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2017 March Madness Sweet 16 – Baylor Bears vs. South Carolina Gamecocks Predictions, Picks and NCAA Basketball Betting Preview

2017 March Madness Sweet 16 – Baylor Bears vs. South Carolina Gamecocks Predictions, Picks and NCAA Basketball Betting Preview

No. 2 Baylor Bears vs No. 7 South Carolina Gamecocks Betting Preview

Where: Madison Square Garden – Manhattan, NY

When: Friday, March 24, 2017 – 7:30 PM ET

Line: Baylor Bears (-3.5) vs. South Carolina Gamecocks (+3.5); total: 135.0 – view all NCAAB lines

TV Broadcast: TBS

College Basketball News and Previews

Betting on the Baylor Bears (27-7, 12-6 Big Ten)

Point Spread: -3.5

Baylor’s 82-78 win over USC in the second round had plenty of great contributors. Johnathan Motley had a 19-point, 10-rebound double-double, while King McClure and Terry Matson, who both average under 16 minutes per game, combined for 36 points, 10 rebounds, and four steals – McClure also splashed five threes.

Motley, however, is still the man to watch out for on the team moving forward. The Bears have been enjoying the junior’s breakout year, as he is putting up 17.3 points, 9.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1.1 blocks per contest this season, while shooting an efficient 52.4 percent from the floor. We should all expect him to be extra aggressive in clashing against the tough South Carolina defense.

The Bears’ 2016-17 campaign has been one of their most balanced play in a while, as evidenced by placing inside the top 20 in’s offensive and defensive efficiency rankings. They are plus 10 on their opponents in points and they shoot seven percent better. Topping all of it off nicely is the ability to move the ball (40th in assists), get second chance opportunities (15th in offensive rebounds), and alter opponents’ shots (30th in blocks).

Baylor is 16-4 in its last 20 games as underdogs (8-12 ATS).

Betting on the South Carolina Gamecocks (24-10, 12-6 SEC)

Point Spread: +3.5

Considering that Sunday’s win was the school’s first NCAA tournament victory in over 40 years and this is their first Sweet Sixteen berth in history, South Carolina is probably the only “Cinderella” team left in the big dance.

They should be a good one, too. The 88-81 domination of the favored and talent-filled Duke had them displaying an amazing turnaround. After only scoring 23 and shooting a woeful 20 percent heading into the break, they suddenly exploded for a whopping 65 points in the second half.

Sindarius Thornwell should be able to continue spearheading the Gamecocks. He’s been everything to the team’s attack on both ends of the court, and he’s posting 24.9 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.8 threes, and 1.9 steals in his last 11 games. Though not as big as Motley, his versatility is comparable to the Baylor Bear, since he can score in many ways, rebound, and defend, while also having the ability to step out for a trey.

We can also expect Thornwell yo have plenty of support, with PJ Dozier (13.8 PPG), Duane Notice (10.3 PPG), and Chris Silva (10.1 PPG) all averaging double-digit points this season.

The Gamecocks are 13-7 in their last 20 games (8-12 ATS). They are the third-ranked defense in the country, thanks to holding opponents to only 65.2 PPG on a mediocre 40 percent shooting, while also letting them commit 17.2 turnovers per game.

Writer’s Prediction

South Carolina (+3.5) ekes out a 76-72 win.

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Written by JE

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