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CBB ♦ ''Elite Eight'' ♦ Sunday • 3/27/16

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    MARC LAWRENCE – late phones

    Elite 8 Round 100% ATS Perfect Play!
    Notre Dame +10


    ‘Elite Eight’ betting preview

    No. 10 Syracuse Orange vs. No. 1 Virginia Cavaliers (-8, 124)

    Game to be played at United Center, Chicago, IL

    A much-anticipated night of all-ACC action in the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight begins in Chicago on Sunday when top-seeded Virginia meets No. 10 seed Syracuse in the Midwest Region final. The Cavaliers contended for their third straight regular-season crown in the high-powered conference while the Orange finished ninth and squeaked into the NCAA Tournament, but both are a win away from joining a league mate in North Carolina or Notre Dame – who play later in the evening – in the Final Four.

    Virginia will be playing for its first Final Four berth since 1984 after shooting 56.1 percent to fend off Iowa State 84-71 on Friday. “I feel like we’ve just gotten better and better,” ACC Player of the Year Malcolm Brogdon told reporters following a 12-point effort versus the Cyclones. “We’ve battled through our ups and downs, and it’s a huge accomplishment.” Syracuse is used to long tournament runs, but this one – in a season where coach Jim Boeheim was suspended for nine games by the NCAA and the squad dropped five of six down the stretch – has defied the odds. “These guys have fought all year, and every game we’ve been behind, we’ve been in some tough situations, and they’ve battled through them all year,” Boeheim told the media after his team erased a late nine-point lead to tip Gonzaga 63-60 on Friday.

    TV: 6:09 p.m. ET, TBS

    No. 1 seed Virginia opened as 8-point favorites over No. 10 Syracuse and the line has yet to move off that number. The total saw immediate action however. The Over/Under opened at a low 122 and was very quickly bet up two whole points to the current number of 124. Check out the complete line history here.

    ABOUT SYRACUSE (22-13, 19-15 ATS, 17-17 O/U):
    The Orange’s trademark zone defense has stifled opponents in the tournament, allowing an average of 53.7 points. Leading scorer Michael Gbinije (17.8 points per game) has topped the 20-point mark in his last two games and guard Trevor Cooney has broken free from a late-season slump by averaging 13.3 points and shooting 50 percent from 3-point range in the tournament. Boeheim is in the Elite Eight for the seventh time and is seeking his fifth Final Four berth.

    ABOUT VIRGINIA (29-7, 19-14-1 ATS, 14-20 O/U):
    While Brogdon has been an inconsistent tournament performer, shooting 36.8 percent from the floor in eight career games, fellow senior Anthony Gill has been a steady leader. Gill had 23 points and eight rebounds versus Iowa State, is averaging 20.3 points on 71.9 percent shooting in this year’s tournament and has scored in double figures in all but one of those eight career March Madness contests. Another senior, Mike Tobey, has emerged in this year’s Big Dance with 36 points on 17-of-23 shooting in 44 minutes off the bench.


    * Syracuse is 4-0 ATS in its last four games overall.
    * Virginia is 12-3-1 ATS in its last 16 games overall.
    * Under is 4-0 in Syracuse’s last four NCAA Tournament games.
    * Under is 11-2 in Virginia’s last 13 versus Atlantic Coast conference opponents.

    Bettors are all over the dog in this matchup with 65 percent of wagers on Syracuse. As for the total, bettors think while the game may not be a high scoring affair, it will go over the low number with 64 percent on the over.


    ‘Elight Eight’ betting preview

    No. 6 Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. No. 1 North Carolina Tar Heels (-10, 155)

    Game to be played at Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA

    Top-seeded North Carolina may be peaking at just the right time and only ACC-rival Notre Dame stands in the way of a trip to the Final Four. The Tar Heels have won eight straight games – the last three in the NCAA Tournament by a combined 50 points – as they prepare to take on sixth seed Notre Dame in the East Regional final on Sunday at Philadelphia.

    “One game away,” North Carolina forward Brice Johnson told reporters after his team shot 51.6 percent from the field in a 101-86 win over Indiana on Friday. “We’re not done. We’ve got to go out there and play.” Senior point guard Marcus Paige’s revival is taking the Tar Heels’ offense to a new level after he matched the program record in the NCAA Tournament with six 3-pointers and scored 21 on Friday – his highest output since registering the same against Notre Dame on Feb. 6. The Fighting Irish won that contest 80-76 at home, but were held to 30 percent shooting in a 78-47 loss to North Carolina in the ACC tournament semifinals. Notre Dame has won six games combined in consecutive NCAA Tournaments for the first time in its history and reached the Elite Eight for the second straight year after losing to Kentucky in 2015.

    TV: 8:49 p.m. ET, TBS

    No. 1 seeded North Carolina opened as big 10.5-point favorites over Notre Dame, but early money was backing the Irish, moving the line to the current number of Tar Heels -10. As for the total, the number opened at 156 and has been bet down one point to the current number of 155. Check out the complete line history here.

    ABOUT NOTRE DAME (24-11, 16-16-1 ATS, 16-17 O/U):
    Forward V.J. Beachem has been a major factor in the NCAA Tournament while averaging 17.3 points in three games – more than five above his seasonal average – and draining 9-of-17 from 3-point range. Point guard Demetrius Jackson leads the team in scoring (15.5) and assists (4.7) while forward Zach Auguste (14.3 points, team-high 10.9 rebounds) has 22 double-doubles. The Irish have won their three NCAA games by a combined 13 points after a 61-56 triumph against Wisconsin on Friday and go after their first Final Four appearance since 1978.

    ABOUT NORTH CAROLINA (31-6, 18-18-1 ATS, 19-18 O/U):
    Johnson (16.8 points, 10.5 rebounds) has recorded 22 double-doubles to tie Billy Cunningham (1964) for the single-season team record and needs 13 boards to boast the most in program history for one campaign. Paige, who struggled shooting most of this season (39.6 percent), may still be the key to unlock a sixth NCAA title for the Tar Heels after making 11-of-21 from 3-point range in the last three games. Paige told reporters, “I just wanted to stay aggressive, and the rim looked pretty big to me (Friday) so I hope it’s just the arena so I can do it again on Sunday.”


    * Notre Dame is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings.
    * North Carolina is 6-1 ATS in its last seven games overall.
    * Under is 5-1 in Notre Dame’s last six games versus a team with a winning SU record.
    * Under is 5-1 in the last six meetings.

    Bettors think 10-points is too many to be favored by at this point in the tourney and early on 58 percent of wagers are backing Notre Dame. When it comes to the total, 67 percent of wagers are on the over.


    Sunday’s Elite 8 Tips
    By Kevin Rogers

    Midwest Region Final – Chicago – United Center

    #10 Syracuse vs. #1 Virginia (-8, 123 ½) – 6:09 PM EST – TBS

    The ACC will dominate all the headlines in Sunday’s Elite Eight action with two teams from this conference guaranteed to make the Final Four. Virginia (29-7 SU, 19-14-1 ATS) is seeking its first Final Four appearance since 1984, while playing in its first Elite Eight contest since losing to eventual champion Arkansas in 1995.

    The top-seeded Cavaliers avoided a third straight matchup in the tournament with Michigan State when the Spartans were upset in the opening round by Middle Tennessee State. The Spartans eliminated the Cavaliers in the last two tournaments in low-scoring battles, but Tony Bennett’s team has scored plenty of points in its first three victories in this season’s Big Dance.

    Virginia crushed in-state rival Hampton in the first round, 81-45 to cash as 23-point favorites, followed up by a 77-69 triumph over a feisty Butler squad in the round of 32. The Cavaliers scored with ease against Iowa State in Friday’s Sweet 16 contest, winning by an 84-71 count as six-point favorites. UVA shot 56% from the floor, led by Anthony Gill’s 23 points, but the Cavaliers allowed the Cyclones to shoot nearly 52% from the field to cash the ‘over’ of 140 ½.

    Syracuse (22-13 SU, 19-15 ATS) has seen its ups and downs this season by starting ACC play at 0-4 and closing out the season with three straight losses. However, the Orange also went on a 7-1 run during conference play which included victories over Duke and Notre Dame. Jim Boeheim’s club put together a pair of blowout wins in the first two rounds over Dayton and Middle Tennessee State, but were definitely tested in the Sweet 16 against Gonzaga.

    The Orange fell behind early by 11 points, but managed to climb within one point at halftime. Gonzaga built a nine-point advantage at 57-48 with 6:30 minutes remaining in regulation, but the Bulldogs would score just three points the rest of the way as Syracuse rallied for a 63-60 triumph as four-point underdogs. The Orange have quietly put together a solid a 6-1 ATS record in the last seven games, while covering in six of the past eight opportunities in the underdog role.

    Syracuse and Virginia are meeting for the second time this season, as the Cavaliers knocked off the Orange in Charlottesville, 73-65 as 10-point favorites on January 24. This game actually got pushed back a day following inclement weather throughout the Northeast, but the Orange drilled a pair of three-pointers in the final minute to sew up the cover. Virginia shot a blistering 57% from the field, but Syracuse stuck around thanks to converting 13 three-pointers in spite of 39% shooting.

    Handicapper Joe Nelson breaks down Syracuse’s run to the Elite Eight, “It wouldn’t have been an overly difficult case to leave the Orange out of the NCAA Tournament, but this is a team on a great run and set to make the most of a challenging regular season. It is worth nothing they have faced a 15-seed and an 11-seed in the past two games catching some breaks in the bracket. Almost all of the 13 losses for Syracuse this season have come in rather close games as this is team that keeps finding a way to stay in games and with a few key turnovers and big shots they could steal another win from a Virginia squad that doesn’t always pull away from its opposition.”

    Syracuse is three years removed from a Final Four appearance, while playing in its third Elite Eight contest since 2012. Virginia is rolling in the favorite role of late, posting an incredible 11-0 SU and 10-0-1 ATS record in its past 11 games when laying points.

    East Region Final – Philadelphia – Wells Fargo Center

    #6 Notre Dame vs. #1 North Carolina (-10, 154 ½) – 8:49 PM EST – TBS

    Even though Notre Dame has spent only three seasons in the ACC, the Fighting Irish are starting to become a thorn in the side of conference stalwart North Carolina. Last season, Notre Dame shocked North Carolina in the ACC championship, 90-82 to cash outright as 3 ½-point underdogs, as the Fighting Irish eventually lost to top-seed Kentucky in the Elite Eight. Now, the Irish are seeking its first Final Four appearance since 1978, while taking on UNC in the Big Dance for the first time since the 1987 Sweet 16.

    Notre Dame (24-11 SU, 16-16-1 ATS) has been tested in all three tournament victories, not winning any of those games by more than seven points. The Irish eliminated Michigan in the opening round, 70-63 as three-point favorites, overcoming a 12-point halftime deficit. Mike Brey’s club needed a tip-in at the buzzer to edge Stephen F. Austin in the second round, 76-75, even though Notre Dame shot 57% from the floor. In Friday’s Sweet 16 contest against Wisconsin, the Irish outscored the Badgers, 8-0 in the final 20 second to pull off the stunner, 61-56 as 1 ½-point favorites.

    North Carolina (31-6 SU, 18-18-1 ATS) has rolled in its first three tournament wins with each victory coming by double-digits. Following blowouts of Florida Gulf Coast and Providence in the first two rounds, the Tar Heels busted the 100-point mark for the second time this season in Friday’s 101-86 rout of Indiana as five-point favorites. Five Tar Heels put up double-figures, led by forward Brice Johnson’s 20 points and 10 rebounds to pick up his 22nd double-double on the season.

    Notre Dame’s last loss came in the ACC tournament semifinals against North Carolina in a 78-47 drubbing on March 11. The Irish were limited to 30% shooting from the floor, while falling behind by 19 points at halftime. A major key in UNC’s success that night was outrebounding Notre Dame, 46-26 as the Tar Heels eventually captured the ACC championship against Virginia. Roy Williams’ squad picked up revenge against Notre Dame after losing in South Bend in early February, 80-76 as 2 ½-point favorites.

    From an ATS standpoint, North Carolina has been money in the bank by posting a 6-1 ATS record since the start of March with the lone ATS loss coming as 22-point favorites against Florida Gulf Coast in the opening round. Notre Dame has compiled a 4-4 ATS record in the underdog role this season, but owns a 1-3 ATS mark as a ‘dog of seven points or higher. In last season’s Elite Eight against Kentucky, Notre Dame cashed as 11-point underdogs in a crushing 68-66 defeat.

    Nelson points out that in spite of UNC’s woes from three-point range this season, the Tar Heels cured their ills against Indiana, “After being the worst three-point shooting team in the ACC this season, North Carolina went out and made seven of its first eight three-point shots Friday night vs. Indiana to comfortably pull past the Hoosiers. As expected, rebounding proved to be a big edge for North Carolina in that matchup and the same figures to be true in this Elite Eight matchup with Notre Dame, but the Tar Heels haven’t shot that well from long range since mid-February.”

    Notre Dame enters Sunday’s action at 25/1 odds to win the National Championship at, while starting the season at 40/1 to capture the title. The Tar Heels began the campaign at 10/1 odds to win its first championship since 2009, as UNC is currently at 13/5 (Bet $1.00 to win $2.60) odds to grab the National Championship in Houston next week.


    NCAA tournament

    Syracuse lost 73-64 at Virginia Jan 24, despite going 13-30 on arc in that game; Orange allowed only 53.7 ppg in first three tourney wins, albeit vs seeds 7-15-11. In regional finals since 2005, teams seeded #6 or lower are 11-2 vs spread. Much like Iowa St., Syracuse has no depth, so fouls are an issue. Virginia is 16-3 in its last 19 games, with losses to teams in top 25; Cavaliers shoot 40.3% on arc, have #16 eFG%, are #87 in experience. Virginia played only two kids more than 28:00 Friday; Syracuse played four kids 32:00+ Friday. Dogs are 8-5 vs spread in last 13 Midwest Region finals.

    Notre Dame beat North Carolina 80-76 at home Feb 6; outscoring UNC 31-16 on foul line (Heels led by 9 at half), then got squashed by 31 in ACC tourney three weeks ago. Irish won five of last six games; in last two, they outscored foes 14-3 in last 1:00 of game. Carolina won its last eight games; they made 11-20 on arc Friday, unusual for them (32% for year). UNC cored 89.7 ppg in three tourney wins; only two kids played more than 29:00 Friday. In regional finals since 2005, teams seeded #6 or lower are 11-2 vs spread. Favorites covered four of last five East Region finals.



    4% UCI


    StatFox Super Situations™ – FoxSheets

    Play Under – Neutral court teams against the total after allowing 30 points or less in the first half in 2 straight games against opponent after scoring 45 points or more in the first half last game
    293-189 since 1997. ( 60.8% | 85.1 units )
    20-8 this year. ( 71.4% | 11.2 units )

    Play Against – Neutral court teams (SYRACUSE) after a combined score of 125 points or less 3 straight games
    170-109 over the last 5 seasons. ( 60.9% | 54.8 units )
    7-10 this year. ( 41.2% | -4.5 units )

    Play Under – Neutral court teams where the first half total is 60.5 or less playing with one or less days rest, a top-level team (>= 80%) playing a good team (60% to 80%)
    41-15 over the last 5 seasons. ( 73.2% | 24.5 units )
    0-1 this year. ( 0.0% | -1.1 units )



    100* Notre Dame +10

    100* NJ Tech +9



    Notre Dame


    Greg Shaker

    Syracuse / VA – OVER 123.5



    2* (711) Notre Dame +10
    2* (713) Syracuse +8



    717 Cal Irvine -4

    717 Cal Irvine -2 -105 – ‘1st Half’


    Basketball Crusher

    Syracuse +8 over Virgina
    (System Record: 67-4, won last game)
    Overall Record: 67-79-3

    N.J.I.T +9.5 over Columbia

    Notre Dame +10 over North Carolina

    Cal Irvine + Coastal Carolina – OVER 133.5

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