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NCAA Basketball Tournament
Friday Picks and Analysis
The NCAA tournament only has two games on tap Friday in the East Region following six games on Thursday. Both games will take place at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee.
No. 6 Cincinnati Bearcats (24-10, 12-6 Big East) vs. No. 11 Texas Longhorns (20-13, 9-9 Big 12)
12:15 p.m. (ET)
Analysis: The Bearcats are coming off a nice run in the Big East tournament last week, knocking off top seed Syracuse before falling to Louisville 50-44 in the title game. They covered the spread in six straight games prior to losing to the Cardinals and will be facing a Texas team that barely got into the Big Dance. The Longhorns could be a dangerous team as one of the bubble teams that made it into the field since nobody really expects them to perform well. They had a key win in the Big 12 tournament last Thursday, beating Iowa State 71-65 to help their case. However, Texas failed to cover five of seven games down the stretch and could continue to disappoint just the same. Cincinnati has proven it can compete with the best in the Big East and just needs to not overlook the Longhorns in this spot. The Bearcats have key wins over tourney teams Marquette, Louisville, Connecticut, Georgetown and Notre Dame in addition to beating the Orange.
Our Pick - Cincinnati -2
No. 3 Florida State Seminoles (24-9, 12-4 ACC) vs. No. 14 St. Bonaventure Bonnies (20-11, 10-6 Atlantic 10)
Analysis: The Seminoles come into the NCAA tournament as one of the popular picks to win the East Region, especially with Syracuse down a man in sophomore Fab Melo. They beat North Carolina and Duke four times in five games, capped by an 85-82 victory against the Tar Heels in the ACC tournament championship game last Sunday. Florida State has covered five in a row with the OVER cashing in seven of eight. The Bonnies are 7-1 against the spread in their past eight games and upsetting Xavier last Sunday to win the Atlantic-10 tournament. They have won seven of their last eight games after dropping three of four and are led by A-10 Player of the Year Andrew Nicholson, who is an NBA prospect and can give the Seminoles some matchup problems inside. Florida State's defense could be the difference, as the team has limited opponents to just 38 percent shooting from the field and less than 63 points per game this season.
Our Pick - Florida State is the logical pick here. -6 would seem to be a small number to cover considering who this team has beaten this year. Most of our methods have FSU winning this one comfortably, but just as an FYI, we do have one method, which stresses recent results, that has St Bonny coming within 3. So this game could be a little closer than than most think. We'll go with FSU though. Florida State -6
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