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Number 8 and Number 9 Seed NCAA Tournament Matchups

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Mar/18/2009
UCLA

The most upsets in the 2009 NCAA Basketball Tournament are expected to occur between number 8 and number 9-seeded teams.  Those matchups begin Thursday with Butler (9) vs. LSU (8) in the South Region and followed by Texas A&M (9) vs. BYU (8) in the West.

The online gambling website BetUS.com makes this point about Butler.

"If you ask someone about Butler they'll probably remember their Sweet 16 run from two years ago. What they likely won't remember is their second-round exit in last year's tournament. The Bulldogs were a 7 seed last year and got past South Alabama in the first round before getting knocked off by No. 2 Tennessee.

"To return to the Big Dance this year the Bulldogs had to rely on an at-large bid after failing to win the Horizon League Tournament. The Bulldogs were the top seed in the tourney, but stumbled in the final in a 57-54 loss to Cleveland State. Shelvin Mack led the Bulldogs with 18 points and nine rebounds, while leading scorer Gordon Hayward was limited to seven points in the upset loss."

Texas A&M and BYU is looking to be a most interesting matchup.

"The first-round match between No. 9 Texas A&M and No. 8 BYU is an interesting one because they also met up in the first round of the tournament last year as the exact same seeds. The Aggies won that matchup 67-62 as a 1-point favorite. Josh Carter delivered for the Aggies with a game-high 26 points, while Jonathan Tavernari scored 15 points to lead the Cougars. That loss was the Cougars' sixth straight in the opening round of the tournament.

"The Aggies head to their second date with the Cougars after a disappointing loss in the Big 12 Tournament. Texas A&M failed to get past the first round after an 88-83 upset loss to Texas Tech as a 6.5-point favorite on the college basketball odds. Donald Sloan led the Aggies with 22 points, but it wasn't enough to keep up with Mike Singletary's game-high 43 for Texas Tech. The loss snapped the Aggies' six-game winning streak and likely cost them a shot at a higher seed.

"The Cougars also suffered a letdown in their conference tournament after sharing first place in the Mountain West during the regular season. BYU cruised past Air Force 80-69 in the tourney opener, but couldn't get it done versus San Diego State in the semis. The Cougars lost 64-62 as a 3-point favorite. Jimmer Fredette led BYU with 17 points, while Lee Cummard was the only other Cougars player to score in double figures with 11 points."

VCU vs. UCLA is one of those matches that has "upset" written all over it.  Gambling911.com is just starting to get trend information in.  The Bruins are 1-5-1 ATS in their last 7 games following an ATS loss and 0-4 ATS in their last 4 NCAA Tournament games as a favorite of -7 to -12 ½.  BetUS.com had UCLA as a -7 favorite.  Some books had UCLA as high as a -9 favorite. 

Some believe that number 10 Minnesota will beat number 7 Texas.  But looking at the past trends, that's a little difficult to believe.  The Gophers are 2-12 ATS in their last 14 versus the Big 12.  They are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games vs. a team with a winning percentage above .600.  They are 8-20 ATS in their last 28 games as an underdog.  All of this pretty much offsets the fact that Texas is 1-7 ATS in their last 8 NCAA Tournament games as a favorite of -0.5 to -6 1/2. 

Christopher Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher

 

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