Elite 8 Predictions, Picks: Baylor vs. Kentucky 3/25/12

Last Updated: March 25th, 2012 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist)
Signup & Get 20% Signup Bonus @ Bovada Sportsbook!
Bovada is Now Accepting Visa Card Deposits at a high 95% Rate!!
(Exclusive Sign-up Bonus Offer – Must Use This Link or Above Links)

The top overall seed and the favorites on the NCAA Tournament odds, the Kentucky Wildcats, are hoping to be the only team in the land to repeat as a Final Four team this year when they take on the Baylor Bears on Sunday in the South Region finale.

2012 Elite 8 Matchup: #3 Baylor Bears vs. #1 Kentucky Wildcats
South Region Location: Phillips Arena, Atlanta, GA
Elite 8 Date/Time: Sunday, March 25th, 2:20 p.m.
Baylor vs. Kentucky Television Coverage: CBS

Key #1: Baylor has to prove that its talent is as good as Kentucky’s
Normally speaking, the Wildcats run into teams that perhaps have one or two players that can keep up with some of the ridiculous talent that they have to offer. In this case though, there are a slew of players with NBA potential for Baylor, and this is a squad that really can run with the Cats for the full 40 minutes. Brady Heslip has been on fire from downtown. Pierre Jackson has been a monster of a point guard, both as a distributor and as a shoot. Both Perry Jones III and Quincy Acy can jump out of the building and get rebounds with the best in the biz as well. That being said, these Bears haven’t exactly had the roughest road to get here to the Elite 8, and the big knock against them this year is that they haven’t been able to beat the big time teams. There are two losses to the Kansas Jayhawks (though there is a win as well from the Big XII Tournament) and three to the Missouri Tigers. This Kentucky team is certainly just as good and likely better than both. It should be interesting to say the least.

Elite 8 Odds at Wager Web Sportsbook
Baylor Bears +7.5
Kentucky Wildcats -7.5
Click Here to Bet Your Elite 8 Picks!

Key #2: Kentucky’s defense has to avoid giving up those big time runs
We saw both the Iowa State Cyclones and the Indiana Hoosiers figure out how to put up huge gobs of points on the Wildcats, and it is starting to feel like this might be the demise of this team at some point here in this tourney. The defense for UK just doesn’t seem to match the talent of the offense, and guys like Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Anthony Davis, and Terrence Jones shouldn’t be allowing nine offensive rebounds and a slew of second chance points to a team like the Hoosiers, who only have really two legitimate rebounders on their team. This is where the Bears can really capitalize, as they are a team that feeds off of momentum. We’ve seen it a lot, and we might see it again, and if that turns out to be the case, we are warning the Big Blue Nation that its team could be in a lot of trouble. Even though Baylor is a No. 3 seed, it is going to be playing this one like it is a No. 16 going against the Wildcats, and the team just is not going to give up, and it won’t stop believing during this whole 40 minutes.

Key #3: The Baylor guards have to frustrate Marquis Teague
When we did our Sweet 16 breakdown for the Wildcats, we said that Teague had to be a big time point guard and make good decisions with the basketball. Considering how many possessions there were in the game, the fact that he only coughed it up twice was definitely a good sign. That being said, this is a Baylor team that has quick hands and loves to get into passing lanes. We hate to keep dogging on Teague, but he is still the weakest link on this otherwise absolutely outstanding club. The Bears are averaging just under eight steals per game this year, and well over two thirds of those thefts are coming via the guards that are getting the opponents into trouble. Baylor can be a stingy team, and you can bet that it is going to turn up the pressure as high as it can for the No. 1 team in the country on Sunday.

Click Here to get the best March Madness picks that you’ll find on the internet, including our NCAA Tournament picks and the Elite 8 picks for the rest of the NCAA Tournament game odds.

Comments (Using Facebook)

Posted in NCAA Basketball - Last Updated on Sunday, March 25th, 2012 @ 1:51 am (EST)
Comment on This NCAA Basketball Article (Using Your Facebook) Below

Comments (Must Use Facebook)