It's on to the Sweet 16 and a Free Pick will be given in the game between the Wichita State Shockers and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, which will take place at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. The game has a start time of 7:15 pm (Eastern) and will be televised on CBS. Current Vegas betting odds have the Shockers listed as 2 point favorites, while the total is set at 137.
Analysis: The Wichita Shockers didn't have a good a year as last year, but it still was a very good year for them as they come in with a mark of 30-4 on the year. The Shockers have now won 20 of their last 22 games, after taking out instate foe Kansas in the round of 32 and they did it rather easily, winning 76-65. Wichita State has gone 35-13-4 ATS in their last 52 games following a ATS win, but just 1-4 ATS in their last 5 neutral site games. The Shockers have been a decent offensive squad this year, ranking 98th in scoring (70.1 ppg), 104th in shooting (44.6%), 89th in 3 point shooting (36.2%) and 144th in FT shooting (69.9%). The defense for this team has been very good this year, ranking 9th in points allowed (56.7 ppg), 42nd in defensive FG% (39.7%) and 215th in 3 point defense (34.8%).
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have not looked dominant in the NCAA Tournament thus far as they beat Northeastern by just 4 points and then needed OT to beat Butler. Still this is a very dangerous team that is now 31-5 on the year and has it's sights set on a date with Kentucky in the Elite 8. The 30 wins the Irish have this year are the most in school history. Notre Dame has gone 21-6 ATS in their last 27 Thursday games, but just1-10 ATS in their last 11 NCAA Tournament games. The Irish have been a very good offensive squad this year, ranking 14th in scoring (78.2 ppg), 2nd in shooting (50.9%), 22nd in 3 point shooting (38.9%) and 28th in FT shooting (74.0%). The defense for this team has been rather average, ranking 145th in points allowed (65.6 ppg), 158th in defensive FG% (42.6%) and 99th in 3 point defense (32.8%).
Pick: I am going to look at the Over in this game. Both teams are excellent passing teams and that should create many open looks, especially from long range and both teams are very good 3-point shooting teams. Both teams will also get out and run and with many long shots that should also create many break out chances. Defensively both teams have been solid, but the Shockers have averaged 70.4 ppg in their last 5 games, while Notre Dame has put up 74.5 ppg in their last 10 games (Regulation). This game also has the feel on one that might come down to the foul game at the and that should produce many extra points, especially since there will be no tomorrow for the loser. I look for this one to be played in the 140s.
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