While the 2014 NCAA Championship Basketball Tournament has been one of the wildest and most unpredictable journeys in recent memory, there’s still plenty of value being offered on the upcoming slate of Sweet Sixteen matchups that are set to begin on Thursday, March 28.
If you’re looking to either to bounce back from some bracket-busting tourney losses or boost the annual college basketball betting bankroll, then you’re in luck. This expert betting breakdown on Thursday’s south regional semifinal between No. 11 Dayton and No. 10 Stanford will give you the ammunition you’ll need in order to strike pay dirt early and often over the course of the eight-game Sweet 16 slate.
Starts: 03/27/2014 7:15PM
How Dayton Can Win The Sweet Sixteen South Regional Semifinal
After beating No. 6 Ohio State in their opener – and then stunning No. 3 Syracuse on Saturday, there’s no question that the Dayton Flyers could pull off their third straight upset by taking down Stanford in this contest.
The Flyers will win this game if they play defense like they have in each of their first two games while winning the rebound and turnover battle. Dayton held Syracuse just 38.9 percent shooting from the field and out-rebounded both of their previous opponents. If the Flyers can keep it close until the final few possessions, then Stanford could be in big trouble.
Could the Flyers Go…To The Elite Eight?
If the Flyers wins this contest, they will face the winner of the Florida-UCLA South regional semifinal and I just don’t see them advancing to the Final Four, particularly if the top-seeded Florida Gatos win like I expect. The fact of the matter is that Dayton will be far more overmatched against the Gators than almost any other team they’ve faced this season, although I guess it’s possible the Flyers could take out UCLA if they pull off an upset over Florida .
Why Stanford Will Win The Sweet Sixteen South Regional Semifinal
The Stanford Cardinal have been impressive in beating New Mexico 58-53 and No. 2 Kansas 60-57 this past weekend. With a team featuring five players standing 6-10 or taller and four senior starters, the Cardinal are arguably the most experienced team left in the tournament.
Stanford will win this contest simply because they have a huge size advantage and a defense that limited New Mexico to 36.5 percent shooting from the field and Kansas to a paltry 32.8 percent.
Last but not least, the Cardinal have one of the best players in the nation playing for them even if senior guard Chasson Randle hasn’t gotten the recognition that some other floor leaders have this season. Randle (18.7 ppg) is the tournament’s leading scorer for all remaining teams and this is something that can’t be discounted.
Could the Cardinal Go…To The Elite Eight?
If the Cardinal win this game and have to face either Florida or UCLA in the regional final, I believe they could very well defeat both teams to earn a berth in the Final Four. From that point on, Stanford will have more belief than they’ve had all season and that could very well fuel their run to a national title.
And this Sweet Sixteen matchup winner is…
The underrated Stanford Cardinal are well-coached, extremely experienced, lengthy and have a true star player to lead them. Dayton has had a fine season, but I believe the party ends for them in this improbable Sweet 16 showdown.
The Flyers are 6-1 ATS in their last seven neutral site games, but Stanford has gone 6-0-1 ATS in their L/7 non-conference games and I like them to win and cover the 3-point spread with a bit of room to spare.