Underdogs galore in the fourth session of games in the Third Round. South Florida and Ohio face off in the only 12 versus 13 match, while Xavier gets to where the home whites as the 10 seed after holding off Notre Dame on Friday night, thanks to Lehigh’s historical win as the second #15 seed to advance on the same day.
#12 South Florida vs. #13 Ohio, 7:10 in Nashville (TBS). Since 1985, there have been 9 prior occasions when a #12 seed and #13 have met. The #12 seed is 8-1 in those matchups, with the only #13 to win being Valparaiso over Florida State in 1998. Despite that, though, I think this one is pretty wide open. South Florida has been prone to some wild swings in this tournament, at times looking like world beaters and at others looking extremely beatable. D.J. Cooper is going to face as tough a defensive test as he can face in this match, and will need to create good looks. On the other end, whether South Florida can get offensive boards to get them through their cold stretches will dictate whether they advance.
The Line: USF by 2. The Pick: Ohio +2.
#10 Xavier vs. #15 Lehigh, 7:45 in Greensboro (TruTV). No 15 seed has advanced to the Sweet 16 in the history of the NCAA Tournament. This is no ordinary 15 seed, though, and it is also not the typical second game for the 15 seed coming off the shocker. Lehigh is more like a typical 13 seed, and went out and flat out played better than Duke. Xavier is not an overpowering 10 seed, so this game definitely has a chance of producing history, as C.J. McCollum looks to match Tu Holloway.
The Line: Xavier by 4. Lehigh +4.
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