Villanova vs. Wisconsin - 3/18/17 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction


Villanova vs. Wisconsin - 3/18/17 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Maybe not Friday, when Kansas and North Carolina take their turn at trying to avoid history.

It took a long time for Hayes and the Badgers to deliver a performance like Sunday's in a big moment, but after they took down the defending champs and No. 1 overall seed, everything that happened prior doesn't matter.

"They are similar in a lot of ways with their back-line defense, their physicality", Wright said.

"They've been crowding me so I knew I would have the baseline", Hayes said.

This year's Villanova team features more speed and athleticism than last season's championship squad, but lack the interior defensive presence of Daniel Ochefu. Bridges leads in steals with 1.7 per game. Wisconsin has weapons, for sure, but more importantly, the Badgers have tournament chops as the only school in the country to make the Sweet 16 in each of the past three seasons and a national-best 12 tourney wins in the last four years.

Hanging on the wall just outside Villanova's locker room is a sign pointing the players toward the floor.

The Wildcats looked very beatable as they struggled to put away No. 16 seed Mount St. Mary's, which outplayed the Big East champions for much of the game before the Mountaineers were eventually overwhelmed by a more talented team.

"I would love to tell you I went in there and ripped them, and they all came out fired up, but I really didn't", Villanova coach Jay Wright said.

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Back to what I said about nobody having a patent on late-game execution/luck. Each spring, college basketball gives us a chance to see the little guy prevail in a one-game, do-or-die scenario.

The No. 1 in the NCAA West region, Gonzaga Bulldogs allowed only 46 points for South Dakota state. Yes, the Jackrabbits were only 18-16, a fourth-place finisher in their less-than-powerhouse conference.

They won a title, so they'll be held with high regard by Nova Nation forever. Virginia Tech is in the NCAA field for the first time since 2007. "Marquette has proven that they can play well on the road". And then their toughness.

There figure to be more like this.

If everyone's bracket is busted, that means no one's bracket is busted. Hayes untied it with a baseline drive, the same Hayes whose putback was the second-biggest basket of Wisconsin's Final Four upset of then-undefeated Kentucky in April 2015. Hit 2 3-pointers in the final 11.7 seconds, the first to forge a tie and the second just before the buzzer to give UW the victory. "I learned over the years that you can try, but against those real good teams, it usually doesn't work". "They're a team that doesn't quit".

Wisconsin, which finished second in the Big Ten regular season standings, outlasted No. 9 Virginia Tech 84-74 on Thursday night to advance to play Villanova. Bronson Koenig is averaging 14.1 points and 2.1 rebounds while Ethan Happ is averaging 13.9 points and 2.8 assists. With national Player of the Year candidate Josh Hart setting the pace, the Villanova perimeter attacks opponents with a wave of athleticism.

"Someone can have that from here on out", Few said of the top seeding. "I'll go ahead and land somewhere else".



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