7:05 PM EST
UNC -7 over Butler (3u)
Butler overachieved according to most with two wins to start this tournament, but their nice run is coming to an end tonight. It’s one thing to beat Winthrop and Middle Tennessee State but UNC is a big step up in class from those two mid-majors. UNC just has way too many edges in this game. They will be the most athletic team Butler has faced this season and have the huge rebounding edge. Rebounding and size is something you just can’t teach. UNC is bigger and better on the glass and should dominate this game down low. UNC is the best offensive rebounding team in the nation and should have their way against a small Butler team who’s tallest starter is 6’7. Kelan Martin is still hobbled for Butler and I just don’t think they have the overall talent to stay in this game. Butler relies on the three ball which is a great fade this time on year and UNC is known as an offensive powerhouse but they are 19th in the nation in defensive efficiency. UNC should have rolled Arkansas last game and were up 15 before getting sloppy and almost losing the game. They will learn from that and star guard Joel Berry is back to 100% which is huge because he was clearly not himself against Arkansas. UNC played terribly last game which is why this line is so low and we will take advantage. Butler does have the coaching edge with Chris Holtmann as Roy Williams isn’t the best in-game coach , but but North Carolina simply has too much talent and athleticism for Butler. They have a real chance to double the amount of rebounds in this game and if that happens this game will be a blowout. I like UNC to win this game by at least 10 points in a big statement game. Take UNC.
7:35 PM EST
South Carolina +3 over Baylor (3u)
For those who have been aboard all season knows we have been backing this South Carolina team all year and they are finally proving to the world they are legit after slaying the odds on favorite Duke in a game they dominated wire to wire. I understand that they had a big comecourt edge with the first two games being played in their backyard, but this is arguably the best defensive team left in the field. The are led by senior guard Thornwell who is going to the NBA and have great role players who can all score in a variety of ways. Baylor struggled to squeak by the other USC but this USC is a different animal. The Gamecocks are for real, they aren’t some fluke, they are well coached, and are on a mission to win this whole tournament. Not saying they will but Baylor turns the ball over way too often and goes through too many scoring droughts for me to trust them in this spot. They also are a terrible free throw shooting team under pressure when the game is on the line so that makes me love the points regardless even if the Gamecocks don’t win this game outright which I expect them to. Take South Carolina.