Wichita State Continues to Shock and Ohio State Squeaks By in Last Night’s Action
It’s been a particularly crazy March Madness this year, rife with all sorts of upsets and drama. However, the region that has packed the most theatrics is undeniably the West. Last night was no different, with the surprising No. 9-seeded Wichita State Shockers defeating the No. 13-seeded La Salle Explorers to advance to the Elite Eight and the No. 2-seeded Ohio State Buckeyes narrowly defeating the No. 6-seeded Arizona Wildcats to claim a berth in the next round. Let’s take an in-depth look at both games, and their gambling ramifications.
Ohio State Defeats Arizona 73-70
The Ohio State Buckeyes entered this game as either three or three and a half point favorites, depending on the sports book. Vegas was right on the money with this line, as it came down to a last-second three pointer from Ohio State’s LaQuinton Ross to put the Buckeyes over the top of the Wildcats.
“It feels great, man,” said Ross. “I think this is what every player grows up looking at on TV, wanting to hit that big shot for an NCAA tournament team. It just feels great right now.”
It was a back and forth affair all game; Arizona even seemed like it was pulling ahead in the first half, leading by as many as 11 points at one point and leading 38-34 heading into halftime. However, the Buckeyes came out at halftime and locked down the Wildcats’ socring while putting together an impressive run of baskets themselves. Per ESPN’s Stats and Information, Ohio State outscored Arizona 16-4 over the first 8:11 of the second half to take a 50-42 lead. All 16 of the Buckeyes’ points during the run came either in the paint or from the free-throw line.
The Wildcats once again find themselves falling well short of expectations, missing the Elite Eight for the second straight year. Despite having a huge crowd of supporters at the game in the Staples Center, the Wildcats fell tantalizingly short of a victory.
“I’m proud of our guys’ effort,” Arizona coach Sean Miller said. “We tried hard, and losing in this tournament when you play hard to the end hurts more in the beginning, but I think you leave with a lot of pride knowing you played your heart out.”
Here were some betting trends for both teams heading into the game, per OddsShark.com:
Arizona Wildcats Trends:
When playing on Thursday are 5-5
After a win are 7-3
Ohio State Buckeyes Trends:
When playing on Thursday are 6-4
After playing Iowa State are 1-1
After a win are 9-1
A few Wildcats at Buckeyes trends to consider:
Ohio State is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Ohio State’s last 10 games
Wichita State Defeats La Salle 72-58
The Wichita State Shockers were only 4.5-point favorites against the La Salle Explorers, but the outcome was never in doubt for the duration of the game. These two teams have been two of the best surprises in a tournament full of them this year, but La Salle was simply overwhelmed by Wichita State’s offensive barrage. The Shockers opened on a 14-2 scoring run, and the Explorers never got within a single-digit deficit after that.
It wasn’t just the scoring, however; the Shockers have been utterly dominant defensively in their tournament run thus far. They held Pittsburgh to 35.2 percent shooting in the first round, held Gonzaga to 35.6 percent, and held La Salle to 35.7 percent shooting on Thursday. If they keep up that kind of stingy D, it’s going to be tough for anyone to beat them.
Here were some betting trends for both teams before the match, courtesy of OddsShark.com:
A few Explorers at Shockers trends to consider:
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Wichita State’s last 6 games
Wichita State is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games