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NCAA South Bracket: Michigan Pulls off Miracle

gatorsThe South’s top seed, the Kansas Jayhawks looked as if they were going to play for a Final Four berth on Sunday. But the front-runner for the Naismith Trophy, the Michigan Wolverines star point guard Trey Burke had other ideas. Burke was held scoreless in the first half but struck for 23 points in the second half and overtime. He scored fie points in the last 21 seconds of regulation, including a bomb from well behind the arc to tie it with four seconds left. Burke dished 10 assists in the game as well.

Michigan trailed by 14 points in the second half and looked to be going home. But Elijah Johnson missed the front end of a one and one with 16 seconds left to give the Wolverines a chance. Burke capitalized on that chance to cap a comeback in a game they trailed by 10 with 2:22 left in regulation. The Jayhawks were last year’s national runner-up and looked to be one of the teams to beat going into the Elite Eight. But their fans are now headed home as the Wichita State Shockers are the only team from the state to advance to the Elite Eight.

The Wolverines will not meet the Cinderella story of the this year’s tournament. The Florida Gulf Coast Eagles got off to a 15-4 start against the Florida Gators and looked to be extending their miraculous run to the next round. But the Gators took control of the game after trailing 24-14, going on a 16-2 run to end the first half, then coming out and opening the second half with five straight to take a 35-26 lead. Michael Frazier III hit two big three pointers to jump start the Gators offense as they closed the gap to 24-20. Kenny Boynton had two “and-one” plays during that stretch as well.

Florida controlled the glass, out-rebounding the Eagles 13-5 on the offensive end. The Gators also won the turnover battle 20-10. The Gators defense proved to be too tough for the upstart Eagles who were making their first ever NCAA Tournament appearance a memorable one. The Eagles took down the #2 seed Georgetown Hoyas and the #7 San Diego State Aztecs with a multitude of high flying dunks on the fast break. But the Gators slowed down the tempo and made it a a half-court game and held the Eagles to 50 points.

Florida advances to the Elite Eight for the third year in a row and fifth time in the past eight years. The Wolverines have not made it this far since 1994. Coincidentally, that was the year when the Gators basketball success truly began. Florida has won two national titles and made four Final Four trips, with the first being in 1994. This is their seventh Elite Eight since then and they have a 4-2 record in those games, despite losing the last two seasons.

Just Bet has the Gators -2.5 -110 and the Wolverines +2.5 -110 ATS. Moneyline is Florida -145 and Michigan +125. Over/Under is 131 with over and under both at -110.

We are going to go with Florida -145 and the under -110.

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