March madness betting favorite Villanova Wildcats defeated Mount St. Mary’s 76-56
The reigning, defending NCAA national champions Champagne Villanova got off to a slow start against the St. Mary’s, but an unexpected boost off the bench pushed the Wildcats over The Mount. The Hart of Nova pretty much flatlined with only 11 points, five rebounds, and 0 assists, while sharpshooter Kris Jenkins missed his first 10 shots and finished 2 of 13. However, freshman guard Donte DiVincenzo came out of the bench swinging with 21 points and 13 rebounds. Nova led by only one point at halftime but started the second with a 21-6 spurt.
No. 1 seeds are 130-0 against No. 16 seeds since the NCAA started seeding in 1985. Needless to say, those weren’t good March madness odds for the Mount. St. Mary’s freshman Miles Wilson had 22 points, but the Mountaineers ran out of oxygen by the second half, when Nova shot 63%.
March madness betting favorites Gonzaga Bulldogs defeated South Dakota State 66-46
The Zags played like Villanova, which considering the above is not necessarily a compliment. Nigel Williams-Goss failed to score in double digits for the first time in 12 games – and Gonzaga scored fewer than 70 points for the first time since Dec. 10th, 2016 – so Jordan Matthews stepped up with 16 points, while Polish powerhouse Przemek Karnowski and Josh Perkins added 10 each. The Jackrabbits were ahead during the first 17 minutes of regulation, but reserve Zach Collins kept the Bulldogs in the game with nine of his 10 points in the first. At the same time, the Zags did some damage control by having forward Johnathan Williams put the clamps on the nation’s second-leading scorer Mike Daum. The J-Rabs did something similar with Karnowski, but the big man managed to nail three consecutive baskets to extend Gonzaga’s lead to 20 points with five minutes remaining. The Zags shot below 40% only for the second time, but they did hold SDS to 31%.
March madness betting favorites Arizona Wildcats defeated North Dakota 100-82
No. 2 seed Arizona fared much better than No. 1s Nova and the Zags (new album coming out soon), breezing through UND like a soft gale in a warm midsummer’s night. Lauri Markkanen had 20 points and six rebounds, Rawle Alkins scored another 20, and Allonzo Trier added 18 points for the Wildcats’ only third 100-point game their NCAA tourney history. Arizona shot 61% in the first half and led 53-37 at halftime. The Fighting Hawks fought the good fight but were simply outfought by UA, especially in the paint where Universitas Arizonensis outscored UND 54-34. The Wildcats did exactly what the March madness odds said they would do. Unlike like last year, when the ‘Cats were knocked off in the first round of the tournament, UA expects to return to the Final 4 for the first time since 2001 this year. The Wildcats surely do have the size as well as the talent to make it at least that far.