The Sweet Sixteen games in the 2013 NCAA Tournament get underway tomorrow and you can click here to see my free picks for tomorrow. This post though is looking at Fridays games, which includes some very intriguing match ups including the Florida Gulf Coast vs Florida game that I’m sure everyone is interested in watching.
All of the odds seen below are from BetOnline.ag:
Oregon vs Louisville -9.5
Oregon is the number 12 seed in the Midwest Region, but they aren’t being talked about much as a cinderella story this year because they haven’t really been that big of a surprise. Coming from the PAC-12, a strong college basketball conference everyone knew they would be a very tough out for either Oklahoma State or Saint Louis and they came through in a big way dominating both games and winning by double digits. Now they are up against the tournaments top dog in Louisville though and this is the first game of the tournament where they are significant dogs. Louisville has taken care of business in their opening games with 25+ point wins against both North Carolina A&T and Colorado State. That said the North Carolina A&T game went as expected and the Mountain West Conference proved they were ranked quite a bit too high in this years tournament as none of the 5 teams who began the tournament are still in and San Diego State, the only team other than Colorado State to win a game was severely outplayed by 15 seed Florida Gulf Coast. I like Oregon to put up a bit more of a challenge and keep the game within 10 points, even if it is in a losing effort.
Play: Oregon +9.5
Michigan vs Kansas -2
Michigan has impressed so far in the tournament, especially in their dominating 25 point win over a VCU team that many people had going to the Final Four this year. Kansas though has also impressed, defeating Duke by 12 points in a game that many analysts had going either way. Kansas is the lone Big 12 team remaining in the tournament with each of the others going out early even with their high seeds. That said I still think Kansas is the real deal even if the other Big 12 teams are not. Kansas lost 3 Big 12 games in a row in early February, but they have only lost once since then and dominated the majority of those games. I like Kansas in this one, but I think it will be a battle from the start to finish.
Play: Kansas -2
Michigan State vs Duke -2
Michigan State is another Big Ten team that has impressed with strong wins over a couple of strong opponents in Valpo and Memphis. Like Kansas they also had a 3 game losing streak in their Conference, but have improved since then. The difference is that their 3 losses were all against the strongest teams in their conference. Duke performed as expected against Albany and Creighton in this tournament, but they still don’t seem to be at the same level they were through the first half of the season. I like Michigan State to advance in this one and even if they lose I could see it being by 1 or 2 points so the smart money is on the Spartans.
Play: Michigan State +2
Florida Gulf Coast vs Florida -13
Florida Gulf Coast has already had a miraculous run becoming the first 15 seed to ever make the Sweet Sixteen. Now they come up against Florida, who is a 3rd seed that was being given the third shortest odds to win the tournament before it began. If they can somehow win this game it would be nothing short of miraculous. I don’t see them winning another game and I could see the added pressure of the media leading up to the Sweet Sixteen getting into the heads of the team that relies on a loose attack to win games. If they tighten up at all then it’s over and we could see a huge win by Florida. I’m not huge on the Gators, but I do think they will cover the spread in this game. They won’t be taking Florida Gulf Coast lightly and the added tape they can study for the week should allow them to stop the alley oops and dunks that made FGCU successful to this point.
Play: Florida -13