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Basketball Betting: NCAA East Region Semi-Finals Preview
03/24/10 8:02 PM
While top-seed Kentucky is just two wins away from a Final Four spot, an Ivy League upstart is poised to give the Wildcats some cause for concern heading into Thursday night's East region semi-finals at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, New York. Cornell will get a shot at Kentucky in one of the matchups while West Virginia will square off against Washington in the other contest.
Odds to win East region
Kentucky is a -165 choice to advance to the Final Four in Indianapolis. Second-seed West Virginia is next at +205. A surging Washington Huskies club follows in the East. The 11th-seed has odds of +705 to advance out of the region. Finally, 12th-seed Cornell (+1215) will be seeking to become the first Ivy League school to reach the Final Four since Penn in 1979.
#12-Cornell (147) vs. #1-Kentucky (-9)
Cornell (29-4 SU, 18-10 ATS) stormed past 12th-ranked Temple and 16th-ranked Wisconsin in Jacksonville last weekend with a pair of double-digit victories to reach the Sweet 16. Now, the Big Red will try to take out 2nd-ranked Kentucky. Against two of the better defensive teams in the nation, Cornell has connected on 59% of its field goal tries so far in the tournament. Senior forward Ryan Wittman (18 ppg.) leads the efficient offense. While the Big Red will get to face Kentucky (34-2 SU, 19-15 ATS) just an hour away from its campus, the faithful Wildcat fans will be on hand as well to support its squad. The Wildcats offense has also been firing on all cylinders in the tourney so far with an average of 95 points per game in wins over ETSU and Wake Forest. Dynamic guard John Wall (17 ppg.) leads one of the most outstanding freshmen trios in the history of the collegiate game.
#11-Washington (142) vs. #2-West Virginia (-4.5)
The Huskies (26-9 SU, 16-18 ATS) have reeled off nine straight wins heading into this matchup. The last eight of those victories have been on the road or on neutral floors. Senior forward Quincy Poindexter (20 ppg.) hit the game-winning basket in the final seconds to get his squad past Marquette in the opening round. Washington is averaging 81 points per game so far in the tournament. West Virginia (29-6 SU, 15-19 ATS) will pose a much stronger defensive presence. The 6th-ranked Mountaineers have allowed an average of just 55 points per contest in tournament wins over Morgan State and Missouri. Senior forward Da' Sean Butler (18 ppg.) leads a hard-nosed squad.