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Cornell vs. Wisconsin Madness Odds

The Cornell Big Red played above their No. 12 ranking in their NCAA Tournament opener dominating No. 5 Temple. Can they keep it going in the second round when they clash with the No. 4 Wisconsin Badgers where they are a 4.5-point dog? Many experts thought the Big Red were under-seeded, and they may have been proven right after Cornell obliterated No. 5 Temple in the opening round. The Big Red was a 3-point underdog at Bovada versus the Owls and crushed Temple 78-65. That was Cornell’s eighth straight win and 16th victory in their last 17 games. During that span they are 8-7 ATS.


Cornell’s very experienced lineup, which includes four seniors in the starting five, picked apart Temple, hitting 56% of their shots from the floor. Senior Louis Dale led Cornell with 21 points and seven assists, while Ryan Wittmann, also a senior added 20 points. Seven-footer Jeff Foote, another senior had 16 points and seven rebounds. What should scare the rest of the field is the fact that Cornell actually had an off-night from long range in the win. Cornell led the nation in three-point shooting this season, but went only 9-of-23, or 39% from beyond the arc in the rout. Basically Cornell could have won even bigger if a few more three balls had hit the mark. Wisconsin was expected to roll over No. 13 Wofford in the opening round, but had a harder time than expected. The Badgers did defeat the Terriers 53-49, but they didn’t come close to covering the 10.5-point spread. The Badgers, as usual, came out with their plodding defensive-minded style, which got them an early lead and a comfortable 27-19 advantage at the break. However, the Terriers picked it up in the second half and actually had a 38-37 lead at one point before Wisconsin re-took control. Jon Leuer was a catalyst for the Badgers with some key defensive plays and steals and he also netted a team-high 20 points to go with eight rebounds. Trevon Hughes also delivered when called upon with 19 points.

To keep winning and move on in the Tournament the Badgers will need to improve their three-point shooting to keep up with the Big Red. Wisconsin only shot 1-of-9 from three-point range against Wofford and that won’t cut it against a team like Cornell that can throw down a number of threes quickly to pad a lead. The Big Red’s win on Friday was a historical one for the school, as it was their first-ever win in the tournament. They had gone winless in four previous appearances in the Big Dance, including first-round exits in 2008 and 2009. Wisconsin is a mainstay in the Tournament and is making its 12th straight appearance in the Madness, dating back to 1999. During that 12-year run their best showing was a Final Four berth in 2000.

If they can knock off the Big Red on Sunday they’ll improve upon their standing from last season when they were bounced in the second round. The oddsmakers expect them to stick around after listing them as a 4-point favorite.