If you’re feeling melancholy about the NCAA Tournament nearly ending, join the crowd. The silver lining: I went 3-1 in the Elite 8 to boost my tournament record to 20-16-2. First round: 9-7-1. Second round: 4-5. Sweet 16: 4-3-1. Now, to the Final 4.
South Carolina +6.5 vs Gonzaga
Public money came in early on the Gamecocks, but the line has hit 7 in some places and probably will rise. Ultimately, I don’t think Gonzaga will shoot as well as it did on 3-pointers vs Xavier (12-of-24) because South Carolina is a much better defensive team, and also because of the dome factor. If risk is your thing … Gonzaga to cover the first half line, South Carolina in the 2nd half. The Gamecocks have been the best 2nd half team in the tournament by a large margin. I’ll take Gonzaga to win, 71-67.
North Carolina -4.5 vs Oregon
The 3-point stat of the tournament: Tyler Dorsey, in four games, is shooting 17-of-26 on 3-pointers. That’s 57%. He shot 42% on 3-pointers in the regular season. Is he going to do that against Justin Jackson, UNC’s great wing defender? I would expect Theo Pinson to defend Dillon Brooks. Jordan Bell dominated against Michigan inside, and also against Kansas, but UNC has three trees inside (plus Luke Maye?) to throw at him. The Joel Berry injury has me concerned because the Tar Heels struggle without him, as does Roy Williams vs Dana Altman. Feels like 80-69, UNC.