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Tuley's Takes on NCAA Elite 8 (Saturday)

By Dave Tuley  (VSiN.com senior reporter) 

March 29, 2019 09:42 PM

This NCAA Tournament is flying by too quickly, but we hope you’ve been following along with our Tuley’s Takes.

After I wrote in Point Spread Weekly this past Wednesday, we’ve been more selective with our selections due to the depressing depression in some of the point spread for our underdogs, so I went with just two best bets in the Sweet 16 and won with both Texas Tech plus-1.5 vs. Michigan on Thursday and Auburn plus-5.5 vs. North Carolina on Friday (both winning outright and not needing the points) to improve my best-bet record to 9-4 ATS (69.2%). That’s almost the same percentage as we hit last March when we went 14-6 ATS (70%); we're on pace to have fewer plays, but, hey, not bad for three week’s work.

I’m guessing that I’ll have 3 or 4 more best bets between the Regional Finals this weekend and the Final Four next Saturday and the championship game on Monday, April 8. As for Saturday, I have one best bet and will pass on the other game. I’ll post my “takes” for Sunday’s games sometime Saturday (we might be waiting on some injury information that might push that later into the night).

SATURDAY, MARCH 30

(681) Purdue plus-4.5 vs. Virginia

8:49 p.m. ET/5:49 p.m. PT

Tuley’s Take: I was slow to get on the Purdue bandwagon, but I’m fully on-board now. Virginia has all the efficiency stats, yada yada yada, but they’re also gotten very lucky in escaping against No. 16 seed Gardner-Webb and benefitting from Oregon’s poor shot selection (you can’t tell me it was all due to Virginia’s No. 1 defense). This should be a slow pace as Virginia is last in tempo, but Purdue can certainly slow things down and win that kind of game, too (and that helps the dog have a chance to stick around in a lower-scoring game). Gimme Ryan Cline and Carsen Edwards shooting the 3’s and driving to the basket, along with 7-foot-3 Matt Haarms lurking in the paint, and Virginia is going to have its hands full. And if the Cavaliers don’t come to play, Purdue could run them out of the gym like it did against Villanova and nearly did against Tennessee. Best Bet: Purdue plus-4.5 (and maybe Purdue plus-2 in first half).

Tuley’s Other Elite 8 Lean

(683) Gonzaga -4 vs. Texas Tech (I didn’t get suckered into taking Florida State plus-7.5 against the Bulldogs on Thursday as I still feel Gonzaga is the class of the field, and as much as I love this Texas Tech team – and certainly grateful it justified my love in upsetting Michigan – this line is too short to back the dog)

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