Cap’n Kielar’s Sweet 16 Preview and Best Bets

Cap’n Kielar’s Sweet 16 Preview and Best Bets

by March 26, 2021 0 comments

What a crazy ride this March has been so far. We are down to 16 teams in deciding a “Mickey Mouse” champion. Or at least that’s what the cool kids call it. Upsets have been rolling in like crazy and I’m sure everyone’s bracket is completely busted by now. Let’s take a look at each game of the Sweet 16 and a betting pick for each.

Betting odds are taken from Jazz Sportsbook. Please gamble responsibly.

Midwest Region

8 Loyola Chicago vs. 12 Oregon State

Date: Saturday, March 27

Time: 2:40 p.m

How to Watch: CBS

Sister Jean marches on! The Loyola Chicago Ramblers pulled off the 71-58 upset over number one seed Illinois in the Round of 32. Senior center Cameron Krutwig led the way with 19 points (9-18), 12 rebounds, four steals, and five assists, picking up his sixth double-double of the season. Krutwig averaged a team-leading 15 points and seven rebounds per game during the regular season. In the tournament games, he has put up 29 points, 17 rebounds, five assists, and five steals. The Ramblers allowed just 60 points to Georgia Tech and 58 against Illinois.

The Oregon State Beavers pulled off upsets in both rounds so far, over fifth seed Tennessee in the Round of 64 and fourth seed Oklahoma State in the Round of 32. They have come out with outright wins in seven of their last eight games in which they have been underdogs. The Beavers allowed just 56 and 70 points – an average of 63 – in the two tournament games. Senior guard Ethan Thompson leads Oregon State with 19.5 points per game during March Madness. Thompson put up 26 points and seven rebounds in the win over Oklahoma State and he also led the Beavers in steals on the defensive side.

If this game turns into an offensive high-scoring battle, Loyola Chicago has the edge and could certainly cover the seven-point spread. But the way these defenses have played lately, it looks to remain close. The Beavers will play tight and try to limit Krutwig.

Cap’n Kielar’s Best Bet: Oregon State (+7)

2 Houston vs. 11 Syracuse

Date: Saturday, March 27

Time: 9:55 p.m

How to Watch: TBS

The Syracuse Orange are peaking at just the right time. Led by coach Jim Boeheim‘s son Buddy, the Orange have won five of their last six including their upset wins over six seed San Diego State and three seed West Virginia in this tournament. The junior guard Boeheim has scored 55 points in the two games on 18-of-32 shooting including 13-of-23 from behind the arc. His performance helped his father get back to the Sweet 16 for the 20th time in his 45th season as the Orange coach and fifth time this decade. It is the third time in six years that a double-seeded Syracuse has made a run at the Sweet 16, doing so as a 10-seed in 2016 and 11-seed in 2018. Quincy Guerrier (13.9 ppg.), Alan Griffin (13.7 ppg.), and Marek Dolezaj (10.0 ppg.) also average double figures for the Orange.

The Houston Cougars now have a nine-game winning streak after their wins over Cleveland State and Rutgers in the tournament. Junior guard Quentin Grimes has averaged 18.1 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 1.9 assists who the Houston offense runs through. The Orange zone defense is going to be tough to handle for the Cougars as Syracuse baits Houston into three-point range. A key player against the zone will be senior forward Justin Gorham, who had 12 games with double-digit rebounds this season. If he hits the glass and can neutralize Dolezaj, Houston will be in a good position.

This should be a slugfest with Grimes and Boeheim shooting the lights out from three-point range. Boeheim will keep the Orange in it the whole way, and they may even win. So take them to cover and if you’re feeling good, take them on the Moneyline at +225.

Cap’n Kielar’s Best Bet: Syracuse (+6.5)

South Region

1 Baylor vs. 5 Villanova

Date: Saturday, March 27

Time: 5:15 p.m

How to Watch: CBS

The Baylor Bears blew out both of their matchups in the tournament over Hartford and Wisconsin. The Bears looked rusty when they came off their long COVID pause but now have started to look like the Baylor team they did at the beginning of the season. Junior guard Jared Butler has led the Bears with 16.9 points per game on the season. His backcourt teammate, junior Davion Mitchell has added offense to his defensive-minded game. He has shot at 46.1 percent from behind the arc while recording 5.4 assists and two steals per game.

Despite being without senior guard Collin Gillespie who injured his knee with just two games left in the regular season, the Villanova Wildcats have eased through their first two tournament games fairly easily. However, it was only against two mid-major teams in Winthrop and North Texas, so having to face Baylor won’t be so easy. This is the best team the Wildcats are facing all season and it just doesn’t look like they will be able to keep up. Sophomore forward Jeremiah Robinson-Earl has been one of their best players and went for 18 points, six rebounds, and six assists against North Texas while shooting 40 percent from behind the arc.

Cap’n Kielar’s Best Bet: Baylor Moneyline (-320)

3 Arkansas vs. 15 Oral Roberts

Date: Saturday, March 27

Time: 7:25 p.m

How to Watch: TBS

The Oral Roberts Golden Eagles became just the second 15-seed (Florida Gulf Coast) to advance to the Sweet 16 after defeating Ohio State in round one and Florida in the Round of 32. Sophomore guard Max Abmas – the leading scorer in Division I – is averaging 27.5 points per game with 5.0 assists and 3.5 rebounds in the tournament. Junior forward Kevin Obanor is averaging 29.0 PPG with 11.0 RPG and scored 28 points against the Gators and 30 against the Buckeyes.

The Arkansas Razorbacks defeated Texas Tech as two-point underdogs in the Round of 32 following their crushing of Colgate in round one. Senior forward Justin Smith recorded 29 points and 13 rebounds which he followed up with 20 points against Texas Tech. Freshman guard Moses Moody has averaged 17.1 ppg and 5.8 rpg while scoring 15 points against the Red Raiders.

These two teams play with offensive firepower and the Golden Eagles are a scrappy bunch. While they may not become the first 15-seed to advance to the Elite Eight, they should have enough in the tank to keep the contest within single digits.

Cap’n Kielar’s Best Bet: Oral Roberts (+11.5)

West Region

1 Gonzaga vs. 5 Creighton

Date: Sunday, March 28

Time: 2:10 p.m

How to Watch: CBS

The Gonzaga Bulldogs have been a force to be reckoned with all season and have been the favorites to win it all. They defeated Oklahoma 87-71 in the Round of 32, led by sophomore forward Drew Timme‘s career-high 30 points and 13 rebounds. The Zags have a lot of firepower to work with, including senior forward Corey Kispert shooting over 50 percent from behind the arc in the tourney. The Creighton Bluejays have shot just 43.9 percent from the field in their eight games. Gonzaga leads the country with a 55.5 percent field goal percentage. Creighton won’t be able to keep up with that, as the Bulldogs get one step closer to becoming the first undefeated team in NCAA basketball history while covering the spread.

Cap’n Kielar’s Best Bet: Gonzaga (-13)

6 USC vs. 7 Oregon

Date: Sunday, March 28

Time: 9:45 p.m

How to Watch: TBS

Sophomore forward Evan Mobley has been a force for the USC Trojans this season and during this tournament, along with his brother Isaiah Mobley, a junior. Evan went for 10 points and 13 rebounds, while Isaiah went for 17 points (4-5 from three) and eight rebounds in the Trojans upset over Kansas. The Oregon Ducks put up a massive 95 points against Iowa, showing no signs of rust after a long layoff following their first-round game against VCU being a no-contest due to COVID protocols. They were led by senior guard Chris Duarte putting up 23 points. With these two teams having a lot of offensive capability, the over could easily be smashed.

Cap’n Kielar’s Best Bet: Over 138.5

East Region

1 Michigan vs. 4 Florida State

Date: Sunday, March 28

Time: 5:00 p.m

How to Watch: CBS

Cap’n Kielar’s Best Bet: Michigan (-2.5)

2 Alabama vs. 11 UCLA

Date: Sunday, March 28

Time: 7:15 p.m

How to Watch: TBS

Cap’n Kielar’s Best Bet: Alabama (-6.5)

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Main Image designed by Zach Gotlieb @zachgotlieb  

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