Key conference tourney odds set
With 53 games on the NCAAB hoops schedule tonight, there are plenty of betting opportunities and plenty of pre-Madness upsets to be pegged. Some teams will keep their post-season hopes alive with victories in their conference tournaments, while others will be relegated to NIT status or worse.
Big Ten tournament odds - Northwestern Wildcats (17-12 8-10 Big 10) vs. Minnesota Golden Gophers (21-9 9-9 Big 10)
BetUS opened Minnesota as 2-point favorites in this Big Ten conference championship game. (Check out the latest line on this game at Bovada today.)
This game may be more important for the Wildcats, as if they lose they may be NIT bound. However, the Gophers may need to win this game as well, as even though they have 21 wins they are only .500 in the Big 10 and are in 7th place in the conference.
The Gophers are a good defensive team, but are not a high scoring one. However, they do have a good inside-out game with G Lawrence Westbrook (12.4 ppg) and F Damian Johnson (9.4 ppg).
The Gophers have to contain F Kevin Coble (15.3 ppg) tonight, as if he has a good game inside it will open up the perimeter for Craig Moore (14.4 ppg) and Michael Thompson (10.1 ppg)
These two teams split the season series winning one game apiece, although Minny has won 5 of 6 meetings SU.
The Gophers struggled at the end of the season losing six of their last 9 games, while the Wildcats won three of their last four. Look for the Wildcats to pull off the upset tonight, as Coble will have a good game and give the Wildcats open looks from 3-point land.
ACC tournament odds - Miami Hurricanes -3 (18-11 7-9 ACC) vs. Virginia Tech Hokies (17-13 7-9 ACC)
Miami opened as 3-point favorites on the ACC conference odds list at online sportsbook Bovada.
Each team is on the bubble, as the loser will not get invited to the Big Dance.
The Hurricanes won 3 of their last 4 games and are led by G Jack McClinton (19.7 ppg), who will have to shoot the rock well for Miami to win.
The Hokies played themselves onto the bubble, as they lost six of their last seven games. They have a high scoring team led by G-F A.D. Vassallo (18.8 ppg), G Malcolm Delaney (18.2 ppg) and F Jeff Allen (13.8 ppg). However, the Hokies are one of the weaker defensive teams in the ACC and it showed in their late season collapse.
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In their one meeting this season the Hokies won 88-83 in Miami. Miami will have to play good interior defense tonight, which will not be easy since they do not have a lot of size in the interior.
Look for the Hurricanes to continue their solid play, as they will win this game and crush any hopes for the Hokies getting to the Big Dance.