Semifinal Friday

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ACC

Notre Dame (+7) vs. North Carolina

If there is a team that matches up well with North Carolina, it’s Notre Dame. The Irish beat them last season in the ACC Finals and beat them earlier in the season at South Bend. The Irish’s ability to spread UNC’s defense out takes away the Heels’ size plus it allows dribble-drive concepts that got UNC in foul trouble in the first meeting.

For UNC to win tonight they will have to have someone hit outside shots. In the victory over Pitt it was, Joel Berry II who rose to the occasion. The Heels will need much of the same tonight.

Notre Dame +7

Miami (Fl) (+3.5) vs. UVA

The Canes and Cavaliers split their regular season match ups with both being hard fought games. Don’t expect anything tonight. You can easily argue that Miami (Fl) is the toughest conference match up for UVA.  It could come down to two of the best players in the conference, UVA’s London Perrantes and Miami’s Angel Rodriguez. The winner of that match up will go a long way in who wins this one.

There’s not a huge difference ATS between the two in their last ten games. UVA is 8-2 against the spread while Miami (Fl) is 6-4. This will be a ‘feel’ pick.

UVA -3.5

Big East

Providence (+9) vs. Villanova

Like their game last night, Providence must thrive under the big lights. This time the face the regular season champs and potential number one seed, Villanova Wildcats. Villanova dispatched Georgetown after the Hoyas were game for 30 minutes. To beat Providence, they’ll have to figure out how to stop the law firm of Dunn and Bentil. Bentil went for 38 yesterday while Dunn chipped in 15 points and 7 assists. The Friars will need every bit of that and more to stay with Villanova.

Providence +9

Seton Hall (+5.5) vs. Xavier

Since losing 4 out of 5, Seton Hall has gone 10-2 including a 90-81 victory over Xavier.  In their quarterfinal victory over Creighton, the Pirates were led by Whitehead and Carrington as they scored 24 and 27, respectively. It’s obvious that the Brooklyn bred backcourt feel very comfortable at the Garden.  Fifth ranked Xavier is looking for a return to the Big East finals. After struggling defensively of late, the Musketeers held Marquette to 38% shooting. Does Xavier have another good defensive performance in them?

Xavier -5.5

Big XII

Baylor (+7) vs. Kansas

The Jayhawks are riding a 12 game winning streak and are 8-2 ATS in their last ten. They are smoking hot against a team they’ve beat 7 straight times. Kansas pounded Kansas St. while Baylor got an impressive win over Texas. Sometimes you run towards the smell, sometimes you run away from it. In this case, the numbers don’t lie.

Kansas -7

Oklahoma (+1) vs. West Virginia

This line has me scratching my head. Oklahoma won both games. After struggling in the first meeting they pretty much handled West Virginia in the second meeting. Sure, the Mountaineers are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 while the Sooners are 2-8 but with the line being a point you should be looking at who you think will win and that will be Oklahoma.

Oklahoma +1

Pac-12

Arizona (-2) vs. Oregon

The line opened at Oregon -1.5 and now it’s Arizona -2. That’s a pretty big swing as the betting community seems to be leaning towards the Wildcats. In their only meeting earlier this season, the Ducks won in Tucson 83-75. In that game you saw the good and bad in Arizona. The good was they shot 61% from the floor and outrebounded the Ducks. The bad were the 19 turnovers.

Do the Ducks need Arizona to implode again in order to get a victory in front of what shapes up to be, a pro Arizona crowd?

Arizona -2

California (+2.5) vs. Utah

Cal and Utah split their two regular season match ups so this shapes up as a good one. Cal is 8-2-1 ATS in their last 10 while Utah has gone 6-4. Both teams are hot; the Bears are 9-1 in their last 10. Utah is 8-2. With both teams playing so well, it is really a toss-up game but on a neutral court, the lean is towards Cal and their balanced attack.

Cal +2.5

Follow Marcus “Mook” Washington on Twitter at @mtcwithmook 

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About Marcus Washington 149 Articles
Born and raised in the DMV, Marcus Washington is a former high school basketball coach and currently a member of the USBWA and FWAA.

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