Sunday’s Late NCAA Action
Published on March 18 at 3:50 p.m. Eastern.
By Brian Edwards
These games will be played in Omaha.
**Norfolk St. vs. Florida**
–As of early Saturday night, most betting shops had seventh-seeded Florida (24-10 straight up, 13-15-1 against the spread) installed as a 14 ½-point favorite with a total of 143. The Spartans have 10/1 odds to win outright and advance to the Sweet 16.
–Billy Donovan’s team destroyed Virginia by a 71-45 count as a three-point favorite Friday afternoon. The Gators used a balanced scoring attack and got an unexpected contribution off the bench. Casey Prather had the best game of his career with 14 points and four rebounds on 6-of-7 shooting from the field. Bradley Beal tied Prather for team-high honors with 14 points and 11 rebounds.
–In the win over UVA, UF distributed its shot selection perfectly. Six players took between six and 10 shot attempts. The Gators used a similar formula when they repeated in 2007.
–Norfolk St. (26-9 SU, 6-1 ATS) shocked the world Friday afternoon by beating second-seeded Missouri by an 86-84 count in a thriller. The Spartans won outright as 21-point underdogs, hooking up money-line supporters with a 35/1 payout at Lucky’s.
–The catalyst in the win over the Tigers was Kyle O’Quinn, who produced 26 points, 14 rebounds and a pair of blocked shots. Pendarvis Williams and Chris McEachin added 20 points apiece. After the game, O’Quinn thanked the Norfolk St. coaching staff because they were the only school to offer him a scholarship.
–UF has been a double-digit favorite 11 times this year, compiling a 3-7-1 spread record.
–Before the win over Missouri, Norfolk St. had played five games against prominent programs. The Spartans beat TCU 66-63 on a neutral court and
–The ‘over’ is 18-11 overall for UF. Meanwhile, the Spartans have seen the ‘under’ go 4-3 in their seven games with a total.
–Tip-off is scheduled for 6:10 p.m. Eastern on TNT.
**Purdue vs. Kansas**
–Most spots are listing Kansas (28-6 SU, 17-15-1 ATS) as an eight-point favorite with a total of 141. Gamblers can take the Boilermakers to win outright for a plus-300 return (risk $100 to win $300).
–Purdue (22-12 SU, 17-14 ATS) advanced to face top-seeded KU thanks to a 72-69 win over Saint Mary’s as a two-point underdog. Terone Johnson led the way with 21 points and five assists, as he knocked down 9-of-13 attempts from the field. Lewis Jackson added 18 points.
–KU sent Detroit packing in a 65-50 win Friday as a 13 ½-point ‘chalk.’ Thomas Robinson produced another double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds, while the Jayhawks’ defense forced Titans’ star Ray McCallum into a 4-for-15 shooting night and held him to just eight points.
–At this stage of the Tournament last year, Purdue was heavily favored and got knocked off by VCU. This time around, the Boilers are in the role of underdogs. They have a 7-5 spread record with five outright wins in 12 previous spots as ‘dogs.
–Kansas owns a 7-5 spread record in 12 games as a single-digit favorite.
–The ‘under’ is 19-12-2 overall for the Jayhawks.
–The ‘over’ is 19-12 overall for Purdue, cashing in 16 of its last 21 games.
–TNT will have the telecast 30 minutes after the conclusion of UF-Norfolk St.
These games will be played in Nashville.
**Ohio vs. South Florida**
–Most spots are listing South Florida (22-13 SU, 18-14 ATS) as a two-point favorite with a total of 116. The Bobcats are available on the money line for a plus-110 return (risk $100 to win $110).
–Ohio (28-7 SU, 14-13 ATS) shocked fourth-seeded Michigan in Friday’s 65-60 win as a 5 ½-point underdog. The Bobcats hooked up money-line backers with a payout in the plus-195 range (risk $100 to win $195). D.J. Cooper scored a team-high 21 points.
–Ohio, which qualified to go dancing by winning the MAC Tournament, has been an underdog seven times. The Bobcats are 5-2 ATS with four outright scalps in those games as hounds.
–At this rate, they might erect a statue of Stan Heath in Tampa sometime soon. The Bulls have won their first two NCAA Tournament games this week. They started out in Dayton by pulverizing California 65-54 in a game they led by 20-plus point for more than 25 minutes of the game. USF blew out the Bears as three-point underdogs, hooking up money-line supporters with a nice plus-140 return. Victor Rudd scored a team-high 15 points to lead a balanced USF offensive attack.
–When USF got to Nashville, it promptly dealt out another beatdown. This time, it took the Bulls a little longer to get going. They trailed fifth-seeded Temple 19-15 at intermission but outscored the Owls 43-25 in the second half to capture a 58-44 win as 3 ½-point underdogs. Rudd and Anthony Collins led the way with 17 points apiece.
–The ‘under’ has cashed at an incredible 23-9 overall clip.
–The ‘under’ is 16-11 overall for Ohio, 4-1 in its last five games.
–Tip-off is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. Eastern on TBS.
**Cincinnati vs. Florida State**
–Most betting shops are listing FSU (25-9 SU, 18-14 ATS) as a 2 ½-point favorite with a total of 127. The Bearcats are plus-120 on the money line.
–Cincinnati (25-10 SU, 16-13 ATS) is playing outstanding right now, winning 10 of its last 13 games. During this hot stretch, the Bearcats have beaten the likes of Louisville, Georgetown, Texas, Syracuse, Marquette and Seton Hall. They are 7-1 ATS in their last eight contests.
–Mick Cronin’s squad advanced with a 65-59 win over Texas as a three-point ‘chalk.’ The Bearcats led 31-17 at intermission and limited the Longhorns to just four points in the first 12 minutes of the game. Yancy Gates was the catalyst with 15 points, 10 rebounds and three blocked shots.
–FSU dodged the upset bullet Friday afternoon in a 66-63 win over St. Bonaventure. The Seminoles won for the sixth straight time but saw their 5-0 ATS run halted as 6 ½-point favorites. Bernard James led the ‘Noles with 19 points, nine rebounds and three blocked shots on 8-of-11 shooting from the floor. Luke Loucks played a terrific all-around game, finishing with 13 points, seven rebounds, six assists, three steals and two blocked shots.
–The ‘over’ is 17-14-1 overall for FSU, cashing in seven of its last nine games.
–The ‘under’ is 16-13 overall for Cincy, 6-3 in its last nine games.
–TBS will have television coverage 30 minutes after the Ohio-USF tilt concludes.