Nevada (28-7) vs Cincinnati (31-4)
When: Sunday, March 18th 2018
Where: Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, TN
Time: 6:10 ET | TV: TNT
Opening Odds: Cincinnati -7.5/138.5
The Nevada Wolfpack were cruising through the Mountain West Conference this season, but a late season slide gave prognosticators a little worry entering the NCAA Tournament. The Wolfpack looked nervous in their first round matchup with 10th-seeded Texas, falling behind by 14 points, but rallied for an overtime win to advance to the Round of 32. They will take on the highest remaining seed in the South region – the Cincinnati Bearcats – after Virginia became the first No. 1 seed to fall to a No. 16 late Friday night. Cincinnati got off to a sluggish start as well, but came alive in the second half and pulled away from Georgia State for a 68-53 victory on Friday. Cincinnati is trying to advance to the regional semifinal for the first time since 2012. The Wolfpack will be seeking to advance to the Sweet 16 for the second time in program history (2004) after their 87-83 win over the Longhorns. The winner will get No. 11 seed Loyola-Chicago on Thursday in Atlanta.
Caleb Martin hit three of his four 3-pointers in the decisive overtime and Josh Hall scored 15 points on 7-of-10 shooting off the bench on Friday for the Wolfpack, who won a game in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2007. Kendall Stephens needs one 3-pointer to tie former BYU G Jimmer Fredette (124, 2010-11) for the most in a single season in the Mountain West Conference. The 6’7″ guard led Nevada with 22 points on Friday and nailed 5-of-11 from beyond the arc after being held to two points in 20 minutes against San Diego State in the MWC Tournament semifinals.
Senior Gary Clark recorded a double-double in the first round for Cincinnati with 11 points and 13 rebounds, while sophomore guard Jarron Cumberland erupted for 27 points and 11 rebounds. The Bearcats, who won the American Athletic Conference regular season and tournament, are ranked second in the nation in both points allowed (57.0) and defensive field goal percentage (37.1). Cincinnati won’t have an advantage in a close game late when going to the free throw line however, as they only convert on 68.9% of those – 269th in Division 1.
Pick: Cincinnati -8
- Wolf Pack are 10-4 ATS in their last 14 non-conference games.
- Wolf Pack are 33-14-4 ATS in their last 51 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Wolf Pack are 25-12-4 ATS in their last 41 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- Wolf Pack are 2-6-1 ATS in their last 9 games following a ATS win.
- Wolf Pack are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win.
- Bearcats are 20-42 ATS in their last 62 Sunday games.
- Bearcats are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- Bearcats are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Bearcats are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 neutral site games.
- Over is 3-0-1 in Wolf Pack last 4 games following a straight up win.
- Under is 6-1-1 in Wolf Pack last 8 games following a ATS win.
- Over is 5-1 in Wolf Pack last 6 non-conference games.
- Over is 4-1-1 in Wolf Pack last 6 overall.
- Over is 4-1 in Wolf Pack last 5 Sunday games.
- Over is 8-2 in Wolf Pack last 10 neutral site games.
- Over is 4-1 in Wolf Pack last 5 NCAA Tournament games.
- Over is 16-7-1 in Wolf Pack last 24 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- Under is 5-1 in Bearcats last 6 overall.
- Under is 5-1 in Bearcats last 6 games following a straight up win.
- Under is 53-21 in Bearcats last 74 non-conference games.
- Under is 21-10-1 in Bearcats last 32 Sunday games.
- Under is 35-17-1 in Bearcats last 53 neutral site games.