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Tuley's Take on Wednesday's NCAA schedule

Dave Tuley senior reporter

March 7, 2018 02:40 AM

Gonzaga isn’t supposed to be as strong as recent years, but you could’ve fooled me (and the Bulldogs did) as they dealt me my second loss in two days.

My pick on BYU plus 9.5 went down in flames Tuesday night as Gonzaga rolled to a 74-54 victory for the West Coast Conference title here in Las Vegas. I was feeling good as the game was tied 27-27 late in the first half, but before I could even consider hedging with an in-game wager, the Zags went on a nine-point run before halftime and 22-2 overall run well into the second half. I’ll be happy to not have to see Gonzaga the rest of championship week.

Looking ahead to Wednesday’s action, I already made a play on Colorado plus 6.5 vs. Arizona St. in this week’s issue of Point Spread Weekly as that matchup was already set earlier. I have one other play I like on today’s card:

Atlantic Coast Conference (Barclays Center, Brooklyn)

Syracuse (plus 4) vs. North Carolina, 9:30 p.m. ET/6:30 p.m. PT (ESPN2)

Syracuse, squarely on the NCAA bubble, beat Wake Forest 73-64 on Tuesday night to set up this matchup. No line was available as of this writing but I’m guessing it’ll be around the UNC -4.5 line we saw on Feb. 21 when the Tar Heels went into the Carrier Dome and won 78-74 (maybe a tad shorter with this being on a neutral court). While the Orange fell short, its defense was successful in hold the Tar Heels to 78 points after they had routinely been scoring well into the 80s and often into the 90s in recent games. I’m expecting Jim Boeheim’s zone defense to travel well here (plus make adjustments on the defensive boards after giving up key second-chance points in the earlier meeting) and give Syracuse the chance at the upset and keep its tourney hopes alive. Best Bet: Syracuse plus 4 (estimated line), I’ll take 2.5 or better.

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