Posts Tagged ‘Elite Eight picks’

Elite Eight Keys to the Game – Duke vs. Louisville 3/31/13

March 31st, 2013 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in NCAA Basketball   Comments Off on Elite Eight Keys to the Game – Duke vs. Louisville 3/31/13
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Louisville vs. DukeThe Duke Blue Devils have literally been going through a Murderer’s Row of teams to get here to the Elite Eight on Sunday afternoon in the Midwest Region. Now, they have to take on the top overall seed in the dance, the Louisville Cardinals on the Elite Eight odds. Check out the keys to the Louisville vs. Duke matchup, as well as the March Madness odds for what should be a great game.

March Madness: Duke Blue Devils vs. Louisville Cardinals
Duke vs. Louisville Location: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN
Duke vs. Louisville Date/Time: Sunday, March 31st, 2:10 p.m. (ET)
2013 March Madness On TV: CBS

Key #1: Gorgui Dieng has to be a difference maker
Earlier this season, the Blue Devils and the Cardinals met in the Bahamas, and the end result was a victory for the Dookies. However, in that game, Dieng was on the sidelines out injured. This is where a real difference could be made. Though Louisville did win the rebounding battle that day, there wasn’t much in the way of resistance to F Mason Plumlee. The big man scored 16 points and had seven boards, and included in there were three huge offensive rebounds. Dieng has blocked 16 shots in his last seven games, many of which have come against top flight competition. The offensive numbers definitely don’t have to be there for the big man. Defensively though, Dieng has to block some shots and alter some others to flip the tide in favor of the No. 1 overall seed in this tournament.

Elite Eight Odds at WagerWeb Sportsbook
#2 Duke Blue Devils +3.5
#1 Louisville Cardinals -3.5
Over/Under 137
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Key #2: The Cardinals have to get back to playing “Louisville Defense”
We heard Head Coach Rick Pitino at halftime of the game against the Oregon Ducks on Friday night mention that his team needed to get back to playing “Louisville defense.” The team really didn’t listen all that well, as it allowed 38 points in the second half of the game against the Ducks and were pushed right down to the wire in the game as a result. It’s clear what Pitino means. He has to get his team playing better ball in half-court sets, and there has to be more trapping and more full-court pressuring of the basketball to force more turnovers. We saw this team set the NCAA Tournament record for steals in a game back in the second round against the North Carolina A&T Aggies, and yet against Oregon, a No. 12 seed, the Cardinals only managed seven steals and really only won the game because they shot 53.8 percent from the floor. It’s clear that “Louisville defense” has to get back in the saddle against the Blue Devils if there is going to be another waltz into the Final Four for one of the proudest programs in the country.

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Key #3: Seth Curry has to out-Russ Smith Russ Smith
You’re reading that properly. Curry has to figure out how to do his own impersonation of Smith and do it better than the Louisville guard. At times, Smith literally is off the chain. He scored 31 points in the win against Oregon on Friday night, and he has now averaged 27.0 points per game here in the dance. When Smith gets going, no one is going to be able to stop him. Curry looked a little bit like that on Friday as well against a very good Michigan State Spartans outfit. The senior knocked down six of his first seven three-point field goal attempts and finished the game with 29 points. It’s not necessarily a matter of getting the points that will make the difference in this game. The player that makes the biggest shots in the biggest moments is going to be the one that leads his team to Atlanta for the Final Four.

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Elite Eight Odds & Predictions – Syracuse vs. Marquette 3/30/13

March 30th, 2013 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in NCAA Basketball   Comments Off on Elite Eight Odds & Predictions – Syracuse vs. Marquette 3/30/13
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Marquette vs. SyracuseWith all of the talk of just how good the Big Ten was all season long, it is the Big East that is going to be showcased on the road to the Final Four on Saturday, when the #3 Marquette Golden Eagles and the #4 Syracuse Orange do battle in what will likely be the last time we ever see a pair of current Big East teams play against each other. Don’t miss our Marquette vs. Syracuse predictions and keys to the game for what should be an exciting encounter to start the weekend.

March Madness: Syracuse Orange vs. Marquette Golden Eagles
Syracuse vs. Marquette Location: Verizon Center, Washington DC
Syracuse vs. Marquette Date/Time: Saturday, March 30th, 4:30 p.m. (ET)
2013 March Madness On TV: CBS

Key #1: The Orange have to stay out of foul trouble this time around
Syracuse hasn’t had any issues here in the dance whatsoever, but it did lose the first time that it faced Marquette earlier this season. The game in Milwaukee basically ensured that the Golden Eagles would have a shot at a share of the Big East title, while it also proved to be a game that kept the Orange on the wrong side of the equation. In that game, G Brandon Triche ultimately fouled out, while F James Southerland ended with four fouls. The end result saw Marquette take a whopping 35 free throws in comparison to just seven for the Orange. Blind aggression has really been what has led Syracuse here to the Elite Eight, and it is going to be that blind aggression that will lead the team in this one when push comes to shove as well if it is given the opportunity to do so. The Orange don’t have the depth to ultimately be in a lot of foul trouble though, and it is key for them to stay out of it against Marquette.

Elite Eight Odds at WagerWeb Sportsbook
#4 Syracuse Orange -3.5
#3 Marquette Golden Eagles +3.5
Over/Under 128
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Key #2: The lengthy Golden Eagles have to continue playing defense in the half court
What we love about Big East basketball is that a lot of the teams play very similar styles, and it isn’t all that often that a team wins a game and the casual observer is left to wonder why. For anyone that has watched the three games that Marquette has played here in March Madness, the equation has been particularly simple: The Golden Eagles have to force the game into the half court, and from there, they have to let their athleticism take over. Marquette only allowed 62.8 points per game this season, so perhaps we shouldn’t be all that shocked that it has had three very good defensive games in the dance. However, the three clubs that have faced Marquette have combined to shoot under 40 percent from the floor, and that’s the type of number that can really stun some neutral observers. Syracuse has made a habit of forcing teams into bad shots, but the Golden Eagles have been pulling off that same stunt as well in the second season.

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Key #3: Three-Pointers have to fly in for Golden Eagles
Marquette is a team that loves to get inside the paint and try to get things to happen. The first time that these two met this year, they only took 26 shots from inside the arc for the whole game, as opposed to 21 that came from the outside. What nearly cost the Golden Eagles that game is the fact that they shot just 5-of-21, 23.8 percent from three-point land. For the season, they’re only just barely shooting over 30% from long range, but here in the dance, they are knocking down a much more respectable 36.4 percent from downtown. It doesn’t take all that many threes to win a game, but the ones that are taken are going to have to be hit. Syracuse is just too good in the 2-3 zone to ultimately allow gobs of points in the paint. Just look back at the game against Indiana. The Orange literally had a block party against the Hoosiers, swatting away a stunning 11-of-47 shot attempts. Marquette won’t be able to challenge on the inside, so it has to take the game outside and be effective out there as a result.

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