Florida vs. Wisconsin - 3/24/17 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Wisconsin Badgers (27-9) at Florida Gators (26-8)
College Basketball: Friday, March 24, 2017 at 9:59 pm (Madison Square Garden)
The Line: Florida Gators -1.5 -- Over/Under: 131.5 See the Latest Odds
The Wisconsin Badgers and Florida Gators will face off in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament this Friday at Madison Square Garden in College Basketball action.
The 8-seed Wisconsin Badgers (27-9) pulled off the biggest upset of the NCAA Tournament over the weekend after defeating the overall top-seed, Villanova Wildcats, 65-62 this past Saturday. Wisconsin led at halftime by a 31-27 margin and finished the last 5:31 of regulation on a 15-5 run to advance. Wisconsin shot 53.1% from the field and 33.3% (6-18) from beyond the arc. Leading the way for the Badgers was Nigel Hayes who had 19 points, 8 rebounds, 1 assist, and a block. On the season, Wisconsin is averaging 72.1 ppg on 45.3% shooting from the field. The Badgers are averaging 7.7 three-pointers per game on 35.8% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Wisconsin has been led by Bronson Koenig (14.5 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 2.0 apg), Ethan Happ (13.8 ppg, 9.1 rpg, 2.8 apg, 1.8 spg, 1.2 bpg), Nigel Hayes (13.8 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 2.7 apg), and Zak Showalter (8.1 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 1.8 apg, 1.5 spg). Defensively, Wisconsin is holding their opponents to an average of 61.8 ppg on 41.1% shooting from the field. The Badgers have a rebound margin of 6.4 and a turnover margin of 1.8.
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The 4-seed Florida Gators (26-8) put on one of the better defensive performances of the NCAA Tournament and advanced to the Sweet 16 after defeating the 5-seed Virginia Cavaliers, 65-39, on Saturday night. Florida went into halftime with a 31-17 lead and had no trouble pulling away after taking a 51-26 lead with 11:12 left in regulation. Florida held Virginia to 29.6% shooting from the field and 6.7% (1-15) from beyond the arc. Leading the way for the Gators was Devin Robinson who had a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds. On the season, Florida is averaging 77.9 ppg on 45.1% shooting from the field. The Gators are averaging 7.7 three-pointers per game on 36.1% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Florida has been led by KeVaughn Allen (13.4 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 1.5 apg, 1.3 spg), Canyon Barry (11.8 ppg, 2.9 rpg), Devin Robinson (11.4 ppg, 6.3 rpg), Kasey Hill (9.7 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 4.5 apg, 1.7 spg). Defensively, Florida is holding their opponents to an average of 65.7 ppg on 40.5% shooting from the field. The Gators have a rebound margin of 2.1 and a turnover margin of 3.1.
The Badgers are 7-1-1 ATS in their last 9 NCAA Tournament games as an underdog and 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall. The Gators are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games and 13-3 ATS in their last 16 games as a favorite of 0.5-6.5.
Wisconsin has won 5 of their last 6 games and has been led by their defense that ranks 11th in scoring offense, 40th in defensive FG%, and 64th in turnover margin. Florida struggled towards the end of the regular season and in the SEC Tournament however, looked great in the opening weekend of the NCAA Tournament and has been led by their defense that ranks 37th in scoring defense, 29th in defensive FG%, and 23rd in turnover margin. Florida has a great defense but I think being without John Egbunu is going to hurt him in this game and as I think the Badgers defense will gave the Gators some trouble, I’m taking Wisconsin to win this one.