The ACC tournament title is on the line as sixth-ranked Virginia takes on number seven ranked Duke in a rematch that saw the Blue Devils prevail earlier this season 69-65 but fail to cover the 5 ½ point impost in NCAA college basketball odds. This time around the game is being held on a neutral court and not Cameron Stadium as was their first meeting. The Blue Devils are fresh off a 75-67 victory (but failed cover) over the NC State Wolfpack while the Cavaliers survived a scare from Pittsburgh where they prevailed 51-48 but, depending on where you shopped, the game was either a push or a narrow blown cover as offshore bookmakers were dealing Virginia as anywhere between three and four point favorites.
Okay, so where do we go from here? Both teams are fairly even and both just played yesterday so there is no advantage for either side in terms of rest. I like the Cavaliers in this one because they play better on the road than the Blue Devils and Duke's three-point threat, Rasheed Sulaimon, has gone ice cold from beyond the arc. The Cavs will have to do it on defense because if this becomes a track meet, I'm afraid we will be on the wrong side of this one. I believe the Cavaliers have enough to contain Duke and will avenge their earlier loss to their conference foe this afternoon.
Play Virginia +1 at WilliamHill.com
The Gators were lucky to escape with a victory yesterday as they rallied past the Volunteers and rewarded their backers as well with a 56-49 win and a narrow cover as 6-point favorites in college basketball odds. Meanwhile the Wildcats cruised past the Georgia Bulldogs in a 70-58 victory and got the cover as 8-point chalk.
This looks like a coronation more than a competition for the Gators who are poised to enter the NCAA Tournament as the top overall seed in the nation. However, the Wildcats look to have gotten their mojo back after a four-game span where they failed to cover in four straight and won only one of those games straight up. The skid ended with a 84-65 loss to these same Florida Gators on March 8th but since the ACC tournament began they have looked large and in charge. Let the squares review recent history and lay it in on the Gators. We know better.
Play the Wildcats +7 in your NCAA basketball picks.
It's amazing to think that these two ancient rivals have never met in the Big Ten tournament finals before. The Spartans have dropped both games in the season series to the Wolverines but now get an opportunity to win the one that matters most. The Spartans lost outright as 5 ½ point favorites on their home court to the Wolverines and then traveled to Michigan only to lose 79-70 as one-point underdogs.
I'm not sure the Spartans will be able to do much more than they have demonstrated earlier this season. It looks to me like Big Blue is rolling along quite nicely as they have won their last seven consecutive games and look to make it number eight as they close out the season and get a VIP ticket to the Big Dance.
Play Michigan +3 ½ at WilliamHill.com.