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March Madness Elite 8 Betting – Orange, Buckeyes, Cardinals, and Gators Fight For Spots In Final Four

Posted by Craig Parsons on 2/10/2014 5:32:30 AM

From 68 teams down to eight, it all comes down to this for a trip to New Orleans and the Final Four. The Syracuse Orange, Ohio State Buckeyes, Louisville Cardinals, and Florida Gators are the first four teams to earn their March Madness betting spots in the Elite Eight, and will take to the court Saturday for the chance to represent their regions in New Orleans.

East Region - Final
(2) Ohio State Buckeyes vs. (1) Syracuse Orange
Saturday, 7:05 PM ET

Even though Syracuse reached the tournament as a No. 1 seed, many will consider Ohio State to be the sports betting favorite for this game. The Buckeyes are the second-seed in the region, and nobody will be surprised if they reach the Final Four. Everybody knows about Ohio State’s NBA lottery pick in Jared Sullinger, as well as one of the nation’s top point guard’s in Aaron Craft, but one of the biggest keys to the Buckeyes’ success in recent weeks has been the play of forward DeShaun Thomas, who has emerged from the shadows of both Sullinger and Craft to become a legitimate team leader.

Thomas was averaging 24.5 points in the tournament before scoring 26 against the Cincinnati Bearcats in the Sweet 16, and with Sullinger adding another 23 and 11 boards, Ohio State’s depth really showed. Despite getting by in the tournament so far, this is where the loss of center Fab Melo is likely to really be exposed for Syracuse. Jim Boeheim’s squad held together for another close win over the Wisconsin Badgers, but they have been fortunate enough to get this far, and it will be Sullinger and the Buckeyes headed to the Final Four.

March Madness Betting Pick: Ohio State Buckeyes

West Region - Final
(7) Florida Gators vs (4) Louisville Cardinals
Saturday, 4:30 PM ET

Both the Cardinals and Gators pulled off solid upsets to get to the Elite Eight, with Louisville knocking off the top-seeded Michigan State Spartans and Florida taking care of the third-seeded Marquette Golden Eagles. It was pretty easy to write off the Gators early on since they had one of the easiest paths to the Sweet 16, but the win over Marquette changed that, and now Florida has a legitimate shot at the Final Four if they can continue to do an excellent job in terms of both shooting percentage and points in the paint, two of the biggest keys to their success so far.

Much of that will depend on the play of Louisville center Gorgui Dieng, who has developed in to a force in the paint and done an excellent job clogging up the middle for the Cardinals. Peyton Siva has looked solid for Louisville so far, and along with Russ Smith and Kyle Kuric makes up a solid trio at guard for a team that has already proven it can win the big one in the region. Head coach Rick Pitino is the X-Factor in this sports bet contest.

March Madness Betting Pick: Louisville Cardinals

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