At full strength, No. 4 seed North Carolina, the ACC Tournament runner-up, is good enough to beat top-seeded Wisconsin in their Sweet 16 West Region game in Los Angeles on Thursday night. In fact, I would argue that the Tar Heels would win the game because they simply have much better athletes (and certainly more McDonald's All-Americans).
However, it doesn't appear that North Carolina will be at full strength and thus the Badgers are 6-point favorites at Bovada, with the winner taking on most likely Arizona on Saturday for a trip to the Final Four. The No. 2 Wildcats are double-digit favorites in the late game against No. 6 Xavier.
Big Loss If Meeks Out
The injury of note is to Tar Heels big man Kennedy Meeks. He suffered a sprained left knee Saturday night when Arkansas defender Anthlon Bell took a charge and fell into the big man's left knee. Meeks did not practice with the Tar Heels on Monday, but the 6-foot-9 sophomore did travel with the team to Los Angeles. Coach Roy Williams early this week called Meeks doubtful. Meeks did participate in non-contract drills on Tuesday.
Before leaving Chapel Hill, North Carolina, on Monday, Williams said that if Meeks didn't practice on Wednesday, "it would be hard to play" against the No. 1 seed Badgers. By far North Carolina's most efficient back-to-the-basket scorer, Meeks shoots 56.6 percent from the field and averages 11.6 points per game. He is also North Carolina's leading shot blocker and second-leading rebounder this season.
If Meeks can't play, reserve big man Joel James would be the most likely option to start in his place alongside Brice Johnson in the frontcourt. North Carolina also could go small and insert guard Nate Britt into the lineup instead of James. It's doubtful UNC goes small against a frontcourt that is one of the best in the nation, led by National Player of the Year candidate Frank Kaminsky. If Meeks does play, that line probably drops a couple of points.
The Tar Heels are battle-tested after playing one of the toughest schedules in the country. Entering the NCAA Tournament, North Carolina had played 19 games against teams in the field, going 9-10. In addition, the ACC has been stellar in this tournament with just one loss.
Meanwhile, former Wisconsin starting point guard Traevon Jackson, who has not played since breaking his right foot against Rutgers on Jan. 11, could make his first appearance with the Badgers in 20 games. ackson was medically cleared to participate last week but did not play in Wisconsin's first two NCAA tournament games, saying his status was "90 percent mental." Jackson averaged 9.4 points and 2.9 assists while starting the first 17 games.
Wisconsin escaped Oregon, 72-65, in the Round of 32 but struggled at times to find an offensive rhythm with point guard Bronson Koenig sidelined because of foul trouble and no true point guard to come off the bench. Koenig nearly went to North Carolina out of high school. Koenig and UW junior forward Sam Dekker played with UNC's J.P. Tokoto on the same AAU team, the Wisconsin Playground Warriors.
The total in this game is 144, and that's interesting because the teams play such contrasting styles. The Heels want to get out and run, while Wisconsin plays a rather plodding, deliberate style.
Category : Betting Picks
Tag : 2015 ncaa tournament
, kennedy meeks
, ncaa basketball odds
, north carolina tar heels
, sweet 16
, wisconsin badgers
The final numbered UFC card of the year is upon us and it serves up a banger of a main event between Charles Oliveira and the number one contender Dustin Poirier for the lightweight championship of the world.
Live from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on December 11th the two top-ranked 155-pounders in the world will go head-to-head in a five-round bout to crown the undisputed champion of the UFC's lightweight division.
We'll take a look at the betting odds for the bout and see what picks we can find to earn you some hard-earned cash for the holidays.
The NHL has served up some great entertainment so far this season and we continue with a host of fixtures tonight including the New Jersey Devils hosting the San Jose Sharks live from the Prudential Centre.
We'll also see the St Louis Blues taking on the Tampa Bay Lightning from the Scottrade Centre.
We'll preview both of these games and provide you with the best betting picks we can find to try and earn you some cash for the holiday season.
The 2021 MLS Cup is preparing to begin and there are set to be 14 teams competing for the honor of being crowned champions at the end of a long season. But who is likely to be involved in the running for the title? Let's take a look at the betting picks.
The 2021 Major League Baseball season has come to an end and the Atlanta Braves have been crowned World Series champions for the first time since 1995.
A 7-0 win over the Houston Astros meant they earned a 4-2 series win to claim the championship, with Jorge Soler claiming the series MVP award in the process.
With the off-season now upon us though, we've taken a look at the early odds for the 2022 season which is currently scheduled to start on March 31st 2022 to take a look at any value in the initial odds that we could possibly find.