Elite 8 Betting: March 28

Elite 8 Betting: March 28

The Sweet 16 proved to be a rousing success for those interested in seeing the nation’s best go head-to-head to decide which four teams punch their tickets to next weekend’s Final Four in Indianapolis. Of the Elite 8 participants, six were fixtures in the Top 10 for the majority of the 2014-15 season. The other two, Louisville and Michigan State, are perennial tourney powers coached by one Hall of Famer and one would-be Hall of Famer. As matchups go, these are some of the most intriguing in recent memory. Kentucky and Wisconsin are attempting back-to-back trips to the Final Four, Duke and Coach K’s 12th appearance, Michigan State and Tom Izzo’s 7th, Arizona’s 5th, Louisville a second in three years, Notre Dames’ second ever, and Gonzaga’s very first. Here are previews and predictions for the Saturday games.

(2) Arizona vs. (1) Wisconsin +1.5 – A rematch from a season ago that saw the Wildcats drop an overtime heartbreaker 64-63. That loss coupled with the Badgers being the number one seed makes the line in this one a bit curious. From an athletic perspective, Zona is the better team. They have excellent size at all positions and play tenacious defense. However, a lack of three-point shooting could hurt them once again. Stanley Johnson and reserve guard Gabe York must be on target because points will be at a premium. Wisconsin was on the ropes versus UNC, but as they’ve done all season, the frontcourt trio of Frank Kaminsky, Sam Dekker, and Nigel Hayes closed out the victory, combining for 64 points and 24 rebounds. Kaminsky dominated in last year’s meeting, but the presence of Brandon Ashley should make a difference. Arizona is 15-5 ATS in its last 20. Wisconsin is 8-3-1 ATS in its last dozen tourney tilts.

Bet Arizona -1.5

(3) Notre Dame vs. (1) Kentucky -11 – The Irish have wisely avoided poking the Wildcats like West Virginia foolishly did. Kentucky’s 39-point dismantling of the Mountaineers was a sight to behold, reminiscent of the beatdowns they delivered to Kansas and UCLA earlier in the season. Nothing more needs to be written about the best college hoops team assembled in over a decade. Let’s just say they are a machine with no real weaknesses. Now, Notre Dame plays offense like a Western Conference NBA team — fast-paced and more than willing to launch it from long range. Five key contributors have converted over 40 shots from beyond the arc, led by senior swingman Pat Connaughton, who totaled 16 points and 10 rebounds in the win over Wichita State. That said, Kentucky’s stifling defense has made other supposed offensive powers look like high schoolers. ‘Cats are 8-3-2 ATS in their last 13 overall. The Irish are 1-8 ATS in their last nine tournament games. A Notre Dame cover seems unlikely, but expect a slight letdown from Kentucky.

Bet Notre Dame +11