NCAA Basketball Picks: Stanford to 'Cover' vs. Arizona State

Joe Catalano

Thursday, March 13, 2014 3:37 PM GMT

We look towards the middle of the Pac-12 Conference and find a very tight matchup in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 Tournament as the Stanford Cardinal (20-11, 10-8) face the Arizona State Wildcats (21-10, 10-8).

Take a look at NCAA Basketball Tournament Betting Odds

Tip-off is scheduled for 11:30 p.m. ET at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. This game can be seen on Fox 1.

This game is a toss-up as odds makers list the Cardinal as a mere 1.5 point betting favorite and the total for the game is listed at 141.

Both of these teams have winning conference records and appear to be in the NCAA Tournament, but a matchup like this could really hurt the loser where seeding at the Big Dance is concerned.

Saving Their Season

Stanford comes into the 2nd round on a high note, after shrugging off a brief losing streak. The Cardinal have won 2 consecutive games and really took care of business over an overmatched Washington State squad in the opening round of the tournament. Having already played a game in the tournament should give Stanford a slight edge tonight.

Chasson Randle

Stanford got out to an early lead against the Cougars and never looked back. Leading scorer, Chasson Randle, led the Cardinal with 22 points and Randle has basically been the model of consistency all season long.

Randle is coming off of 3 consecutive 20 plus games in which he shot over 50 % from the field and the Arizona State Sun Devils will really have to contain Randle to an extent or they could be seeing an early exit from this tourney on a sour note.

Stanford is a somewhat selfish team in which there are a handful of players that think shot first, but they’re a deep team with guys that can put the ball in the hoop.

Look for the combination of Dwight Powell (7 rpg.), Anthony Brown (5 rpg.), and Josh Huestis (8.5 rpg.) to control the boards. Not only can these players clean up the glass, but they all are more than competent offensively. They’re all coming off of double figure outputs in scoring in their 1st round matchup against Washington State and Brown is the sharpshooter of the bunch, shooting 45.3 % from 3-point territory. Look for Stanford to come into this game with a great deal of confidence.

Is It Too Late For State?

Maybe I’m being a bit sarcastic as Arizona State is only an underdog by a bucket, but they come into this game with 2 consecutive losses and momentum is definitely not on their side.

Stanford must keep an eye on 5 foot 10 guard, Jahii Carson defensively. Carson is a multi-faceted ball player that can even snatch rebounds for his size. In his last 4 games, Carson has had efforts of 24, 26, and 28 points respectively. This is a high energy player that’s definitely a game changer.

Another player to watch is the Sun Devils’ 2nd leading scorer, Jermaine Marshall. Marshall had a really rough game against Oregon State as the Sun Devils lost in overtime and fouled out after he continued to hoist up the 3-ball and was unsuccessful.

Marshall was 1 for 12 shooting overall for the game and is 5 for his last 26. The slate is wiped clean and Arizona State will need a disciplined game out of their senior.

Head To Head Trends

Cardinal are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 meetings

Favorite is 5-2 ATS in their last 7 meetings

Outcome

The public is basically split on this game, but I like the way that Stanford is coming into this game. Although their 1st round opponent wasn’t a world-beater, this is a team that has momentum and that’s what a team needs when playing in the conference tournaments.

Pick- Stanford -1.5 at Bet 365

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