#7 Florida vs. #3 Marquette Sweet 16 Predictions for 3/22/12

Last Updated: March 21st, 2012 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist)
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The Florida Gators are one of the highest ranked teams left in the NCAA Tournament, and they are going to be putting that on the line when we make our March Madness picks for the Sweet 16 against the Marquette Golden Eagles.

2012 Sweet 16 Matchup: #4 Florida Gators vs. #1 Marquette Golden Eagles
West Region Location: US Airways Center, Phoenix, AZ
Sweet 16 Date/Time: Thursday, March 22nd, 10:15 p.m.
Wisconsin vs. Marquette Television Coverage: TBS

Key #1: The Gators need to make sure that they get their shots to fall
It’s really hard for the Gators to get the job done when they aren’t hitting their three-point shots, and they are going to have to make sure that they are consistently going to be on from the outside. The team took 28 three-point shots in the win against the Norfolk State Spartans, and they took 23 from long range against the Virginia Cavaliers. The good news for UF is that it was able to finish off Virginia because it had such a terrible shooting game as well. However, if you look at what the Gators are doing from inside of the three-point arc, they are shooting a whopping 76.4 percent. Numbers like that just don’t happen for most teams, and UF won’t be able to stay like that either if it is forced to come inside because those outside shots aren’t falling.

Sweet 16 Odds at Wager Web Sportsbook
Florida Gators +1.5
Marquette Golden Eagles -1.5
Over/Under 145.5
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Key #2: Jae Crowder has to be strong in the post
It is going to be really hard for the Gators to stop the Golden Eagles if Crowder is really doing everything that he has the capability to do. Florida just doesn’t have the forwards to be able to take care of Crowder, and if he can get it in foul trouble, Head Coach Billy Donovan is going to have to go really deep on his bench, something that he really isn’t capable of doing. Crowder had 17 points and 13 boards to put aside the Murray State Racers, another team that really didn’t have the forwards to be able to stick with him. This was the fifth straight double-double for Crowder, and he is averaging 17.6 points and 8.4 rebounds per game this year. There just isn’t anyone big enough on the Gators to contend with Crowder when he is at his best, especially with Will Yeguete on the shelf for the rest of the season.

Key #3: One of these teams has to really take advantage of its tourney experience
Marquette really learned a lot about the dance last year when it made it into the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. The offense really didn’t do all that well last year in the entire dance, coming up with no more than 66 points in any of its three games in this tournament. However, this is going to be a very interesting contest though, because the Gators, with the likes of Kenny Boynton are going to be on the other side of the court. Both teams have struggled at this type of juncture in the tourney though, and whichever team is really ready to step up and take the bull by the horns will probably be the one that makes it into the Elite 8.

Click Here to get the best March Madness picks that you’ll find on the internet, including our NCAA Tournament picks and the Sweet 16 picks for the rest of the NCAA Tournament game odds.

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Posted in NCAA Basketball - Last Updated on Wednesday, March 21st, 2012 @ 3:49 pm (EST)
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