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NCAA Hoops Tourneys Run Hot Ahead Of March Madness

NCAA Men’s Basketball tournaments continue to run strong ahead of March Madness and yesterday produced some surprising upsets.  There’s more action on tap for today, including more than a few key games.  The final list of teams for the run on the championship is almost ready, with more to be decided today.

Upsets Make Headlines

Yesterday, the Sun Belt Tournament found the #1 Georgia State Panthers taking on the #4 Appalachian State Mountaineers and falling, 80-73.  That allowed App State to secure the Sun Belt title, as well as a spot in March Madness.  It wasn’t expected and the game was just one of several that didn’t go as planned.

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The Oral Roberts Golden Eagles, fourth in the Summit League, took down the #1 South Dakota State Jackrabbits, 90-88. The buzzer-beating win was a huge upset and advances Oral Roberts forward.  They take on the North Dakota State Bison today as underdogs once again, getting -107 to ND’s -117.  The Over/Under sits at 146 (-113) and it’s doubtful lightning will strike twice for the Golden Eagles.

In the CAA Tournament, the #6 Drexel Dragons defeated the #2 Northeastern Huskies, 74-67 for another underdog win.  As a result, Drexel will now play the Elon Phoenix for the title.  The Dragons are getting -210, to Elon’s +165, and 4.5 points, with an Over/Under of 130 (-114).

In the Southern Conference the #1 UNC Greensboro Spartans defeated the #7 Mercer Bears yesterday after a surprise appearance by Mercer.  UNCG has been on a winning streak lately and now won the Southern Conference, as well as picked up a spot in March Madness.  Their next game is not yet decided.

More Action Ahead Today

Today, the #14 Pittsburgh Panthers take on the #13 Miami Hurricanes as the ACC Tournament opens up in Greensboro, NC.  The Panthers have only won two games across their last eight, which doesn’t bode well for this debut.  They also have several key players out tonight, although the Hurricanes are dealing with some issues of their own.  Despite the poor showing lately, oddsmakers favor Pittsburgh today, giving them -148 to the +118 for the Hurricanes.  The Over/Under stands at 136 (-109), and this game could produce another underdog win with a heavy Over.

The #10 Duke Blue Devils take on the #15 Boston College Eagles today in the second ACC tournament game.  Boston is coming in with a 2-11 ACC record, while Duke is at 9-9.  After a recent loss to the North Carolina Tar Heels, it’s likely Duke won’t make it to March Madness for the first time in 16 years, but is still the heavy favorite tonight.  They’re getting -1000 to the +600 given to the Eagles, which makes this game almost unworthy of action.

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In the West Coast Tournament, the #1 Gonzaga Bulldogs face the #2 BYU Cougars in a game that will decide the champion.  Both teams have fought hard all season, although BYU has sometimes had more difficulty on offense.  Gonzaga is the odds-on favorite at -1430, but expect a closer match.  They’re getting an unrealistic 14 points on an Over/Under of 154.5 (-110) and the Over should definitely hit.

Fighting Irish Ready For Battle

The Wake Forest Demon Deacons will do battle against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish today and is going to have a lot of trouble.  Notre Dame just took down Florida State to earn its first ranked win in four years, while Wake Forest has dropped its last seven games.  It’s no surprise that the Fighting Irish are getting -400 and eight points, and the team won’t disappoint.  The Over/Under is at 141 (-114), which seems to be right on the money.

In the Southland Tournament, the #7 Incarnate Word Cardinals face the #10 Houston Baptist Huskies.  This first-round matchup finds the Huskies barely getting in with their 4-11 conference record, which is only slightly better than the 5-9 put up by the Cardinals.  This will be a hard-fought contest, with the Huskies getting a slight advantage at -136.  A little action on the underdog could be in order.

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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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