Cincinnati Bearcats vs. Harvard Crimson NCAA Tournament East Region Pick-Odds-Prediction 3/20/14
Harvard Crimson (26-4) at Cincinnati Bearcats (27-6)
College Basketball: Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 2:10 pm (Spokane Arena)
The Line: Cincinnati Bearcats -3.5 -- Over/Under: 123.5 See the Latest Odds
The Harvard Crimson and the Cincinnati Bearcats meet in 12-5 action from Spokane Thursday at 2:10PM on TNT.
The Crimson easily won the Ivy league this season, finishing with a solid 13-1 conference record and they ride an eight game winning streak heading into the tournament. The Crimson are led by junior swingman Wesley Saunders who leads the team in scoring with 14.7 points per game and is second in rebounds at 4.7. Saunders is joined by Siyani Chambers - the sophomore guard is second in the team with 11 points per game and leads the team in assists with just under 5 per game. The Crimson shoot the ball well and feature multiple role players who can step in and score the ball efficiently. Harvard averages 71.6 points per game and ranks 61st in the nation with 14.5 assists per game as well.
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Cincinnati had a great season in their inaugural campaign in the AAC. The Bearcats are a gritty, senior laden team that is led by the consistent scoring of guard Sean Kilpatrick. Kilpatrick finished this season averaging 20.7 points per game and leading the Bearcats in assists with just under 3 per contest. Justin Jackson does most everything well -- the swingman is one of the Bearcats most effective defenders and averages 11 points and 7 boards per game. Jackson is joined in the paint by Titus Rubles who is second on the team in blocks and rebounds and is one of the best on ball defenders in the league. Cinnci finished the season 27-6 and 15-3 in a solid AAC league.
Harvard is many people’s pick to be the 12-5 upset in this one but I like the Bearcats physicality and experience to be the difference here. Look for Kilpatrick to have his way and for the Bearcats to throw Jackson and Rubles at Wesley Saunders from the tip as they will attempt to neutralize the Crimson’s best weapon. Cinnci wins this one by double digits and gets the cover with a late run to pull away.