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College Basketball Betting News and Notes Sunday, March 30

College Basketball Betting News and Notes Sunday, March 30

College Basketball Information

Since 1987, there have been 11 regional finals without a top-3 seed from that region; underdogs went 8-3 vs spread in those games. UConn beat Michigan State 66-62 LY on an Army base in Germany that started the season; Napier had 25 that day, but its lot harder facing an Izzo team in March than November. Huskies will have home crowd edge in regional final; UConn is 14-1 outside AAC, beating shorthanded Iowa State last game. Michigan State won last six games after going 5-7 in last 12 regular season games- they also lost to UConn 70-67 in 2010 Maui Classic.

Over last 11+ years, underdogs are 30-16 vs spread in this round. 8-seed Kentucky is highest-seeded team to be favored in regional final; 7-seeds Florida (-1.5) in '12, Tulsa (-2.5) in 2000 both lost. Logic says its tough for young Kentucky squad to bounce back 41 hours after beating its rival Louisville in stirring comeback (trailed 18-5 early). Michigan is 25-48 on arc last two games; they've won 10 of last 11 games, holding on to beat Tennessee by hoop Friday, after leading by 11 at half. Wildcats lost by 4 to Michigan State, in its only game against a Big Dozen team this year.

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Re: College Basketball Betting News and Notes Sunday, March 30

NCAA East Regional Betting News and Notes
By Brian Covert
Covers.com

(No. 4) Michigan State Spartans vs. (No. 7) Connecticut Huskies (+5.5, 139)

Does Connecticut have what it takes to keep Michigan States' big men from dominating the glass? It may not matter if the Huskies continue to shoot the ball as well as they have. Through the tournament’s first three games they are shooting at a 47 percent clip, a mind-blowing 46 percent from behind the 3-point arc (accounting for 35 percent of their points), and 85 percent from the charity stripe. To put those numbers in perspective, Creighton led the nation in 3-point percentage during the season converting at a 41.5 percent rate while Providence was the best free-throw shooting team in the tourney shooting 78.2 percent from the line.

Can the Spartans stop Shabazz Napier? The Connecticut guard has either scored or assisted on 35 points per game through the tourney’s first three games. For their part Michigan State’s opponent's backcourts have enjoyed some success this tourney with Virginia and Harvard’s starting guards scoring 41 and 39 respectively (although both teams did play with three guard sets). As for Napier and Michigan St., there is some precedent. At the start of last season, Napier scored 25, leading the Huskies to a 66-62 win in Kevin Ollie’s first game as head coach. “We are too fast, we are a transition team and when we get going, no one can keep up with us," said Napier after the game. "We just tried to do what they did, transition. We got some easy rebounds, they came off the boards and we let them go."

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NCAA Midwest Regional Betting News and Notes
By Chase Ruttig
Covers.com

(No. 2) Michigan Wolverines vs (No. 8) Kentucky Wildcats (-2, 140.5)

The Michigan Wolverines will look to make the Final Four for the second-straight season when they play the No. 8 seeded Kentucky Wildcats in Indianapolis. If they want to earn the win, they will likely need to execute better at inbounding the basketball in the final moments as five consecutive Wolverines turnovers in the final moments in their two point win over Tennessee cost Michigan bettors an ATS win and nearly a spot in the Elite Eight as they needed a charge taken by senior Jordan Morgan to escape a potential collapse after leading by 15 points in the second half.

The Wolverines, who are 2-point underdogs as the high seed in the matchup, will be reliant on their three-point shooting once again against Kentucky as they are dialed in from behind the arc. One of the top shooting teams in the nation, Michigan has been even more consistent from downtown in the tournament averaging 48.7 percent three-point shooting including over 50 percent in their past two wins against Texas and Tennessee. If that trend continues, the Wolverines should be tougher to knock off than the oddsmakers are suggesting.

Kentucky shocked the world in making the Elite Eight following a gauntlet of tough draws against undefeated Wichita State before beating Louisville on Friday after the Cardinals won 14 of their last 15 games, handing Rick Pitino his first Sweet 16 loss in his storied head coaching career.

The Wildcats will be the third straight Top 25 rebounding team to face the undersized Wolverines in the tournament and will be hoping that they can make more of an impact like the Longhorns did in the second round when they held a +13 rebounding margin over Michigan. Kentucky isn't far off from the Longhorns season rebounding average with both teams nearly grabbing 41 rebounds per contest. Holding a rebounding edge over the 308th ranked Wolverines hasn't led to a victory yet, but it appears the oddsmakers think that Sunday might be the matchup where Michigan's rebounding woes finally catch up to them.

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East Regional Final Betting Preview: Connecticut vs. Michigan State
By Covers.com

Connecticut Huskies vs. Michigan State Spartans (-5.5, 139.5)

Each one of coach Tom Izzo’s senior classes has made at least one Final Four in his 19 seasons at Michigan State, which will get put to the test Sunday when the Spartans face No. 7 seed Connecticut in the East regional finals in New York. Fourth-seeded Michigan State knocked off top-seeded Virginia in a physical 61-59 victory Friday, breaking their three-year dry spell of getting past the Sweet 16. Michigan State advanced to the Elite Eight for the eighth time since 1999.

While the Spartans got only their third win in 13 tries at Madison Square Garden, the Huskies used the stage to avenge a loss to an Iowa State team that knocked them out of the Big Dance two years ago. "It felt like a home game. We just feel like Madison Square Garden is kind of our third home; Gampel (Pavilion) being the first and XL (Center) being the second,” leading scorer Shabazz Napier told the Hartford Courant. Connecticut doesn’t need any more help based on its recent success in the NCAA tournament, improving to 35-8 in its last 12 appearances after defeating the Cyclones 81-76.

LINE HISTORY: The Spartans opened as 6-point faves but that has been bet down to -5.5. The total opened 139.5.

INJURY REPORT: Connecticut - Pet Lenehan, G (Questionable, Undisclosed)

WHAT THE SHARPS SAY: "UConn has got hot at precisely the right time with Shabazz Napier stirring memories of Kemba Walker. With that being said, beating Iowa State and getting past Michigan State are two much different animals. I do feel the line has been shaded a little heavier than it should in Sparty's direction. I'm not ready to call for the outright upset but lean to the Huskies plus the points." Covers Experts Sean Murphy.

WHY BET CONNECTICUT (29-8 SU, 20-15 ATS, 13-21 O/U):
Many have considered DeAndre Daniels an X-factor all season and he proved up to the task Friday, hitting 10 of his final 13 field-goal attempts en route to a 27-point, 10-rebound performance. "I called him an animal. When he gets in that mode, that's what he is; he's an animal and you've got to keep feeding him,” Napier told the Courant. Although the Huskies surrendered a career-high 34 points to Dustin Hogue, they limited All-Big 12 first-teamers DeAndre Kane and Melvin Ejim to a combined 23 points on 9-of-31 shooting from the field.

WHY BET MICHIGAN STATE (29-8 SU, 20-13-3 ATS, 19-17-3 O/U): The Spartans’ own X-factor, Branden Dawson, continued his dominant play in the NCAA tournament against the Cavaliers with 24 points and 10 rebounds – giving him 50 points and 19 boards over his last two games. “Dawson makes all the difference; he did (Friday). He was a matchup problem for us,” Virginia coach Tony Bennett told reporters. Gary Harris on Friday became the 45th player in school history to score at least 1,000 career points, but only the fourth to do so in his first two seasons.

TRENDS:

* Huskies are 5-1 ATS in their last six NCAA Tournament games.
* Spartans are 0-3-1 ATS in their last four NCAA Tournament games.
* Over is 4-1 in Huskies last five non-conference games.
* Under is 5-2 in Spartans last seven NCAA Tournament games.

CONSENSUS: 51 percent of wagers are on the Huskies.

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Midwest Regional Final Betting Preview: Kentucky vs. Michigan
Covers.com

Kentucky Wildcats vs. Michigan Wolverines (+2, 138.5)

Michigan is one win away from its second straight Final Four, while Kentucky is hoping to return for the third time in the last four seasons when the teams face off Sunday in Indianapolis. Both teams won thrillers on Friday, starting with the second-ranked Wolverines edging Tennessee 73-71 led by Jordan Morgan, who registered team highs of 15 points and seven rebounds and took a key charge in the final seconds. Michigan appeared as if it would face Louisville in a rematch of the 2013 national title game before the Cardinals were stunned by the eighth-seeded Wildcats, who received a go-ahead 3-pointer from Aaron Harrison in the final minute.

"They finally have surrendered and lost themselves in the team. It's just taken a long time," said Kentucky coach John Calipari, whose team was ranked No. 1 in the preseason before dropping out of the top 25 entirely late in the year. Michigan has been a stalwart near the top of the rankings all year, and the team has won 10 of 11 games heading into this matchup. "Guys are happy we're happy moving on and going to the next round and we're just excited to have the opportunity to go to the Final Four," commented Big Ten Player of the Year Nik Stauskas after contributing 14 points in Friday's victory.

LINE HISTORY: Kentucky opened as a 2-point favorite with a total of 138.5.

INJURY REPORT: Kentucky, Willie Cauley-Stein F - Doubtful, Ankle. Michigan, Cole McConnell G, Questionable, Foot. Michigan, F Mitch McGary F Out, Back.

WHAT THE SHARPS SAY: "Perhaps we should have seen Kentucky's upset-minded run coming. This is a young team that was brimming with potential all season and now we're seeing them put it all together. I'm just not sure the Cats can avoid a letdown off the big win over rival Louisville. If you like the Wolverines, I think you're looking at a very reasonable line. Michigan certainly has the look of a Final Four team right now and Friday's test against Tennessee should serve it well on Sunday." Covers Experts' Sean Murphy.

WHAT BOOKS ARE SAYING: "Going to be a big decision on the Kentucky vs Michigan game. Wildcats have covered 6 in a row & and they are getting 70 percent of cash & 73 percent of bets." Mike Perry of Sportsbook.com

WHY BET KENTUCKY (27-10 SU, 18-15-2 ATS, 14-19-2 O/U): The Wildcats, who are aiming to become just the second No. 8 seed to reach the Final Four since 2001, boast a starting lineup that features five freshmen, headlined by Julius Randle, who has opened the NCAA tournament with three straight double-doubles. Harrison is shooting 9-of-15 from 3-point range over his last three games while fellow freshman Dakari Johnson hopes to build off his career high-tying 15 points against the Cardinals. One negative for Kentucky is the status of sophomore center Willie Cauley-Stein, the team's top rim protector, who left early in Friday's game with an ankle injury that prompted Calipari to say, "It's not a good ankle injury. Let me just put it that way."

WHY BET MICHIGAN (28-8 SU, 18-14-2 ATS, 20-13-2 O/U): The Wolverines flashed some impressive shooting numbers against the Volunteers - 55.1 percent from the field, 11-of-20 from the 3-point line and 8-of-10 from the free-throw stripe. Stauskas (17.3 points) has been Michigan's primary star this season and enters this contest shooting 17-of-36 from outside the arc over his last five games. Freshman swingman Zak Irvin continues to provide a nice spark off the bench, going 3-of-3 from 3-point range against Tennessee - the fourth time in five games that he has made multiple 3s off the bench.

TRENDS:

* Wildcats are 6-0 ATS in their last six games overall.
* Wolverines are 7-1-1 ATS in their last nine NCAA Tournament games.
* Under is 9-2 in Wildcats last 11 Sunday games.
* Over is 6-2 in Wolverines last eight overall.

CONSENSUS: 52 percent of wagers are on the Wolverines.

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