March Madness daily update: Oklahoma State’s difficult draw begins with Liberty
From now through the end of March Madness, we will be providing a daily update with everything you need to know about the NCAA Tournament. From line movements to betting trends, statistics, quotes, and more, we will have you covered when it comes to all of happenings in Indiana. In addition to helping you fill out your bracket before the festivities begin, we also want to help you make the best possible bets each day during the tournament.
With the first-four games just two days away and three days from the actual field of 64 madness, let’s take our first daily in-depth look at the Big Dance.
No ATS line for any first-round game has moved more than 1.5 points so far. Two contests on Friday have moved that much. The second game of the tournament (12:45 pm tipoff) between the Arkansas Razorbacks and Colgate Raiders opened at Arkansas -10 and has since come down to -8.5 An evening tip featuring the Oklahoma State Cowboys and Liberty Flames started at Oklahoma State -9 but has shifted to -7.5.
Liberty is one of our picks to be a sleeper team in the tournament.
The biggest move has come in a first-four showdown between the Wichita State Shockers and Drake Bulldogs. Two of the last four teams to receive at-large berths, Wichita State and Drake will battle on Thursday for the right to be the No. 11 seed in the West Region (winner faces USC). The Shockers opened as -2 favorites over the Bulldogs, but that game is now a pick ‘em.
It’s still early, but at the moment bettors’ favorite play for Friday’s slate is the Texas Tech Red Raiders -5 over the Utah State Aggies. A total of 83 percent of the handle and 89 percent of the bets are coming in on Texas Tech ATS. The money line is a popular play, as well, with 89 percent of the handle and 86 percent of the wagers backing the Red Raiders to win outright at -220.
Another popular first-round play is on the over in Friday’s encounter between the Villanova Wildcats and the Winthrop Eagles. With the total set at 140, 92 percent of the money and 74 percent of the bets are going with the over.
Stat of the Day
Zero – The number of full days Virginia will have in Indiana before playing its first game.
The Cavaliers are still in quarantine after withdrawing from the ACC Tournament prior to last Friday’s semifinal against eventual champion Georgia Tech. They are scheduled to travel to Indiana on Friday prior to their Sunday evening contest against Ohio (a No. 4 vs. No. 13 showdown in the West Region).
113.7 – The number of points per game being averaged by Ohio this season.
Assuming Virginia is able to take the floor, this will be a fun matchup between the Wahoos’ defense and Ohio’s offense. Led by Jason Preston, the Bobcats are 29th in the nation in points per 100 possessions. During the MAC Tournament, four different players averaged double-figures in scoring (topped by Preston at 22.7 ppg). UVA, meanwhile, is allowing 60.5 ppg in 2020-21.
— Virginia Men’s Basketball (@UVAMensHoops) March 15, 2021
Quote of the Day
“He’s the epitome of a college athlete. He’s a poster child for the term student-athlete: great student, great ambassador for the program, our school, and college athletics in general. It’s all been because of the work, the time he’s put in, and his growth physically and mentally. He’s just an unbelievable guy.”
– Gonzaga Bulldogs head coach Mark Few on senior forward Corey Kispert.
Kispert was named an AP First Team All-American on Tuesday, joined by Baylor’s Jared Butler, Iowa’s Luka Garza, Illinois’ Ayo Dosunmu, and Oklahoma State freshman Cade Cunningham. The Zags are +205 favorites to win the National Championship and they are overwhelming -230 favorites to reach the Final Four out of the West Region.
Can anyone stop Gonzaga in the NCAA Tournament?
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