Since 1998, Duke is 12-1 in last 13 second round games, with only loss to West Virginia in '08 (5-8 vs spread). Blue Devils are 12-3 in their last 15 games, since 90-63 loss to Miami Jan 23. Duke sleptwalk thru win on Friday, shooting 58% from floor vs outclassed foe. Creighton shoots 42.2% from arc (#1 in US), 56.1% inside it (#2), have #1 eFG% (59.0%). Bluejays outscored Cincinnati 22-4 from line Friday in 67-63 win- they won their last six games, are 3-2 vs top 25 teams- #13 Wisconsin is best team they've beaten. Over last four years, #2 seeds are 10-5-1 vs spread in second round games; second round favorites of 5+ points are 24-14-1 vs spread. Duke won four of five games vs top 20 teams.
How does Florida Gulf Coast react to being America's Team for the last 46 hours? The six other #15 seeds who upset #2 seeds in first round are 1-4-1 vs spread in second round games; Coppin State in '97 came closest to winning, losing 82-81. Eagles are not fluky, having beaten Miami back in November- they have a cockiness about them, and San Diego State is fairly similar to Georgetown- athletic team that struggles to score, but Aztecs outscored Oklahoma 39-22 in second half Friday, outscoring the Sooners 16-4 on foul line. San Diego State is second #7 seed since '93 to be second round favorite (1-0-2 vs spread since '87); Florida (-14) won 84-50 over Norfolk State LY. Second round favorites of 5+ points are 24-14-1 vs spread.
Temple was up 44-26 over NC State Friday, held off Wolfpack to give Dunphy rare first round win, Owls' 8th win in last nine games overall behind senior guard Wyatt, who scored 31, despite painful thumb. Owls are 3-2 vs top 20 teams this season, losing by 23 to Duke, 7 at Kansas- they beat Syracuse/Saint Louis/VCU. Since 2005, second round double digit favorites are 13-5 vs spread. #1 seeds are 11-6-1 vs spread in this round last four years. Temple (35.4%) hasn't defended 3's well this year and Hoosiers make 41.1% of them (#2 in country). Indiana lost in OT to Butler, its only game vs A-16 team; Hoosiers are just 4-3 in last seven games, but beat James Madison by 21 Friday, in game that wasn't nearly that close.
Iowa State hammered Notre Dame because Irish big guys were slow to defend pick/roll; thats not case here; Buckeyes won last nine games with an easy 95-70 win over Iona Friday- they are #7 in defensive efficiency in country. OSU did lose at home by 8 to Kansas, its only game vs Big X opponent. Second round favorites of 5+ points are 24-14-1 vs spread. Cyclones were +11 in turnovers Friday, forcing 14 in first half; four of their five seniors are transfers, so they're older kids. Ohio State won last second round games, by 7-9-32-7 points; only one of its seven losses is to team (Illinois) not ranked in top 12 in country. Much like Michigan site Saturday, playing in Dayton favors the Buckeyes.
LaSalle-Ole Miss is 12th game with 12-13 seed meeting in tournament history; favorites are 9-2 vs spread in first 11. Rebels won their last six games, allowing 55.8 ppg in last four- they beat Fordham 95-68, its one game vs an A-16 opponent. LaSalle is playing its third gamr this week; at end of K-State game, Steve Kerr kept saying on TV how tired LaSalle looked, but they survived that after blowing 44-26 halftime lead- they're #306 in country in bench minutes- three starters played 38+ minutes in Friday's win. After going 6-0 in tourney thru Friday, A-16 teams were 0-3 Saturday. Since 2009, second round favorites of less than 5 points are 20-11 against the spread.
Kansas won four in row, 11 of last 12 games after odd 3-game skid early in February; Jayhawks were first team in 12 years to win tourney game without making 3-pointer (0-6) in Friday's struggle with #16 seed WKU- they were also -8 (17-9) in turnovers in 64-57 win. North Carolina will struggle with Withey inside; they've won nine of last 11 games, but nine wins were vs teams ranked outside top 30; two losses, by 16-10 points, were vs top 15 teams. Second round favorites of 5+ points are 24-14-1 vs spread. #1 seeds are 11-6-1 against the spread in this round last four years. Obviously, Roy Williams used to coach Kansas, but its been so long, don't think it really factors into this game.
Miami is #8 in country in experience; they played #18 schedule, won its last five games, all by 10+ points- they beat Michigan State 67-59, in its only game vs Big Dozen opponent. Illinois blew 16-point lead Friday, trailed by 5 with 8:58 left, but outscored Colorado 18-5 down stretch to win game in which four starters played 31+ minutes. Miami's win over Pacific was a glorified practice. Second round favorites of 5+ points are 24-14-1 vs spread. Over last four years, #2 seeds are 10-5-1 vs spread in second round games. Illini beat Georgia Tech by 13 in its only game vs an ACC team- they're still just 3-4 in last seven games, but they're #35 in country in experience, and played #2 schedule in country.
Minnesota's 83-63 win over crippled UCLA ended Gophers' losing skid at three games; they're 6-11 in last 17 games, after starting season 15-1, but are also #1 offensive rebounding team in country. Florida's eFG% is 55.7%, #5 in country, so they're deep, athletic, get good shots. Gators won last four games in second round, by 22-7-8-34 points. Florida beat Wisconsin by 18, only game they played vs Big Dozen squad. Since 2003, #11 seeds are 5-9 vs spread when facing #3 seed in second round. Second round favorites of 5+ points are 24-14-1 vs spread. Minnesota turns ball over 21.5% of time, which didn't matter vs UCLA team that seemed to be glad season was over-- it'll matter in this game.
Bennett vs Lavin is severe coaching mismatch; St John's 63-61 win over St Joe's in first round snapped their 5-game road skid- they're 3-8 in last 11 games overall. Virginia beat Duke, then went 2-3 in next five games. Keep in mind St John's tossed their best player off team last month.
Loyola Md won five of last seven games; their 15-point loss to Florida Gulf Coast in December doesn't look as bad as it used to. Four of last five Greyhound games were decided by 4 or less points. Kent State won nine of last 11 games after beating Fairfield of MAAC 73-71 last game.