Syracuse and Wichita State punched their tickets to the Final Four last night and are starting to pack their bags for Atlanta. Today, we’ll find out which two teams will meet them in the national semifinals.
Fortunately, for bettors and fans the week of college basketball concludes with the two biggest games we’ve seen in the tournament thus far. Duke and Louisville will clash in an epic showdown in the Midwest Regional final right after Michigan and Florida duke it out in the South Region. You won’t want to miss these hardcourt battles. Have a Happy Easter and happy betting!
Here’s a look at the match-ups:
(4) Michigan Wolverines+3 vs. (3) Florida Gators -3
Both teams in this match-up have stormed their way through the tourney, but Michigan has endured the far tougher path to this point after making an impressive comeback to defeat No. 1 seed Kansas on Friday. The Wolverines bring in one of the best offenses in the country, whereas the Gators bring in one of the best defenses. As they say, something has to give.
The Wolverines will certainly give Florida a test it hasn’t seen up to this point in the tournament. In fact, Florida has yet to play a team ranked higher than an 11-seed, so we’ll finally get to see what the Gators are made of.
If any team can slow down Michigan’s powerful offensive attack, it’s Florida. However, I’m not sure the Gators will be able to slow it down enough to earn the win. Considering Michigan is the more battle-tested, clutch team at the moment, it’s hard to go against them here. The Gators just haven’t faced much competition yet and they didn’t play particularly well down the stretch in the SEC either, so we can expect a strong team will give them trouble. Take Michigan to cover +3 and earn a spot in the Final Four.
(2) Duke Blue Devils +4 vs. (1) Louisville Cardinals -4
In what is easily the biggest match-up of the tourney so far, Duke will take on No. 1 overall seed Louisville. The Cardinals have looked pretty indestructible up to this point, cruising to wins by eight points or more in each of their previous tournament games. However, with one of the nation’s best coaches, you can bet the Devils will come prepared. The only question is: Does Duke have enough talent to pull off the win?
The answer is probably yes. I actually picked Duke to win the tournament before it began, but after seeing all the action up to this point, I would have to agree with odds makers and say Louisville is the favorite here. Duke is certainly capable of knocking off the Cardinals, but the Devils would have to play their best game of the season today to do it and as we’ve seen so far, they aren’t really playing their best ball at the moment.
Louisville is simply too athletic and fast for Duke, a team that loves to play the halfcourt game. Duke’s style won’t be very successful today against the Cardinals, so take Louisville to cover -4 here.