6:05 PM EST
Gonzaga -8 over Xavier (2u)
Xavier has been extremely impressive this tournament and has really exceeded expectations winning three games all as underdogs. I’m not taking anything away from them, they are extremely well coached and have been playing lights out but their Cinderella story comes to an end tonight. Gonzaga is on a mission to win this tournament and silence the doubters and will be ready to go in this one with everyone doubting them again. They have the huge height advantage and have the shooting to be able to score on Xavier’s 1-3-1 zone that has been giving other teams big problems. Zaga hasn’t had a good tournament game yet and I think tonight is their statement game where they blow this Xavier team out of the gym. Xavier has been a true “giant killer” after dismantling FSU and knocking off Zona which has made them a public favorite going into tonight’s game. That provides value for us because Zaga should really be a double digit favorite in this game. I never like laying points this late in the tournament but this game is very similar to the UNC game yesterday where I see Zaga dominating this game with their size and running away with it. The Zags have been taking their foot off the gas in the second half and blowing some big leads which is a worry in this one laying the big number, but with them being so close to the coveted Final 4 show down I look for them to put on a complete effort tonight. Backing a public dog this time of year is almost always death and I look for that to be the case again tonight with Zaga easily covering this spread and wining this game by close to 20. Take Gonzaga.
8:45 PM EST
Oregon +6.5 over Kansas
Kansas looked flawless the other night playing a virtually perfect game while completely dismantling Purdue and are now the odds on favorite to win the tournament after steam rolling their first three opponents. I really thought Purdue would have the edge with their size but it turned out to be a total mismatch against the Jayhawks strong guard play as Purdue just wasn’t athletic enough to keep pace. This is a great match up for Oregon because they would rather play an uptempo style of basketball instead of a grind it out kind of win like they played against Michigan and Rhode Island. Oregon, like Kansas, have four great guards and unlike Purdue the Ducks have the athletes to go toe to toe with the Kansas and I think this game is going to be a lot closer than what most people are expecting. All people want to talk about is the injury to Boucher, but guess what this team has won three tournament games and have learned to play without him. This team has a lot of players who have played together for a while now. I love how Jordan Bell can grab rebounds and Tyler Dorsey has been on fire scoring over 20 points in six straight games. The Ducks are a very strong three point shooting team and Kansas is ranked 203rd in the country when it comes to defending the three and have allowed 18 three’s in their past two games. If they allow Oregon to hit their threes that alone will keep them in this game. The biggest factor for me in this game though is the PAC-12 Player of The Year Dillon Brooks. Brooks is a freak athlete who is a matchup nightmare with his 6’7 frame. He shut down Mo Wagner in the Michigan game and he has been drawing the assignment of guarding the other team’s best player all year. He is going to be guarding Josh Jackson tonight and believe it or not I like for him to get the best of that matchup and shut him down. Oregon is the better defensive team and is good enough on both sides of the ball to turn this into a last possession type of game. I think they actually pull the stunner and knock Kansas off their perch but we will happily take the 6.5 points here in what should be a game for the ages! Take Oregon.