2 Saturday NCAA Final 4 Picks: Villanova vs Kansas, North Carolina vs Duke – the O'Sullivan-Baller Challenge
O'Sullivan NCAA Tournament: 38-29, +$15.58
Baller NCAA Tournament: 35-31, -$9.90
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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.)
Miami Hurricanes vs. Kansas Jayhawks, 2:20 pm Eastern
O'Sullivan's Pick: Miami +6.5 (-110), bet $11 to win $10
LOSS: Miami didn't cover, Kansas wins 76-50, -$11
Baller's Pick: Game Under 147 (-110), bet $11 to win $10
WIN: 76-50 = 126, an easy Under, +$10
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
WIN: North Carolina wins 69-49, +$10
Baller's Pick: Saint Peter's +8.5 (-110), bet $11 to win $10
LOSS: North Carolina wins 69-49, -$11
Villanova Wildcats vs. Kansas Jayhawks, 6:09 pm Eastern
O'Sullivan's Pick: Kansas -4.5 (-109), bet $10.90 to win $10
Baller's Pick: Villanova +4.5 (-110), bet $11 to win $10
O'Sullivan: Villanova’s loss of guard Justin Moore to an Achilles injury tips my mind in favor of Kansas, here. The Wildcats will not give up, they play hard and smart, and they’ll make the Jayhawks play at their slower pace. But losing Moore’s production, poise, and guts will just be too much. When Seattle O’Sullivan says, “The universe is chaotic,” this is what he means. The implication is, it’s also unfair. My heart wants to say Villanova can overcome it, but Kansas is too athletic. They will push the pace and force the Wildcats into just enough mistakes to win. I see a close game where Kansas makes their free throws at the end to cover.
Baller: My feeling is that Kansas either wins by 15 or it goes down to the wire. Winning by 15 will be no fun (except for Jayhawks fans) so I'm going with Jay Wright gets some Villanova bench player to step up and the Wildcats find a way to keep it close.
North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Duke Blue Devils, 8:49 pm Eastern
O'Sullivan's Pick: Duke -190, bet $19 to win $10
Baller's Pick: North Carolina +4 (-110), bet $11 to win $10
O'Sullivan: (exhales) Duke is 7th in the Pomeroy Rankings; North Carolina is 16th. Now, I want you to ball up those rankings in your hand (I don’t care if you’re balling up a smartphone or a laptop), and toss them right into the trash. Yes, you can throw the rankings out. North Carolina is not the same team it was in January. They’ve won 16 of 19, including blowing out Duke on Duke’s home floor three weeks ago. So why am I picking the Blue Devils? Because they’re not the same team they were three weeks ago, either. Tough wins against Michigan State, Texas Tech, and Arkansas have helped this young team grow up in a hurry. According to those Pomeroy Rankings you tossed out (go ahead, go grab them out of the trash can), the Blue Devils have the best offense in the country. Super-Freshmen Paolo Banchero and A.J. Griffin can score from anywhere, and will give the Tar Heels fits on that end of the floor. The reason Carolina beat Duke last game was because Duke allowed Brady Manek to roam the three-point line free with impunity. I’m betting that Coach K tightens that up. This is going to be a battle, so I’m not touching the spread. But I think Duke makes enough plays, and shows renewed pride in their defense, and gets a tight win. (exhales)
Baller: For the sake of Seattle's heart and the sanity of those he lives with, it would be nice if Duke breezes into the final. I just don't see it happening. Both teams have played great throughout and it sort of has to come down to one possession as the clock's ticking down. I'm not saying Carolina will win, but they may need either a shot, or a defensive stop, to win.
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