whether it belonged in the Big Dance.

Cleveland State is the lowest-seed left in the NCAA Tournament after it pulled off the 84-69 upset of No. 4-seeded Wake Forest as a 7½-point underdog Friday. The Vikings, who scored their first Tournament win in 23 years, got balanced scoring from its big three of Norris Cole (22 points), J’Nathan Bullock (21 points) and Cedric Jackson (19 points, eight assists and seven rebounds). Cleveland State upset Butler to win the Horizon League tournament and get the automatic bid to the dance and has won five straight (3-2 ATS) overall.

Arizona is playing in the NCAA Tournament for the 25th consecutive season, the longest such streak in the nation. However, the Wildcats didn’t get out of the opening round the last two years and hasn’t advanced to the Sweet 16 since 2005. This is Cleveland State’s first Big Dance appearance since its Cinderella run in 1986 when it lost to David Robinson and Navy in the Sweet 16.

The ‘Cats are riding several positive ATS trends, including 10-4 overall, 7-2 as a chalk, 12-4 as a neutral-site favorite, 7-2 in non-conference games and 7-2 in NCAA Tournament games. The Vikings are on positive ATS runs of 21-7 after a spread-cover, 25-10 after a straight-up win, 6-1 in non-conference action and 5-0 as an underdog.

Arizona has topped the total in eight of 10 overall, six of seven Tournament games, five straight non-conference contests and six of seven neutral-site affairs. Cleveland State has gone over the total in nine of 13 overall, seven of nine on a neutral court and 12 of 16 after a straight-up win.


(9) Siena (27-7, 15-15-1 ATS) vs. (1) Louisville (29-5, 21-13 ATS)

Louisville, the Tournament’s top overall seed, survived a shaky first half and went on to blow out Morehead State 74-54 in the opening round on Friday, coming up short as a 21½-point favorite. The Cardinals got 15 points and seven rebounds from Samardo Samuels and held the Eagles to 38.5 percent shooting for their 11th straight victory (8-3 ATS).

Siena won a dramatic 74-72 double-overtime game against No. 8 seed Ohio State on Friday, getting it done as a 2½-point underdog for its ninth win in 10 outings (6-4 ATS). The Saints, the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference regular season and tourney champs, had all five starters score in double figures, led by Ryan Rossiter’s 16-point, 15-rebound performance.

Rick Pitino’s Cardinals reached the regional final last season, falling to North Carolina in their bid for the Final Four. Pitino owns a 36-12 SU Tournament record while coaching Providence, Kentucky and Louisville. Siena is making its fifth appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Last year, the Saints upset Vanderbilt 83-62 as a 6½-point underdog in the opening round before falling to Villanova 84-72 as a 5½-point pup in the second round.

Despite not cashing against Morehead State, the Cardinals are on positive ATS streaks of 38-18-1 overall, 14-6 as a chalk, 6-1-1 as a NCAA Tournament favorite and 11-3 on Sundays. Siena is just 7-13 ATS in its last 20 neutral-site games, but it is otherwise on pointspread tears of 4-0 overall, 5-1 in non-conference games, 7-2 against Big East foes and 17-7 as a pup.

Louisville is riding “under” streaks of 13-5-1 in non-conference action, 5-1 on neutral courts, 4-1 after a straight-up win and 7-1-1 as a neutral-site favorite. For the Saints, the over is on runs of 10-4 overall, 5-0 as a ‘dog, 5-1 in non-conference games, 4-0 against Big East teams and 9-3 after a straight-up win.


(6) Arizona State (25-9, 19-11 ATS) vs. (3) Syracuse (27-9, 18-14 ATS)

Syracuse made life tough on Stephen F. Austin during Friday’s 59-44 win, holding the Lumberjacks to 24.7 percent shooting and 2-of-21 from the three-point line. Guard Jonny Flynn led the way for the Orange, scoring 16 points and handing out seven assists as they covered the 11-point spread. Syracuse is on an 8-1 SU and ATS surge, with the only loss coming in the finals of the Big East tournament to Louisville.

Like the Orange, Arizona State also did the job with defense in its 66-57 opening-round win over Temple, holding the Owls to 19-of-51 shooting as it covered the 6 ½-point spread. The Sundevils got 22 points each from Derek Glasser and Jeff Pendergraph and survived with Pac-10 Player of the Year James Harden finishing 1-for-8 from the field with just nine points.

The Sun Devils haven’t been to the Big Dance since 2003 when they lost to Kansas in the second round. Syracuse is back in the tourney for the first time since 2006, when it followed up a run to the Big East tournament title by getting bounced in the first round by Texas A&M. The Orange, who are 40-24 in 25 previous Tournament appearances under coach Jim Boeheim, last made it to the Sweet 16 in 2004.

The Orange are on ATS runs of 8-1 overall, 6-2 in neutral-site games, 5-0 as a favorite, 6-1 against teams with winning records and 10-4-1 as a neutral-site chalk. Arizona State is on pointspread roll of 4-1 overall, 8-3 in neutral-site outings, 5-0 as a ‘dog and 4-1 against teams with a winning record.

Syracuse is riding “over” streaks of 5-1 overall, 7-3 as a favorite, 4-1 in Tournament games, 7-1 in neutral-site contests and 5-3 as a neutral-site favorite. The Sun Devils are also riding “over” streaks of 5-2 in non-league contests, 6-2 in neutral-site games, 7-3 as a neutral-site ‘dog and 4-1 after a straight-up win. However, both teams stayed under the total in their respective first-round games Friday.


(8) Oklahoma St. (23-11, 15-12-1 ATS) vs. (1) Pittsburgh (29-4, 16-10-1 ATS)

Pitt advanced to the second round thanks to a shaky 72-62 win over East Tennessee State on Friday, coming nowhere near covering the 21-point number. The Panthers got 27 points and 16 rebounds from big man DeJuan Blair, and their defense limited the Buccaneers to 23-of-76 shooting (30.3 percent), but they had 18 turnovers. Pitt has won 11 of 13 (9-4 ATS) overall, but failed to cover in its last two.

Oklahoma State scored an last-possession 77-75 upset win over Tennessee in the opening round, cashing as a three-point ‘dog. The Cowboys got 16 points and 11 rebounds from Marshall Moses on 8-of-10 shooting as they won and covered for the ninth time in their last 11 games.

The Panthers won the Big East tournament championship last season, but then fell in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, losing 65-54 to Michigan State as 2½-point favorites. Pitt has made six consecutive trips to the Big Dance under sixth-year coach Jaime Dixon, but has yet to make it past the Sweet 16. The Cowboys haven’t been “dancing” since 2005 when they lost to Arizona in the Sweet 16.

These teams have met in three of the last five seasons, including 2007 when Pitt got an 85-68 home win as a 13½-point favorite.

The Cowboys are on pointspread upticks of 10-1 overall, 17-7-2 in neutral-site contests, 8-1 after a spread-cover and 7-1 after a straight-up win, but they are still just 4-10 ATS in their last 14 as a ‘dog. Pitt is riding several ATS streaks, including 8-3 after a non-cover, 7-3 after a straight-up win, 4-0 on Sundays and 7-1 as a favorite of seven to 12½-points, but the Panthers are just 1-4 ATS in their last five Tournament games and 1-4-1 ATS in their last six against the Big 12.

Oklahoma State is on “under” runs of 7-2 overall, 5-1 in non-conference games, 6-1 in neutral-site games as a ‘dog, 8-2 in the Tournament and 5-0 in the Big Dance as a pup. Pittsburgh is on “under” runs of 5-0 in neutral-site games, 5-1 in non-conference action and 6-2 after a non-cover.


(10) Wisconsin (20-12, 13-16-1 ATS) vs. (4) Xavier (26-7, 17-12-2 ATS)

Xavier advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the third time in four years, crushing 13th-seeded Portland State 77-59 as a 10-point favorite Friday. The Musketeers shot a blistering 53.7 percent from the field, dominated in the rebounding department (30-20) and limited the Vikings to just 24 second-half points. Despite Friday’s rout, Xavier is still just 6-5 SU in its last 11 contests after starting the season 20-2.

Wisconsin won an opening-round game for the third straight year and the seventh time in the last eight years with a last-second 61-59 overtime victory over No. 5-seed Florida State as a three-point underdog. The Badgers, who trailed 31-19 at the half, won it on Trevon Hughes’ bank shot with two seconds left. Bo Ryan’s club is on an 8-2 roll going back to the regular season (6-4 ATS).

After giving up an average 68.3 ppg during a midseason 0-6 slide, the Badgers have tightened things up on the defensive end, holding 11 consecutive opponents to 61 points or fewer and surrendering only 54.1 ppg during this stretch. Meanwhile, Xavier has now held six of its last seven opponents under 60 points.

Xavier knocked off Georgia, Purdue and West Virginia (3-0 ATS) to advance to the regional final in last year’s Big Dance, but its Final Four dreams ended in a 76-57 loss to UCLA as a six-point underdog. The Musketeers are in the Tournament for the fourth straight time, going 1-1 (2-0 ATS) in second-round games.

This is Wisconsin’s 14th appearance in the Big Dance and the seventh under Ryan. Last year, the Badgers opened up with double-digit blowout wins over Cal-State Fullerton and Kansas State (2-0 ATS), but fell in the Sweet 16 to Davidson 73-56 as a five-point favorite. Going back to 2002, they’re 3-3 SU and 2-4 ATS in second-round tourney action.

The schools played a home-and-home series back in 2000 and 2001, with the host winning each contest and Wisconsin cashing both times.

Xavier is on positive pointspread runs of 13-6-2 overall, 10-2 in the Tournament, 36-17-1 at neutral venues, 18-7 as a favorite at neutral sites, 4-0-1 on Sunday, 6-0 against the Big Ten and 10-4-1 against squads with a winning record. The lone negative for Musketeers is a 1-5 ATS mark in its last six when laying less than seven points.

Wisconsin is on ATS runs of 5-2 in non-conference games, 7-1 against the Atlantic 10 and 4-1 as an underdog in the Tournament, but it is just 1-5 ATS in its last six against teams with a winning record.

Both teams barely stayed under the total in their first-round victories. Additionally, Wisconsin is on “under” streaks of 7-1 overall, 4-0 as an underdog, 6-2-1 at neutral sites, 5-1 on Sunday and 5-0 after a SU win. Xavier’s “under” trends include 8-2-1 overall (all as a favorite), 6-0 at neutral sites and 4-1 on Sunday. However, the Musketeers have still topped the total in 10 of their last 12 NCAA Tournament contests and six of seven non-conference games.


(6) Marquette (25-9, 14-14-1 ATS) vs. (3) Missouri (29-6, 18-10 ATS)

Missouri overcame a lackluster first-half against Cornell on Friday, but turned it on over the final 20 minutes en route to a 78-59 victory, cashing easily as a 12-point chalk for its first Tournament victory since 2003. Going back to the start of the Big 12 tournament, the Tigers have won and covered in four straight games, the fifth time this season they’ve won at least four in a row SU. In addition, they’re on a 12-2 SU run (11-3 ATS), and the winner has cashed in each of the team’s 10 outings.

Marquette gutted out a 58-57 victory over Utah State on Friday, but failed to cover as a six-point favorite. The Golden Eagles, who advanced to the second round for the second straight year, blew an eight-point halftime lead and trailed by as many as six with less than four minutes to go before rallying for the win despite shooting just 36.2 percent from the field. Marquette is just 2-5 SU in its last seven games and 4-8 ATS in its last 12.

The Tigers’ last Tournament appearance came in 2003, when they lost a second-round game to Marquette 101-92 in overtime, failing to cover as a three-point underdog. That was the most recent meeting between the two schools.

Marquette is making its 26th Tournament appearance and its fourth in a row. Last year, the Eagles knocked out Kentucky 74-66 as a six-point favorite in the first round before losing to Stanford 82-81 in overtime as a 2½-point underdog.

Despite ATS slumps of 4-8 overall and 1-5-1 in non-conference games, the Golden Eagles are still 9-3 ATS in their last 12 neutral-site contests and 6-2-1 ATS in their last nine as an underdog. Meanwhile, Missouri carries a bunch of positive ATS streaks, including 4-0 overall, 6-1 at neutral sites (4-0 last four), 8-1 as a chalk, 7-2 in the Tournament and 9-3 versus winning teams, but the Tigers have failed to cash in 10 of their last 14 as a favorite of less than six points.

Marquette is on “over” tears of 24-12 at neutral sites, 9-2 in the Big Dance, 6-0-1 against the Big 12 and 5-1 as an underdog. The over is also 13-7 in the Tigers’ last 20 non-conference games and 7-1 in their last seven Tournament contests. However, both teams stayed under the total in their first-round games, and the under is 5-1 in Mizzou’s last six overall and 5-0 in its last five at neutral sites.


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Re: NCAAB News and Notes Sunday 3/22

Afternoon Action
By Brian Edwards

The field of 65 has been cut to 24 with eight more teams destined for elimination today. Who will pick up the last eight spots in the Sweet 16? Let's take a look at three of this afternoon's contests.

**Dayton vs. Kansas**

--Las Vegas Sports Consultants opened Kansas (26-7 straight up, 19-7-1 against the spread) as a 9 ½-point favorite with a total of 135. As of early this morning, most sports book had the Jayhawks listed as eight-point ‘chalk’ with the total in the 133-134 range. Gamblers can back the Flyers on the money line for a plus-300 payout (risk $100 to win $300).

--Dayton (27-7 SU, 14-15 ATS) advanced to the second round by virtue of a 68-60 win over West Virginia as a nine-point underdog. Chris Wright dominated with 27 points and 10 rebounds, leading the Flyers to their first NCAA Tournament win since beating Illinois in 1990.

--Kansas survived a game effort from North Dakota State in an 84-74 first-round win. The Jayhawks hooked up their backers as 8 ½-point favorites thanks to 32 points and eight assists from Sherron Collins. Cole Aldrich added 23 points and 11 rebounds.

--Bill Self’s team has thrived as a single-digit favorite, cashing tickets at a 9-2 ATS clip. Meanwhile, Dayton has a 5-1 spread record in six games as an underdog.

--The ‘over’ is 16-11-1 overall for Dayton, 6-1 in its last seven games.

--The ‘under’ is 14-13 overall for KU.

--CBS will provide television coverage of this 2:30 p.m. Eastern tip from Minneapolis. The winner will face the USC-Michigan St. winner at the Midwest Region semifinals in Indianapolis.

**Arizona vs. Cleveland State**

--Most books are listing Arizona (20-13 SU, 19-13 ATS) as a 2 ½-point favorite with a total of 135. The Vikings are plus-135 on the money line.

--Cleveland State (26-10 SU, 19-12 ATS) jumped all over Wake Forest from the get-go in an 84-69 first-round win as a 7 ½-point underdog. Norris Cole scored a team-high 22 points and J’Nathan Bullock finished with 21. Cedric Jackson was nothing short of sensational, producing 19 points, eight assists, seven rebounds and three steals.

--After knocking off a Wake Forest team that was once ranked No. 1 earlier in the season, Cole told the Associated Press, “There was a sense of accomplishment. It was a good feeling, but we're not celebrating because we still know we have games to win.”

--Arizona might have been the last at-large team that was invited to the party, but the Wildcats are on the cusp of going back to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2005. They advanced to the second round for the first time since 2006 by taking out Utah by an 84-71 count as 1 ½-point underdogs. Nic Wise dropped 29 points on the Utes, while Chase Budinger had 20 points, eight rebounds, six assists and four steals. Jordan Hill chipped in with 17 points and 13 boards.

--‘Zona has a 7-3 spread record in 10 games as a single-digit ‘chalk.’

--This is Cleveland State’s first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1986 when Kevin Mackey’s team led by Mouse McFadden advanced to the Sweet 16 with wins over Indiana and St. Joseph’s at the Carrier Dome. The Vikings were eventually eliminated by a Navy squad led by David Robinson.

--Cleveland St. owns a 5-0 spread record when listed as an underdog.

--The ‘over’ is 18-13 overall for ‘Zona.

--The ‘over’ is on a 9-4 run for Cleveland St. and is 16-15 overall.

--Tip-off in Miami will be 30 minutes after the conclusion of the Arizona St.-Syraucse game. The winner will move to face the Louisville-Siena winner in Indianapolis.

**Siena vs. Louisville**

--LVSC opened Louisville (29-5 SU, 21-13 ATS) as a 13-point favorite with a total of 140. As of early this morning, most spots had the Cardinals at 11 1/2 with total adjusted to 141. The Saints are plus-600 on the money line.

--Siena (27-7 SU, 15-15-1 ATS) had to face Ohio St. in Dayton in a matchup of 8/9 seeds Friday night. The Saints advanced past the Buckeyes by capturing a 74-72 victory as 2 ½-point underdogs. All five starters played at least 44 minutes and scored in double figures. Edwin Ubiles had a team-high 20 points, while Ryan Rossiter had 16 points, 15 rebounds and three blocked shots. Ronald Moore hit the game winner when he drained a 23-footer from right of the key with 3.9 seconds left.

--Louisville won its 11th consecutive game when it beat 16th-seeded Moorehead State 74-54 in the opening round. The Cardinals only led by two at intermission and failed to cover the number as 21 ½-point favorites. Terrence Williams led the way with 13 points and nine rebounds.

--Rick Pitino’s team has been a double-digit favorite 19 times, posting a 12-7 spread record.

--Siena has posted a 4-3 spread record in seven games as an underdog.

--These teams had one common foe, Pittsburgh. Louisville beat the Panthers 69-63 at Freedom Hall, while Siena lost 79-66 at Pitt.

--The ‘over’ is 18-13 overall for the Saints, 10-4 in its last 14 games.

--U of L has watched the ‘under’ go 17-15 overall.

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Marquette's James cleared to play

According to an ESPN report early this morning, Marquette senior point guard Dominic James has been cleared to play in today's second-round game against Missouri.

This is a stunning development. James had surgery after breaking a bone in his foot in a loss to UConn back on Feb. 25. The injury was believed to be season ending.

James, a four-year starter who is one of the best players in school history (second all-time in assists, third in scoring), averages 11.4 points, 5.1 assists and 3.4 rebounds per game.

Whether or not James will be effective or could play extended minutes is a complete unknown.

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West Regional Round 2: Day 2 preview and pick

No. 3 Missouri Tigers vs. No. 6 Marquette Golden Eagles (+3.5, 146.5)

For Missouri and Marquette, the first round played out practically as if it were read from a teleprompter, a rarity in the NCAA Tournament.

The short-handed Golden Eagles held off a feisty and determined Utah State squad 58-57, while Missouri broke open its game against Cornell with one of its signature second-half spurts on the way to a 78-59 victory.

Marquette showed that it had enough athletes, even with injured point guard Dominic James watching from the sideline, to squeeze past Utah State … barely. Lazar Hayward, Jerel McNeal and Wesley Matthews accounted for 51 of its 58 points, and the Eagles needed every last bucket their stars could muster.

However, the Eagles also showed they were capable of punishing full-court pressure by finishing with a score, which made the difference late in their win over the Aggies.

They will have to be super-efficient at this to take down Missouri, which refuses to relent from its pressure even if it appears to be backfiring. The Tigers showed this on numerous occasions throughout the season, including a 62-60 win over Kansas in which they erased a double-figure deficit in the second half.

Leo Lyons led four Missouri players in double figures with 23 points as the Tigers blitzed the Big Red early in the second half and coasted to the first-round win, although Cornell made bettors sweat the 14-point spread a few times down the stretch.

Missouri’s game plan equates to a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. Yielding a few easy baskets is just a travel expense on its journey toward smothering the opponent through attrition.

However, if the Tigers fall behind, they could be in trouble. Missouri is occasionally prone to long scoring droughts, and one contagious cold-shooting streak usually spells a death knell in an NCAA Tournament game.

Although conventional wisdom seems to suggest that a team with limited depth such as Marquette would be prime bait for a club like Missouri, the Golden Eagles have enough playmakers, and a big enough chip on their shoulders, to pull off what appears to be an improbable win.

Final score prediction: Marquette 75, Missouri 73

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East Regional Round 2: Day 2 preview and picks

No. 8 Oklahoma State vs. No. 1 Pittsburgh Panthers (-8, 149.5)

Survive and advance.

That’s the message Pitt coach Jamie Dixon must pound into his team if it is to rally back from a near upset in the first round to 16th-seeded East Tennessee State.

The Panthers (29-4 SU, 16-10-1 ATS) had the same flaws exposed that experts were critical of entering the tournament: carelessness with the ball and a stagnant half-court offense.

Pitt did shoot 43.6 percent from the floor and made 7-of-19 three-pointers, but looked lost when it was forced to slow its tempo and gave the ball away a staggering 18 times. If it wasn’t for the play of stud center DeJuan Blair - 27 points, 16 rebounds - the Panthers would be on their way back to the Steel City.

And seeing those flaws exposed has to tantalize Oklahoma State and star guard Byron Eaton.

The Cowboys (23-11 SU, 15-12-1 ATS) survived a late push from Tennessee to advance to the second round with a two-point win. Eaton was the star of the game, finishing with 20 points and seven assists and converting a game-winning, three-point play with seconds left.

The Pokes also love to trap. Their ability to force turnovers and turn them into points is a huge reason for their win over the Vols and their success this season.

Oklahoma State should be able to keep it close, but Pittsburgh will have too much inside with Blair and too much of an advantage playing in Dayton.

Final score prediction: Pitt 74, Oklahoma State 64

No. 12 Wisconsin Badgers vs. No. 4 Xavier (-4, 121.5) at Boise, Idaho

The Badgers were poised for their predictable, late-game collapse when something odd happened; something that hadn’t happened for the past five months -- Wisconsin became clutch down the stretch.

From guard Brian Bohannon nailing big threes to Trevon Hughes’ spinning, game-winning layup in the lane with two seconds left, the Badgers (20-12 SU, 13-16-1 ATS) captured some March magic of their own in an overtime win against Florida State. Wisconsin trailed by 12 at the half, but used a 13-0 run to start the second stanza and maintained that momentum by burying seven second-half three pointers.

The Badgers secured the upset by containing Seminole Star Toney Douglas and allowing just one other Florida State player to score more than six points.

But Xavier (26-7 SU, 17-12-2 ATS) is much more balanced and will be much more difficult to slow down.

The Musketeers posted an 18-point win over Portland State in the opening round by getting double-digit scoring from four players, including a team-high 14 from C.J. Anderson. The disciplined A-10 regular season champs also turned the ball over just seven times and had a rebounding margin of plus-10.

"Everybody gets to touch the ball and everybody has confidence in the other players' ability to put it on the floor or make the right decision," B.J. Raymond, who had 13 points, said. "We love to share the ball and see our teammates succeed."

Wisconsin’s methodical style should keep the game close, but the Musketeer’s depth ultimately will be too much.

Final score prediction: Xavier 65, Wisconsin 59

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Midwest Regional Round 2: Day 2 preview and picks

No. 11 Dayton Flyers vs. No. 3 Kansas Jayhawks (-8, 133.5)

It wasn't flashy but the Flyers used their typical game to upset West Virginia in the opening round on Friday.

Dayton forward Chris Wright (leads the team in eight statistical categories) shined in his NCAA tourney debut with 27 points and 10 rebounds. As one of the better defensive teams in the nation, the Flyers will look to slow the tempo down against the explosive Jayhawks.

Weak free throw shooting is a flaw that could be costly in Dayton's bid for another upset. The Flyers missed nine of 23 free tosses against West Virginia and shoot under 65 percent for the season from the stripe.

Kansas (19-7-1 ATS) used its one-two punch to hold off a gritty North Dakota State squad to open the tourney. Guard Sherron Collins and center Cole Aldrich combined for 55 points in the 84-74 victory. The Jayhawks will face a much more physical squad on Sunday. Kansas will need to step up on the defensive end of the floor after a lackluster effort on Friday. The Jayhawks forced only eight turnovers while allowing North Dakota State to connect on 10 three-pointers.

Both of these clubs hold their opponents to under 40 percent field goal shooting for the season. The offensive firepower of Collins will provide the difference for the defending champions in this one.

Final score prediction: Kansas 72, Dayton 67

No. 10 USC Trojans vs. No. 2 Michigan State Spartans (-4, 129.5)

After trailing BC by four at halftime on Friday, USC doubled (42-21) up the Eagles in the second half to pull away for a 72-55 win. Forward Taj Gibson was a perfect 10-for-10 from the floor, a perfect time for the Trojans big man to have career day.

Touted freshman DeMar DeRozan is stepping up with an average of 20 points and nine rebounds per game since the beginning of the Pac-10 tourney.

A big, athletic lineup has enabled the Trojans to shoot 48 percent from the field while holding foes to just 40 percent field goal shooting. The physical advantages that USC is used to will not be there as often against the Spartans on Sunday.

Michigan State proved to be too rugged for Robert Morris in the opening round. The Spartans owned the boards (43-25) to overmatch the Colonials. Head coach Tom Izzo didn't have to extend his key players in the win. All five starters, including Big Ten player of the year Kalin Lucas, played only 25 minutes or less on Friday. The rebounding domination will be crucial against a USC squad that can be tough to matchup with.

The Trojans are playing free and loose after a sixth-place regular season finish in their conference. With the Final Four being held in Detroit, the Big Ten regular season champions have to face greater expectations and pressure. Izzo (four trips to the Final Four) is the right guide to meet the challenge. The Spartans put an end to Southern California's magic run.

Final score prediction: Michigan State 70, Southern California 64

No. 13 Cleveland State Vikings vs. No. 12 Arizona Wildcats (-2.5, 134.5)

The Vikings (19-12 ATS) led from start to finish on Friday to pull the biggest upset of the first round. Cleveland State, a club that isn't known for perimeter offense, nailed its first three long-range shots of the evening to jump out to a quick 9-0 lead over Wake Forest. The post offense of leading scorer J' Nathan Bullock (15.4 ppg.) is where most points usually come from. The squad's lockdown defense was again its best weapon. The Vikings forced 18 turnovers in the decisive win.

Arizona (25 consecutive NCAA bids) took advantage of its debatable at-large bid handling fifth-seeded Utah in a game the Wildcats were actually favored to win. The big three of Nic Wise, Jordan Hill and Chase Buddinger combined for 66 of Arizona's 84 points against the Utes. The offense (top 25 nationally in field goal and 3-point field goal percentage) is good enough to compete with most tourney squads. The defense is usually shaky but the Wildcats forced 19 turnovers in a big outing on Friday.

Cleveland State played a near flawless game against the Demon Deacons. Its defense will present a challenge to Arizona. However, the Wildcats explosive trio will be too much for the Vikings.

Final score prediction: Arizona 73, Cleveland State 66

No. 9 Siena Saints vs. No. 1 Louisville Cardinals (-11, 140.5)

The clutch shooting of guard Ronald Moore lifted Siena into the second round. Moore nailed a 3-pointer to send the game into a second overtime period. Then, he drilled another long-range shot in the final seconds of the second overtime to give Siena a dramatic 72-71 win over Ohio State.
With all five starters back from last year's tourney squad, the Saints are a team that can handle the pressure. On a cold shooting night (33.3 percent), Siena outrebounded the Buckeyes by a count of 51-34 to survive. Siena (77.6 ppg) has a fast-paced offense that should be able to handle Louisville's pressing defense better than most clubs.

The Cardinals got a wakeup call from No. 16 seed Morehead State on Friday. Louisville (11-2 ATS last 13 away/neutral games) led by only two at the half before wearing down the Eagles in the second half.
Louisville should be a little more focused for Siena after committing an alarming 19 turnovers in the first round. Forwards Earl Clark and Terrence Williams combine to average 26 points and 17 rebounds per game to lead the Louisville attack. Free throw shooting (64.2 percent) is the only real area of concern for Rick Pitino's club.

Final score prediction: Louisville 76, Siena 68

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ARIZONA ST (25 - 9) vs. SYRACUSE (27 - 9)
Top Trends for this game.
SYRACUSE is 46-28 ATS (+15.2 Units) in all neutral court games since 1997.
SYRACUSE is 7-1 ATS (+5.9 Units) in March games this season.
SYRACUSE is 46-28 ATS (+15.2 Units) when playing on a neutral court since 1997.
SYRACUSE is 6-0 ATS (+6.0 Units) in road games after allowing 60 points or less over the last 3 seasons.
ARIZONA ST is 19-11 ATS (+6.9 Units) in all games this season.
ARIZONA ST is 19-11 ATS (+6.9 Units) in all lined games this season.
ARIZONA ST is 36-18 ATS (+16.2 Units) in road games when playing with one or less days rest since 1997.
SYRACUSE is 44-69 ATS (-31.9 Units) versus good defensive teams - allowing <=64 points/game since 1997.

Head-to-Head Series History
There were no past matchups in this series during this time period.

CLEVELAND ST (26 - 10) vs. ARIZONA (20 - 13)
Top Trends for this game.
CLEVELAND ST is 20-12 ATS (+6.8 Units) in all games this season.
CLEVELAND ST is 20-12 ATS (+6.8 Units) in all lined games this season.
CLEVELAND ST is 10-2 ATS (+7.8 Units) when playing with one or less days rest this season.
CLEVELAND ST is 24-14 ATS (+8.6 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record over the last 2 seasons.

Head-to-Head Series History
There were no past matchups in this series during this time period.

OKLAHOMA ST (23 - 11) vs. PITTSBURGH (29 - 4)
Top Trends for this game.
PITTSBURGH is 35-24 ATS (+8.6 Units) in all games over the last 2 seasons.
PITTSBURGH is 35-24 ATS (+8.6 Units) in all lined games over the last 2 seasons.
PITTSBURGH is 15-8 ATS (+6.2 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record this season.

Head-to-Head Series History
PITTSBURGH is 1-1 against the spread versus OKLAHOMA ST over the last 3 seasons
PITTSBURGH is 1-1 straight up against OKLAHOMA ST over the last 3 seasons
2 of 2 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

SIENA (27 - 7) vs. LOUISVILLE (29 - 5)
Top Trends for this game.
LOUISVILLE is 21-13 ATS (+6.7 Units) in all games this season.
LOUISVILLE is 21-13 ATS (+6.7 Units) in all lined games this season.
LOUISVILLE is 47-32 ATS (+11.8 Units) as a favorite over the last 3 seasons.
LOUISVILLE is 19-10 ATS (+8.0 Units) in road games when playing against a team with a winning record over the last 2 seasons.
LOUISVILLE is 8-2 ATS (+5.8 Units) in road games when playing against a team with a winning record after 15 or more games this season.
LOUISVILLE is 21-37 ATS (-19.7 Units) in all neutral court games since 1997.
LOUISVILLE is 21-37 ATS (-19.7 Units) when playing on a neutral court since 1997.

Head-to-Head Series History
There were no past matchups in this series during this time period.

DAYTON (27 - 7) vs. KANSAS (26 - 7)
Top Trends for this game.
KANSAS is 19-8 ATS (+10.2 Units) in all games this season.
KANSAS is 19-8 ATS (+10.2 Units) in all lined games this season.
KANSAS is 15-6 ATS (+8.4 Units) as a favorite this season.
KANSAS is 19-10 ATS (+8.0 Units) after a non-conference game over the last 2 seasons.
KANSAS is 19-10 ATS (+8.0 Units) in non-conference games over the last 2 seasons.
KANSAS is 18-5 ATS (+12.5 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record this season.
KANSAS is 14-1 ATS (+12.9 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record after 15 or more games this season.

Head-to-Head Series History
There were no past matchups in this series during this time period.

USC (22 - 12) vs. MICHIGAN ST (27 - 6)
Top Trends for this game.
MICHIGAN ST is 19-10 ATS (+8.0 Units) in road games when playing against a team with a winning record over the last 2 seasons.
USC is 57-37 ATS (+16.3 Units) in all games over the last 3 seasons.
USC is 57-37 ATS (+16.3 Units) in all lined games over the last 3 seasons.
USC is 26-12 ATS (+12.8 Units) as an underdog over the last 3 seasons.
USC is 6-0 ATS (+6.0 Units) in March games this season.
USC is 26-12 ATS (+12.8 Units) when playing with one or less days rest over the last 3 seasons.
USC is 46-29 ATS (+14.1 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record over the last 3 seasons.
USC is 23-12 ATS (+9.8 Units) versus good defensive teams - allowing <=64 points/game over the last 3 seasons.

Head-to-Head Series History
There were no past matchups in this series during this time period.

MARQUETTE (25 - 9) vs. MISSOURI (29 - 6)
Top Trends for this game.
MISSOURI is 18-10 ATS (+7.0 Units) in all games this season.
MISSOURI is 18-10 ATS (+7.0 Units) in all lined games this season.
MISSOURI is 15-8 ATS (+6.2 Units) as a favorite this season.
MISSOURI is 8-1 ATS (+6.9 Units) when playing with one or less days rest over the last 3 seasons.
MISSOURI is 10-3 ATS (+6.7 Units) after allowing 60 points or less this season.
MARQUETTE is 82-53 ATS (+23.7 Units) as an underdog since 1997.
MARQUETTE is 6-0 ATS (+6.0 Units) in a neutral court game where the total is 145 to 149.5 over the last 3 seasons.
MARQUETTE is 66-42 ATS (+19.8 Units) after a non-conference game since 1997.

Head-to-Head Series History
There were no past matchups in this series during this time period.

WISCONSIN (20 - 12) vs. XAVIER (26 - 7)
Top Trends for this game.
WISCONSIN is 3-10 ATS (-8.0 Units) versus good defensive teams - allowing <=64 points/game after 15+ games this season.
XAVIER is 14-7 ATS (+6.3 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record this season.
XAVIER is 70-44 ATS (+21.6 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record after 15 or more games since 1997.

Head-to-Head Series History
There were no past matchups in this series during this time period.

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Arizona State vs. Syracuse
Arizona State:
8-2 ATS as a neutral court dog of 6pts or less
20-6 ATS if favored L2 games

6-0 Over after allowing 55 points or less
13-4 Over off ATS win

Cleveland State vs. Arizona
Cleveland State:
6-0 ATS off SU dog win
9-2 ATS playing their 2nd game in 3 days

10-3 Over when the total is 130 to 139.5
7-1 Over after a combined score of 155+ points

Oklahoma State vs. Pittsburgh
Oklahoma State:
17-6 Under as neutral court dog
34-16 Under playing with one or no days rest

27-14 ATS if favored last game
13-4 Under Away off DD win

Siena vs. Louisville
6-0 Over as DD underdog
24-9 Over Away vs. non-conference

0-6 ATS off 3 straight DD wins
21-37 ATS on neutral court

Dayton vs. Kansas
0-6 ATS off SU dog win
5-15 ATS playing their 2nd road game in 3 days

12-5 ATS off DD win
7-0 Under Away after scoring 80+ points

USC vs. Michigan State
6-0 ATS in March
26-12 ATS as an underdog

Michigan State:
8-0 Under vs. Pac 10
15-8 Under off SU win

Marquette vs. Missouri
13-1 Over playing 2nd road game in 3 days
26-12 Over on neutral court

11-1 ATS off an Under
12-4 ATS if favored L2 games

Wisconsin vs. Xavier
15-2 ATS Away off SU dog win
5-1 ATS after a win by 6 points or less

5-1 Under on neutral court
11-6 Under if favored L3 games

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Re: NCAAB News and Notes Sunday 3/22

Arizona State is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games
Syracuse is 8-1 SU in its last 9 games

Wisconsin is 8-3 SU in its last 11 games
Xavier is 17-5 SU in its last 22 games

Dayton is 19-6 SU in its last 25 games
Kansas is 15-3 SU in its last 18 games

Cleveland State is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
Arizona is 2-5 SU in its last 7 games

Oklahoma State is 9-2 SU in its last 11 games
Pittsburgh is 11-2 SU in its last 13 games

Marquette is 17-7 SU in its last 24 games
Marquette is 2-5 SU in its last 7 games
Missouri is 12-2 SU in its last 14 games

USC is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
Michigan State is 7-1 SU in its last 8 games


Siena is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
Louisville is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games

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Re: NCAAB News and Notes Sunday 3/22

Tips and Trends

Midwest Region: #13 Cleveland State vs. #12 Arizona

Cleveland State: The Vikings pulled off arguably the biggest upset of the tournament so far with an 84-69 rout of Wake Forest in the first round. But head coach Gary Waters knows both teams are looking to prove something at this stage with a trip to the Sweet 16 on the line. “They’re playing for something,” Waters said of Arizona. “People are saying they don’t belong, and I think they’re trying to show the world they belong.” However, there is one difference between beating the Demon Deacons and facing the Wildcats. “Wake Forest was younger, and there were things that we could exploit because of their youth,” Waters said. “When I look at Arizona, this is an experienced group. They know what they’re trying to do, and I think they’re a little bit hungrier than Wake Forest was.”

Cleveland State is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games overall.
The OVER is 7-2 in Cleveland State's last 9 neutral site games.

Key Injuries - G D'Aundray Brown (knee) is questionable.

PROJECTED SCORE: 69 (Side Play of the Day)

Arizona (-3, O/U 134.5): The Wildcats had thought Cleveland State's upset of Butler in the Horizon League tourney title game might cost themselves a spot in the Big Dance, but now they are facing one of the most dangerous Cinderella teams left in the tournament. “All we knew is that before we got into the tournament, with them beating Butler, we thought they took one of our spots,” Arizona guard Nic Wise said. “Friday was an eye-opener - just to know that they’re a small-name school but they have big-name talent. You can’t come out soft, because they’ll come out fast and they’ll hit you hard.”

Arizona is 7-2 ATS in its last 9 games as a favorite.
The OVER is 8-2 in Arizona's last 10 games overall.

Key Injuries - NONE


West Region: #6 Marquette vs. #3 Missouri

Marquette: The Golden Eagles have seen their last two games decided by one point apiece, showing a lot of heart despite playing without their best player Dominic James. Some could also argue Marquette head coach Buzz Williams is just happy to be playing in the second round of the NCAA tournament after taking over for Tom Crean, who left a talented team to take over an ailing Indiana program. “If you research my career path, and you figure out where I started and where I am today, there’s no way you could potentially, possibly in your wildest dreams, project that I’d be sitting here in this position,” said Williams.

Marquette is 4-8 ATS in its last 12 games overall.
The OVER is 9-2 in Marquette's last 11 NCAA tournament games.

Key Injuries - G Dominic James (foot) is OUT.

PROJECTED SCORE: 74 (OVER - Total Play of the Day)

Missouri (-4, O/U 147.5): The Tigers have won four straight games on neutral courts - including a Big 12 tourney title - and appear poised to make it to the Sweet 16 under head coach Mike Anderson, who has done a tremendous job turning around the program. Anderson saw Mizzou miss the Big Dance for the fifth straight season a year ago, but his patience and tough-love approach is finally starting to pay dividends. “I was hired to come in and win ballgames, I know that,” Anderson said. “I also was hired to, I guess, to clean a culture or to have a brand of basketball. To get kids educated, get kids to become productive citizens once they leave.”

Missouri is 11-3 ATS in its last 14 games overall.
The OVER is 7-1 in Missouri's last 8 NCAA tournament games.

Key Injuries - NONE


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Sunday's NCAA games

Noon start time is 10am for Arizona State's body clocks; Sun Devils are 4-1 in last five games, blowing 15-point halftime lead in the loss- they're 4-0 vs spread as an underdog this year. Syracuse is 5-1 in second round games since 1996; they beat Memphis, Kansas, Florida in its non-league games, but they did turn ball over 21 times vs SF Austin Friday. #3 seed is just 9-14 against spread when facing #6 seed the last 9+ tournaments. Interesting to see how well-schooled Sun Devils attack Syracuse zone.

Cleveland State-Arizona is 9th 12-13 seed game in tournament history; favorite is 7-1 vs spread in previous eight. Veteran Viking squad is 12-2 in last 14 games- they lost 78-63 at Pac-10 champ Washington, its only game vs Pac-10 foe this season. Arizona has no depth; they won Friday by speeding up Utah- that won't work vs athletic Cleveland State squad. Wildcats are still just 2-5 in last seven games. Vikings were +12 (18-6) in turnovers in their easy win over Wake Forest Friday night.

Oklahoma State won nine of last 11 games, covered three of last four as an underdog; they shot 57% from floor in dramatic win vs Tennessee in first round, will find Pitt defense tougher. Panthers are just 11th #1 seed to win first round game by 10 or less points- none of previous ten won the national title. Pitt is just 11th #1 seed to win its first round game by 10 or less points; previous 10 were 5-5 vs spread (7-3 SU-- #1 seeds are 84-12 overall in second round games)

Siena won tense, double OT game Friday, with its bench playing total of just 17 minutes; Saints played big-name teams this year, losing at Pitt by 13, at Kansas by 7, vs Tennessee by 14, Oklahoma State by 9 on neutral court in Florida. Siena is 16-2 since losing at Kansas Jan 6. Louisville is on 11-game win streak, covering five of last six; Iona coach Willard used to work for Pitino, so Cardinals will be well-schooled on Saints. #1 seed is 7-4 vs spread when laying double digits in second round, since '02.

Kansas split pair of games vs A-14 foes, losing 61-60 to UMass Dec 13, then beating Temple 71-59 a week later; Jayhawks are very young, with five new starters, but have excellent PG in Collins. Dayton is 15-1 out of conference this year, 6-3 vs spread as underdog- they held West Virginia to 37% from floor, 5-20 from arc in Friday's upset win. Kansas couldn't contain Woodside (37 points) in its first round game, but Dayton's PG is out. #6 seeds are 14-9 vs spread when facing 3-seed in second round.

Michigan State is 7-1 in last eight second round games, losing only as a 10.5-point dog to North Carolina two years ago; Spartans won seven of last eight games, are 11-2 out of conference- Ohio State is only one of its last eight opponents to score more than 66 points. USC won its last six games, is 7-5 vs spread as dog, covering last three tries. Trojans held BC 33% from floor Friday, 6-23 from arc- they trailed last two gamea at the half, still won both. Spartans are way more physical than BC, though.

Missouri won, covered its last four games, holding its foes to 59.5 ppg; they're 7-1 vs spread in last eight games as the favorite; Tigers are 11-2 out of Big 12 this year, losing to Xavier, Illinois. Marquette is 4-3 as an underdog this season; three of its last four games were decided either in OT or by a single point. Eagles miss injured PG James; they shot 36.2% vs Utah State, 5-19 from arc in holding off Utah State. Should be faster pace than either team saw in its first round contest.

Since 1996, #12 seeds are 11-6 against the spread when facing #4 seed in second round game; Wisconsin is 1-4 vs spread in last five games as dog, but Ryan won four national titles in D-III, is fantastic tournament coach. with 11-7 record in D-I tourney. Xavier is 12-2 outside A-14, winning at LSU, Cincinnati, winning neutral court games vs Memphis, Va Tech and Missouri. Badgers were down 12 at half to Florida State Friday, scored first 13 points of second half- they better not get down 12 vs Xavier.

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Re: NCAAB News and Notes Sunday 3/22

Wisconsin vs. Xavier Preview
by Murray Hill Mike

The 12th seeded Wisconsin Badgers managed to turn in a gutty performance Friday night as they upset 5th seeded Florida State in overtime 61-59. With the game tied at 59-59, Badgers guard Trevon Hughes scored the game winning basket as he drove to the basket throwing up a spinning bank shot with two seconds left. This marked the first time Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan defeated a team seeded higher than ninth in the NCAA Tournament. This is the third straight season the Badgers have advanced to the second round and the seventh time in eight seasons. The Badgers featured balanced scoring as four players scored double digits with Jason Bohannon leading the way with 16 points. They will have their work cut out for them in the second round as they face the Xavier Musketeers, who made quick work out of 13 seed Portland State by a score of 77-59.

Portland State was a popular upset pick for many, but they could not overcome Xavier’s efficient offense that shot 54 percent from the floor and hit 8 of 19 from beyond the arc. The Musketeers also dominated the paint as they outscored the Vikings 34 to 14. This marked the sixth time in seven years that the Musketeers advanced to the second round. Leading the way for the men of Xavier was CJ Anderson with 14 points, followed closely by Derrick Brown, B.J. Raymond and Dante Jackson with 13 points apiece. That’s indicative of the balanced effort that Coach Sean Miller has gotten out of his clubs since he became head coach. An incredible trend for Xavier is that they are 22-0 SU when leading after halftime. They also are 14-7 ATS when playing against a team with a winning record.

This will mark just the third time this decade that Wisconsin and Xavier have met. Back in the 2000-2001 season Wisconsin hosted the Musketeers winning 61-46 and then the next year in Cincinnati, Xavier returned the favor with a 57-48 victory of their own.

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Re: NCAAB News and Notes Sunday 3/22

USC vs. Michigan State Preview
by Lenny Del Genio

Michigan State held serve rather easily in its first round matchup with Robert Morris while 10 seed USC used a commanding second half performance to turn a mild upset of Boston College Friday night. That sets up this late Sunday afternoon matchup which has Tom Izzo’s Spartans a slight four-point favorite of Tim Floyd’s Trojans.

1st Round Recap

Like so many of the higher seeds we’ve seen in this tournament, Michigan State got caught sleepwalking through much of the first half in its opening round victory. However, tied at 30 late in the first half, the Spartans would go on a 21-0 run that encompassed both halves to easily dispatch of lightly regarded Robert Morris. Encouraging for the East Lansing contingent had to be Raymar Morgan’s 16 points and 11 rebounds. Goran Suton also had a double-double (11 and 17), his sixth of the season.

Michigan State is a strong defensive team as they held RMU without a field goal for 10 minutes during the aforementioned 21-0 run that put the game out of reach. They led by as many as 23 points, but a late surge by the Colonials earned the underdogs no worse than a push, depending on where/when bettors played this game.

USC also was tooth and nail in its first round game, but unlike Michigan State that was to be expected. Like the Spartans, defense was the catalyst. The Trojans held Boston College to just 23.1% shooting after halftime while allowing only 21 points. Eagles leading scorer Tyrese Rice was held to nine points. Southern Cal star Taj Gibson had no such trouble, turning in a perfect 10 for 10 shooting performance from the field, while adding six rebounds, four assists and three blocks. He finished with 24 points as USC ended BC’s four game 1st Round win streak.

After trailing by four at halftime, the Trojans were easily able to cover the two-point number (were favored despite being lower seed), outscoring their opponents 42-21 after the half. It was the sixth consecutive win and cover for USC, going back to before the Pac 10 Tournament.

The Matchup

USC is much more athletic than Robert Morris, so Michigan State can obviously not coast here. Second seeds have been a nightmare for college basketball bettors in the second round, going just 7-5 STRAIGHT UP the last three NCAA Tournaments. Last year, Duke was beaten by a 7th seeded West Virginia, who like USC, came into the field of 65 playing its best ball of the season. Also, Georgetown fell to Cinderella Davidson.

Over the last three seasons, Southern Cal is 26-12 ATS when getting points. They’ve beaten two tournament teams, UCLA and Arizona State, outright as dogs during the current streak.

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Re: NCAAB News and Notes Sunday 3/22

Bettors Should Expect the Unexpected Sunday
Doug Upstone

Typically Sunday is the day where more upsets occur in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. In this round, the lower seeds have managed to win about 43 percent (36-48) straight up and covered the spread a money making 53 percent of the time. This can lead to all kinds of madness and the potential for lower seeds to win outright or at the very least cover oddsmakers spreads exist. Here are the possibilities for upsets today.

(6)Arizona State vs (-3) Syracuse

Do you think N.C. State has more respect for former coach Herb Sendek now? Arizona State is one of five teams that advanced to second round out of the Pac-10 and Sendek has turned around a dormant Sun Devils program that would frequently have less than a hundred students at games. Even more amazing, is the fact ASU made it to this matchup with Syracuse, when you realize Pac-10 player of the year James Harden has nine points on 1 for 8 shooting versus Temple. Point guard Derek Glasser filled in the scoring void with career-high 22 points and lifted Arizona State to 19-11 ATS on the year.

Syracuse is bad matchup for many teams, since they have scoring options all over the floor. Jonny Flynn has been the best point guard in the country the last 10 days and Eric Devendorf and Andy Rautins are trigger-happy assassins who kill opposing teams with there shooting ability. Arinze Onuaku and Paul Harris do a nice job on the inside and the defensive intensity has picked up with Orangemen on 8-1 SU and ATS roll. Syracuse is a two-point pick and it would hardly be an upset if the Sun Devils shine and come out on top.

(11) Dayton vs (3) Kansas

What might have been the quietest upset of the first round was Dayton controlling West Virginia from the opening minutes as 9.5-point underdogs. The Flyers had been written off since losing point guard Rob Lowery and were only 3-4 in last seven contests. However, Dayton is a quality defensive team in holding foes to 39.6 percent shooting and Chris Wright dunked the Mountaineers into the off-season with 24 points. This was Dayton’s first tournament win in 19 years and they are 8-3 ATS against teams with winning records.

Kansas stood up against a game North Dakota State squad and keeps alive the dream of defending national championship. The Jayhawks will want to step up tempo and force Dayton to play at their pace and are 16-4 ATS versus good ball handling teams committing 14 or less turnovers a game this season. Kansas is a 7.5-point favorite and is one of a trio of three-seeds playing today and this group is 10-2 and 8-4 ATS this round since 2006.

(13) Cleveland State vs (12) Arizona

Almost every year is one crazy matchup nobody saw coming and this is the one. Arizona’s Big 3 played up to and beyond expectations, scoring 66 of the Wildcats 84 points. Arizona was among the last teams invited to the dance and played like they should have been invited unquestionably. The ‘Cats are 11-2 ATS playing against teams with 60-80 win percentage this season, but won’t be able to play the underdog card again in Miami.

Cleveland State played like they should have been the fourth seed in whipping Wake Forest 84-69. The Vikings have won 13 of 15 (9-5-1 ATS) and are playing with supreme confidence. Cleveland State is making first tournament appearance in 23 years and this squad is noted for defense. The Vikings are 10-2 ATS when playing with one or less days rest this season and like Arizona did Friday, can play loose with nothing to lose as three-point dogs.

(8) Oklahoma State vs (1) Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh was the least impressive of the number one seeds in the opening round and will have to step up defensive passion against a team that can shoot the orange. Oklahoma State has little size, but is big on heart, with excellent shooting range. Okie State shot 56.6 percent against Tennessee, making seven 3’s and attacked the rim like bunch of cowboys at a $9.99 all-you-can-eat steak joint after working cattle all day. These Cowboys are similar to their coach Travis Ford, who is a fiery sort and won’t back off a challenge. Oklahoma State is 9-2 and 10-1 ATS since Valentine’s Day.

Pittsburgh needed 38 minutes to finally distance themselves from East Tennessee State and looked like they deserve the tag of NCAA tournament underachiever. The sloppy Panthers will have to bring their hearts and get into the game from the start or the Cowboys could shoot Pitt right out of the tournament. Pittsburgh is a noteworthy 10-2 ATS versus teams who make eight or more three-point shots a game and are favored by eight.

(6) Marquette vs (3) Missouri

Marquette lived to tell about Utah State’s comeback and moved to next round with 58-57 squeaker. The Golden Eagles shot ugly 36.2 percent, however converted 19 of 23 attempts from the charity stripe to preserve victory. Jerel McNeal and Wesley Matthews can not go a combined 6 for 26 if Marquette has visions of trip to Glendale, AZ.

Missouri is a four-point favorite in this contest of Midwestern universities and will try to make pressing defense take its toll on thin Marquette squad. The Tigers will wear out teams, even teams who protect the ball like the Golden Eagles; with 14-4 ATS record vs. clubs committing 14 or fewer turnovers a game this year. Marquette can create the upset, if they shoot the ball better and Missouri goes into one of their shootings funks which has happened this season.

(10) USC vs (2) Michigan State

This is the classic 10 vs 2 second round matchup and USC has the momentum and talent to advance. The Trojans buried Boston College, doubling them up 42-21 in the second half. Taj Gibson led the onslaught, with 24 points and 10-for-10 shooting from the field. USC has now won and covered six straight, shooting over 50 percent and playing normal Tim Floyd defense. Don’t expect the Trojans to be worn out either, since two games in three days is the norm in the Pac-10 and they are 24-11 ATS in this set up.

Michigan State is four-point favorite and is 7-1 ATS away from East Lansing versus teams shooting 45 percent or better, with defense holding opponents to 42 percent or less. Don’t sell USC short, since they are 26-12 ATS as an underdog. No. 10 seeds are 9-5 ATS in second round since 2000.

(9) Siena vs (1) Louisville

Louisville went through the motions in the first half against Morehead State before asserting themselves in the final 20 minutes to put them away. A similar pattern of play might prove fatal for the tournament’s top-rated team. Siena’s fast paced style of play was reduced to a crawl by Ohio State. The Saints needed 50 minutes to finally overcome the Buckeyes 74-72, despite making only 33.3 percent of their shots. How they managed to hang in was controlling the glass with overwhelming 17 rebound edge (51-34). has Siena receiving 11.5-points, with total of 141 and they might need it all and more. All five starters played a minimum of 44 minutes in Friday’s contest and facing the Louisville pressure has proven to be physically and mentally fatiguing for opposing teams. Siena is 10-3 ATS as an underdog of 7.0 to 12.5 points, while Louisville is 10-2 ATS after a game shooting 57 percent or higher and allowing 43 percent shooting or less.

(12) Wisconsin vs (4) Xavier

If you prefer grind it out possession after possession basketball, you should be in luck with Xavier taking on Wisconsin. Actually the Musketeers can get up and down the court, averaging 72.5 points game, on 46.5 percent shooting. Xavier has a superb deep game, tossing in 40 percent from beyond the arc and they are 6-0 ATS against Big Ten teams.
Wisconsin can play 94-feet also; they just walk it, as opposed to running back and forth. The Badgers are capable of the upset if they continue to heave them in from long distance. They made nine three-pointers after the intermission to surprise Florida State. This is the Badgers 11th appearance in the second round and they are 15-2 ATS in road games off an upset win as an underdog. Oddsmakers are giving Wisky four points with a total of 122.5.

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