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NCAA Basketball Countdown To March Madness Continues

The NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament scene put up a lot of big shots yesterday as teams continue to fight for a spot in the upcoming March Madness.  All across the conferences, there was plenty of action and upsets, including more than a few blowouts.  With less than a week to go before March Madness selection begins, now’s not the time to be giving less than 100%.

Syracuse Trap The Wolfpack

The Syracuse Orange didn’t have too much difficulty taking out the NC State Wolfpack in the ACC Tournament yesterday.  They came away with an 89-68 win in a game that saw the Wolfpack playing well below their level.  The Orange’s 89 points was the most scored against any ACC team all season, and they will now face the #1 Virginia Cavaliers as +185 underdogs (Virginia is getting -240).  The spread is -5.5 and the Over/Under sits at 132.5 (-114).  If Syracuse pulls off another game today like it did yesterday, Virginia is in for some trouble.

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The North Carolina Tar Heels walked all over the Notre Dame Fighting Irish yesterday as they advance in the ACC.  The Over/Under of 149.5 was all Carolina, as the final score was 101-59.  A 37-2 run by the Tar Heels helped secure the win and will now face the Virginia Tech Hokies today.  This will be the first time these two teams meet all season, and the Tar Heels are getting 3 points on an Over/Under of 140 (-110) against their #3-ranked opponents.

The Duke Blue Devils overpowered the #7 Louisville Cardinals yesterday, walking away with a 70-56 win.  It doesn’t hurt that Duke has a 7’ center, Mark Williams, to turn to and his 23 points and 19 rebounds were a big reason for the win.  The Blue Devils now face the Florida State Seminoles today as underdogs, with the Noles getting -160.  The spread is only 3.5 points and the Over/Under is at 153.5 (-103).  An upset might be possible here.

Pac-12 Action Continues

The Arizona State Sun Devils took out the Washington State Cougars yesterday, getting by with a 64-59 win.  This keeps Arizona State’s hopes of making it to March Madness alive, but it wasn’t easy.  The game came down to the last minute before a winner was found, and the Sun Devils will need to pick up the pace.  They face the #1 Oregon Ducks today, severely handicapped at +360 to the Ducks’ -450.  Oregon is getting 8.5 points on an Over/Under of 147 (-115), and this is likely the last game of the season for Arizona State.

The 11th-ranked California Golden Bears eliminated the 6th-ranked Stanford Cardinal in their Pac-12 Tournament matchup yesterday.  The 76-58 upset was not what anyone had expected, but perhaps should have.  Last year, these two teams met in the opening round of the tournament and the Golden Bears eliminated the Cardinal then, as well.  California now faces the Colorado Buffaloes today as massive underdogs.  The Buffaloes are getting 16.5 points on an Over/Under of 134.5 (-110) and only a miracle could keep the Golden Bears’ dreams alive.

Big Trouble In The Big East

The Xavier Musketeers were getting seven points ahead of yesterday’s game against the Butler Bulldogs in Big East Tournament action.  They started off well enough, but the Bulldogs do what bulldogs do best – they bit hard and never let go.  The game was forced into overtime and two teams fought until the bitter end.  With under a minute to go, Butler had the game at 70-69, holding onto that lead until time expired.  Butler now faces the Creighton Bluejays today as underdogs, with a 10-point spread favoring Creighton. The Over/Under is at 135.5 (-105) and it’s doubtful the Bulldogs will be able to bite as hard today.

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In what can only be described as poor performance by both of the teams, the Georgetown Hoyas and the Marquette Golden Eagles seemed subdued yesterday.  The 68-49 final in favor of Georgetown doesn’t reflect the level either of these teams usually provides, but at least Patrick Ewing can now brag of getting his first Big East victory as a coach.  The Hoyas now face the Villanova Wildcats, who are favored at -429.  The 8.5-point spread and Over/Under of 141 (-110) won’t happen if Georgetown plays like it did yesterday, but Ewing knows how to motivate his team.

Erik is a writer and a sports nut who has had the good fortune to be able to experience a wide variety of world sports action up close and personal. He enjoys staying on top of the changing world of athletics and capitalizing on his writing skills to offer a unique take on what's going on in the ever-changing athletics ecosystem.

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