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Buckeyes, Wildcats Set To Clash In West Region Sweet 16 Thursday

Posted by Washington Tucker on 3/25/2013 7:31:57 PM

Aaron Craft struggled for the second-seeded Ohio State Buckeyes during the final minutes of their third-round date with the 10th-seeded Iowa State Cyclones. Then he hit the game-winning three-point shot with 0.5 seconds remaining to finish with 18 points, six assists, and two steals to redeem himself with the sports betting fans that had the Buckeyes going through, and pushed Ohio State in to the Sweet 16. Next up for Craft and company is a date with the No. 6 Arizona Wildcats – a team that has cruised through the first two rounds of the tournament with consecutive double-digit wins.

Sweet 16 - West Region
#6 Arizona Wildcats vs. #2 Ohio State Buckeyes
Thursday March 28, 2013 – 7:47 PM ET
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
March Madness Sportsbook Line: Ohio State – 2.5

The Wildcats had no problem dismissing a No. 11 in Belmont and then a No. 12 in Harvard to get to the Sweet 16, and Mark Lyons is coming off a very impressive performance against the Crimson. Lyons finished with 27 points, three assists, and a steal, and the Arizona defense held Harvard without a point for the first seven minutes in an eventual 23-point win.

March Madness Betting Preview: Arizona

There is no doubt now that the Pac-12 was criminally underrated heading in to this tournament, as both the Wildcats and Oregon have dominated their ways in to the Sweet 16 with some impressive wins so far. Arizona never gave the Crimson in a chance in their third round contest, with Lyons going 12-for-17 from the field in that victory. Lyons will need another impressive performance as the Wildcats brace for a much tougher test from the Buckeyes, and another fast start with be among the online betting keys. Arizona opened its win over Harvard on a 30-9 run, with Solomon Hill playing a supporting role with 13 points and 10 rebounds to help Lyons at both ends of the floor.

March Madness Betting Preview: Ohio State

Craft had missed free throws and turned the ball over to allow Iowa State back in to the game, and the Cyclones torched Ohio State from beyond the arc with 12 three-point shots – the second-most versus any OSU team in tournament history. The Buckeyes won’t be able to get away with those same issues in the Sweet 16, and must find a way to play better defense on the perimeter by closing faster. Craft did join Vander Blue as the only players in the tournament to make a game-tying or go-ahead shot in the final 10 seconds of a game so far, but will need to be more efficient throughout the entire game along with Deshaun Thomas, who scored a game-high 22 points in the win over Iowa State.

March Madness Betting Preview: Outlook & Pick

After surviving a scare against the Cyclones, the Big Ten champions should be feeling very confident heading in to the Sweet 16. Arizona hasn’t really been tested much with wins over Belmont and Harvard, but will have to deal with a much different animal in a Buckeyes’ team that has all of the tools it needs to make a run to the Final Four if it plays to its potential.

March Madness Betting Pick: Ohio State Buckeyes

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