The Wichita State Shockers have made the Elite Eight for the first time since 1981. Can they upend the Ohio State Buckeyes this Saturday to go all the way to the Final Four?
College Basketball Betting – Wichita State vs. Ohio State
Wichita State can win because…
It was not
pushed hard in its regional semifinal win over La Salle on Thursday night, and
should therefore be physically and mentally fresh for this contest against Ohio
State. Realize this point about the Shockers: They won their round of 64 game
by 18 points against Pittsburgh and did not have to overextend their starters
heading into a round of 32 contest against Gonzaga, which they won. The NCAA
tournament is a six-game tournament, but part of the secret sauce for succeeding
in the event is the ability to handle each weekend as a separate test. Teams
have to play and win two games in three days at three different sites in order
to win the tournament. Being able to win the first game with minimal stress and
strain definitely helps a team to play the second game on more even terms.
Wichita State would very likely lose a best-of-seven series against Ohio State,
but in this one-shot situation, the Shockers are entirely capable of winning.
Ohio State has played its last two games on the edge, being tied with an
opponent heading into the final 10 seconds of regulation before winning on a
three-point shot. If Ohio State doesn't hit threes in this game, Wichita State
will have a very strong chance of winning and covering the NCAA basketball odds.
Ohio State can win because…
It is a
team that is coming through in pressure-packed moments and cash in on the NCAA
basketball picks. First, it was the Big Ten Tournament semifinal against
Michigan State. Then it was the Big Ten Tournament championship game against
Wisconsin, another contest that went down to the wire. Ohio State passed those
two tests, and the Buckeyes have managed to build on that momentum in the NCAA
tournament. Last-second wins over Iowa State this past Sunday and Arizona on
Thursday have only reinforced this team's confidence, an unshakable belief that
it can rise above tense situations to deliver its best basketball when it needs
to produce. Deshaun Thomas was terrific in the first 25 minutes of Thursday's
win over Arizona. He carried the Buckeyes when no one else was stepping up. Had
Thomas not flourished in the first half, Arizona would have led by 12 or 14
points at halftime instead of only four (38-34). That's how a superstar player
is supposed to perform under pressure. Then, in the second half, LaQuinton Ross
took over, hitting a stream of layups and throwing in an occasional three. Ross
gave Ohio State the main secondary scorer the team has needed all season long,
ensuring that Thomas doesn't have to be the only source of production at the
offensive end of the floor.
As long as
Ohio State gets a strong game from at least two separate scorers on Saturday,
Wichita State's defense will not be able to take too many chances, and that
will hurt the Shockers in the long run. They have no one who can defend Thomas,
so as long as Ross or anyone else is hitting shots, Thomas can't be
double-teamed very often.
Outlook & College Basketball Betting Prediction:
figures to be an Ohio State romp. Wichita State is here because it drew Gonzaga
in the round of 32. Had the Shockers faced a tougher No. 1 seed, they probably
wouldn't be in this game. Ohio State has beaten tougher foes to arrive in the
Elite Eight. The Buckeyes have too much of everything for the Shockers.
Basketball Pick: Ohio State -5.5 at TheGreek