No. 4 Florida vs. No. 7 South Carolina Preview
Where: Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
When: Sunday, March 26, 2017, 2:20 PM ET
TV Broadcast: CBS
College Basketball News and Previews
- 2017 NCAA March Madness Final Four Preview
- Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. South Carolina Gamecocks Preview
- North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Oregon Ducks Preview
Betting on the Florida Gators
It wasn’t easy by all means, but the fourth-seeded Florida Gators eked out a nail-biting overtime win over the No. 8 Wisconsin Badgers on Friday, 84-83.
Unsung role player Chris Chiozza etched his name into school lore with a game-winning three-pointer in the extra period to ultimately send Florida to its first Elite Eight appearance in just the second season under head coach Mike White.
The bottom line, however, is that the Gators wouldn’t have kept their postseason going if not for a stupendous performance from Kevaughn Allen, with the sophomore guard scoring a game-high 35 points. On the other hand, Allen was the only Florida player that scored in double-digits that evening, as the team shot just 45.2 percent from the field and made just four of their 12 shots from beyond the arc.
As a matter of fact, White’s boys were probably lucky that their offense did just enough with Wisconsin shooting over 50 percent from the floor themselves. The Gators, who rank within the nation’s top 40 programs this season having allowed just 65.7 points per game and have held opponents to just 40.5-percent field-goal shooting, need to find their clamp-down D again apart from getting more scoring production from the rest of the lineup if they are to deny fellow SEC rival South Carolina a trip to the Final Four.
Then again, history remains on Florida’s side in Sunday’s upcoming inter-conference matchup, as the team has beaten the Gamecocks in eight of their last 10 meetings (albeit just 6-4 against the spread during that span).
Betting on the South Carolina Gamecocks
Another game, another shocking blowout victory for the seventh-seeded South Carolina Gamecocks, who simply manhandled the No. 3 Baylor Bears in Friday’s East Regional semifinal showdown, 70-50.
As it turns out, South Carolina just handed Baylor its worse loss in the school’s NCAA Tournament history. Senior guard Sindarius Tornwell scored 24 points to lead the Gamecocks, who got a nice balance on offense by having four of their five starters end up with double-digit scoring performances.
But if it wasn’t evident enough in the final score, South Carolina trumped the Bears with its own brand of stifling defense. Baylor shot a dismal 25 percent from the field and committed seven turnovers in the first half alone, and the team finished with a mere 30.4-percent field-goal shooting clip in the loss.
Little do people know that the boys from Columbia actually have had a slightly better defensive campaign this season than their opponent this weekend. They’re 32nd in the regular season at just 65.2 points allowed this regular season, whereas Florida ranked 37th in that category.
And even though the Gamecocks haven’t necessarily given the Gators a run for their money this decade, they did split their two regular-season games against one another and with both contests each having been decided by just four points. By the way, they also covered the spread as underdogs on both occasions.
Considering that South Carolina has been a giant-slayer at the Big Dance thus far with huge wins over No. 2 Duke and No. 3 Baylor, perhaps No. 4 Florida is indeed next on the team’s list, especially with the Gators not being at the top of their game against a similarly well-rounded program like Wisconsin.
The Gamecocks (+3) keep their unprecedented national tournament run alive, 67-63.
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