NCAA Tournament Cincinnati Bearcats vs. Harvard Crimson 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 -- Over/Under: 123.5 See the Latest Odds
The Harvard Crimson play the Cincinnati Bearcats in the 2nd round of the NCAA tournament on Thursday.
The Harvard Crimson finished 26-4 overall at the end of the regular season. This is a Harvard team that is more dangerous than its No. 12 seed suggests, based on the Crimson's upset of New Mexico in the first round of last year's tournament. Tommy Amaker has been in the NCAA tournament as a favorite, as a player at Duke, and as an underdog with Harvard, but he's not sure where he stands right now. Following last year's upset of New Mexico in the first round, the Crimson are considered veteran Cinderellas of the tournament. The Crimson, who hold opponents to 61.3 points a game, have a solid veteran group that loves to play defense. Harvard isn't a high-percentage shooting team, but it hits the offensive glass, 10.6 offensive rebounds per game, and works as a team to get good shots.
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The Cincinnati Bearcats finished the regular season with a 27-6 overall record. After looking like a potential high seed just a few weeks ago, Cincinnati stumbled down the stretch, dropping three of its last six games and drawing a No. 5 seed in the NCAA tournament. The Bearcats love to win, and to do more of that they're going to need to bring their defensive intensity. Cincinnati has been good this season when it feeds off its defense, so coach Mick Cronin needs to get his team to ratchet it up on that end of the floor for the next couple weeks. The Bearcats like to play physical defense, holding their opponents to 58.3 points a game. Cincinnati will certainly have the best player on the floor in Sean Kilpatrick, who averages 20.7 points per game.
Cincinnati must not take Harvard lightly or it could be in for a short stay at the Big Dance. Harvard has an experienced team that will give the Bearcats all they can handle on Thursday. I think the Bearcats, led by Kilpatrick, will get the job done and advance to the round of 32.