The Wisconsin Badgers and the Vanderbilt Commodores mees in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Vanderbilt has opened as a small favorite, but can the Badgers pull of an upset?
The Wisconsin Badgers have a 4-2 spread record in their last six
games, with the ‘over’ also cashing at 4-2. Bo Ryan’s squad returns to NCAA Tournament action in Albuquerque for
Saturday’s third round matchup against the Vanderbilt Commodores, who are
riding a four-game winning streak after Thursday’s 79-70 win as a 5.5 point
favorite against the Harvard Crimson.
Sportsbooks opened Vanderbilt as a 1.5 point favorite, despite
being a lower seed (No. 5) in the East bracket compared to the Badgers’ No. 4
slot. The Commodores are 8-2 ATS in
their last 10 contests, while Wisconsin has collected with a 2-1 spread mark in
its last three spots as the NCAA Basketball betting underdog.
Lets examine at this matchup and decide which NCAA Basketball picks have the best chance of cashing for us.
Vandy shooting stays hot
Vanderbilt led by as many as 18 points in Thursday’s victory, with
the Southeastern Conference champions continuing to run the table in postseason
play. The Commodores hit 54.3 percent
from the field en route to cashing
tickets for my followers, including an 8-for-18 day from three-point land.
Commodores guard John Jenkins notched a team-high 27 points, while
adding three of his squad’s 13 assists. Jenkins’ mate Festus Ezeli logged 11 boards, leading Vanderbilt to
outrebound Harvard, 35-22.
The contest’s combined 149 points soared above the ‘total’ of 123.5, ending a 4-0 ‘under’ streak from the Commodores prior four games. Vanderbilt’s Brad Tinsley hit 5-of-6 field
buckets, finishing with 16 points and four assists in 23 minutes of action.
Badgers crush Montana in
Wisconsin began its NCAA Tournament crusade with Thursday’s 73-49
triumph as an 8 ½-point favorite against the Montana Grizzlies. The Badgers connected 47.9 percent of their
field buckets, including 10-of-19 beyond the arc.
Badgers mates Ryan Evans and Jordan Taylor united for 35 points,
while logging eight rebounds each. Taylor added team-highs of six assists and two steals, while Wisconsin’s
Jared Berggren logged seven of his squad’s eight blocks.
The lopsided affair’s combined 122 points leaped above the closing
‘total’ of 117, lifting the ‘over’ to 8-2 in the Badgers’ last 10 games. Wisconsin sank 17-of-19 free throws, while
holding Montana to 38.3 percent field shooting.
Back Vandy as a short
Saturday’s tip is scheduled for 6: 10 p.m. (ET), with TNT
providing the national television coverage.
I am staying with Vanderbilt for my “Big Dance” sports picks on
Saturday’s card, laying the short number. The Commodores have peaked nicely at the right time, showing no letdown
from their 71-64 victory over the No. 1 Kentucky Wildcats in Sunday’s SEC title
Vanderbilt improved to 6-0 ATS with Thursday’s win in the team’s
last six contests against squads with winning records of .600 or more. Jenkins was in top form, piling in the points
as the SEC’s top scorer (19.9 PPG), while Tinsley (4.2 APG) held serve with hot
shooting and finding the Commodores other weapons on the floor.
Wisconsin has gone 2-7 ATS in its last nine games that followed a
victory, with a blowout win in Thursday’s opener overvaluing the Badgers even
further here. Berggren connected a
sparse 2-of-9 from the floor despite his team’s sizable triumph, while
Wisconsin’s bench combined to hit a meager 3-of-10 field buckets.
Vandy’s value has not been lost yet despite laying points here as the bracket’s
lower seed. The Commodores are 7-2 ATS
in their last nine contests as ‘chalk,’ with the premium still a low one in
this spot. Look for Jenkins and Co. to
make another statement here, advancing to next week’s “Sweet Sixteen” in
My Picks: Vanderbilt