West Virginia upset the Duke Blue Devils in a defensive battle. Then, the game of the night and perhaps the game of the tournament thus far was capped off by Arizona coming from behind multiple times to beat the Michigan State Spartans in double overtime. Underdogs have gone an unbelievable 13-1 ATS in the opening round of Degen Madness.
As always, all betting (spreads, totals, odd/even, etc) on MyBookie.AG. Remember all games can be viewed on Twitch, YouTube, Twitter (@GamblingPodcast), Twitter (@theSGPNetwork), Facebook, and Instagram. Let’s get to it.
Washington @ Louisville
Spread: Lou -5
April 5th 6pm
Washington is the clear cut opening round cinderella being it that were a 15 seed and went into Waco, Texas and upset the Baylor Bears. Head coach Mike Hopkins went 15-17 in the regular season but they came on late and have a unbelievably talented roster.
Washington pulled a round one upset of Baylor by doing a few things right. One was winning the boards with the likes of Isaiah Stewart and Jaden McDaniels. Both those guys owned the boards and came up with big transition baskets. If the Huskies are going to beat Louisville they’ll need to get them going transition wise.
Washington also hit big shots from three to essentially win them the game. Former Kentucky transfer Quade Green hit the game winner. Green struggled in the first half but hit some big buckets down the stretch for Washington. The other guy who played absolutely huge for Washington was guard Marcus Tsohonis who hit huge shots throughout the entire game.
Louisville came from behind to beat the Oregon Ducks and they did it by just killing the Ducks on the glass. The big reason why the Cardinals won that game was the play of forward Jordan Nwora & Steven Enoch. For Louisville to win this game they need to duplicate that performance.
Louisville also got some play by guards Ryan McMahon & David Johnson. Both hit a couple big three pointers to keep up with the Ducks before overpowering them down the stretch. It will be interesting to see what Louisville head coach Chris Mack does to try to slow down this fast paced Washington Huskies team.
At this point why would you not take a dog to cover or win out right? You’d be a fool not to. Washington is young but they have elite talent all over the court, which is why I’m taking the Huskies to not only cover but to win outright. Cinderella continues it’s magical run.
Virginia @ Gonzaga
Line: Zags -7.5
April 5th 7pm
It happens every year now it seems and it’s no different in Degen Madness. We the media always under values the Virginia Cavaliers and head coach Tony Bennett. The Wahoos of UVA pulled off perhaps the 2nd biggest upset of the tournament when they knocked off old rival Maryland in College Park.
The Cavs did it in classic UVA style by forcing Maryland to play UVA style basketball. The Wahoos slowed down the game and played amazing defense for the entire 20 minutes of degen madness. Junior big man Jay Huff had a couple nice blocks and a absolutely huge three pointer late in the game.
Virginia always plays smart basketball. They slow you down and are just efficient enough to come out on top. Guard Kihei Clark made huge jump shots down the stretch and Mamadi Diakite added in a few big tip in alley oops to seal the deal for the Wahoos.
Gonzaga avoided a potential huge upset with North Carolina guard Cole Anthony missed a three at the buzzer. Mark Few can relax but not for long. Virginia swept North Carolina in the regular season and if Gonzaga doesn’t play a better overall game they could lose to this Virginia team.
The Zags were down at half but rallied late to grab the win. Led by forward Filip Petrusev and forward Corey Kispert who basically put this Bulldogs team on their back in the 4th quarter. They are the core of this Gonzaga team and must play like that again if they want to beat Virginia.
For Gonzaga to win this game, they’ll need to be better from three. Look for guards Admon Gilder, Joel Ayayi & Ryan Woolridge to hit big shots from deep. One thing we haven’t seen at all this year is Virginia come back from a huge deficit. Give me Virginia to cover but the Zags advance in a closer one than the experts think.