With just one week to go before March Madness, NCAA Men’s Basketball continues to light up the courts. Conference tournaments are in full swing now, and several produced some interesting results yesterday. There is still more action to go as several conferences have yet to find a champion, but the stage is being set for a monumental finals roundup.
Miami Takes Down Pittsburgh
The Miami Hurricanes met the Pittsburgh Panthers in the opening round of the ACC Tournament yesterday and got the job done. They won 79-73, sending the Panthers home and taking the underdog victory to advance in the tournament. It came as Miami had a bench of just seven players, but was able to count on all five of its starters to suit up. They came with everything they had, each scoring in double digits.
Miami just defeated Boston College ahead of the ACC tournament and is ready to make a solid run on March Madness. They’ll get their chance to show off tonight when they take on the Clemson Tigers, once again as underdogs. Clemson is getting a massive -455 to Miami’s +335, but that’s not going to stop the Canes. The Over/Under of 126 (-114) is low for this game.
In another ACC game, the Wake Forest Demon Deacons fell to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish yesterday, 80-77. Notre Dame was favored going into the game, but Wake Forest didn’t have any trouble keeping up. It came down to a buzzer-beater from beyond the paint to keep the game from going into overtime while giving the Fighting Irish the win. They take on the North Carolina Tar Heels today as underdogs, with the Tar Heels getting -6 points on an Over/Under of 149.5 (-105)
Gonzaga Continues Streak
The Gonzaga Bulldogs are unstoppable this season. They have a perfect record that was continued when they met the BYU Cougars yesterday, taking the game by a score of 88-78. That gave Gonzaga 26 straight victories this season and now hopes to go into March Madness as the first undefeated team since 2015.
BYU gave Gonzaga a scare in the first half, scoring 53 points in the first 20 minutes to develop a strong lead. The Cougars led by as much as 14 points before the Bulldogs came back in the second half to dominate the game. Still, Gonzaga trailed for the majority of the game and only found success in the last quarter. With the win, the Bulldogs are done until March Madness and have already secured the Number 1 spot when the tournament begins.
In the Summit League Tournament, the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles did something unexpected – they won. They went into the game against the North Dakota State Bison as slight underdogs, a trend that has followed them for the past several games, and walked away with a 75-72 victory that just barely beat the Over/Under. The Bison trailed by a staggering 25 points late in the game before they tied it up, but couldn’t give it the final push to secure the win.
That win gave Oral Roberts the Summit League championship title, the first title it has earned since the 2007 season. It has now made it to March Madness, but will have to wait to see where it falls when the selection starts.
More Tournament Action Coming
The NC State Wolfpack take on the Syracuse Orange in the ACC Tournament today. The Orange are getting -143 and 2.5 points on an Over/Under of 145.5 (-117) and will likely take the game without a lot of difficulty. In the Big East, the Georgetown Hoyas host the Marquette Golden Eagles as underdogs getting +128 to the -159 for the visitors. The 3-point advantage doesn’t leave a lot of room for error, and the Over/Under sits at 143.5 (-117).
In the Big East, the Butler Bulldogs face the Xavier Musketeers as longshots, getting +230 to the Musketeers’ -295. Xavier is the clear favorite and has a 7-point advantage on an Over/Under of 133.5 for the game. In the SEC Tournament, the Texas A&M Aggies visit the Vanderbilt Commodores as slight underdogs. They’re getting +102, while the Commodores are getting -127 and 1.5 points (-113). The Over/Under of 132.5 (-118) might just make it.