South Carolina Gamecocks versus Baylor Bears Sweet Sixteen betting preview
Date: Friday, 24th March
Place: Madison Square Garden – New York, New York
March madness odds:
South Carolina +3½ (-110) 135 (-110) +145
Baylor -3½ (-110) 135 (-110) -165
How they got here
Baylor beat the USC Trojans in the second round on Sunday for a fourth appearance in the Sweet 16 and the first since 2014. Johnathan Motley had 19 points and 10 rebounds, while King McClure scored 17 points and Manu Lecomte 12. Terry Maston added 19 points and nine rebounds off the bench. The Bears out-rebounded USC 34-23 and held them to only six offensive rebounds. South Carolina shockingly eliminated the Duke Blue Devils to return to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1973. Sindarius Thornwell had 24 points, while Chris Silva scored 17 and grabbed 10 rebounds, and Duane Notice had 17 points. The G-Cocks shot only 20% in the first half but went on to score the 65 points, the most allowed in a half by a Mike Krzyzewski-led Duke.
Baylor leads the all time series 4-2, including wins in the last three meetings with South Carolina. The Gamecocks bested the Bears for the last time so far in the 2008-09 season.
Players to watch
Motley posted double-doubles in Baylor’s first two NCAA tourney games – including 19 points and 10 rebounds against USC in the second round – and averages 17.3 points, 9.9 rebounds and 2.4 assists this season. Thornwell leads the G-Cocks in points (21.4), rebounds (7.3), assists (2.9), and steals (2.2) per game.
March madness betting trends
After losing to Kansas State in the Big 12 quarterfinals, the Bears have won two straight games. Baylor is also 1-4 against the spread in the last five games following back-to-back wins. South Carolina is 3-7 against the spread in the last 10 games playing teams with winning records. The G-Cocks play in the Southeastern Conference; the Bears are 9-1 straight up in their last 10 games versus SEC teams.
What to expect
Both teams will be playing with a newfound sense of purpose due in no small part to the fact that the Villanova and Duke-less East regional changed its entire landscape during the weekend. As a matter of fact, it was South Carolina, as mentioned above, that made the Blue Devils bite the dust. In spite of which the march madness odds still favour Baylor.
This just in
According to Dallas News.com the Bears will win of they “don’t get pricked by the Thornwell,” control the ball, and keep Johnathan Motley on the court. Conversely, South Carolina will pull the march madness betting upset if they shoot above average, limit mistakes, and make the most of second chances.
This matchup’s winner will most likely go on to do battle with the new favorite to win the East region, the Florida Gators. In any case it will be a much closer contest that if either Nova or Duke were involved.