I live by one very simple two-word motto and it essentially dictates every decision and action I take in my very mundane mid-20’s life — “Shooters shoot.”
It’s simple. Take your shot. If it goes in, fuck yeah. If it doesn’t, get off your ass a shoot again. It’s a basketball thing, you guys.
So when our first round gambling guide spit out picks that ended hitting at a 45 percent clip (granted I gave you all 32 games), I told myself to lace my KD’s up again and get ready to shoot.
I mean, I couldn’t possibly go through Thursday without giving you guy your gambling fix for the weekend. It’s like a butt itch that you don’t want to reach in public. It’s there, you’re going to attend to it, just behind closed doors.
So without any further ass crack visuals or ambiguous basketball references let’s get to the sure-fire winners for the Sweet 16.
Follow me or fade me, I don’t care. Just know that if I win, you’re going to win. If you lose, I lost with you and I don’t really give a fuck if you’re mad at me for that.
After all, I did accurately predict this one.
(3) Miami v. (2) Villanova | Miami +4 | o/u 140 |
I was a bit surprised to see this line open up with Villanova as 4.5-point favorites. I understand they just dismantled Iowa, but that was Iowa. Miami dominated a very good Wichita State team for the better part of 27 minutes and showed internal fortitude staving off a Shockers comeback.
Nova’s two-guard lineup could cause a problem for early tournament MVP candidate Angel Rodriguez. However, Miami is loaded with scorers on the wing in Sheldon McClellen and Davon Reed.
I like the Canes getting four points here in what should be one of the better games of the Sweet 16.
(3) Texas A&M v. (2) Oklahoma | Oklahoma -2.5 | o/u 147 |
A&M was robbed of their highly anticipated Big 12 foe-match against Texas because of a half-court heave. The almost robbed themselves of a Big 12 foe-match with Oklahoma if not for a furious comeback/collapse.
The NCAA Tournament is where stars are made and both A&M and Oklahoma have them. Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield shines the brightest and I just can’t bet against the kid right now. His second half performance against VCU was a brilliant masterpiece rivaled only by The Life of Pablo and the movie “Airbud.”
(4) Duke v. (1) Oregon | Oregon -2.5 | o/u 156 |
The Ducks survived a scare against a gritty St. Joe’s team and you can say Duke survived a scare vs Yale but their second round matchup played out more like the plot of “When A Stranger Calls.”
Oregon-Duke on paper feels like one of the better games of the Sweet 16, but it won’t be, and I’ll be surprised if the two-guard attack of Dillon Brooks and Tyler Dorsey don’t give the Blue Devils the business.
Unless Duke can come out and shoot the three like they did in the first half of the Yale game this one is going to get out of hand fast because their defense is not going to be able to contain the run-and-gun attack of the Ducks.
(5) Maryland v. (1) Kansas | Kansas -6 | o/u 144 |
This is the largest spread of the Sweet 16 and for good reason. Maryland got here by beating South Dakota St (albeit narrowly), and a Hawaii squad that had already accomplished everything they needed to in the tournament.
However, laying six points in the Sweet 16 is a fools order — especially between two blue chip programs. I see this game finishing in the low 70s or mid-60s, so the under feels like the right play between two teams who don’t play at high AdjT’s per KenPom.
(4) Iowa State v. (1) Virgina | Iowa State +4 | o/u 140.5 |
I’m going to throw out this completely ridiculous hypothetical that’s not true whatsoever but it’s been on my mind.
Fred Hoiberg was bounced before the Sweet 16 in four of his five seasons at Iowa State. Hoiberg moves to the NBA and immediately struggles in his first season with the Chicago Bulls while Steve Prohm has the Cyclones in the Sweet 16 in his first season.
Was Fred Hoiberg the problem all along? Probably not. But I’m willing to take the four points tomorrow night to watch the team he used to coach for make it further than he ever did.
(7) Wisconsin v. (6) Notre Dame | Notre Dame -1 | o/u 131.5 |
Wisconsin has scored 47 and 66 points in their two games this tournament. I’m actually surprised this total is above 130 because it shows me Vegas is just as confused as I am to which style of play will prevail.
I lean the Badgers though I don’t want to touch the spread. I like the under because I think they’ll have success dictating the tempo of this game. I mean, they held Xavier who runs at one of the fastest paces in the country to 63 points in the second round.
This should be a tight game throughout, but low scoring in the mid-60s.
(11) Gonzaga v. (10) Syracuse | Gonzaga -4 | o/u 135 |
I’ll take all the praise in the world for successfully predicting this matchup in our pre-tournament evaluation. The Zags were easy money, but ‘Cuse got a little help when Middle Tennessee St. upset Michigan State.
Syracuse’s zone stymied Dayton and MTSU, however, Gonzaga employs the ultimate zone killers in Kyle Wiltjer and Domantas Sabonis. The only way Syracuse keeps this one within reach is if Gonzaga throws up brick after brick.
(5) Indiana v. (1) North Carolina | North Carolina -5.5 | o/u 158.5 |
Full Disclosure: I’m going to pick North Carolina because I like them and I don’t like Indiana and I want UNC to move on.
The line is begging you to take Indiana, especially after their very public victory over Kentucky. All week the only thing we’ve heard is praises of Tom Crean and the Hoosiers but Vegas clearly sees it a different way.
Carolina by double-digits after the public hammers the Hoosiers. Thomas Bryant isn’t replicating his second half performance against the Heels.