X
Skip to content

March Madness Sweet 16 | NCAA Tournament Picks and Early Elite 8 Bets [March 25]

NCAA Tournament Show

TJ Rives:

Well, hello there, and welcome back in to the latest edition of the BetUS College Basketball Show for a Friday. More Sweet 16 games coming in both Philadelphia and Chicago tonight. We already know four of the participants in the Elite Eight. It’s Duke and Arkansas and also Villanova and Houston that advanced to Saturday’s Elite Eight games in both San Francisco and also San Antonio.

TJ Rives:

So the excitement builds and we’re back here with you once again. And we welcome in the handicappers, Mid Major Matt back aboard here. Matt Josephs, you still got the Gonzaga pin up behind you despite the loss last night. No black armband. Oh, it isn’t black today. I think we’re all in black today.

TJ Rives:

Mid Major Matt, how you feeling?

Matt Josephs:

It was a fascinating game last night. There’s so many angles to it to explore. I was glad Duke won their game on their own accord. The officiating didn’t get bought. They were the better team last night. And in some of the other games, Houston’s arguably the best team in the country right now. So a lot of fun games last night.

TJ Rives:

Right. Big Man on Campus, you are back aboard. You were touting the Houston Cougars. Let’s pick up right there with Matt and what he just had to say. They were very impressive knocking out the other number one seat, two one seats go down last night. They knocked out Arizona. Tell me more welcome in, sir, for a Friday.

Jeff Nadu:

Yeah, Houston was terrific. They continue to play at the highest of high levels. They’re getting… You look at their performances. They’re getting… And what makes this even more crazy is that they’ve done it without Mack and Sasser, their best players. This is that simple.

Jeff Nadu:

Kelvin Sampson is the best coach in the country. This guy is just incredible. And they rebound. They’re fun to watch. I could watch them defend all day.

Jeff Nadu:

And look, Arizona did their thing. I think they’re a year away. They’re going to be very good next year if they can get most of those kids to stay and we know Tommy is a great recruiter. So yeah, we had a feeling that Kerr Kriisa might be the undoing. It seemed like a major advantage having Shead Edwards over someone like him. So yeah, Houston was great.

Jeff Nadu:

I wish I would have played them last night. My picks weren’t real good, but it was a nice win for Houston and they do look like the best team in the country.

TJ Rives:

I know you were on Gonzaga last night. Hey, look, I keep joking around 95% of everybody in their bracket had Gonzaga at least in the Final Four if not the title game, if not winning the title game so everybody went up in smoke on a Final 14 It seemed like last night in that game.

TJ Rives:

Matt, let’s begin with you first. You have knocked Arkansas. We now have to prop Arkansas. They outplayed them last night. They defended, they outplayed them, they rattled them, they hit the free throws, they won the game. Pick it up on that.

Matt Josephs:

So how do I do this? I’m going to try this prop. All the credit in the world Arkansas. But in the first half Gonzaga miss shots that they always hit. Let’s not act like… And I heard Grant Hill say this at halftime. He’s like, “Oh, Arkansas’ defense…” No. Gonzaga missed a ton of open shots. The pick and roll between Nembhard and Timme was working. Nembhard just couldn’t hit anything.

Matt Josephs:

So Arkansas in the first half got away with murder. They should have been losing by at least double digits. And in the second half, they came and they played really good defense. But the other aspect of this is Chet Holmgren, the foul trouble he was in was not self-inflicted, at least three of the fouls. And by the way, we still not seen a replay of what happened the second foul. I have no idea what he did.

Matt Josephs:

And the second half, two of those fouls, even Gene Steratore who agrees with the officiating every single time came out and said, “Yeah, those weren’t fouls. I wouldn’t call them.” Still credit… All the world to Arkansas. They play defense. Musselman had a good game plan.

Matt Josephs:

But let’s not act like Gonzaga, didn’t miss a ton of open shots and didn’t miss shots they usually make. So yeah, Arkansas won the game. They beat them but Gonzaga I feel like shot themselves in the foot more than actually Arkansas beating them.

TJ Rives:

Big Man, I saw you shaking your head. Pick up. Pick up on whatever you like.

Jeff Nadu:

It’s simple with Matt. He just won’t ever give Arkansas really much of any credit. Matt, Gonzaga was terrible. Just admit it, man. They weren’t good. And no one [crosstalk 00:04:16]-

Matt Josephs:

Yeah, they were terrible. They missed the last shots they usually make. Yes, you’re right.

TJ Rives:

I thought-

Matt Josephs:

They were terrible.

TJ Rives:

Can I interject on this point? I thought-

Jeff Nadu:

But they didn’t shoot that ball that well here, Matt. For most… Real quick, for me, they didn’t shoot the ball well all year. This team wasn’t a higher level Gonzaga team by any means. And we’ll have to start asking ourselves, okay, and Matt’s a fan from what he says. At what point do we start to say to ourselves, when are we going to stop picking against this team? I feel stupid for picking them last night. I should have known better. At what point do we start to say though…

Jeff Nadu:

They’ve been a great program over the years but this is the same song and dance every year with this program. At what point, are we going to start calling that out a little bit?

TJ Rives:

Well, they got all the way to the championship game a year ago. Again, it’s a different tournament. All in Indianapolis but they did.

TJ Rives:

I want to make the point about Nembhard. You were talking about him. I thought Arkansas rattled him and they had some familiarity that got some older players because Nembhard played in the SEC before in Florida. But they rattled him, they bumped him some. He stopped trying to go to the basket, Matt. The whole second half, he stopped trying to go to the basket and create because it was almost like he was concerned. “They’re going to steal it from me, they’re going to jump in front of me. I’m going to get a charge.” I thought he played very passively. I thought that was a huge key as well, Matt Josephs.

Matt Josephs:

Well, Gonzaga’s guards are mediocre. Let’s be honest. The three of them are mediocre. You can get away with it in the WCC and you can get away with it most games when you’ve got Timme and Holmgren because you could just throw it into them and they were hitting open shots when there’s two guys were getting double.

Matt Josephs:

But then you take Holmgren… Holmgren was the only guy with plus-minus for the Zags. And the big difference was he didn’t play because they took him out of the game. The officiating on him was a little bit different than it was on everybody else.

Matt Josephs:

So Gonzaga couldn’t get away anymore with having mediocre guards because Arkansas guards are better than them.

Jeff Nadu:

That’s a great point by him. You mentioned the last year’s the title game. Look, the fact that they did win last year I thought was… That was the year I thought… With the guards they had, with Suggs and Kispert, he’s totally right. That was the difference in the game. Their guards just weren’t good all year. I didn’t really trust their depth. For whatever reason, Sallis and Hickman never really…

Jeff Nadu:

I’ll tell you what. The high level recruits this year didn’t pan out. That’s [inaudible 00:06:31] couple others. But you look at even Michigan’s, you got Houston, and some of their bigger recruits, they didn’t play well. I didn’t think Gonzaga’s recruits are very good this year. A lot of these kids did not pan out for further certain teams. Yeah, they had to be better and they weren’t.

Jeff Nadu:

But you got to credit… For what it’s worth, Arkansas continues to impress. You look at them and say, “Well, where do they go if they get a foul trouble?” They don’t really ever get foul trouble. That could be an [inaudible 00:06:59] because I’ll admit where some of the worst in that game I’ve seen and that’s saying something because they’re bad in every game.

Jeff Nadu:

I know Matt was vilifying Notae. I get it. He didn’t shoot the ball well, but if he’s going to shoot the ball 30 times, that’s what they do. He’s one of their only aggressors offensively and the rest of the guys that cleaned it up. But they did what they had to do. Impressive by Musselman. Really impressive.

TJ Rives:

And Duke again, very impressive at the end of the game. They could have lost with Texas Tech twice in a row, game in the balance. They hit their shots, they got the stops on Texas Tech that they had to. Coach K lives on pumping the fist. And we should mention Villanova too one more real quick before we get to Friday, before we get to the college basketball picks and the guys are coming up with that here in a second.

TJ Rives:

Give Villanova a lot of credit because they did what they had to do against Michigan. They spread them out, they went to the basket, they spread them out, went to the basket, drew the defense, kicked out and hit three pointers. Gillespie had a big one of those late in the game. Veteran team playing together and now here they are in the Elite Eight again. Either of you got a comment on that as they now get ready to play Houston for a spot in the Final Four?

Jeff Nadu:

Yeah. Look, Michigan just didn’t shoot the ball. This has been a problem. I don’t think they won three straight games all year. That was the issue. There was no consistency with this group.

Jeff Nadu:

And maybe Matt agrees, I don’t know, I think this is probably the most disappointing performance of a transfer this year was DeVante’ Jones in my opinion. I thought he would be a lot more effective at Michigan, but it was good player at Coastal Carolina. I thought him slotting in. I thought he’d be better than what Mike Smith was last year. Mike Smith was a significantly better player than Jones. Jones had turnover issues all year, never seem to really get going, and it just was their undoing.

TJ Rives:

All right, very good on all of that. Again, a couple of rough ones yesterday from that Gonzaga game where not only was Jeff laying the nine and a half. Kyle Hunter was on this show with the under on the team total under 73 I think it was. And Arkansas pushed it across at the very end including the dunk at the end of the game with no time left that they didn’t need to push that across.

Jeff Nadu:

No one [inaudible 00:09:17] better than you.

TJ Rives:

You shake your head on that one. Well, we do go over the records and that’s what I’m leading to, Big Man. We do go over the records. I prop you when you win. I was propping you earlier in the week with some of the wins that you’ve had on the NIT, etc.

TJ Rives:

Here are the records by the way. The Big Man out in front here 85 wins on the year. Very nice on that.

Matt Josephs:

Thank you.

TJ Rives:

We see Kyle Hunter above 500, Mid Major Matt right there at the borderline as we rock along here on the BetUS College Basketball Show.

TJ Rives:

By the way, BetUS America’s favorite sportsbook, you can check in to everything going on with the Sweet 16 games tonight. The Elite Eight contest is still going on by the way. Go to betus.com and find out more about that as well as we rock along here.

TJ Rives:

Are we ready to go, boys? I know that the audience is ready here. I’ll set a live viewing record yesterday. It continues to soar. I know a lot of you coming in here at 11:00 AM Eastern Time live. Some of you see it later in the day. We’re going to give you what you came here for and that is taking a look at the four games for Friday.

TJ Rives:

Why don’t we do that right away and we will begin with things in the East Regional. This is Philadelphia not far from where Jeff Nadu is sitting. It will be St Peter’s and Purdue up on the floor first. That line is moved to 13 now. Earlier in the week, it was 12. It was 12 and a half yesterday. It’s now 13 and creeping up on the BetUS line. Total at 134.

TJ Rives:

Mid Major Matt, let’s bring you back in here. What do you like for an official play for this first of four games tonight in the Sweet 16?

Matt Josephs:

So I think we could see what happened to St. Peter’s is what happened to Texas. Once again, we have one of those situations where Purdue is one of the best teams at getting to the free throw line and St Peter’s is 348. It’s sending people to the free throw line.

Matt Josephs:

And look, there’s no way it’s going to cover Edey, there’s no way it’s going to cover Trevion Williams in this one. And if you send doubles that way, then that leaves open Jaden Ivey and maybe Stefanovic gets hot eventually because he’s been lackluster as of late for the Boilermakers.

Matt Josephs:

But you look at this team, St. Peter’s, when they play anybody with a pulse. You have 91 to St. John’s. They gave 85 to Providence, they gave up 79 to Kentucky. Granted, that was overtime.

Matt Josephs:

I think that Purdue’s going to be able to name their score here, I think getting a 74, it was 73 and a half, I think Purdue goes over that number. But that was very frustrated. I had the team total over for the Yale game. It fell three points short. They went the last four minutes I think without scoring. They went over that total easily against a way better defense in Texas. I think St. Peter’s is going to try and slow it down as much as possible. But Purdue’s just going to pull away and St. Peter’s is going to have to do what they have to do and go a little faster.

Matt Josephs:

I was looking at the game over but I don’t know how much St. Peter’s is going to score here. They’re going to have to rely on the three-point shooting and I just don’t know if that’s coming. So I’ll isolate Purdue here and take their team total over.

TJ Rives:

Good enough. Big Man, any thoughts here if no official play on Purdue and a 15 seed? St. Peter’s a 15 seed, has been here twice before. Oral Roberts last year and Florida Gulf Coast in 2013. Both times lost this game. Oral Roberts lost to Arkansas, Florida Gulf Coast lost to Florida in 2013. What about it, Big Man? Any thoughts here if no official play?

Jeff Nadu:

Yeah, I think tomorrow this time… Shaheen Holloway was the new coach [inaudible 00:12:35] think we’ve talked about. But yeah, it’s going to end here. They’re not going to beat Purdue. And I have to wonder if they could even cover here. I’ve went back and forth this whole week. I think Matt’s on the right side.

Jeff Nadu:

Look, the truth of the matter is we can argue whether Providence has been lucky. Let’s just be honest. The St. Peter’s has been lucky. It’s not like [inaudible 00:12:55] destroy them. He had 30 points in that game. You look back to that first game against Kentucky.

Jeff Nadu:

Just hear me out. [inaudible 00:13:01] has 30 points. You look at the top score for St. Peter’s is Daryl Banks. He had 27 point. He had not had more than 20 points. It’s like the second game of the year. He shot the ball. Well, he had made some big threes. Give him some credit. They won but it could have went either way.

Jeff Nadu:

Murray State didn’t shoot the ball. Well, Purdue is not going to miss some of the bunnies they’re going to get tonight. I just don’t think St. Peter’s can guard Purdue in the frontcourt. And I don’t think that’s surprising anybody. They’re not a big team. I don’t think they’re… It’s not like they hadn’t gotten destroyed in the paint this whole tournament. This is the time where they come up against a way better team.

Jeff Nadu:

It wouldn’t surprise me if Purdue win by 20. This game screens like 77-57 to me. I think Purdue ends up cruising here. It’s hard to get in front of St. Peter’s. They’ve been a fun story. I just don’t think they can keep up.

Jeff Nadu:

The truth of the matter is they’re not good in the half court. They thrive on getting to the line and good teams like Purdue just aren’t going to put you there. Purdue I think defends at a high level tonight. I think they end up winning. I want to go against them. I didn’t end up taking it but I would lean Purdue here.

TJ Rives:

So the one thing, and I was wagging the finger, the one thing we talked about yesterday, Mid Major Matt, I want your thought on this because you’re in today is this is the first game up on the floor at the Wells Fargo Center as we take a look at the east bracket here. St. Peter’s and Purdue are playing first so when the North Carolina and UCLA fans are entering the building and getting into their seats, etc., especially for the second half, if this is close or within reach and St Peter’s starts to hit a shot, get a stop, get a big moment, the crowd will start to roar and the other fans will start to embrace them more than if Purdue is doing something.

TJ Rives:

Matt, I’m not saying St. Peter’s going to win, do you buy that that can empower them enough to keep it close and hang around? What do you think of that theory?

Matt Josephs:

So the problem with that is if they start showing up by halftime and the game’s already double digits like that… Look, it’s hard to trust Purdue’s defense at times. The first half against Yale, Yale did whatever they wanted then the second half Yale couldn’t get a shot and Purdue gets a lot of credit for that and then you look at the Texas game. What? Texas missed 15 straight shots and then Texas all of a sudden has the lead.

Matt Josephs:

So Purdue’s defense could give them opportunities if they’re focused but I think they will be focused so I think it almost will be one of those things where they’re losing by so much that it won’t matter by the time all those fans show up.

Jeff Nadu:

I will say this, and I’ve been pretty… And this is where you got to go against what me and Matt agreed on.

Jeff Nadu:

Purdue is not… And this might lend to why maybe they’re one of the better teams out there because they haven’t played well. They have not shot the ball well in a long time at least from three. They haven’t had that vintage shooting performance. You’ve got all the way back to beginning of March last time they shot over 38% from three.

Jeff Nadu:

Stefanovic, what’s happened to this guy? He hasn’t shot the ball well for a long time it seems like. You got to go all the way back to that point of time.

Jeff Nadu:

It’s scary that they’ve been able to win games, do their thing, and haven’t really shot the ball well. So I get the feeling tonight that they start hitting some shots and I think they end up cruising but once they get going this can be a real dangerous game because no one can match them in the frontcourt.

TJ Rives:

All right. Let’s lock Mid Major Matt in his play is Purdue. He wants points, points, points from the Boilermakers. Boiler up. He’s going on the team total over 73 and a half in this first of the four Sweet 16 games tonight.

TJ Rives:

You do see on our screen. We’ll get to your questions and answers, Matt and Jeff may be answering occasionally in the live chat. We’ll also verbally get to some questions and answers in a little bit about these games and we’ll even take a peek ahead to Saturday’s Elite Eight games before we are done. Here is what… We’re going to be here for a little while today. We love all of that.

TJ Rives:

All right, game number two tonight is up in Chicago. The first game on the floor will be Kansas and Providence. The last number one seed remaining in this 2022 tournament is the Kansas Jayhawks. They remain a seven and a half point favorite, the total at 141 and a half for this one tonight. Providence obviously the champions in the regular season of the Big East. Kansas shared the Big 12 title and then won the Big 12 tournament.

TJ Rives:

All right, so there’s not an official play here. Big Man Jeff Nadu, give me a quick thought here if no official play on this one tonight.

Jeff Nadu:

Yeah, I’m actually on this one officially, my man.

TJ Rives:

Go ahead.

Jeff Nadu:

Yeah, I’m taking Kansas. And look, I’m surprised because I could have sworn I saw Matt Josephs on the other side of this game. What the hell happened, Matt? Did you not play this?

Matt Josephs:

I did not. Well, I’ll explain. You go ahead and talk about Kansas.

Jeff Nadu:

Okay. I’m surprised. I want to hear what you have to say.

Jeff Nadu:

Yeah, as far as Kansas, I’m going to tell you right now. This is very simple to me. This is simply I’m just going against the whole world. I’ve not seen a game this year with this amount of action. It seems like every single human being on planet Earth is on Providence and this line didn’t look right to me from the beginning. This is strictly a number play to me. It just looked too high and it makes no sense to me.

Jeff Nadu:

It seems like when Providence loses… And the proof is in the pudding really. The Villanova games, they had trouble defensively and outside of that, every game that Providence lost this year, they got crushed. It’s either they win or they get crushed. Quite simply, for the most part.

Jeff Nadu:

I’m going to go with the fact that I just think Kansas from an offensive rebounding standpoint is really good. I think you get the good McCormack tonight. And I like Kansas’ offense. I think they’re elite. I don’t think Providence is elite offense.

Jeff Nadu:

I know people are going to listen to this breakdown and say, “Well, there goes him. Faith in Providence. When will these people learn?” Look, I’m willing to be on the side of the casino and the books here. The books need Kansas. I think they get them tonight.

Jeff Nadu:

I think Kansas wins by double digits. Most of the games Kansas has won over the last two weeks, every single one has come by seven or more. I think they take care of business. I think Remy Martin, the addition of him recently, has been huge for this team. He’s given them a lot off the bench. I think he’s a difference in this game. I think they win by 10.

TJ Rives:

All right, Matt, you have an opposing view, potentially?

Matt Josephs:

Look, I was originally and I’m still considering Providence. I think that there’s two schools of thought here. Obviously, look, they’re this luckiest team in the country by whatever metric and they’ve had a lot of things happen but some of that just wore off. I watched them… We all watched them in that Richmond game. They shut down a very good Richmond offense. Nowhere near what a Kansas’ offense is obviously. But I wonder how McCormack…

Matt Josephs:

McCormack is one of those guys that you’ll know early. If he’s into the game or if Coach Self has to yank him out. I think Watson and McCormack is going to be a turning point.

Matt Josephs:

I feel like this could be a good live betting game early too. If Kansas is getting out in transition, then they’re certainly going to win and they’ll win this game easily. But Providence doesn’t let that happen.

Matt Josephs:

And Cooley’s a really good coach when it comes to underdogs. He’s about 60% as an underdog against the spread since 2014 and when it gets to the Sweet 16, you want to back the better coaches here. I’m not saying Cooley is better than Self.

Matt Josephs:

But there could be something to this Providence team and their luck could all wear out, man. As I said, when we were recapping the same on Monday. Durham is a 20% three-point shooter. He was banging them in against Richmond with ease.

Matt Josephs:

So I don’t want to go against Providence. But I also don’t know if… Kansas is obviously the better team here. So I might live bet this game. I want to get a feel as to how the first five, 10 minutes go and see if McCormack’s engaged because that’s a matchup advantage. And of course, Remy Martin is a huge match of advantage as well.

Jeff Nadu:

The question I have to ask, and it’s not like Providence is known by every bettor out there. Everybody knows this team has been good all season. Everybody knows the fact that they’re in every game and it’s close.

Jeff Nadu:

Why is this number seven? Why did it open eight? Why is this number where it is? It doesn’t make any sense. I would love to speak to a head bookmaker and ask them about this game because it screams they’re just…

Jeff Nadu:

And look, they’ll make a ton of money off this game because everyone and their mother is on Providence. They can’t lose by more [inaudible 00:21:02] happen. Why is this number where it is? It’s one of the weirdest lines I’ve ever seen, quite frankly. I’ve looked it at a lot of my career and Matt has as well. This is the weirdest line I’ve seen in a long time.

TJ Rives:

All right. He’s going to lock in Rock Chalk, Jayhawk and lay the points here. Lay the seven and a half and it’s remained there for most of this week. Again, the winner in the Elite Eight, and a big matchup advantage for the coaches. Again, Bill Self has been in these situations Sweet 16, Elite Eight, Final Four over and over again. Ed Cooley, not so much. You wonder if that will be big X’s and O’s late in a close game. We will find out for tonight.

TJ Rives:

We remind you as you watch us right now 11:00 AM Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, we’re back at that time next week. We will know the Final Four teams on Monday when we’re here at 11:00 and we’re looking forward to everything that’s going to go on in New Orleans. So be with us, make sure to hit the like button. Make sure to hit the bell, subscribe to this channel, share it out. Again, we set a live audience record. The number is soaring yesterday. The overall audience was up by the way over 30%. And we suspected this. Thursday and Friday of last week, it was huge. It was huge here again. Thank you.

TJ Rives:

And from all of us here at BetUS, thank you but hit the like button, share it out. More people are finding it that way. And if you’re watching us later in the day and you’re saying, “Well, wait a minute.” We’re on at 11:00 AM Eastern Time. We’ll be on at 11:00 AM Eastern Time next week as well.

TJ Rives:

Let’s move on and go back to Philadelphia. The second game on the floor in the East Regional is UCLA coming all the way East to play North Carolina. What a blueblood rivalry this matchup is going to be. Again, if you had to list all the all American players and all the Final Four and National Championship accolades from these two programs, it would take you about a week to do all of that.

TJ Rives:

142 is our total UCLA is the favorite. There is not an official play on this one. Matt, why don’t you begin here with just a thought or two on this one tonight if nothing officially on it.

Matt Josephs:

The toughest part of this handicap is having watched North Carolina all season, they can win the National Championship and beat anybody with the amount of talent. When they’re on, they’re scary good. But they also lost at home to Pittsburgh at home.

Matt Josephs:

And look, the Jaquez injury is huge. All indications that he’s going to play tonight, but is he going to be close to 100%? Now, he’s had a couple of ankle injuries. I think he had another ankle injury earlier this season.

Matt Josephs:

I like UCLA in this situation. I think there’s some value on the money line because it’s minus two and that way you don’t have to worry about free throws or anything like that. I think UCLA is playing like the veteran team we thought they were and I think that they’re going to have a good game plan.

Matt Josephs:

Brady Manek has been huge. He’s the wildcard of that team and we talked about on Monday. He’s arguably the best transfer portal pickup of anybody in the country and I think Mick Cronin is going to figure out a way to minimize him a little bit.

Matt Josephs:

I like UCLA’s veterans in this situation. I think they’re going to match up well with Bacot and [inaudible 00:24:00] whether it’s Johnson or Riley here. If I was to play anything, I think it would be UCLA money line here. I think we’re getting some value here because the good North Carolina has shown up the past couple of games.

TJ Rives:

Big Man, what are your thoughts here on a matchup that will put one of these two blue bloods into the Elite Eight?

Jeff Nadu:

Yeah, it’s a great game. Really great game. How about North Carolina? One of the better frontcourts as Matt alluded to. I think it really comes down to Love against Tyger Campbell. Can Caleb Love continue his play this year? He’s been very good for them.

Jeff Nadu:

I have this game more like I pick them. I’m surprised… Juzang we know is very good. A lot of mid range stuff. He’s very good at that stuff. But Jaquez bombed ankle, that’s definitely problematic and from what I understand, look, he’ll play. He’s a tough kid. But obviously, when we look at the frontline, I don’t think it’s even a question. Carolina is much better.

Jeff Nadu:

This game really reminds me a little bit of last night’s game between, maybe not on the highest level just because I don’t think North Carolina is Houston, I don’t think UCLA… UCLA might be better than Arizona. I think it’s similar game though.

Jeff Nadu:

UNC’s standard game through rebounding. Obviously, their ability in the frontcourt… If it gets to three, I might come back and maybe take a shot with Carolina. I think the game’s close at any rate. I had a hard time separating these two. Should be a great matchup. I’m going to lean on Carolina a little bit. I would like three if I’m going to bet it but I haven’t played it at this point. Carolina has been impressive. I’ve got to be happy with that and I don’t think Campbell can exploit Love like he maybe could have like Kriisa or somebody else.

TJ Rives:

Well, Campbell certainly hit the big shots in the opening round win against the 13 seed Akron when they needed them. Veteran team like you mentioned, Juzang seemed to hit every clutch shot a year ago in the tournament.

TJ Rives:

Again, we’re looking here at the east bracket in Philadelphia. This is the second game up at the top, UCLA-North Carolina tonight.

TJ Rives:

By the way, we should make mention that our colleague, Ian Cameron, is making two official plays on this game. He shared those on the Wednesday show. He’s got North Carolina plus the two and a half. He got it at two and a half midweek and he likes the over as well. He likes North Carolina for what that’s worth in this one this evening.

TJ Rives:

Again, the winner in the Elite Eight here, I really… Again, back to the coaching thing. I think this is big. When you look at Jay Wright against Juwan Howard last night, Kelvin Sampson against Tommy Lloyd, first time as a head coach, in this. Hubert Davis first time as a head coach, Mick Cronin has been here a bunch. That’s advantage UCLA. Is it not guys?

Jeff Nadu:

Yeah. I’m definitely… Mick’s great. I kind of want to go just to try to meet Mick… I love Mick Cronin. I think he’s one of my favorite coach. He’s just a tough guy. Great coach. Yeah, definitely an advantage here.

Jeff Nadu:

And look, UCLA has been there too. Remember their deep run last year? It should be a great game. It should be like Duke-Texas Tech. I think it’s right down to the wire. I’m fascinated by this one. I really am.

TJ Rives:

Coaching is-

Matt Josephs:

And it’s-

TJ Rives:

Go ahead. Yeah, go ahead.

Matt Josephs:

It’s probably a correlated play too. If you like Carolina, they’re not winning this game in the 60s. So you’re probably taking Carolina in the over and if you like UCLA, you’re looking at the under because UCLA… The funny thing is UCLA can win a game in the 60s and they can win a game in the high 70s. I don’t know if North Carolina can win a game in the 60s. We know they can win games in the 70s. Can they keep this thing low defensively and hold down UCLA? That’s the good thing about the Bruins here. They can play any style. They just prefer to play it slow and low [crosstalk 00:27:31].

Jeff Nadu:

I remember during the regular season. I remember I think it was you, TJ, might have mentioned. They had given up. They’d lost [inaudible 00:27:38] in Miami. They gave up 85 and 98 and we talked about how terrific their defense was, Carolina. And I will admit, it’s been better recently and it’s going to have to be good here.

Jeff Nadu:

But I think Matt’s totally right. If you feel like Carolina, this is going to be a 78-75 tip game. If you like UCLA, it’s probably first 70 wins for 65 one.

TJ Rives:

If you want a reference point, too, what was it about? 11 days ago in the Big East champion, or not the Big East ACC championship game at the Barclays Center of Virginia Tech wore them out the same way being able to score in that one or actually with a semifinal game where they wore North Carolina out in that one and even Syracuse. Somebody, Syracuse Orange was scoring all over them in Chapel Hill before they came back. North Carolina got the game tied and won it in overtime. We’ll see how freely UCLA can score or not.

TJ Rives:

No official play from the guys in this one.

Jeff Nadu:

Hey.

TJ Rives:

Yes. Anything else?

Jeff Nadu:

TJ, I want to say one thing. Somebody in the chat’s talking about the game in Philly makes me like UNC more. Which I don’t know if I quite understand. I’m always fascinated by people that… When we talk about fan base, so if you’re a fan at UCLA, you may go to Denver, you may go to Chicago. Is someone going to say, “Well, I’m not going to Philly. That’s too far.” No, I feel like if you like your team, you’re going to go wherever it is. I’m just not really in belief that this matters at all. Maybe a little.

TJ Rives:

I don’t know how many UCLA is going to have there though tonight on that point. I got a feeling that North Carolina will have some. St. Peter’s will obviously proximity like you were talking about will have some. Purdue will have some. It was interesting-

Jeff Nadu:

But it’s also-

TJ Rives:

… on that point to look how many Duke had to your point in San Francisco last night. It looked like they had seven or 8000 probably in that Chase Center-

Jeff Nadu:

And the thing that-

TJ Rives:

… last night, to your point, that’s all the way across the country.

Jeff Nadu:

Most of the people don’t also… Just because UCLA is in California does not mean every single person with UCLA lives in California. These are high end people. They may live in New York. They may live in Miami. They may live in Atlanta. I don’t know. I don’t think it really matters, quite honestly.

TJ Rives:

All right.

Jeff Nadu:

But I could be wrong.

TJ Rives:

Are we saving this for later? Do we have confirmation on whether you’re going tonight? You said you had an option-

Jeff Nadu:

No, I don’t know.

TJ Rives:

… go to the Wells Fargo Center. Have you sworn it off or what’s the [inaudible 00:29:54]?

Jeff Nadu:

I still haven’t decided, to be honest. I don’t know. I want to go but I have so much to do right now. I got stuff in my house I got to take care of. I don’t know. Probably not. I might go Sunday though. If we get-

TJ Rives:

He’s leaning no. He’s leaning no. All right lead eight maybe.

Jeff Nadu:

Because, TJ, here’s why I don’t want to go because I don’t want to go for two games. I know Purdue’s going to blow St. Peter’s out. That’s why I don’t want to go.

TJ Rives:

Then just go later. Go later for the UCLA game.

Jeff Nadu:

Yeah, or I could just-

TJ Rives:

I’m coordinating your social calendar.

Jeff Nadu:

Or I could just go Sunday and see a great game. That’s what I think I’ll do.

TJ Rives:

All right. Fair enough.

TJ Rives:

One more game to cover here. We are coming to your Q&A. Get the questions in the chat if you’re with us here live in the 11:00 AM Eastern Time hour.

TJ Rives:

That final game that is coming up here this evening is Iowa State and Miami. We’re back in Chicago with the United Center here on the neutral floor. This is the fourth time ever that an 11 seed and a 10 seed have met in a Sweet 16 game. Miami has never been in the Elite Eight. Iowa State won two games a year ago. Now, they have a chance to be in the Elite Eight.

TJ Rives:

The line is three. Miami favorite by three on the neutral floor. 133 is the total in this one. And both of our handicappers that plays on this one. Mid Major Matt, back to you. What’s the official play for this matchup tonight in Chicago?

Matt Josephs:

To me, and it’s crazy that I’m doing this and I took this right off when the line first came out. I took the Miami money. I think Miami wins this game. I think that Iowa State has had two great circumstances so far to help them move on. They had an LSU team that you guys know I didn’t like and also didn’t have their coach and we’re not very disciplined all year long and their offense just didn’t show up and there was a 59-54 game notice the 59 won it.

Matt Josephs:

And then you got Wisconsin with Johnny Davis who wasn’t 100%. Wisconsin offense that is very inconsistent and not very good. And once again, notice the 54 part of it.

Matt Josephs:

And now you’ve got a Miami team with the better coach, given time to prepare for your team and he’ll probably… Larrañaga is going to be laughing at this Iowa State offense. It’s pretty atrocious. I’ve said it before, 36 points against Oklahoma State, 41 against Texas, 44 against TCU.

Matt Josephs:

Now Miami’s defense is not very good at least statistically but they’ve actually done pretty well with it. USC, they held down a little bit. They did a great job on Auburn, came up with a great game plan to basically take Jabari Smith out of it for a little bit and let Auburn’s crazy guards take all their shots.

Matt Josephs:

I give the edge to Coach Larrañaga here. And the one thing that I state does really good besides defense is forced turnovers. Well, Miami hasn’t turned the ball over. They’re six, the turnover percentage on offense for the least amount of turnovers in college basketball.

Matt Josephs:

I trust the better coach. I trust the better guards. I trust the more consistent offense here. I hope that Miami’s defense shows up. I don’t know necessarily if they will and that’s why once again we’re looking at the money line here as opposed to taking the three because Miami free throw shooting 74%, that’s good, I like that. But I don’t want to have to worry about that. Miami is the better team. They’ve got the better coach, they’ve got the better guards, they’ve got good enough forwards here. I think they win the game.

TJ Rives:

The guards were tremendous obviously in those two wins, the upsets of USC and then they were great again against Auburn. Isaiah Wong in particular playing outstanding for them.

TJ Rives:

And again, we take a look here at the Midwest bracket and how Miami and Iowa State both arrive like Matt was talking about. If you look down at the bottom right of the screen, Iowa State getting through with the wins over LSU and then beating Wisconsin.

TJ Rives:

Big Man, let’s bring you in. They beat Wisconsin in Milwaukee about an hour from their campus. You talk about having the arena. They had the whole arena at the Fiserv Forum, the Badgers, and it didn’t matter. Iowa State still beat them. And again that Miami team defeats Auburn when Auburn had a lot of fans in Greenville, South Carolina. That didn’t matter either, right? So this one is in Chicago. Big Man. You’ve got an official play? What is it?

Jeff Nadu:

Yeah, I had thought for certain points maybe taking a shot with Iowa State. Matt is right. Both opponents they played were not good offensively. But you play this in front of you. And look, I’m sure they’re looking at Miami and saying, “We lucked out pretty good here. We didn’t get Auburn or USC. We’re getting Miami.”

Jeff Nadu:

And look, all credit to Larrañaga, they’ve been good but Iowa State just keeps passing the test and they’ve done it defensively. They’ve done it low, slow pace. We know Iowa State’s not going to offensively. I don’t think they’re going to tell you they’re going to offensively.

Jeff Nadu:

I also look at Miami recently. This defense has been terrific. Quite honestly. Terrific. And it’s been a while this defense has been terrific. They were bad towards the beginning of the season, but they really started getting going in February, really started shutting teams down using their length, their ability. I started looking at them and saying maybe this defense is figuring itself out a little bit and it sure as hell has.

Jeff Nadu:

Neither team plays real fast. I don’t see either team really… Neither team really wants to shoot three balls much. I like the under here. I felt like any total in the 130s I was going to play the under. I played the under with Iowa State and LSU. I liked it against Wisconsin. I like it for third time here. I think this game is like first to 65 wins. It wouldn’t surprise me if it’s another game played in the 50s.

Jeff Nadu:

It seems like anytime Iowa State plays you have to realize it’s going to be a low scoring game. Just how it goes. I’m going to go under. I got 133 and a half. It’s down a little bit but I still like the under. Anything in the 130.

TJ Rives:

All right, good enough on that.

TJ Rives:

By the way, our colleague, Ian Cameron from Wednesday did have an early bet and he also agreed on the money line, Matt Josephs, for what it’s worth for the Miami Hurricanes in this matchup. So let’s lock both of these guys in for the game tonight in Chicago. The Big Man on the total on the under and again Mid Major Matt likes those Miami Hurricanes to make history.

TJ Rives:

Jim Larrañaga has been in the Elite Eight and the Final Four with George Mason. Miami as a program, has never been in the Elite Eight. Iowa State has been in the Elite Eight. Something gives tonight. Let’s see what happens in that second of two Sweet 16 games at the United Center.

TJ Rives:

All right. Again, we’re coming to your questions and answers. The guys want to take a quick peek at a couple of the early bets that we’re looking at for the Saturday Elite Eight games.

TJ Rives:

Again, the first game is going to be the Villanova-Houston game in San Antonio on Saturday night. I’m looking here at the BetUS line again that is coming as you see out of the South Regional. Villanova very quickly was a two-point favorite in that game tomorrow night.

TJ Rives:

Guys, I know you’re not going to have an official play here on the show. Maybe you do want to go on the record. I won’t speak for you. But anything about this matchup real quick talking about the early look at Saturday night’s spot for the Final Four between Villanova and Houston.

Jeff Nadu:

Yeah, I think it’s a little concerning for Villanova or first hour for Houston. Obviously, we know how good Villanova’s guards are and whatever. But the problem that Villanova has here is I don’t think they’re big. They’re very good. I think Houston will rebound the hell out of the basketball and just beat them up in this game.

Jeff Nadu:

The free throw stuff’s concerning. Houston does have issues occasionally with fouling. If Villanova lives at the line, this game could get interesting, but I’m not fading Houston. There’s not… I think they’re playing at the highest level in the country right now.

Jeff Nadu:

I think Villanova is really good. You got to look at… Now, this is where I would talk about maybe the crowd being important because it’s right there. It’s two hours away. You could see last night that that crowd was helpful in that game. But yeah, Villanova, I think they’re 200 from a defensive rebounding standpoint. That’s really concerning here if you’re Villanova. It reminds me of-

TJ Rives:

Do you know who else-

Jeff Nadu:

Kind of reminds of Illinois, quite honestly.

TJ Rives:

I don’t mean to interrupt. You know who else was there last night? Hakeem the Dream.

Jeff Nadu:

Hakeem, yeah.

TJ Rives:

Olajuwon was there and they kept showing him through the game. And the Dream looks like he could still maybe go out there and get Kelvin Sampson five minutes if he needed to.

Jeff Nadu:

I don’t know how old… How old is that Hakeem at this point?

TJ Rives:

He’s got to be early 60s. Remember his heyday-

Jeff Nadu:

He’s 59.

TJ Rives:

… his college years was the early 1980s and people don’t realize this. Houston was in the Final Four three times with Hakeem Olajuwon and he stayed there for all four years at Houston before going to the NBA and he is still obviously a legend. Not only for what he did with the Rockets, but what he did at the University of Houston with Guy Lewis Phi Slama. Jama. Well, you talked about a team that couldn’t shoot free throws. Those Phi Slama Jama teams in the early ’80s with Hakeem and Clyde Drexler and those guys brick fest. Houston’s got to be better than that.

TJ Rives:

Mid Major Matt, any thought in the early pick here? Villanova-Houston, Hakeem Olajuwon, magic or not.

Matt Josephs:

Well, Steph Curry was there too yesterday. That was… No, wait, Steph Curry was at the other. No. Steph Curry, he’s at the-

TJ Rives:

San Francisco, right.

Matt Josephs:

He was in San Francisco. Excuse me. I got those confused.

Matt Josephs:

I like Houston here. I’m debating the Houston money line because as we talked about the free throw shooting is an issue. Obviously, Gillespie is probably going to be as close to 100% but that entry at the end did not look good and everybody’s saying-

TJ Rives:

No.

Matt Josephs:

… all the right things. [inaudible 00:38:48] Gillespie and Moore, that team, whatever you’re going to get from the Bigs and I don’t know how long their Bigs are going to last because Houston is going to play volleyball like they always do and Villanova’s one weakness is rebounding here.

Matt Josephs:

So I like Houston here. It’s two of the best coaches. You could arguably say the winner of this game is the best coach in college basketball right now because what Jay Wright does with his team on a year to year basis as much as I’m vomiting in my mouth right now saying nice things about Villanova.

Matt Josephs:

I think Houston is the play here. I think the money line’s the play here for Houston to just mitigate the whole free throw shooting issues.

TJ Rives:

All right, anything else?

Jeff Nadu:

Yeah, real quick on Hakeem. But you’re right, it looks great. I read something about Hakeem, guys. You know he made $100 million estimated in real estate in Houston? You’re talking about a smart guy, man. What a great life too. He’s talked about his… And by the way, he bought all the property in cash because he’s a strict Muslim and in Muslim law, you cannot pay interest. That’s bad. You can’t do it. It’s wrong.

TJ Rives:

Good financial law too is try not to pay any interest.

Jeff Nadu:

Yes. How smart is that guy? What a really smart guy. Looks great.

TJ Rives:

You want me to give you something? You know what Hakeem was originally doing in Africa before he’d started picking up basketball. He was a soccer goalie.

Jeff Nadu:

Yeah.

TJ Rives:

At a huge height, he was six, seven in middle school age or early high school age and then he began to learn basketball a little bit, like 15-year-old, 16-year-old, and my Lord did the world open up.

TJ Rives:

You could have had… Maybe Hakeem Olajuwon is World Cup goalie at some point, but it turned out he was a basketball player with that.

TJ Rives:

And I got a fun one for you. This relates to the NFL. I did not know this. I did not realize this. But the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have now acquired two players off the free agency. You say, “What does this have to do with basketball?” It’s about to connect to Hakeem Olajuwon. Are you ready?

TJ Rives:

So the Bucs now have a player that’s an outstanding defensive end to help them win the Super Bowl, Shaquil Barrett. Shaquil Barrett named after Shaquille O’Neal. Shaquil Barrett’s middle name Olajuwon. I kid you not. It’s on his birth certificate. Mom, dad obviously big NBA fans. He’s Shaquille Olajuwon Barrett.

TJ Rives:

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have traded with the New England Patriots for an offensive lineman that’s been in the Pro Bowl.

Jeff Nadu:

Shaq Mason.

TJ Rives:

Shaq Mason. Shaquille Mason named after Shaquille O’Neal. Middle name Olajuwon. I kid you not. The Buccaneers have two players named Shaquille Olajuwon. That tells you how prominent Olajuwon was in the ’80s and the ’90s along with Shaq. How crazy is that?

Jeff Nadu:

Well, I’ll give you one better. When I was a kid, I actually have never had a dog since then. I’ll tell you a quick story, guys, we have a little time here.

Jeff Nadu:

When I was a little child, my parents bought me a dog and I called it Shaq. He was my favorite player. And let me tell you about this dog. He was a mean little dog but he was nice to my family and me and he would protect me. He was like my little boyhood dog. And this is a sad story. I don’t mean to be graphic.

Jeff Nadu:

But one day, my mom, he liked to be outside. My mom said, “Go feed the dog,” true story, before school when I was eight years old. I went out and my dog was deceased. I had to bury him. I never had another dog after that because he was like Old Yeller to me. He was very important. And I love that dog.

TJ Rives:

We take the turn to the morbid. I was trying to just be cheery about the Olajuwon name.

Jeff Nadu:

I know, I know.

TJ Rives:

That’s okay.

Jeff Nadu:

But I had [inaudible 00:42:25]. He was integral to my childhood.

TJ Rives:

How about that? Shaq Olajuwon and Hakeem Olajuwon will be right there and it’ll be interesting if Clyde Drexler is there and others are there in San Antonio to see if they can make the Final Four or not.

TJ Rives:

One more early bet. I promise we’re coming to questions and answers. You guys are going to peek here at Arkansas and guys, see on the BetUS line again America’s premier sports book you see right out of that West Regional those are the two teams remaining do try to get back to the Final Four. Arkansas right now a four-point underdog in this game.

TJ Rives:

Guys, any thoughts? No official play but any thoughts about that line for Saturday night in the final game of the two to go to the Final Four?

Jeff Nadu:

Well, look, Matt and I have we went back and forth all year on this Arkie team but how many close games is this team played in? It’s like they’re going to be scared to go and play Duke. I thought it was a better matchup than… Obviously, Gonzaga is tougher I feel than Duke.

Jeff Nadu:

This is going to be difficult. Duke’s playing at a really high level. You’re going to have to work with the refs and that kind of thing. But right now, Arkansas, it’s hard to get in front of this group. Every game is close, for what it’s worth. They don’t really get blown out. Every game they play right down to the wire. I’m going to hope that this number goes up a little bit. I think the public will come in and take a Duke. I’d love to see five pop up here. If I get a five, I’ll be all over Arkie.

TJ Rives:

Interesting. Matt, any thought there? Duke-Arkansas line or totals or anything before we take off.

Matt Josephs:

I like Arkansas at the spread but Duke’s winning this game.

Matt Josephs:

Here’s the thing. So I was impressed with various aspects of Arkansas but as I said for the most part that first half they should have been down a ton and it actually goes on Notae. If Notae is bombing away with 30-shot, you can’t do that against Duke. You can get away with that against a lot of other teams. You can’t do that I feel like against Duke.

Jeff Nadu:

They did it against Gonzaga, Matt, for God’s sakes.

Matt Josephs:

Yes, we all determined that Gonzaga was overrated. If we have Duke and Gonzaga were playing in that game instead of Arkansas, I think I would even pick Duke and I think you would pick Duke. You can’t have it both ways and say, “Gonzaga is overrated, they stink,” but then you say, “Oh, well, he did it against Gonzaga.” You can’t have it that way.

Matt Josephs:

And I understand. The guard play is a whole lot better for Duke than it is against Gonzaga. And Duke’s guards played better defense than Gonzaga’s guards do. I think [crosstalk 00:44:46]-

TJ Rives:

And we have not touched on… I didn’t mean to interrupt. We have not touched on Jeremy Roach to that point. He was huge in that game last night and he’s going to have to be big maybe in key situations, Matt, in this game for them to win against Arkansas.

Matt Josephs:

I think Arkansas covers the four but I’m not going to not pick against Duke. And don’t forget, I’m not going to scare away from the conspiracy theory because we had a clean game between Texas Tech and Duke. I’m just not. I think Duke wins this game. I think Arkansas can cover the number. Much like Jeff, if it goes up, I’ll definitely be on Arkansas.

TJ Rives:

All right. Good enough on those debates.

TJ Rives:

Live question and answer moments here for a few minutes.

Jeff Nadu:

Hey, TJ?

TJ Rives:

Yep, go ahead.

Jeff Nadu:

Real quick. I want to ask Matt, and maybe you can answer as well, I’d be curious. Did anyone watch Duke at times and… I think you can make the same, “Well, Arkansas should have been that.” Duke at times defensively could not get a damn stop. They just couldn’t every single-

TJ Rives:

But-

Jeff Nadu:

… I was surprised at how bad they [crosstalk 00:45:42]-

TJ Rives:

… when it mattered the most, they did get it and it was the same way against Michigan State. So just-

Jeff Nadu:

Yeah. And look, they were better. Mark Williams was great for them. You mentioned Jeremy Roach. They’re going to be tough. But if you’re going to give me four or five points, I’ll keep rocking with [inaudible 00:45:56].

TJ Rives:

By the way, under the category of things that you’re not ever going to see again, somebody win 100, 100, even 100 NCAA tournament game the same school. That’s not happening again.

TJ Rives:

I often say to stay away from the word never. You’re never going to see somebody win 100 NCAA Tournament games at the same school. Think about how many games you got to win every year in the NCAA tournament to get to 100 of them like with Coach K has.

Jeff Nadu:

Yeah. It’s not… Especially today, because I’m going to guess it really depends. How long does a coach stay at… You look at some of these young coaches like-

TJ Rives:

Right.

Jeff Nadu:

Let me ask you, TJ, 100, that’s great. Yeah, I guess that’s true. You start to think about how many games that is if [crosstalk 00:46:38]-

TJ Rives:

That’s correct.

Jeff Nadu:

It is true.

TJ Rives:

Stay at the same place in average three a year, that’s 30 for 10 years.

Jeff Nadu:

Well, let me ask you-

TJ Rives:

[crosstalk 00:46:47] averaging three a year that’s 60. That’s nowhere close to 100. It’s crazy.

Jeff Nadu:

Okay, let me ask you. What about Mark Few? He could do it maybe.

TJ Rives:

What is Few at? I don’t know without looking. I bet Few somewhere.

Jeff Nadu:

And he’s still pretty young.

TJ Rives:

He’s 23 years. I would guess he’s somewhere around 40 right now, probably 40 NCAA tournament wins and that may be high.

Matt Josephs:

38.

TJ Rives:

  1. Thank you, Matt. He’s got to get 62 more in the rest of his career at Gonzaga at the same school to get 62. That’s a staggering, staggering-

Jeff Nadu:

I feel like it would be more than 38 but I guess it is [inaudible 00:47:22].

Matt Josephs:

They could have done it but the NCAA foolishly took a bunch of wins away. He’s at 40 something now. I think that there was a bunch they took away so he could be at 60 now and he’s never going to die. He’s just going to be a ghoul on the sideline when he’s 100 years old.

TJ Rives:

Just roll him out like Weekend at Bernie’s, you say, Matt?

Matt Josephs:

Likewise.

TJ Rives:

Like one of those?

TJ Rives:

All right. Quickly, questions and answers. We have time for a few of these. [inaudible 00:47:45] I think is how you say it on YouTube wants to know. “Anything, Matt, on the basketball classic tonight?” You’ve been big on that and I think you do want to touch on that so the basketball classic finale, correct, is tonight? Go ahead, Matt.

Jeff Nadu:

Tomorrow.

Matt Josephs:

It’s not the finale. It’s crazy tournament.

Matt Josephs:

So Portland is supposed to play Merrimack and then Merrimack withdrew. Wofford already withdrew. UMBC didn’t have enough players. They were supposed to have 32. They end up with 21. A bunch of teams withdrew. And then there’s some teams where they play extra games to get to where they were. They had 10 and then that didn’t work out.

Matt Josephs:

So it’s been a crazy tournament. But as we always talk about games to handicap means games to bet on. And I said it on the show, I think Monday and I’ll say it again. Portland if they stay together this offseason will be a factor in the WCC next year, legit factor, NIT potentially, and outside, probably not NCAA Tournament [inaudible 00:48:37] because they’re just not going to be that good. But this is going to be a legit team.

Matt Josephs:

And now they hit the road, they play Southern Utah and both of these teams play with pace and both of these teams have good offenses and both of them don’t play much defense and you look at some of these games… They went and they scored 83 on Jeff’s Kent State team which is a really good defense though granted we could debate whether or not Kent State wanted to be there or not. But they’ve scored 82 and 83 their last games. Portland beat up on New Orleans. I think there’s been a lot of points in this game.

Matt Josephs:

I love the over in this game. It’s gone down a little bit from when I got it. It’s at 154 and a half I think is what you guys locked me in on. I think this is going to be a fun game. Portland’s a team to watch next year but this one goes over the total because both teams score and both teams run.

TJ Rives:

Never let it be said that we don’t search and seek out line spots and whatever Southern Utah and Portland. How many teams begged out? You said two others or three others? Merrimack?

Matt Josephs:

So Merrimack withdrew. Wofford saw this thing was a joke, they withdrew. UMBC didn’t have enough players and then somebody else withdrew so the 21 [crosstalk 00:49:39]-

TJ Rives:

Are they withdrawing because they’re concerned their travel’s not going to get covered and that kind of thing and they’re going to lose money and the whole thing’s a disaster? Is that that part of it?

Matt Josephs:

Wofford withdrew. They were supposed to host somebody. They changed the date twice and then Wofford just said, “Screw it. We’re not waiting anymore,” and they took themselves out.

TJ Rives:

What a mess.

Matt Josephs:

This thing’s been a disaster.

Matt Josephs:

But as we said, there’s value to be had here. And the other game I believe in that thing is Coastal Carolina and South Alabama, two Sunbelt teams who know each other. So that’s an interesting angle too in those games.

TJ Rives:

All right, so the Southern Utah game you’re looking at the over 154 and a half on the BetUS line.

TJ Rives:

A couple more questions. Nick says, “North Carolina on the money line.” Again this spread somewhere around like two. The BetUS line has two. Fought on that for him. We were touting UCLA a little bit. Thought on that for the viewer watching us? Nothing? North Carolina on the money line. There you go, Nick.

Jeff Nadu:

I don’t… I feel like we discussed it. I lead Carolina a little bit, I guess. I don’t know.

TJ Rives:

And the latest on Jaquez I saw something a couple minutes ago just looking at other things is that he’s obviously going to warm up and try it. We won’t know. It’s anybody’s guess on how effective he’s going to be.

TJ Rives:

UCLA can win the game even if he’s limited and even without him. I believe they’re that deep and that talented. They would obviously want him but let’s see. You got a veteran coach against a first year coach in that situation.

Matt Josephs:

Well, that… Wait a second, wait a second, wait a second.

TJ Rives:

What?

Matt Josephs:

If you knew Jaquez wasn’t playing, there’s no way I would not play UCLA. I’d play North Carolina. Jaquez is a huge part of their offense. But I think he is going to play and I think it’ll be close to 100%. He’s played with an ankle injury a lot of the season already so I think they’re going to watch his time and I think he’s going to put in double digits here. So I like UCLA because they are playing and I like the coaching advantage but that’s why I only liked it. And it was a tossup, as Jeff said. I’m not playing anything in that game. But I lean to UCLA.

TJ Rives:

I trust the fact that I didn’t go to UCLA. I don’t live in the West. I don’t live in Southern California. I trust the fact they’ve been without Jaquez at times this year. They’ve been without Tyger Campbell at times this year. They have other pieces. If he’s not effective, I still think they can win the game tonight. We’ll find out. We’ll find out on that one.

TJ Rives:

Woody is watching us and says, “A lot of books are using analytics to make spreads with Providence and the same analytics have told us all year to go against the Friars. Can we agree that seven and a half is too much?”

TJ Rives:

Obviously, Jeff, you don’t agree. You believe you’re laying those points.

Jeff Nadu:

Well, no [crosstalk 00:52:14]-

TJ Rives:

And that line hasn’t really moved, right?

Jeff Nadu:

I do agree that it’s too much. That’s why it doesn’t make any sense to me. I don’t know why the number was put out at that number. Clearly, something’s going on here and yeah, it is high.

Jeff Nadu:

Look, if Providence wins tonight, whatever, fine. I’m sure they will. They cover every game but the number doesn’t make any sense. I’m going on the opposite of everyone betting and I feel like that’s where I want to be.

Jeff Nadu:

Real quick guys. We obviously are towards the end here. We got to start looking ahead and look, if you hate Duke just remember as we look ahead to next year already because they’re starting to think about next year. They have three top eight recruits coming in.

Jeff Nadu:

And Arkansas by the way, if they could retain Jalen Williams, they got two top 10 recruits coming in. The power group up front is not changing much in [inaudible 00:53:01]. I’m already looking at next year. I already have that marked down.

TJ Rives:

And that will obviously be part of the backdrop for that game that’s going to get played tomorrow night which again we make mentioned it’s a high wire act for Coach K and company. Will they get back to the Final Four or will Arkansas end it?

TJ Rives:

By the way, I don’t know if you guys know this stat. Arkansas made NCAA and NCAA Tournament history last night. They became the first team ever to beat the number one team in the country in the regular season when they beat Auburn at home and then ranked team in the postseason on Thursday night in the Sweet 16. No team has ever beaten the regular season number one and then beaten a different team ranked number one in the NCAA Tournament. Arkansas able to do that last night.

TJ Rives:

All right. Good enough on the questions and answers. Let’s get back to the best bets before we close out. Here’s what the guys had if you’re just joining us or joining us late or seeing it late. Here’s what the guys had earlier in the show.

TJ Rives:

In the Kansas and Purdue game, each one of them have something different. Kansas is Jeff’s play laying the points. Or I’m sorry Kansas and Providence for that one for Jeff.

TJ Rives:

The Purdue game, which is the first game up tonight with St. Peter’s Matt likes Purdue over the total.

TJ Rives:

In the Iowa State and Miami game they both have a play. Jeff likes the under. Mid Major Matt likes Miami. And again, Ian Cameron from earlier in the week also likes Miami on that money line right with you, Matt.

TJ Rives:

And then Matt also likes Southern Utah in that basketball classic game for Saturday with over [inaudible 00:54:39]. We’ll also squeeze in that Kyle Hunter agrees with you, Mid Major Matt, on the Purdue team total over 73 and a half as well. He had that on yesterday’s show for all of this action tonight.

TJ Rives:

Guys, are we ready? Four more spots in the Elite Eight are up for grabs tonight. Final thoughts. Mid Major Matt, anything else?

Matt Josephs:

I always say the one thing with the money line is all about juice tolerance. I got in really early so I got it as soon as it came out so it was minus 115. It’s a little high right now so I can understand people don’t want to play it. You could figure out other ways to play that sort of thing, but I like Miami to win tonight.

TJ Rives:

All right, good enough. Big Man, any other thoughts here as we close out another week and we head to the Elite Eight games this weekend?

Jeff Nadu:

No, no. Nothing for me. I’m looking forward to another weekend and yeah, good luck to everybody in their wager.

TJ Rives:

Again, I’m being told we soared with audience once again here today. Thank you to everybody watching. Remember hit that like button, hit that bell. Share this show out. We’re back again Monday at 11:00 AM. We will know the Final Four, Big Man on Campus and Mid Major Matt. We will know the Final Four when we are here on Monday. Let’s see how all of it plays out. And we’re looking forward to settling things in New Orleans as it will be next weekend at the Final Four the National Championship game.

TJ Rives:

For now, we’re good on the BetUS College Basketball Show. Mid Major Matt, thank you. Big Man on Campus, Jeff Nadu, thank you.

Jeff Nadu:

Thank you.

Matt Josephs:

Thank you.

TJ Rives:

And we thank you guys for watching. Have a great weekend. Enjoy the games.

Show More

Related Tags

HLTV BLAST.tv