A bit surprising
Connecticut has made a surprising run in the Big Dance under second-year head coach Kevin Ollie, as the program gets ready to make its fifth overall appearance in the Final Four—aiming for its fourth national title.
The Huskies have advanced to this stage by collecting wins over Saint Joseph’s, Villanova, Iowa State and Michigan State, with the OVER going 3-1 in that period of time.
Over the last two-plus seasons, the squad is 17-6 SU and 11-11-1 ATS on a neutral floor.
Florida is riding a program-record 30-game winning streak, which includes a 62-52 victory over the Dayton Flyers as 10.5-point neutral-site favorites last Saturday, while going UNDER the betting total of 134.
The Gators rank third nationally in surrendering just 57.5 points per game—holding opponents to 61 or fewer points on 27 occasions.
College basketball handicappers will find that the team is 35-11 SU in NCAA Tournament play under longtime head coach Billy Donovan.
Senior point guard Shabazz Napier is the most important player to handicap in this affair, considering he leads the Huskies in averaging 18.1 points, 5.9 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 1.7 steals.
Napier has some help on the offensive end, with forward DeAndre Daniels (13.0) and guard Ryan Boatright (12.0) also averaging double figures during the 2013-14 campaign.
The Gators became the third team to win all four games en route to the Final Four by double digits while holding all opponents under 70 points—joining Michigan State in 2000 and Duke in 1999.
Florida’s four seniors have played a combined 543 career games, including 265 games started. The group is led by point guard Scottie Wilbekin, who is averaging 13.4 points and 3.7 assists per contest.
I’m going to recommend that readers back the Gators as one of their NCAA Basketball Final Four picks, as they’ve covered the number in 20 of their last 29 games when featured in this event.
Pick: Florida Gators -6