Betting on the 2011 NCAA Basketball Tournament – Friday March 25 Games

Written by:
Carrie Stroup
Published on:
Mar/25/2011
Betting on the 2011 NCAA Basketball Tournament

Sportsbook.com has released previews for those betting on the 2011 NCAA Basketball Tournament games Friday March 25.  Four Cinderella teams will be playing this evening so there is plenty of anticipation following Butler’s upset over Wisconsin Thursday night. 

#11 seed MARQUETTE GOLDEN EAGLES (22-14) vs. #2 seed NORTH CAROLINA TAR HEELS (28-7)

Sportsbook.com Line/Total: North Carolina -4.5 & 150.5

North Carolina, which has won 16 of its past 18 games, looks to move into the Elite Eight when it plays Marquette on Friday night in Newark, N.J.

The Tar Heels handled Long Island, 102-87, in their NCAA Tournament opener on March 18. Tyler Zeller scored 32 points (15.2 PPG, 7.1 RPG), John Henson (11.9 PPG, 10.1 RPG, 3.2 BPG) added 28 points and six blocks and Harrison Barnes (15.5 PPG, 5.7 RPG) finished with 24 points and 16 rebounds against the Blackbirds. North Carolina overcame its 18 turnovers with 50.7% shooting from the field, while holding LIU to 36.5% shooting. The Tar Heels had a closer call against Washington, 86-83, in their second game of the tourney last Sunday. Zeller scored 23 points, while Barnes added 22 versus the Huskies. UNC rallied from an 11-point, first-half deficit and a five-point, second-half deficit to pick up the victory. With that win, North Carolina has won a school-record eight games this season by three points or less, and 11 contests by five or fewer. The Heels rank 24th in the nation in scoring (76.7 PPG), first in rebounding (42.5 RPG) and 30th in assists (15.3 APG).

Marquette reached the Sweet 16 by picking up a 66-55 victory over Xavier in its first NCAA Tournament game and then holding off Syracuse, 66-62, in Round 3 last Sunday. Darius Johnson-Odom (16.0 PPG, 37.0% three-pointers) scored 19 points and Jimmy Butler (15.8 PPG, 6.1 RPG) added 15, as Marquette shot 53.3% from the field against the Musketeers. Two days later, the Golden Eagles stunned the Orange to reach their first Sweet 16 since 2003. Johnson-Odom hit a late three-pointer and finished with 17 points, while Jae Crowder (11.8 PPG, 6.8 RPG) had 16. Marquette didn't shoot as well in this game (41.2%) as it did against Xavier, and it also struggled defensively, allowing Syracuse to hit 55.3% of its field goals. The Eagles won by forcing 18 Syracuse turnovers and outrebounding the Orange 30-24. Like Carolina, the Golden Eagles are familiar with close calls this season, as 11 of their 14 losses were by less than 10 points. Marquette ranks 32nd in the nation in scoring (76.1 PPG), 19th in assists (15.8 APG) and 33rd in field-goal percentage (46.8%).

The Tar Heels own a 23-7 all-time record in NCAA Tournament regional semifinal games, including nine straight wins. The Tar Heels are 4-0 in the Sweet 16 under head coach Roy Williams and their last regional semifinal loss was in 1992 against Ohio State. Carolina leads the all-time series with Marquette, 3-1, and has won straight versus the Golden Eagles. But the two teams haven't met since 2001 in Chapel Hill.

Marquette has been a great play this season at 18-12 ATS (60%) overall, 8-3 ATS (73%) as an underdog and 5-2 ATS (71%) in neutral-site games. UNC is 0-4-1 ATS in its past five contests and 3-7-1 ATS in the past 11 games. However, this spread should be small enough for the Tar Heels to cover. They have superior athletes, especially on the interior, and have much more depth to keep the tempo fast-paced.

 

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#12 seed RICHMOND SPIDERS (29-7) vs. #1 seed KANSAS JAYHAWKS (34-2)

Sportsbook.com Line/Total: Kansas -10.5 & 135.5

Kansas looks to extend its winning streak to 11 games when it plays Richmond on Friday night in a Sweet 16 matchup in San Antonio.

The Jayhawks reached the regional semifinals by defeating 16th-seed Boston University, 72-53, and ninth-seeded Illinois, 73-59, last weekend. Kansas averages 81.8 PPG, ranking fifth in the nation, and surrenders only 64.7 PPG for a +17.1 scoring margin. It also leads the nation in field-goal percentage (51.4%) and assists (17.9 APG). The Jayhawks have held 13 opponents to 60 points or less this season, including both NCAA Tournament opponents. Marcus Morris (17.3 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 58% FG) had 17 points and 12 rebounds against the Fighting Illini, and 16 points and nine boards versus the Terriers. Twin brother Markieff Morris (13.9 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 61% FG) had 15 points and eight rebounds against BU, and 24 points and 12 boards versus Illinois.

Richmond has won nine straight and 13 of its past 14 games heading into Friday's contest. The Spiders average 70.0 PPG and allow 60.8 PPG for a +9.2 scoring margin. They defeated Vanderbilt, 69-66, and Morehead State, 65-48, in the opening weekend to reach their first Sweet 16 since 1988.  Justin Harper (17.8 PPG, 6.9 RPG, 45% three-pointers, 54% FG) had 19 points versus the Eagles, while Kevin Anderson (16.7 PPG, 42% three-pointers), who had a team-best 25 points against Vandy, finished with 14 points on 4-of-11 shooting. Like Kansas, Richmond has been a stingy defensive unit late in the season. It has held seven of the past eight opponents, and 10 of the past 14, to 60 points or less. The Spiders are also limiting their opponents to 40% shooting, including 30% from long range.

Kansas and Richmond are meeting for the second time. The last time the two teams played was in 2004, when the Spiders defeated the Jayhawks, 69-68, in Allen Fieldhouse. Kansas owns an 18-8 record in Sweet 16 games, but Richmond is 17-4 (15-6 ATS) away from home this season, including 7-1 (SU and ATS) on neutral courts. Kansas is 18-1 in non-home games, including a perfect 9-0 at a neutral site.

#4 seed KENTUCKY WILDCATS (27-8) vs. #1 seed OHIO STATE BUCKEYES (34-2)

Sportsbook.com Line/Total: Ohio State -6 & 140

Ohio State looks to continue its NCAA Tournament success against Kentucky on Friday night in Newark, N.J. The Buckeyes own a 5-0 record against the Wildcats in NCAA Tournament games.

OSU reached the Sweet 16 by knocking off Texas-San Antonio, 75-46, and George Mason, 98-66, in the second and third rounds last weekend in Cleveland.  In five postseason games (three in the Big Ten Tournament and two in the NCAA Tournament), Ohio State has won by 17.0 PPG, is shooting 49% from the field, and outrebounding its opponents by 8.2 RPG. Jared Sullinger (17.2 PPG, 10.0 RPG) is averaging 15.6 PPG and 11.8 RPG in five postseason games. He had 11 points and nine boards versus the Roadrunners and 18 points and eight rebounds against the Patriots. William Buford (14.4 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 3.0 APG) is averaging 15.4 PPG and 4.6 RPG in the postseason, while Jon Diebler (12.6 PPG, 50% three-pointers) is scoring 14.2 PPG and hitting 44% of his three-pointers (15-of-34). The Buckeyes rank 19th in the nation in scoring (77.1 PPG), third in field-goal percentage (49.4%) and 23rd in assists (15.6 APG).

Kentucky is in its 22nd Sweet 16, which ranks second all-time to North Carolina. The Wildcats defeated Princeton in their first NCAA Tournament game, 59-57, and West Virginia in Round Three a bit more comfortably, 71-63. UK shot 48% from the field against the Mountaineers and were led by Brandon Knight's (17.5 PPG, 4.2 APG, 3.9 RPG, 38.4% three-pointers) 30 points. Terrence Jones (16.1 PPG, 8.7 RPG) added his 12th double-double of the season with 12 points and 10 boards. Kentucky has allowed only one opponent -- Connecticut in the 2010 Maui Invitational -- to shoot better than 50% FG all season. The Wildcats averaged an SEC-low 10.6 turnovers per game, ranking 12th in the nation, and finished with single-digit turnovers in 12 games this season. Kentucky is 26th in the nation in scoring (76.4 PPG), 31st in rebounding (38.1 RPG) and 62nd in field-goal percentage (46.0%).

Ohio State is 9-10 all-time versus Kentucky. The Wildcats have won two in a row in the series, but the teams haven’t met since 1997. UK owns a 16-5 record in the Sweet 16 (since 1975) and a 31-11 record in regional semifinals. The Wildcats are also 94-56 against the Big Ten overall and 14-11 against the league in the NCAA Tournament.

Both teams are riding long win streaks, as Ohio State has nine straight victories and Kentucky has won eight in a row.

 

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Sportsbook.comi s offering the following incentives to its customers during the remaining days of March Madness.  Use bonus code: GAMBLING911 to take advantage and open an online betting account here.  10 percent added to your initial deposit (amount you open account with), $500 welcome free roll when you open an online poker account, $10 refund when you open your account from a mobile device.  Sportsbook.com is the largest online bookmaker catering to the North American marketplace.  They have been in business since 1997. 

 

#11 seed VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH RAMS (26-11) vs. #10 seed FLORIDA STATE SEMINOLES (23-10)

Sportsbook.comiLine/Total: Florida State -4 & 131

Two double-digit seeds meet Friday in an improbable Southwest Regional semifinal game, when Virginia Commonwealth takes on Florida State. Both teams are coming off impressive blowout wins over Midwest powers Purdue and Notre Dame, respectively, in Chicago on Sunday to reach this point.

Despite being one of the “First Four” selections for this tournament (a pick that was bashed by pundits throughout the land), VCU has played as well as anybody so far. The Rams beat USC by 13, Georgetown by 18 and Purdue by 18. In the most recent victory, VCU dished out 26 assists and only committed four turnovers. These are remarkable numbers considering the Boilermakers were forced to press on defense after trailing by as many as 20 points. The Rams also made 66 percent of their two-point baskets and had six players score in double figures. Bradford Burgess led VCU with a team-high 23 points (8-12 FG) and eight rebounds. Joey Rodriguez had 12 points, 11 assists and zero turnovers.

Florida State has reached this point because of its defense, which is leading the nation in field-goal percentage (36.0%) for the second straight season. So far in the NCAA Tournament, the Seminoles held Texas A&M to 31.4% FG and Notre Dame to 31.7% shooting. The bad news for VCU is that the ‘Noles defense could be even better, as ACC Defensive Player of the Year Chris Singleton is reportedly closer to 100 percent after breaking his right foot in February. Meanwhile, FSU’s offense has made at least 47% of its shots in the past five games. Bernard James had team highs with 14 points and 10 rebounds versus the Irish in just 21 minutes of action. FSU is also 34th in the nation in rebounding margin (+4.5 RPG) while VCU is 288th at -3.3 RPG.

- Carrie Stroup, Gambling911.com Senior Reporter

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