Thursday’s NCAA Tournament first round betting preview: West Region

(12) Princeton Tigers vs (4) Notre Dame Fighting Irish (-6.5, 134)

Game to be played at KeyBank Center, Buffalo, New York

Notre Dame junior power forward Bonzie Colson did his best to turn his attention from his team’s ACC tournament final loss and ahead to the NCAA Tournament. With consecutive Elite Eight appearances in their rear-view mirror, the fifth-seeded Fighting Irish look to get back on track in the West Region in Buffalo, N.Y. on Thursday when they face an Ivy League champion Princeton team that has won 19 in a row.

“We have a whole new season to go,” Colson said after his 29-point, nine-rebound performance in a 75-69 loss to Duke on Saturday. “We have an opportunity to cut down some nets and we’re staying together and we’re excited about what we have upcoming for us. You’ve got to move on quick. It’s the nature of the game.” While Notre Dame fell for just the second time in 10 contests, Princeton remained on its torrid stretch with a 71-59 victory over Yale on Sunday in the inaugural Ivy League tournament. “I’m so proud of the team,” coach Mitch Henderson said of the Tigers, who are headed to their 25th NCAA Tournament appearance – and first since 2011. “I’m so happy to be their coach. And we’re thrilled to be representing the league in the NCAA Tournament.”

TV: 12:15 p.m. ET, CBS

LINE HISTORY: Notre Dame opened as 7-point favorites over Ivy League champions Princeton and that line has come down slightly to 6.5. The total hit the betting board at 133.5 and has been bet up to 134. Check out the complete line history here.

BETTING STATS:



ABOUT PRINCETON (23-6 SU, 12-10-1 ATS, 9-13-1 OU): Myles Stephens, who averaged 12.2 points per game this season, set a career high with 21 in the semifinals before besting that total by netting 23 in the Ivy League final to be named the tournament MVP. Fellow sophomore guard Devin Cannady (13.7 ppg) joins senior forward Steven Cook (13.6) and Ivy League Player of the Year Spencer Weisz (10.5, 5.4 rpg, 4.0 apg) to lead a balanced scoring attack. “The way we’re playing right now, I think it’s hard to stop us,” Cook said. “If we keep playing consistent on the offensive and the defensive end, … we can be trouble.”

ABOUT NOTRE DAME (25-9 SU, 18-9-1, 14-13-1 OU): Standing just 6-foot-5, Colson (17.5 ppg, 10.2 rpg) led the conference in double-doubles for points and rebounds with 18 to land a spot on the all-ACC first team. Colson finished third for Player of the Year honors and teammate Matt Farrell (14.2 ppg, 5.5 apg) also ended up third for Most Improved Player while joining V.J. Beachem (15.0 ppg) and Steve Vasturia (13.3) as honorable mentions following the first, second and third teams. While Beachem and Farrell enjoyed strong seasons, both misfired against the Blue Devils by shooting 1-for-6 from 3-point range and the team went 6-for-25 from beyond the arc in the loss.

MATCHUP CHART:

TRENDS:

* Tigers are 0-5-1 ATS in their last 6 games as an underdog.
* Fighting Irish are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
* Fighting Irish are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 neutral site games as a favorite.
* Under is 4-1 in Tigers last 5 neutral site games as an underdog.
* Under is 12-2 in Fighting Irish last 14 NCAA Tournament games as a favorite.

Click here for a complete list of hot and cold trends.

(16) South Dakota State Jackrabbits vs (1) Gonzaga Bulldogs (-22, 153)

Game to be played at Vivint Smart Home Arena, Salt Lake City, Utah

Despite some outside lobbying for ACC Tournament champ Duke and Pac-12 Tournament champ Arizona, Gonzaga garnered a No. 1 seed for the second time in school history. The West Coast Conference champion Bulldogs, who earned the top spot in the West Regional, will face Summit League Tournament champion South Dakota State, the 16th seed, on Thursday at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City.

Gonzaga rolled to a NCAA-best 32-1 record and smashed Saint Mary’s 74-56 in the WCC tourney championship game March 7 in Las Vegas, but a regular season-ending 79-71 home loss to BYU had some naysayers dropping the Bulldogs to a No. 2 seed. Gonzaga was ranked No. 1 in the nation for four straight weeks before the loss to the Cougars and aren’t lacking for confidence after winning their three WCC tourney games by an average of 19.7 points. “There’s no doubt in any of our minds that we can win the entire tournament,” junior guard Nigel Williams-Goss said. “It’s not going to be easy, and we’ll have to meet a lot of challenges.” South Dakota State, which began the year 1-6 and won the Summit League Tournament as a No. 4 seed with a 79-77 victory over Omaha in the championship game, doesn’t figure to be one of those challenges, although junior swingman Reed Tellinghuisen put up this tweet Sunday: “History happens … why not us?”
  
TV: 2 p.m. ET, TBS

LINE HISTORY: Gonzaga opened as monster 23-point favorites over South Dakota State but that line has inched down a full point to 22.  The total hit the betting board at 153 and hasn’t moved off that number. Check out the complete line history here.

BETTING STATS:

ABOUT SOUTH DAKOTA STATE (18-16 SU, 14-16-1 ATS, 19-12 OU): The Jackrabbits, under first-year head coach T.J. Otzelberger, will be making their fourth NCAA tourney appearance in six years thanks in great part to 6-9, 245-pound sophomore forward Mike Daum, the Summit League’s Player of the Year and the MVP of the conference tourney for the second straight year. Daum, who had 37 points and 12 rebounds in the championship game win over Omaha, leads the team in scoring (25.3 points per game) and rebounding (8.2) and has connected on 77-of-185 3-pointers (41.6 percent). The 6-7 Tellinghuisen is the only other Jackrabbit averaging in double figures (11.9) but also can stroke it from 3-point range, connecting on 73-of-212 attempts behind the arc.

ABOUT GONZAGA (32-1 SU, 22-7-1 ATS, 15-15 OU): Williams-Goss, a lanky 6-3 transfer from Washington, was named the Most Outstanding Player of the WCC tourney after scoring 22 points to go along with six rebounds, six assists and six steals in the title-game win over the Gaels. He also captured WCC Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year honors after leading the team in scoring (16.9), assists (4.8), steals (1.8) and free-throw accuracy (91.0 percent), the latter which also ranks him 10th nationally. Przemek Karnowski,a burly 7-foot senior center, is second on the team in scoring (12.6) while also shooting 60.1 percent from the field while 6-9 Missouri transfer Johnathan Williams III led the team in rebounding (6.5) to go along with 10.2 points per game and was also a first team All-WCC pick with Williams-Goss and Karnowski. Two other Bulldogs average in double figures: Senior guard Jordan Mathews (10.4 points) and multi-skilled 7-foot freshman forward Zach Collins (10.2), considered a likely first-round NBA pick.

MATCHUP CHART:

TRENDS:

* Jackrabbits are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games overall.
* Bulldogs are 20-5-1 ATS in their last 26 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
* Bulldogs are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 NCAA Tournament games as a favorite of 13.0 or greater.
* Under is 4-1 in Jackrabbits last 5 neutral site games as an underdog.
* Under is 4-1 in Bulldogs last 5 NCAA Tournament games.

Click here for a complete list of hot and cold trends.

(13) Bucknell Bison vs (4) West Virginia Mountaineers (-14, 148)

Game to be played at KeyBank Center, Buffalo, New York

West Virginia was the victim of a first-round upset in last season’s NCAA Tournament, an outcome it hopes to avoid when it takes on Bucknell in the opening round of the West Region on Thursday in Buffalo, N.Y. The fourth-seeded Mountaineers, who were the No. 3 seed when they fell by 14 points to Stephen F. Austin last year, are making their third straight appearance in the tournament and eighth in 10 years under coach Bob Huggins.

Their frenetic style forced a nation-leading 20.4 forced turnovers and a Big 12-leading 63.3 shot attempts per game. Paced by junior guard Jevon Carter, the Big 12’s Defensive Player of the Year and the team’s leader in scoring (13.1) and assists (3.9), West Virginia opened 12-1 and was ranked as high as eighth in the country at one point. The 13th-seeded Bison are returning to the tournament for the first time since 2013 after winning the Patriot League regular season and tournament titles. They won first-round games in 2005 and 2006, the first of which came as a 14-seed against Kansas of the Big 12.

TV: 2:45 p.m. ET, CBS

LINE HISTORY: West Virginia opened as 14-point favorites over Bucknell and that has dropped half-point to 13.5. The total hit the board at 146.5 and has been bet up to 148. Check out the complete line history here.

BETTING STATS:

ABOUT BUCKNELL (26-8 SU, 7-1 ATS, 5-2-1 O/U): Kimbal Mackenzie’s 18 points helped the Bison pick up an 81-65 win over Lehigh in last Wednesday’s Patriot League title game and he ranks as the team’ top perimeter threat with 59 3-pointers. Junior forward Zach Thomas is the team’s top scorer (16.0) and ranks second in rebounding (6.6), while junior center Nana Foulland is second in scoring (14.9) and leads the way on the boards (7.8). Bucknell paced the Patriot League and ranks 25th in the nation in shooting (48.1 percent), led by Foulland (62.8).

ABOUT WEST VIRGINIA (26-8 SU, 13-15-1 ATS, 16-12-1 OU): Carter scored 18 points in a loss to Iowa State in the Big 12 tournament title game Saturday night, when the Mountaineers were hurt by an 8-for-17 effort from the foul line, continuing with a theme that saw them rank eighth in their conference in that category (67.8 percent). Sophomore forward Esa Ahmad (11.2) is the only other double-digit scorer but five others average between 6.1 and 9.9 points for the conference’s third-ranked offense (82.0). Carter was 1-for-7 from the floor – including 0-for-4 from 3-point range – in the first-round loss last season and shot 5-for-22 in three tournament games as a freshman in 2015.

MATCHUP CHART:

TRENDS:

* Bison are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games overall.
* Mountaineers are 1-6-1 ATS in their last 8 games overall.
* Over is 4-1-1 in Bison last 6 games following a straight up win.
* Over is 4-1 in Mountaineers last 5 games as a favorite of 13.0 or greater.

Click here for a complete list of hot and cold trends.

(8) Northwestern Wildcats vs (9) Vanderbilt Commodores (-1, 130)

Game to be played at Vivint Smart Home Arena, Salt Lake City, Utah

Eighth-seeded Northwestern make its first appearance in the NCAA Tournament when it takes on No. 9 seed Vanderbilt in the first round of the West Region in Salt Lake City on Thursday. The Wildcats set a program record with 23 victories and won back-to-back games in the Big Ten tournament for the first time before bowing out to Wisconsin 76-48 in the semifinals, and hope to make a splash in the Big Dance after ending a 78-year drought.

“I know it’s a long time coming for a lot of people that have followed the program for a lot of years,” Northwestern coach Chris Collins told reporters. “Most happy for the players though as those are the guys that have earned this right.” Vanderbilt became the first team to earn an at-large bid with 15 losses as it did just enough to punch its ticket to the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive year. The Commodores won five of their last six regular-season games and beat Texas A&M 66-41 and Florida 72-62 in overtime before losing to Arkansas 76-62 in the semifinals of the SEC tournament to seal a berth. Vanderbilt dropped four of its last five matchups with Big Ten opponents, including a 60-57 loss to Wisconsin in 2012 NCAA Tournament, and hopes to advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time since falling to the Badgers.

TV: 4:30 p.m. ET, TBS

LINE HISTORY: Vanderbilt opened as 1-point favorites over Northwestern and that number appears to be fine with bettors and hasn’t moved yet. The total opened at 132 and has dropped two full points to 130. Check out the complete line history here.

BETTING STATS:

ABOUT VANDERBILT (19-15 SU, 20-12 ATS, 13-18-1 OU): Junior guard Matthew Fisher-Davis leads the Commodores in scoring with 13.6 points per game and reached 1,000 points for his career with 10 points against Arkansas. Senior forward Luke Cornet, who is averaging 13.2 points and 6.2 rebounds, set a program record for blocked shots with his 207th against the Razorbacks. “It’s a day of celebration for our program especially our guys,” first-year Vanderbilt coach Bryce Drew told reporters. “From where we started the season to where we are now is just a remarkable turnaround on all fronts.”

ABOUT NORTHWESTERN (23-11 SU, 19-12 ATS, 11-18-2 OU): Junior guard Bryant McIntosh. who leads the team in scoring at 14.4 points per game, holds the program record for most career assists with 541, breaking the old mark of 528 set by Michael ‘Juice’ Thompson (2007-11). Scottie Lindsey is working his way back to 100 percent after missing three weeks with a bout of mono in February as he averaged 16.3 points in the Big Ten Tournament after only managing 7.6 over his previous five outings. The Wildcats dropped four of their last five meetings with Vanderbilt but they haven’t met since Dec. 3, 1992.

MATCHUP CHART:

TRENDS:

* Commodores are 17-4 ATS in their last 21 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
* Commodores are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 vs. Big Ten.
* Wildcats are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 non-conference games.
* Over is 9-2-1 in Commodores last 12 games following a straight up loss.
* Over is 4-0 in Wildcats last 4 games after scoring less than 50 points in their previous game.

Click here for a complete list of hot and cold trends.


(11) Xavier Musketeers vs (6) Maryland Terrapins (-2, 142.5)

Game to be played at Amway Center, Orlando, Florida

Two teams given a reprieve after late-season slides will square off when sixth-seeded Maryland faces No. 11 seed Xavier in the West Region on Thursday in Orlando, Fla. It’s the third time the historically strong programs have met with Maryland winning both previous contests, including a victory in the 2003 NCAA Tournament. 

Both teams were sweating the selection process a bit Sunday after key injuries led to their struggles down the stretch. The Terrapins dropped five of their last nine regular-season games and bowed out in their first game in the Big Ten Tournament against Northwestern. The Musketeers lost six straight from Feb. 11-March 1 following the loss of point guard Edmond Sumner (15 points, five assists per game) to a torn ACL, but they won three in a row before a 75-72 loss to Creighton knocked them out of the Big East tournament. Despite the late swoon, Xavier is in the NCAA Tournament for the fourth straight year and the 11th time in the past 12 seasons.

TV: 6:50 p.m. ET, TNT

LINE HISTORY: Maryland opened as two-point favorites over Xavier but that line has faded slightly to 1.5. The total hit the betting board at 143.5, dropped to 141.5, before rebounding to 142.5. Check out the complete line history here.

BETTING STATS

ABOUT XAVIER (21-13 SU, 15-18 ATS, 15-18 OU): Sumner was the Musketeers’ No. 2 scorer and a terrific complement to star guard Trevon Bluiett (18.1 points, 5.8 rebounds). Fellow guard J.P. Macura (14.3 points) has had no trouble taking up the scoring slack, but Xavier misses Sumner’s ball-handling skills with freshman Quentin Goodin (4.8 points, 3.2 assists) taking over the point guard role. Xavier’s undoing might be its lack of a dominant post player, as 6-9 forward RaShid Gaston (8.1 points, 6.4 rebounds) is the team’s top big man.

ABOUT MARYLAND (24-8 SU, 15-12-3 ATS, 14-15-1 OU): The Terps have a bona fide star in guard Melo Trimble (17 points, 3.7 assists), but the key to their success in the tournament might be what they get from the supporting cast. Guard Anthony Cowan (10.5 points, 3.7 assists) and forward Justin Jackson (10.4 points, 6.1 rebounds) also average double digits but have been inconsistent producers in their freshman campaigns, and fellow freshman Kevin Huerter (nine points) is a streaky 3-point shooter who can change a game when hot. Although he wasn’t a major producer, the Terps miss the post presence of 7-1 center Michal Cekovsky (7.6 points, 2.8 rebounds), who was lost to a broken ankle three weeks ago.

MATCHUP CHART:

TRENDS:

* Musketeers are 21-5-1 ATS in their last 27 NCAA Tournament games.
* Terrapins are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 NCAA Tournament games.
* Under is 6-0 in Musketeers last 6 neutral site games as an underdog.
* Under is 4-1 in Terrapins last 5 Thursday games.

Click here for a complete list of hot and cold trends.

(7) St. Mary’s Gaels vs (10) VCU Rams (+4, 126.5)

Game to be played at Vivint Smart Home Arena, Salt Lake City, Utah

Saint Mary’s, under the shadow of West Coast Conference rival Gonzaga for much of the season, gets a chance to make it own statement when it takes on VCU in Salt Lake City in the first round of the West Region on Thursday. The seventh-seeded Gaels lost four games this season, with three coming against the Bulldogs, while the 10th-seeded Rams make their seventh straight NCAA Tournament appearance after falling in the Atlantic 10 Conference tournament title game Sunday.

Junior center Jock Landale is the biggest weapon for coach Randy Bennett, with the 6-11 Australian averaging 16.8 points on 60.9 percent shooting, 9.3 rebounds and 1.2 blocks. Junior forward Calvin Hermanson is the only other player on Saint Mary’s averaging in double figures with 12.9, but the Gaels don’t need a lot of scoring when their defense is holding opponents to 56.5 points – second in the nation to Virginia (55.6). VCU prides itself on its defense as well, forcing opponents into 14.7 turnovers per game and holding them to 66.3 points. The Rams’ 1-2 scoring punch consists of guard JeQuan Lewis (14.7 points, 4.6 assists) and forward Justin Tillman (12.4 points, 8.8 rebounds), and coach Will Wade will have his undersized front line focusing on keeping Landale in check.

TV: 7:20 p.m. ET, TBS

LINE HISTORY: St. Mary’s opened as 4.5 chalk over VCU and has dropped to an even 4. The total hit the betting board at 129 on Monday and has been lowered to 126.5 as of Wednesday morning. Check out the complete line history here.

BETTING STATS

ABOUT SAINT MARY’S (28-4 SU, 16-11-2 ATS, 12-17 OU): The Gaels are one of the better passing teams in the nation, with a pair of players – junior Emmett Naar (5.8 assists) and senior Joe Rahon (5.7) – that rank 1-2 in the WCC in assists per game. As much as those two handle the ball, they don’t turn it over often, which will be key against a VCU team that can pressure the ball better than most teams. If Naar and Rahon keep the Saint Mary’s offense clicking and not be effected by the Rams’ defense, Landale should get his shots and the Gaels could keep rolling along.

ABOUT VCU (26-8 SU, 12-17-1 ATS, 17-13 OU): Though only 6-7, senior forward Mo Alie-Cox plays big for the Rams, ranking second in the Atlantic 10 in blocks with 2.1 per game. A 7-1 wingspan certainly helps Alie-Cox, who may hear his number called more often against Saint Mary’s as Wade goes at the Gaels’ top player, Landale, to try to get him into foul trouble. Alie-Cox averaging 9.7 points and shoots 54.8 percent from the field, so he can score, and if he can have a big game against the Saint Mary’s big man, the Rams could pull the upset.

MATCHUP CHART:

TRENDS:

* Rams are 15-3 ATS in their last 18 NCAA Tournament games.
* Rams are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games as an underdog.
* Gaels are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 neutral site games as a favorite.

Click here for a complete list of hot and cold trends.

(3) Florida State vs (14) Florida Gulf Coast (+12, 146.5)

Game to be played at Amway Center, Orlando, Florida

Florida State is back in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in five years, and with seven victories over ranked opposition the Seminoles could be a candidate to make a long tournament run starting with Thursday’s West region first-round matchup with Florida Gulf Coast University in Orlando. The third-seeded Seminoles won 25 games this season and finished second in the regular season in the rugged ACC, thanks in part to a strong offense sparked by guard Dwayne Bacon.

The Seminoles average 82.5 points per game and shoot 48.3 percent from the field – ranking 18th in the nation in both categories – and Bacon earned second-team All-ACC honors after averaging 16.9 points. The No. 14 seed Eagles make their third NCAA appearance in the past five years after winning the Atlantic Sun tournament, and also shoot the ball extremely well, ranking fifth nationally at 50.2 percent from the field. Florida Gulf Coast has won 20 games for the fifth consecutive season, losing by nine points to Baylor and one point to Michigan State early in the season. Brandon Goodwin leads an offense that finished second in the league in scoring at 79.4 points per game.

TV: 9:20 p.m. ET, TNT

LINE HISTORY: The Seminoles opened as 11.5-point favorites and that number wasn’t high enough and was bumped up to 12 within an hour of opening on Sunday night.  The total opened at 146 was quickly bet up as high as 147, and returned to the opening number, before settling at 146.5. Check out the complete line history here.

BETTING STATS

ABOUT FLORIDA GULF COAST (26-7 SU, 4-0 ATS, 1-3 OU): The Eagles enter the NCAAs winners of 12 of their past 13 games, as Goodwin has scored 20 or more points seven times in that span. Demetris Morant leads Florida Gulf Coast in rebounding with eight per game while scoring 10.7 points per contest on 75.7 percent shooting from the field (17-of-19 in his past three games). Florida Gulf Coast ranks 17th in the country in defending the 3-point shot (30.9 percent).

ABOUT FLORIDA STATE (25-8 SU, 17-12-2 ATS, 15-15-1 OU): Bacon battled a shooting slump late in the season, but rebounded to hit 9-of-14 shots for 18 points and nine rebounds in a loss to Notre Dame in the ACC semifinals. Jonathan Isaac gives FSU a strong inside presence, as the freshman averaging 11.9 points and 7.6 rebounds while shooting 50.2 percent from the field. The Seminoles led the ACC in forced turnovers per game (14.36).

MATCHUP CHART:

TRENDS:

* Eagles are 17-3-1 ATS in their last 21 games as an underdog.
* Seminoles are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 NCAA Tournament games as a favorite.
* Under is 8-1-1 in Eagles last 10 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
* Under is 6-1 in Seminoles last 7 NCAA Tournament games.

Click here for a complete list of hot and cold trends.

(2) Arizona vs (15) North Dakota Fighting Hawks (+16.5, 147.5)

Game to be played at Vivint Smart Home Arena, Salt Lake City, Utah

Arizona star Allonzo Trier’s roller-coaster season is surging forward at just the right time for the Wildcats, who earned a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament’s West Region after beating Oregon in Saturday’s Pac-12 tournament title game. The Wildcats begin play Thursday with a first-round matchup against 15th-seeded North Dakota, which earned its first trip to the Big Dance with a 93-89 overtime victory over Weber State in the Big Sky tournament championship game.

Trier, a 6-5 sophomore guard who missed the first 19 games of the season with a PED-related suspension, was named Pac-12 tournament MVP after finishing with 21 points and eight rebounds in the 83-80 win over Oregon. Center Lauri Markkanen, who averages 15.6 points and a team-high 7.1 rebounds, joined Trier on the all-tournament team and figures to create plenty of trouble for the smaller Fighting Hawks. The Wildcats’ 69-62 loss to Gonzaga on Dec. 3 likely cost them a No. 1 seed, but they earned a share of the Pac-12 regular-season title after winning six of their final seven games. Coach Sean Miller’s squad will need to be careful not to rest on defense against sharpshooting North Dakota, which averages 80.5 points while shooting 48.5 percent from the field.

TV: 9:50 p.m. ET, TBS

LINE HISTORY: Arizona opened as 17-point favorites against North Dakota but within minutes was bet down to 16.5 where it has remained. The totals opened at 146 and has been steadily rising all week, currently sitting at 148. Check out the complete line history here.

BETTING STATS

ABOUT NORTH DAKOTA (22-9 SU, 17-9-2 ATS, 15-12-1 OU): The Fighting Hawks are led by senior guards Corey Baldwin and Quinton Hooker, who was named Big Sky tournament MVP after scoring 28 points in the title game victory over Weber State. Sophomore guard Geno Crandall ranks second on the team in scoring (15.6) for the Fighting Hawks, whose resume includes a win over Cal State Bakersfield along with surprising losses to Northern Arizona and Sacramento State. With the team’s small frontcourt expected to struggle against Arizona’s size, the Fighting Hawks will need to continue to hit from 3-point range to keep pace with the Wildcats.

ABOUT ARIZONA (30-4 SU, 18-14-2 ATS, 16-17-1 OU): Miller pushed all the right buttons in the Pac-12 tournament, even giving junior power forward Keanu Pinder his first start of the season in the title game so Markkanen could avoid foul trouble. The Wildcats boast an intriguing mix of freshmen and veterans, including junior point guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright, who has played well late after battling injuries early in the season. “Really, really, really – I’ll use those words – proud of what this team has become,” Miller told reporters. “You hope it really comes together in March and that’s really what happened.”

MATCHUP CHART:

TRENDS:

* Fighting Hawks are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games following a ATS win.
* Wildcats are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 NCAA Tournament games as a favorite.
* Over is 5-1 in Fighting Hawks last 6 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
* Over is 4-1 in Wildcats last 5 games following a straight up win.

Click here for a complete list of hot and cold trends.


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