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Pitt seeks Sweet 16 success

The numbers are not flattering for Pitt in the Round of 16 - 0-4 SU and ATS and 0-6 SU and 1-5 ATS against higher seeds. But the Panthers look to break their Sweet 16 cherry with a win over Xavier, a team they can handle physically and a team they should be able to cover 7 points on.

East Region odds

No. 4 Xavier Musketeers (27-7) vs. No. 1 Pittsburgh Panthers -7 (30-4) O/U 139 7:27 PM ET

New OddsShark.com odds provider BookMaker has the Panthers as 7-point favorites in this game with a total of 139 on their Sweet 16 odds list.

Xavier comes into this game after beating Wisconsin 60-49, while the Panthers beat Oklahoma State 84-76. Xavier is a team that has a few starters that can play multiple positions in guard/forwards B.J. Raymond (14.1 ppg) and C.J. Anderson (10 ppg) and F/C Jason Love (6.9 ppg).

The Panthers are led by forward Sam Young (18.9 ppg) and DeJuan Blair (15.8 ppg 12.3 rpg).

For the Musketeers to have any chance in this game they will have to keep Blair off the boards, as well as stopping Young from having a big scoring game. Young had 32 points against Oklahoma State and Blair had 10 points and 12 boards. If they put up similar numbers in this game Pitt should easily win this game.

Look for the frontcourt of Pitt to be too much for Xavier to handle, as they will win this game and cover the spread.

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West Region odds

No. 5 Purdue Boilermakers (27-9) vs. No. 1 Connecticut Huskies -6.5 (29-4) O/U 134 7:07 PM ET

In terms of Sweet 16 odds, Sportsbook.ag opened the Boilermakers as 6.5-point favorites in this game with a total of 134.

The Huskies come into this game after crushing Texas A&M in the second round 92-66, while the Boilermakers had a tougher time in their second round game beating Washington 76-74.

For the Boilermakers rely on defense, as their leading scorer E'Twaun Moore only averages 14 ppg, but they have a solid frontcourt with forwards JaJuan Johnson (13.4 ppg) and Robbie Hummel (12.4 ppg). The Huskies are a solid all around team with 2 guards averaging over 13 ppg and two front court players that each average over 13 ppg and 10 rpg.

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The Boilermakers will have a tough time on the boards and defending 7’3 C Hasheem Thabeet (13.7 ppg 10.7 ppg), who leads the nation in blocks. The Boilermakers only have one player in their starting five that is over 6’8”.

The Boilermakers do not match up well with the Huskies, as UCONN should dominate inside tonight, easily win this game, and cover the spread.

No. 3 Missouri Tigers (30-6) vs. Memphis Tigers -4.5 (33-3) O/U 141.5 9:37 PM ET

The Sweet 16 odds list at online sportsbook Bovada has Memphis as 4.5-point favorites in this game with a total of 141.5. Mizzou, meanwhile, comes into the Sweet 16 after beating Marquette 83-79, while Memphis crushed Maryland 89-70 in the second round.

Memphis has a solid all around team with guards Tyreke Evans (16.6 ppg) and Antonio Anderson (10 ppg) and forwards Robert Dozier (12.7 ppg) and Shawn Taggart (10.5 ppg). Memphis is solid on the boards and if they win the battle of the boards they will win this game.

Mizzou is all about their frontcourt with forwards DeMarre Carroll (16.7 ppg) and Leo Lyons (14.6 ppg). Mizzu has a tough task of keeping Memphis from dominating the boards as well as lighting it up from the perimeter.

Memphis has won 27 straight games, but they will not win 28, as Mizzu will play a good defensive game and win in an upset moving into the Elite 8.

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No. 3 Villanova Wildcats (28-7) vs. No. 2 Duke Blue Devils -2 (30-6) 9:57 PM ET O/U 148

SportsBetting.ag opened the Blue Devils as 2-point favorites in this game with a total of 148.

The Wildcats come into the Sweet 16 after laying a beat down on the UCLA Bruins 89-69, while the Blue Devils had a tougher time beating Texas 74-69 in the second round. The Blue Devils do not have a lot of size, but they have two players who can light it up from the outside and score inside in G/F Gerald Henderson (16.8 ppg) and Kyle Singler (16.5 ppg 7.7 ppg).

The Wildcats are also legit in terms of their inside out game and are led by F Dante Cunningham (16.3 ppg 7.3 rpg).

This game may come down to who plays better, both scoring and on the boards, Singler or Cunningham.

Look for a close game tonight, but for Duke to play better on the defensive end, as they will win this game and move into the Elite 8. However, this should be a close game, so Duke may not cover tonight, which is common for them in tournament play.

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