Saturday's Title Games
March 15, 2014
By Brian Edwards
UCLA and Arizona will collide tonight in the Pac-12 Tournament finals at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. As of early this afternoon, most books had Arizona (30-3 straight up, 20-12 against the spread) installed as a 5.5-point favorite with a total of 138.
Gamblers can back the Bruins on the money line for +210 return (risk $100 to win $210).
UCLA (25-8 SU, 20-12 ATS) ended Oregon's eight-game winning streak in Thursday's 82-63 win. Then on Friday night, Steve Alford's squad make quick work of Stanford, cruising to an easy 84-59 triumph as a three-point favorite. That was my guaranteed pick for Friday and it was a laugher from start to finish.
Normal Powell dropped a game-high 22 points on the Cardinal, making 7-of-10 shot from the field. Kyle Anderson stuffed the box score as usual, finishing with 13 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.
Arizona has dealt out a pair of beatdowns in Sin City, too. The Wildcats crushed Utah by a 71-39 count before spanking Colorado, 63-43. The Wildcats easily covered the number in both spots and the 'under' was also a winner both times.
When these long-time rivals met at Pauley Pavilion on Jan. 9, Sean Miller's team captured a 79-75 win as a 1.5-point road 'chalk.' The 'under' has cashed in three straight for UCLA to improve to 17-14 overall.
The 'under' has been a major money make in Arizona games all year long, hitting at a 20-9 clip.
Fox Sports 1 will have the telecast at 6:00 p.m. Eastern.
In the Big East Tournament finals at MSG in NYC, Creighton will take on Providence. Most spots have the Bluejays favored by 7.5 with a total of 147. The Friars are +290 on the money line.
Creighton (26-6 SU, 18-12 ATS) has won three in a row both SU and ATS, including last night's 86-78 win over Xavier as a 6.5-point favorite. The Bluejays blasted DePaul 84-62 as 16.5-point 'chalk' two nights ago.
Providence (22-11 SU, 17-15 ATS) might have earned an at-large NCAA bid with six wins in its last eight games, but it can remove all doubt by taking the league's automatic berth win a victory tonight. The Friars, who are 7-1 ATS in their last eight outings, beat State John's and Seton Hall to advance to the finals.
These schools split a pair of regular-season meetings with the home team winning and taking the cash in each instance. Creighton won an 88-73 decision over Providence in Omaha last week, as Doug McDermott put on a show on his Senior Night. The All-American forward dropped 45 points on the Friars.
The 'over' is on a 9-0 run for Providence to get to 19-13 overall. Meanwhile, the 'under' is 16-13 overall for the Bluejays.
Tip-off is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. Eastern on FS1.
In the first AAC Tournament in Memphis, UConn and Louisville (28-5 SU, 18-13 ATS) will square off in the finals at 6:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPN. Most betting shops have Rick Pitino's team hung as a 7.5-point favorite with a total of 135.5. The Huskies are +290 to win outright.
U of L has won 11 of its 12 games since Feb. 1. The Cardinals trashed Rutgers (92-31) and Houston (94-65) en route to the finals. Russ Smith scored a career-high 42 points against the Cougars yesterday.
UConn (26-7 SU, 17-14 ATS) knocked off Cincinnati in a nail-biter last night, getting a little luck when Sean Kilpatrick's layup rimmed out with two seconds remaining. Replays showed a UConn player pulling on the nets while the ball was still on the rim, but no goaltending was called.
The Huskies won 58-56 in a pick 'em affair. Shabazz Napier led the way with 15 points.
U of L has won four in a row and eight of the last nine both SU and ATS over UConn. The Cardinals won by an 81-69 score at UConn back on Jan. 18. Then last week, they absolutely destroyed the Huskies 81-48 as nine-point home favorites.
The 'under' has cashed in eight consecutive games for UConn to get to 20-11 overall. The 'over' is 15-14 overall for Louisville.
Form has held at Thomas & Mack Center at the Mountain West Conference Tournament, as the top seeds will meet tonight at 6:00 p.m. Eastern on CBS. Most books have San Diego State (29-3 SU, 18-12 ATS) favored by 1.5 over New Mexico.
New Mexico (26-6 SU, 16-12 ATS) crushed its backers in last night's 70-67 win over Boise State as a five-point favorite. Lobos' center Alex Kirk missed a pair of free throws with 1.2 seconds remaining. In the final minute, BSU's Derrick Marks and Jeff Elorriaga hit deep 3-pointers that played a major role in the backdoor cover.
Steve Fisher's squad has won seven in a row while going 6-1 ATS since a 58-44 loss to New Mexico at The Pit on February 22. The Aztecs advanced to the finals with wins over Utah State (73-39) and UNLV (59-51). When these teams met in San Diego last Saturday, the Aztecs won a 51-48 decision but the Lobos covered as five-point underdogs.
The 'under' is 21-7 overall for the Aztecs, 16-12 for the Lobos. The 'under' has hit in six straight head-to-head meetings between these MWC rivals.
In the Big 12 Tourney finals, Iowa State (25-7 SU, 15-15 ATS) will face Baylor as a two-point favorite. The total is 149.
Fred Hoiberg's team knocked off Kansas State in the quarterfinals before yesterday's 94-83 triumph over Kansas as a 4.5-point underdog. The Cyclones hooked up money-line supporters with a +170 payout.
Georges Niang was the catalyst with a game-high 25 points. He took an elbow to the face while taking a charge late in the second half and left the court a bloody mess. Nevertheless, Niang took just five stitches about his right eye and is good to go against the Bears.
Baylor (24-10 SU, 13-13-2 ATS) is absolutely on fire, winning six in a row and 10 of its last 11. The Bears are 8-2-1 ATS during this span. They advanced to the finals with a pair of stellar performance in wins over Oklahoma and Texas in the quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively.
When these teams met in Ames in January, Iowa State drilled Baylor by an 87-72 count. However, the rematch in Waco went the way of the Bears, who thumped the Cyclones, 74-61.
We should note that Baylor also had to beat TCU in the opening round of the tourney. Therefore, Scott Drew's team is playing for the fourth time in four days, while Iowa State is playing for a third time in as many days.
ESPN will have the telecast at 9:00 p.m. Eastern.
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