Home → NBA → News → Basketball Betting: Final Four Preview (Game Two)
Basketball Betting: Final Four Preview (Game Two)
04/02/10 6:46 PM
Duke is the last one-seed alive heading into Saturday night's NCAA semi-finals at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. While the Blue Devils are the overall tourney favorite heading into the Final Four, West Virginia is poised to present a formidable challenge in Saturday's nightcap after Michigan State and Butler square off in the other semi-final contest.
West Virginia Mountaineers (131) vs. Duke Blue Devils (-2.5)
West Virginia (31-6 SU, 17-19 ATS)
West Virginia fans have waited a long time for the Mountaineers to return to the Final Four. The school's last trip to the national semi-finals was in 1959 when hoops legend Jerry West starred for West Virginia. Another alum of the school has played a leading role in this year's Final Four squad. Head coach Bob Huggins has taken his university to the brink of a national title. He was a solid player for the Mountaineers in the mid-70's but rose to prominence by guiding Cincinnati to the Final Four in the early 90's. As usual, Huggins has a physically tough club to work with.
The 6th-ranked Mountaineers entered the East regional as the number two-seed. After cruising to three easy wins to open the tourney, West Virginia was an underdog in the regional final against top-seed Kentucky. Some surprising 3-point shooting in the first half enabled West Virginia to take a lead into intermission. The defense took care of things in the second half to secure the upset. Senior forward Da'Sean Butler (17 points, 6 rebounds per game) is one of the top players in the nation to lead the team.
Duke (33-5 SU, 22-14-1 ATS)
While Huggins is in his second Final Four, Duke head coach Mike Krzyewski is in the NCAA semi-finals for the 11th time. After some frustration over the last five years (no trips to the Elite Eight), the Blue Devils are back in the Final Four for the first time since 2004. The 3rd-ranked club in the nation entered the tourney as the top-seed in the South region. Like West Virginia, Duke won its first three games of the tournament in convincing fashion.
In the regional final, Duke had to face upstart Baylor in its home state. In Houston, the Blue Devils broke open a close game in the final minutes with some key offensive rebounding and 3-point shooting. Duke has one of the best scoring trios in the nation on offense. Senior guard Jon Scheyer (18 ppg.), junior forward Kyle Singler (18 ppg.) and junior guard Nolan Smith (17 ppg.) are all capable of taking over a game. On defense, the squad holds opponents to just over 40% field goal shooting.