ESPN Insider request: Wiseguy Elite Eight breakdown (Part I)

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Wiseguy Elite Eight breakdown (Part I)
March, 26, 2010
Mar 26
3:02
PM ET
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As soon as Kansas State-Xavier went into double OT on Thursday night I got this e-mail from Sal at MadduxSports.com: "Here is your interesting stat for Saturday's games since K State just went into double OT and I know you are wondering: Teams in the NCAA tournament that are off an overtime game and have three or less days off since that game (anything more would eliminate the emotional and fatigue factor) are 24-39 ATS their next game out. It has actually happened three times this year so far and those teams -- Wake Forest, Villanova, and BYU -- are 0-3 ATS."

I of course called Sal on Friday afternoon to get his take on KSU-Butler, which opened at KSU minus-4.5. I asked him about Kentucky-West Virginia, too. But he didn't have much of an opinion. "I won't bet it, but I will be rooting for West Virginia."

So for that I brought in Paul Stone, whom I caught while he was driving to the Baylor-Saint Mary's game in Houston.

Here are their takes on Saturday's Elite Eight games:

Kansas State Wildcats vs. Butler Bulldogs
Current line: Kansas St. minus-4

Sal says: "I'm going to be on Butler plus-4. That is a pretty damn good bet. This Butler team is super well-coached. You could see when Butler got down for the first time midway through the second half last night and the coach called timeout. Out of that the team ran a screen and a guy got a layup. Syracuse came down and missed. Butler came back down, ran a back pick and got a dunk. There is just a huge difference in coaching between this program and a lot of others. Kansas State is superathletic and it worries me a little in this game. But, unless the adrenaline is running just sick, I think with the amount of effort it had to put in against Xavier, combined with only a day off, will hurt. Butler runs around a lot on its sets and uses a lot of shot clock and runs players around picks all day. I think the fair line is 3.5 or 4, but that's if KSU isn't gassed. I actually think Butler is going to win this game."

Kentucky Wildcats vs. West Virginia Mountaineers
Current line: Kentucky minus-4 (but opened minus-2.5); total is 133

Paul says: "I made the number 3, and solely based on that I like West Virginia. Kentucky has played at a highly efficient level through the first three games of the tourney, but I think there is overreaction on the part of the linemaker and the public to the Wildcats right now, especially if you looked at the performances of both teams last night. But we had 35 games before that to make a judgment on West Virginia, and I don't think losing its point guard will make a difference. Four points is a generous amount. I played the 4, but I will also play the under, which I think is a more attractive bet. West Virginia is going to slow it down and make this a slugfest."
 
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Originally Posted by copped

thanks a lot...

anyway you can get this one:

http://insider.espn.go.co..._insdr_mod_front_xxx_xxx

[h3]Wiseguy Elite Eight breakdown (Part II) [/h3]
March, 28, 2010
Mar 28

8:26

AM ET

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No time to waste today. Games are near. Let's get right to handicapper Teddy Covers' breakdown of Sunday's Elite Eight games.[h3]Duke Blue Devils versus Baylor Bears[/h3]
Current spread: Duke minus-5; total: 139.5

Teddy says: "Baylor has been an undervalued commodity all year long -- the betting markets have simply never caught up with how good the Bears actually are. Baylor will enjoy a legitimate home-crowd edge playing in Houston, just like it did against the Gaels on Friday. And Baylor has the interior size with Ekpe Udoh and Josh Lomers in the paint to give Duke trouble -- the Blue Devils' biggest weakness is their ability to hang tough in the low post against teams with a dominant size advantage. That being said, Duke has the perimeter shooters to break down Baylor's zone defense, and Coach K's squad has played better defense in the first three rounds than any team remaining in the field.

"It's also worth noting that Baylor is a perfect 4-0 against the spread this season when catching four points or more, but it hasn't won straight-up as an underdog since beating Texas in OT back in January. Despite that, my gut reaction has me looking at Baylor plus the points and the over. But I like Duke to advance."
[h3]Michigan State Spartans versus Tennessee Volunteers[/h3]
Current line: Tennessee minus-1

Teddy says: "[Spartans coach] Tom Izzo's NCAA tournament track record is second to none -- no coach in college basketball has gotten his team to overachieve in March as often as Izzo. That being said, Michigan State without Kalin Lucas is not the better of these two teams, and it's already enjoyed its win-the-first-game-without-our-best player effort.

"While Michigan State continues to dominate the glass -- it's once again the No. 1 rebounding team in all of college basketball with a plus-30 rebounding margin through its first three games of the Big Dance -- Tennessee was plus-24 against Ohio State and Ohio. The Vols are deeper, and they defend every bit as well as the Spartans. Plus, MSU has been awful in short-lined games (plus/minus 4.5 points), going just 4-8 against the spread, while Tennessee has gone 7-3 against the spread in games with a point spread of 4.5 or less. The Vols have actually been the better of these two teams at gutting out tough wins in pick 'em situations. If they can stay with MSU on the glass, I think they'll reach their first ever Final Four."
 
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