Stanford Cardinal (10 seed, 23-12) vs. Dayton Flyers (11 seed, 25-10)
When: March 27, 2014
Time: 7:15 PM EST
After a surprising upset win over the Kansas Jayhawks, who many considered a National championship contender, the Cardinals advanced to the Sweet 16 for the first time under head coach Johnny Dawkins.
But the “Cinderella” of the ball has been the Dayton Flyers. The South Region’s No. 11 seed began the dance with an upset victory over in-state rival Ohio State, followed by another upset of 3rd seeded Syracuse in the round of 32. If the Flyers want to continue to fly into the Elite Eight, their defense, which is only allowing a stifling 55 points, will continue to prove they are on the same level of the bigger schools in terms of talent and athleticism. Despite Jordan Sibert’s inability to score over the first two rounds of the tournament, averaging just 9.5 points, the Flyers have had a balanced scoring attack on offense with Dyshawn Pierre leading the way with 13 points per game.
However, the size and experience of of Stanford can cause problems for the Flyers. Averaging 73.5 points per game, in large part due to their experience of 4 senior starters, efficiency is a major key for Stanford as they shoot 46.4% from the floor. Stanford will only go as far as junior guard Chasson Randle, who is averaging 18.0 points per game in the NCAA tournament, and senior forward Dwight Powell.
Going 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games overall, it is my belief that the odds makers have yet to give Dayton the respect they deserve. Respect or not, Dayton will be heading to the Elite Eight for the first time in thirty years.
I’ve watched the Flyers all year and they haven’t disappointed me yet. Look for that streak to continue, as Dayton wins outright.
My pick: Dayton Moneyline
Wisconsin Badgers (2 seed, 28-7) vs. Baylor Bears (6 seed, 26-11)
When: March 27, 2014
Time: 7:47 pm
Odds: Wisconsin Badgers -3.5
Advancing to the regional semifinals for the third time in the last four seasons, under head coach Bo Ryan, the Badgers continue to be a staple in the NCAA tournament during the Ryan era.
Starting the season 16-0, the Badgers struggled through a rough stretch, losing five of six. But winning 11 of its last 13 games, despite playing one of the toughest schedules in the country this season, Wisconsin has shown the ability to come back, evident by their hard fought 85-77 win over Oregon in a game that they trailed most of the way.
Frank Kaminsky leads the Badgers averaging 13.6 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. Sam Dekker is averaging 12.7 points and 6.2 rebounds, Ben Brust is averaging 13 points, and Traevon Jackson is averaging 10.8 points. While Wisconsin is averaging 73.9 points and is shooting 46 percent from the field, the Badgers defense continues to be the ingredient to success allowing 64.1 points, while holding opponents to 43.1 percent shooting. Defense has always been focal point for the Badgers, and during the 2014 NCAA tournament, nothing has changed.
Also getting off to a great start this season, the Bears struggled during the midway point, losing seven of eight games, but have certainly turned things around, winning 13 of its last 15 games. While Baylor is averaging 75.4 points and is shooting 45.9 percent from the floor, it’s been their talent, length, and athleticism that have carried them into the Sweet 16. Despite not showing up to play early and often during the early part of the season, head coach Scott Drew is pressing all the right buttons at the perfect time.
Playing as well as anyone in the country, the Bears dominance continues. If both teams come to play, the Badgers don’t stand a chance.
And guess what? The Badgers don’t stand a chance.
My Pick: Baylor Moneyline
Two Team Moneyline Parlay: Dayton and Baylor Moneyline