The NCAA Tournament continues on Sunday with the Elite 8. Here we will see the No.1 seed Kentucky Wildcats take on the No.3 seed Baylor Bears. The game is scheduled for a 2:20 p.m. start time and it will be televised nationally on CBS. Currently the odds have Kentucky favored by 8 points with the total sitting at 147.5 points for the contest.
Free Analysis: The top-seeded Kentucky Wildcats have a tough challenge ahead of them as they square off with the third-seeded Baylor Bears in the South Regional final of the 2012 NCAA Tournament at the Georgia Dome. Baylor improved its program single-season record of wins to 30 on Friday night by defeating the Xavier Musketeers, 75-70, in the Sweet 16. The Bears made 51 percent of their field goal attempts and held Xavier to 43 percent shooting, to improve their record to 24-1 when outshooting their opponents. The Bears are one of the few teams in the NCAA that can match up athletically with Kentucky. Led by Jackson (13.6 PPG, 5.9 APG) offensively, the Baylor offense and its four other double-digit scorers have no problem lighting up a scoreboard. Although Jackson can often be sloppy with the ball (3.5 TPG), he’s made up for it with air-tight defense in the tournament, registering 3.0 SPG so far in tourney play. The deep frontcourt of Jones III (13.4 PPG, 7.6 RPG), Acy (11.7 PPG, 7.4 RPG) and Miller (10.8 PPG, 4.9 RPG) have the athleticism and talent to make Kentucky’s defense work all over the court, while SG Brady Heslip (10.4 PPG) has the ability to beat teams from deep. Heslip (2.7 3PG) has been on fire in the NCAA Tournament with 5.0 threes per game on 60% shooting from deep. One of the most decorated teams in NCAA Tournament history, Kentucky is seeking its 15th Final Four appearance and eighth national title. The Wildcats are tied with North Carolina for the most wins in tournament history (108) and have won national titles in 1948, 1949, 1951, 1958, 1978, 1996 and 1998. Kentucky advanced to its third straight Elite Eight by exacting revenge for its only regular season loss with a 102-90 victory over Indiana. Coach John Calipari has had as much success as possible without winning the big one in the NCAA Tournament, but many feel like this is his year. With several definite future professionals on his roster, the biggest obstacle is maturity. Kentucky gave up a nine-point lead in the first half versus Indiana, and it allowed the Hoosiers to come back and take the lead. Although the Bears may have some size, the Wildcats feature the best post player in the game in Anthony Davis who is a menace offensively and defensively. The 6-foot-10 freshman (14.2 PPG, 10.1 RPG, 4.6 BPG) has registered double-digit boards in six of his past seven games and is absurdly efficient from the field, making 63.2% of his shots. Fellow freshman Michael Kidd-Gilchrist led the Wildcats over Indiana with a 24-point, 10-rebound performance while 6-foot-9 forward Terrence Jones also chipped in with 12 points. Doron Lamb (13.6 PPG, 1.9 3PG) is the team’s best scorer from the backcourt, and Darius Miller (10.0 PPG) and Teague (10.0 PPG, 4.9 APG) contribute from deep as well. The trio of guards combined for 54 points on 16-of-32 FG in Friday’s win. Baylor is 0-6 all-time versus Kentucky. The last time these programs met was on Dec. 8, 1979. The winner of this game will move into the Final Four and take on Louisville next weekend.
Free Pick: The Bears put up just 68 points in their opener vs South Dakota State, but since then they have scored 155 points in their next two games. Kentucky has really shined at the offensive end in the tourney as they have averaged 90 ppg in their 3 games. Baylor has played decent defense in the tourney, but that's pretty much vs non-high powered teams and if you look at their last 4 games before the tourney, in which they played high scoring Big 12 teams, they allowed 79 ppg. Kentucky is playing very good offensively yes, but defense they have given up some points, allowing 71+ points in 4 of their last 5 games, while allowing 73.8 ppg over that stretch. This game may not be as facst paced as the Indiana game but these teams will still get up and down the court and put plenty of points on the board. I see this one in the mid 150's with ease.
Betting Strategies: March Madness 2012 - Recaps and TipsHost Marco D'Angelo and Pregame Pro Bryan Leonard discuss their recaps of the first "half" of the NCAA March Madness tournament and give their insight and tips on how to approach Sweet 16 and beyond.