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Elite Eight Picks

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By Isaac E

After some exciting games in the Sweet 16 we have reached this weekend’s Elite Eight. The ACC came into the Sweet 16 with five teams finds themselves with only two remaining in Duke and Virginia. Both teams flaws are becoming more visible by each round and are susceptible to defeat this weekend.

The remaining SEC teams Auburn and Kentucky will duke it out on Sunday for the right to go to Minneapolis, the host for this year’s Final Four. Kentucky opens as a slight two and a half point favorite in the aftermath of the Chuma Okeke that will leave the team in a decided disadvantage against the Wildcats. The line will likely move by Sunday to five-point favorites for Kentucky as the majority of books Vegas, and onshore does not have the game on their boards at the time of this article until there is confirmation on whether Okeke will play. The video which you find on all major outlets appears that Okeke suffered a major knee injury.

Texas Tech have all the looks of being a team that will be difficult to knock out of this tournament. Their throttling of Michigan on Thursday centered around holding the Wolverines to 33% from the field and 1 for 19 from the arch. The Red Raiders previously held six-seed Buffalo and fourteenth-seed Northern Kentucky to 37% from the field. The team is for real and defensive prowess, sharpshooting from Davide Moretti, and Jarrett Culver’s ability to create. The Zags are a four-point favorite.

Virginia will never look aesthetically pretty in their play. They will always have the ability to grind down their opponents, and they know how to finish a game late. Oregon was their latest victim on Thursday. The game with Purdue I expect will be another close game played in the ’50s. Purdue’s execution late in each half will be a deciding factor. Virginia went on a run late in the first half after falling behind to the Ducks and were up eight at half time, and this is something that Purdue will need to avoid.

Duke continues to have difficulty when the defense prevents them from getting easy baskets at the rim, and this places exuberant pressure on Tre Jones in making the right decisions with the ball and making shots from outside. Don’t underestimate the ability for Tom Izzo to develop a plan that can exploit Duke’s weak bench and inability to be consistent from the arch. I could see Michigan State featuring a matchup zone for large periods of this game to force Duke to make jump shots.

I went 5-6 in the Sweet 16 overall with a record of 2-2 on best bets. I am looking to turn thing around I picked the four games against the spread and added the over/under for fun for a total of eight picks.

Saturday Games

Picks are in BOLD

Gonzaga U 137.5 BEST BET
Texas Tech (+4)

Virginia O 126 BEST BET
Purdue (+4.5) BEST BET

Money Lines

(-195) Gonzaga vs. Texas Tech (+170)
(-195) Tennessee vs. Purdue (+170)

Sunday Games

Picks are in BOLD

Duke U 150 BEST BET
Michigan State (+2)

Kentucky (-4.5)
Auburn O 142.5

Money Lines

(-140) Duke vs. Michigan State (+120)
(-200) Kentucky vs. Auburn (+170)

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