2 Sunday NCAA Elite 8 Picks in O'Sullivan, Baller Challenge – Miami vs Kansas, Saint Peter's vs North Carolina
O'Sullivan NCAA Tournament: 37-28, +$16.58
Baller NCAA Tournament: 34-30, -$8.90
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(Standing Caveat: The universe is chaotic. Life is unpredictable. Things happen. Like injuries. And COVID protocols. In following Seattle O’Sullivan’s betting advice, be advised that you should always monitor your bets during the day to make certain unforeseen things have not occurred which might change your wagering opinion. Thank you.)
Houston Cougars vs. Villanova Wildcats, 6:09 pm Eastern
O'Sullivan's Pick: Villanova +2 (+100), bet $10 to win $10
WIN: Villanova wins 50-44, +$10
Baller's Pick: Villanova +2.5 (-110), bet $11 to win $10
WIN: Villanova wins 50-44, +$10
Arkansas Razorbacks vs. Duke Blue Devils, 8:49 pm Eastern
O'Sullivan's Pick: Duke -170, bet $20 to win $11.76
WIN: Duke wins 78-69, +$11.76
Baller's Pick: Game Under 147.5 (-110) $11 to win $10
WIN: Duke wins 78-69 = 147. Whew. +$10
Miami Hurricanes vs. Kansas Jayhawks, 2:20 pm Eastern
O'Sullivan's Pick: Miami +6.5 (-110), bet $11 to win $10
Baller's Pick: Game Under 147 (-110), bet $11 to win $10
O'Sullivan: Miami strikes me as a similar matchup for Kansas as Providence did on Friday. The Hurricanes are a frisky team that plays a lot of close games. They pulled away from Iowa State late, but over the course of the season seem to either rise or fall to whatever will make the contest close. I predicted Charlie Moore and Isaiah Wong would have big games against the Cyclones, but it was the third guard Kameron McGusty who poured in 27 points. I don’t think Moore and Wong will be as silent today. Kansas couldn’t quite put Providence away throughout their game, and a big reason was 3-point shooting (2-15, 13.3%). They should shoot better today, but don’t underestimate Miami’s trapping defense. It just causes a measure of chaos, on which the Hurricanes seem to thrive. I think the Jayhawks win but Miami, with nothing else to lose, makes it a close one.
Baller: In case you haven't noticed, defense has been important in the Tournament and both these teams make the opposition work on offense. Unless it goes to OT, I don't think either team will get out of the 70s and one will be in the 60s.
Saint Peter’s Peacocks vs. North Carolina Tar Heels, 5:05 pm Eastern
O'Sullivan's Pick: North Carolina -8 (-110), bet $11 to win $10
Baller's Pick: Saint Peter's +8.5 (-110), bet $11 to win $10
O'Sullivan: I want to do it, I really, really want to do it. And trust me - trrrr-ust, me - I will be rooting for the gang from Jersey City to represent one more time and pull off the upset against North Carolina. I have no, zero, interest in the Tar Heels going further in this tourney. Again, trust me. But this column isn’t about my feelings; it’s about besting Fats Baller and, more importantly, making you money. I just feel North Carolina is too big, too athletic, and have too much shooting for Saint Peter’s. The logic in the spread for the first game, Miami getting 6.5, with the Peacocks only getting 1.5 points more, eludes me. Now, if North Carolina doesn’t figure out that Caleb Love shot out of his mind on Friday, and they’re better served letting Armando Bacot at least touch the ball down low occasionally, Saint Peter’s can hang around. But while he’s a young coach, I trust that Hubert Davis will watch the tape of Friday’s game and realize, “You know, my guards were jacking up a lot of crap.” North Carolina has won 15 of 18, as Davis noted after Friday’s game, and they’re peaking at the right time. Trust me, saying that causes me no joy.
Baller: Hey, I'm loyal. Yes, this may finally be the game in which the small-school underdog gets their butt kicked back to Jersey City, but it ain't like they've been beating slouches so far. The Tar Heels may have too much size and talent, but they have one achilles heel – depth. They are in the bottom 20 in the country in bench minutes. Saint Peter's is in the Top 20. And we saw against Baylor that Carolina wasn't especially sure-handed against pressure. That's the Peacocks chance – pressure, pressure, pressure and wear out UNC. It's not the best chance – Carolina has been playing great – but it's a better chance than any other 15-seed has ever had to make the Final Four.
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