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Thursday’s Sweet 16 Matchups
#4 Arkansas vs. #1 Gonzaga -8.5 | O/U: 155
The Razorbacks don’t match up well with Gonzaga. Arkansas lacks three point shooting and wins game in the paint. That’s the problem. Gonzaga has a handful of elite big men that eat up rebounds and dominate the offensive boards to get them running in a transition offense. Inside the paint and ability to capitalize on second chance points should make this an easy win for the Zags.
Pick: Gonzaga -8.5
#11 Michigan vs. #2 Villanova -5 | O/U: 135
Villanova is clearly the better team in this matchup and should have no problem exposing a Michigan defense that is extremely weak along the perimeter. Villanova’s pick-and-roll offense is ranked in the Top 15 in the entire country.
The size difference in the paint should benefit Michigan, if they can stay out of foul trouble. In the end, Villanova’s defense and Michigan’s lack of defense will be the deciding factor which is why Nova should be heading to the elite eight.
Pick: Villanova -5
#2 Duke vs. #3 Texas Tech -1 | O/U: 137
Texas Tech simply does not allow teams to get into the paint to create scoring opportunities. If Duke wants to advance to the elite eight, they are going to have to rely on outside shooting to put points on the board. Sure, Duke is a Top 30 three point shooting team, but given the uncertainty surrounding getting the ball down-low and scoring in the paint, I’m rolling with the defense on this one and taking Texas Tech.
Pick: Texas Tech -1
#5 Houston vs. #1 Arizona -1.5 | O/U 145.5
A matchup of Fast (Arizona) vs Slow (Houston).
Arizona needs to figure out how to rebound the basketball and get out in transition and this game should be an easy win and stamp their tickets to the elite eight. After TCU grabbed 20 offensive rebounds against Zona, it’s likely we’ll see a bigger (and slower) lineup against Houston. It won’t be enough and I’m taking Arizona -1.5 and the Under 145.5.
Pick: Arizona -15 | Under 145.5
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Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports
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