March Madness Bracket Pick: Ohio vs. South Florida Preview

Stan Heath

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A very high seed is going to be in the Sweet 16 in the Midwest Bracket next week, and the two teams that are going to be duking it out in college basketball betting action are the Ohio Bobcats and the South Florida Bulls.

It wasn’t all that many years ago that the Bobcats were able to get into the second round of the dance as a No. 14 seed after taking down the underachieving Georgetown Hoyas. Now, they have done it again, coming through as a No. 13 to knock off the Michigan Wolverines in a gritty game between two teams that are awfully good on Friday. Ohio had to fend off all sorts of issues in this game down the stretch, including nearly blowing a relatively big lead late on. Hitting the offensive glass was a problem for an undersized team, and more than three offensive boards are going to be necessary for sure to win this game. That being said, there were four players that got into double digits in scoring thanks to the fact that the squad had plenty of chances and did well from the charity stripe and shot the ball at well over 50 percent. DJ Cooper was the hero with 21 points, and if he can come up with that sort of effort against, the Bobcats are going to have a good shot of surviving for the Sweet 16.

Last year, it was the VCU Rams that came out of the First Four to be able to make it all the way to the Final Four. Now, South Florida is trying to do just that. The Bulls are using their tremendous defense to be able to dismiss a number of underachieving teams. The Temple Owls should have been able to take care of the Big East reps in the first full round of the dance, and the argument could be made that the Cal Golden Bears should have taken care of this issue in Dayton. Instead, with an offense that calls 65 points an outburst in tote, USF is here in Memphis, favored and wearing white jerseys with the right to go to the Sweet 16. The defense for the Bulls was relentless in the win over Temple, holding the Owls down to just 44 total points. It marked the 12th straight game in which a team failed to score 60 points against this defense, and someone is likely going to need to stop all of that to bounce the Bulls. The offense still isn’t there, and there still isn’t a player that is averaging anywhere near 10.0 points per game, but this is still a team built by Head Coach Stan Heath to succeed in brackets like this one.

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The Final Word: Sometimes, you just have a team of some destiny floating around in the tourney, and South Florida has the look of one of those teams. The Bulls are for real, and they won all those games in the Big East this year for a reason. The rest of the clubs in this conference might not be getting the job done, but the Bulls are, and they’ll prove it again here in Memphis by marching onto the Sweet 16.

Ohio Bobcats vs. South Florida Bulls Free Pick: South Florida Bulls

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Aaron Ryan

Aaron Ryan has been in the sportswriting biz since the late-90s, and he has worked side by side with some of the best and brightest in sports gambling. Always searching for the best trends in sports, Andrew uses his brilliant math mind to his advantage to beat the books.

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