Tue 24/03/2015 - 18:10 EDT

NCAA Tournament Sweet 16: UK Biggest Favorite Vs. West Virginia

NCAA Tournament Sweet 16: UK Biggest Favorite Vs. West Virginia
Kentucky has won its first two games in the NCAA Tournament by double digits but hasn't covered yet. Yet Bovada oddsmakers have UK at -13.5 against West Virginia on Thursday night.

To no surprise, the top-ranked and unbeaten Kentucky Wildcats are the biggest favorites in the eight games of the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 this weekend with UK at -13.5 against No. 5 seed West Virginia. The Cats remain even-money Bovada favorites to cut down the nets in Indianapolis and a huge 1/4 favorite to win the Midwest Region. The winner of this game plays either Notre Dame or Wichita State in the Elite Eight.

WVU Can Defend

WVU put on a defensive clinic in Columbus, Ohio, last weekend, forcing a flood of turnovers, turning mistakes into points and stamping themselves as an opponent that is going to make life miserable for its opponents. Against Buffalo in a 68-62 victory on Friday and then the Maryland Terrapins in a 69-59 street fight on Sunday night, that relentless system also came with the benefit of a victory.

The Mountaineers had their leading scorer back in the lineup after a four-game absence, but with Juwan Staten still not quite looking fully like himself, Devin Williams stepped up to fill the void with invaluable offensive performances in both victories. The sophomore forward followed up a wildly efficient outing in the second round that included only one missed field goal on the way to a team-high 17 points with some rim-rattling dunks and 16 more points to lead the way past Maryland. Williams was an important cog in the West Virginia attack all season, averaging nearly 12 points per game, but he was able to give the Mountaineers even more at the most important time of year. Perhaps even more importantly for the Mountaineers, Williams was a force on the boards, topping his nine-rebound performance against Buffalo with 10 against the Terrapins. It was the 17th double-double of the sophomore’s career.

Against Maryland, the Mountaineers forced 23 turnovers, and they battered Melo Trimble, Maryland’s star freshman, who played fearlessly until a teammate’s kick in the head left him unable to return. They dismantled Dez Wells, the senior forward who has steadied the Terrapins this season. He turned the ball over eight times and struggled to find his shooting touch. In its last two games, West Virginia has caused 40 turnovers with a smothering press defense that is almost frightening to watch at times.

Huggins Successful Vs. Coach Cal

WVU coach Bob Huggins holds an 8-2 record against John Calipari, the Kentucky coach, who has had stops at Massachusetts and Memphis. The last time the teams played was in 2011, with Kentucky winning, 71-63. In 2010, the second-seeded Mountaineers upended the No. 1 Wildcats, 73-66, in the tournament’s round of 8.

“We’re gonna make it as ugly as we can make it,” Williams said. “At the end of the game, whatever way it goes, both teams have got to have their tongues hanging out of their mouths. That’s the only way it can be.”

It’s the only way West Virginia knows, an all-out, full-on defensive commitment designed to speed the pace, with chaos as the goal. There’s more to it; the Mountaineers are also relentless in rebounding, especially on the boards. They led the nation in offensive rebounding, which helps compensate for pedestrian shooting. With its combination of talent and depth — and with its sheer size — Kentucky is probably less susceptible to cracking under the pressure than many other teams.

Category : Sports Betting News

Leave a comment
More articles...
Sports Betting News - 14/07/18
Way-Too-Early 2019 NBA Championship Odds Following Draft and Peak Free Agency 
The dust is starting to settle on the NBA's offseason following the draft and peak of free agency. And, well, let's just say a lot has happened. From LeBron James joining the Los Angeles Lakers to the Phoenix Suns trying to wedge their way into the playoff conversation and everything in between, a lot has happened. Here's every team's title chances entering next year, with some context on every outlook.
Read this article 
Sports Betting News - 30/06/18
FIFA World Cup Pre-Knockout Stage Outright Odds Update 
Only 16 teams are still alive in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, where the already-high stakes are about to explode. Gone is the round-robin format. In its place, we have single-elimination mode. Win, and you move on. Lose, and you're done. Which countries have the best shot at being crowned world champion? We've got the odds for each of the remaining squads right here.
Read this article 
Sports Betting News - 28/06/18
From Which Group Will the 2018 FIFA World Cup Champion Come? 
The group stage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup is pretty much over. Just 16 teams are left vying for the right to be declared champions as we amble into the first knockout matchups in the Round of 16. Before that gets underway, though, we take a look at which group is most likely to yield the winner of the entire World Cup, ranking your best betting options from worst to first.
Read this article 
Sports Betting News - 26/06/18
World Cup Bracket: Ultimate Odds To Make The Knockout Stage 
The 2018 FIFA World Cup bracket is nearing the Round of 16, but before we start thinking about the next stage, we first need to take stock of the group standings. Two teams have already claimed first place in their division, but that leaves six sectors still searching for a top dog. We have all the latest odds on which countries still have a chance to secure the No. 1 spot in their four-team gaggle and thus earn a more favorable matchup for the start of the knockout round.
Read this article