NCAA Tournament Picks: Capper Favors Low-Scoring In Pittsburgh vs. Wisconsin Clash

Ross Benjamin

Wednesday, March 16, 2016 10:56 PM UTC

Wednesday, Mar. 16, 2016 10:56 PM UTC

Our NCAA Basketball handicapping professional previews Friday’s NCAA Tournament contest between Pittsburgh and Wisconsin. Go inside to find his NCAA Basketball pick.

#10 Pittsburgh (21-11) vs. #7 Wisconsin (20-12) 6:50 PM ET
After missing the 2015 NCAA Tournament for just the second time in thirteen years, Pittsburgh is back in “The Big Dance”. They’ll be playing in a first round matchup on Friday against a Wisconsin Badgers basketball program which has reached “The Final Four” during each of the past two years. This has the look of a closely contested and down to the wire type of game. The current (3/16) NCAA Tournament odds reflect exactly that with 5Dimes displaying Wisconsin as a 2.0 point favorite, and the posted total is 131.0. These teams haven’t met since December of 2006. The winner of this contest will take on either #15 seed Weber State or #2 Xavier on Sunday.


Panthers Lacking Momentum
Pittsburgh opened the 2015-2016 college basketball campaign by going 14-1 in its first fifteen games, and that included 3-0 in ACC action. Since that time, they’ve gone an uninspiring 7-10. The Panthers have gone 8-1 under the total in its previous nine games, and 11-4 under during their last fifteen contests. As a matter of fact, Pittsburgh has gone under the total in all eight of their games when installed as an underdog or favorite of 3.0 or less. Those contests averaged just a combined 128.6 points scored per outing. Pittsburgh has been an absolute fade in March over the past two seasons, going an abysmal 0-9 ATS during those games.


Up and Down Season for the Badgers
Wisconsin players and fans were stunned by the sudden resignation of veteran head coach Bo Ryan in December. Assistant Greg Gard was assigned the role of interim head coach at that time. Things didn’t get off to a rosy start for Gard and the Badgers. They went 2-4 in the first six games with Gard in charge, and that included 1-4 in Big Ten action. Then their fortunes turned dramatically, and Wisconsin won eleven of its next twelve games which made them a lock for another NCAA Tournament appearance. Unfortunately things went south in their previous two games. They were hammered 88-71 in their regular season finale at Purdue and then sustained a surprising 70-58 defeat to Nebraska during the Big Ten Conference Tournament Quarterfinals. On a positive note, Friday will be their first game in eight days, and they’ll certainly be a well rested team. Wisconsin has gone 11-3 under the total in away and neutral site games this season.


Final Take and Pick
I believe both teams will be very tentative for the first ten minutes or so of this contest. I like this game to be a low scoring affair, and one of my NCAA Tournament picks will reflect that prediction.

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NCAA Basketball Picks: Under 131
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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