Sweet 16 spots on line Sunday
Eight more spots will be earned in college basketball's Sweet 16 and we have the picks for three of those games, along with odds analysis to explain why. Does Xavier, on a 10-1-1 ATS run in covering March Madness spreads look like today's best NCAAB bet?
South Region odds
Arizona State Sun Devils (25-9) vs. Syracuse Orangemen -2.5 (27-9) O/U 139.5 12:10 PM ET
The Orangemen opened as 2.5-point favorite in this game with a total of 139.5, but many have the Sun Devils advancing. The odds have not moved since online sportsbook Bovada posted them Saturday.
The Orangemen come into this second round game after beating Stephen F. Austin 59-44, while the Sun Devils beat Temple 66-57 in the first round. The Orangemen are a great all around team and a stellar backcourt led by Jonny Flynn (17.5 ppg) and Eric Devendorf (15.8 ppg).
Flynn had a good scoring game going for 16 points in the first round game, but he also had seven turnovers and if he does that again today the Orangemen will be in trouble.
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The Sun Devils are led by James Harden (20.4 ppg), but in their first round game G Derek Glasser and F Jeff Pendergraph had big games both going for 22 points each.
The Sun Devils have to keep F Paul Harris (8.1 rpg) and F/C Arinze Onuaku (7.4 rpg) off the boards. The Orangemen can't only concentrate on containing Harden, as the Sun Devils have other scoring options.
The Orangemen have more size inside and that will be the key today, as they will dominate the paint, which will open up the perimeter. The Orangemen will win this game, cover the spread, and move into the Sweet 16.
East Region odds
No. 12 Wisconsin Badgers (20-12) vs. No. 4 Xavier Musketeers -4 (26-7) O/U 122 2:20 PM ET
Sportsbook.ag has the Badgers as 4-point March Madness underdogs in this game with a total of 122. Not everyone feels they will win, which might make betting Wisconsin on the NCAAB moneyline a great pick.
Xavier comes into this game after beating Portland State 77-59 in their Big Dance opening game while Wisconsin beat Florida State 61-59 in OT in the first round.
Xavier is led by G/F duo B.J. Raymond (14.1 ppg) and C.J. Anderson (10.2 ppg) and F Derrick Brown (13.8 ppg).
The Badgers are all about defense, as their leading scorer is Marcus Landry (12.5 ppg) and as a team they only have three players averaging in double figures in scoring.
The team that can play the best defense and control the boards will win this game. Look for a low scoring game, but for the Musketeers to come out on top, as they will cover the spread and move into the Sweet 16.
Midwest Region odds
No. 10 USC Trojans (22-12) vs. No. 2 Michigan State Spartans -4 (27-6) O/U 130 5 PM ET
Online sportsbook SportsBetting.agcom has the Spartans as 4-point favorites in this game with a total of 130. Many think this is a great number.
The Trojans come into this game after beating Boston College 72-55 in the first round, while the Spartans beat Robert Morris 77-62 in their opening round game.
The Trojans are one of the hottest teams in the Big Dance, as they won five straight games including the Pac 10 Tournament to finish their regular season. They are a well-rounded team, as they have two guards and two forwards averaging at least 12 ppg.
The Spartans are a low scoring team that relies on their defense, as they only have two players averaging in double figures in scoring. The winner of this game may come down tow which player can control the boards, MSU's C Goran Suton (9.5 ppg 7.9 rpg) or USC's Taj Gibson (14.6 ppg 9.6 rpg).
Both teams are solid at the defensive end and the team that can find a way to score will have a huge advantage.
The Trojans are on fire as of late and Gibson will have a big game on the boards, as USC will score an upset today over Michigan State and move into the Sweet 16.
West Region odds
No.6 Marquette Golden Eagles (25-9) vs. No.3 Missouri Tigers -4.5 (29-6) O/U 148 (29-6)
Bovada has the Tigers as 4.5-point favorites in this game with a total of 148.
Marquette comes into this second round game after squeaking by Utah State 58-57 in their opening round game, while the Tigers had an easier time Cornell 78-59.
This game will be a battle between the Tigers and their stacked frontcourt and the Golden Eagles and their great backcourt. The Tigers are led by forwards DeMarre Carroll (16.7 ppg 7.3 rpg) and Leo Lyons (14.5 ppg 6.1 rpg).
The Golden Eagles have three guards averaging at least 11 ppg led by the duo of Jerel McNeal (19.5 ppg) and Wesley Matthews (18.1 ppg).
The team that can play good defense against the strength of the other team will come out on top in this game.
Look for the Tigers to control the boards tonight and play good defense on the backcourt of the Eagles. The Tigers may not cover the spread in this game, but they will win and move into the Sweet 16.