NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 GamesNCAA basketball bettors will have a few days to study up for the Sweet 16 games, which will begin on Thursday. While Florida Gulf Coast, and to a lesser extent LaSalle, have been all the attention, a number of the higher seeded teams have done exactly what was expected on them.
In the Midwest, the top three seeds are still alive, along with Oregon, which drew two opponents seeded higher than they should have been, while in the East all top four seeds are still alive. The West has only No. 2 Ohio State alive in its final four, while the No. 1, No. 3 and No. 4 teams are still in the hunt in the South, meaning 11 of the top four seeds in each bracket reached the Sweet 16.
Once again, we'll use the College Basketball AOPR Betting System with two different sets of ratings; USA Today's Jeff Sagarin and then StatFox, giving two predictions for each game, although most of the time the two are pretty close to each other. Due to the nature of the over/under predictions with the system, they will be identical the majority of the time.
Thursday's Sweet 16 GamesIndiana 5.5 over Syracuse 135.5
The StatFox numbers have the Hoosiers winning 70-66, while Sagarin's numbers give a 71-65 victory to Indiana. Both numbers are extremely close to the lines.
Miami 5.5 over Marquette 127 The StatFox numbers have the Hurricanes winning 65-62, while the Sagarin numbers have it 65-61 in favor of the Hurricanes, giving the slightest of leans to Marquette.
Ohio State 3.5 over Arizona 134
The StatFox numbers are calling for a 69-62 Ohio State win, while Sagarin is calling for a closer game, with the Buckeyes coming out on top 67-63.
Wichita State 4 over LaSalle 135
Both sets of numbers have Wichita State winning 68-66, thus giving the Explorers another very slight lean.
Friday's Sweet 16 GamesLouisville 10 over Oregon 128
The StatFox numbers have Louisville winning 73-58, while the Sagarin numbers are calling for the favorite to come away with a 72-59 victory, giving slight leans to the Cardinals and the over.
Duke 2 over Michigan State 133.5
Both sets of numbers are calling for Michigan State to come away with the victory in this one. The StatFox numbers are calling for a 66-64 Spartan win, while the Sagarin numbers are calling for a 67-63 contest. The Spartans get a slight lean in this spot in what should be an entertaining game.
Kansas 2 over Michigan 136
The two sets of numbers are split on this one, as StatFox is calling for a 70-68 victory for Kansas, while the Sagarin numbers are predicting a 70-68 victory for the Wolverines.
Florida 13 over Florida Gulf Coast 133.5
Once again the Eagles are getting no respect due to their strength of schedule, as the StatFox numbers are calling for an 81-52 Florida victory, while Sagarin's numbers yield a 79-53 prediction in favor of the Gators. The system has went against Florida Gulf Coast in its first two games and on the surface it does look tough to go against them in this spot.
Yes, like almost everybody else I would love to see the Eagles win another game or two, but it's important to remember this is the same team that lost to Lipscomb twice, lost to Stetson and were beaten by 21 against Duke and lost to VCU by 23, although the last two games were played early in the season. While my heart says Eagles, my head says to take the Gators or pass.