Monday’s SportsBIT Show: Big NBA Action & First Look At Final Four

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Unique Final Four Field
Quite an unusual quartet for the NCAA Tournament’s national semifinals in Glendale, Ariz., on Saturday. North Carolina is the only top seed to make it to the desert and is in its 20th all-time Final Four, most of any school. Oregon is in in the Final Four for the first time since 1939 – when the Ducks took won the first-ever NCAA Tournament. Then you have Gonzaga and South Carolina both making their Final Four debuts. The seventh-seeded Gamecocks are the shocking team left as they were just third in the mediocre SEC and hadn’t won a NCAA Tournament game in 44 years. Their coach, Frank Martin, is likely to be the media star this week. North Carolina opened at -4.5 against Oregon and Gonzaga -6.5 against USC.

What’s Wrong With Cavs’ Defense?
The game of the night in the NBA is Cleveland visiting San Antonio in a potential NBA Finals preview, although the way the Cavaliers have been playing defense since the All-Star break they don’t look like a team capable of winning the Eastern Conference. Cleveland’s defensive efficiency rating of 113.5 points per 100 possessions since the break is the second-worst in the NBA over the past 10 years, with only this year’s Lakers, who are tanking, worse at 114.8. No NBA champion since 2007 has had an efficiency rating higher than 104.4 post-break. Coach Tyronn Lue claims he has a secret fix but doesn’t want to unveil it before the playoffs. Cleveland has been caught for the East’s top seed by Boston. San Antonio still has a shot to get the West’s top seed but trails Golden State by 2.5 games. This could be a make-or-break week for the Spurs in that regard as it’s a very tough schedule. They host the Warriors on Wednesday, visit the Thunder on Friday and host Utah on Sunday. The Spurs' 98.7 defensive efficiency since Jan. 31 is the best in the NBA. San Antonio is the only team under 101. The “play of the day” is on the ‘over’ in this game.

Who Plays In Salt Lake City?
New Orleans visits Utah on Monday and there was no overnight line because of the uncertain status of Pelicans big man DeMarcus Cousins and Jazz star Gordon Hayward. Teddy’s “everyone plays” line is Utah -6. The Pelicans won in Denver on Sunday without Cousins (right ankle), 115-90. There’s no tougher back-to-back situation in the NBA than traveling to Denver and then Utah because of the altitude in both locations. New Orleans is 3-0 in games Cousins has missed since coming over at the trade deadline from Sacramento. Hayward bruised his left quad in Saturday’s 108-95 loss at the Clippers. The Jazz are scuffling in losing four of five as they battle the Clippers for the No. 4 seed in the West. Utah also hosted New Orleans on March 6 and won 88-83. Hayward had 23 points. Cousins played that one and was held to 15 points.

Poster's Poll
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950 Pts
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825 Pts
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390 Pts
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355 Pts
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350 Pts

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