After a grueling two-week gauntlet, eight teams have emerged as college basketball’s true elite, but only four will be bestowed the honor of cutting down the nets before packing their bags for Atlanta.
Four of the eight squads remaining in the NCAA Tournament will take the floor today and two will advance. Who will keep dancing and who will be sent home? Today we’re taking a look at match-up before the elite eights teams take the court and are, as always, providing our point-spread picks. Check ‘em out!
(4) Syracuse Orange -5 vs. (3) Marquette Golden Eagles +5
Against most bettors’ predictions, the East regional final has turned into a Big East rivalry game, as the Syracuse Orange and the Marquette Golden Eagles have advanced to meet each other in the Elite Eight.
Of course, Marquette got the better of the Orange in their only other meeting this season, winning 74-71 back on Feb. 25. However, with the Orange playing their best basketball of the season – coming off a win against many’s favorite to win the whole thing, Indiana – they will have a good chance to avenge that defeat.
After squeaking by in its first two games, Marquette proved it has a powerful knockout punch against two-seed Miami, as it dominated the game from start to finish.
Considering the Eagles are used to playing in close games and considering they’ve already defeated Syracuse this year, there’s no way we can go against them here. Even if Marquette doesn’t win, take it cover +5 today against Syracuse.
(9) Wichita State Shockers +5 at (2) Ohio State Buckeyes -5
The West region of the bracket has been by far the wildest, so it’s a shame that we will see the last game out of the West with the regional final today, but it should be another barn-burner, especially with Wichita State involved.
Another the Shockers might actually know their way around a barn better than the Buckeyes, it’s been Ohio State who has played in more close games during the tournament, as OSU has escaped two defeats in the closing seconds, relying on clutch three-point makes just ticks away from the horn sounding.
The bad news is Ohio State could be in for another close call, but the good news is it is plenty experienced in such situations. It’s been fun to watch Wichita State wade its way through a tough and zany West region, but I’m afraid the buck stops here, not the Buckeye. Take Ohio State to take this one, covering -5.