Breaking Down the Final Four

Written on:March 31, 2010
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Sports Interaction‘s Al Dannity breaks down Saturday’s College Basketball Final Four betting preview match-ups in the NCAA tournament.

The Mid-Majors have been the story of March Madness and that tale will continue on Saturday when Butler (-120) puts a stop to Michigan State’s (+100) own miracle run. All week long the talk has been about how Tom Izzo is now the greatest coach in College Basketball because he has brought the Spartans to the Final Four in 6 of the last 12 years. Once they get there his record is not so hot however, having made it past their Saturday game only twice to date under Izzo. This year the challenge is greater than ever as while Butler is not an elite program, the Bulldogs have chewed up big name opponents with style over the past two weeks.

State plays this game minus Kalin Lucas. They managed to get past Northern Iowa and Tennessee without their star but this is a side that is stumbling through by hook or by crook. Winning tight shows tenacity but it also shows an inability to kill opponents off. Butler on the other hand is on the longest winning streak in College Basketball. The Bulldogs ripped through the lowly Horizon League schedule but then shocked everyone with the dominance they have shown on the court in the NCAA tournament. Syracuse and Kansas State couldn’t tame the Bulldogs and even if Tom Izzo had 300 Spartans on the floor I doubt Michigan State could either. Back Butler to win big with Sports Interaction.

After getting bombarded with abuse throughout the tournament for not being deserving of a #1 seed, Duke (-160) finds itself as the favorite for the Final Four. If you’re trading College Basketball stock now is the time to sell, sell, sell. Duke manhandled its opponents over the first three rounds before outsmarting Baylor in the Elite Eight. Give the Blue Devils their due, they have overcome the doubters and made it this far for the first time since 2004. If they weren’t the perennial villains of March Madness fans might almost feel sorry that they are coming up against West Virginia (+135).

The Mountaineers brought some big hammers to the hardwood against Kentucky, smothering the Wildcats’ big men with a 1-3-1 defense. WVU will have to adapt this tactic to stifle Duke’s triple-threat of Scheyer, Singler, and Smith who are far more accurate from 3-point range than Kentucky. The difference will be on the boards. Duke has been able to win the rebounding battle to date in the tournament as has certainly improved its physicality over the course of the season but the Mountaineers will be rise to the challenge. Bet on West Virginia to win big with Sports Interaction this weekend.

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