Now that the First Four matchups of the March Madness betting tournament are officially in the books, sportsbooks and bettors alike are ready to watch this year’s bracket dramatically unfold. Last year, we were treated to one of the most breathtaking finishes to the NCAA Tournament and everyone in the nation is hoping that this year’s tourney delivers a similar turnout.
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Wednesday’s round of the NCAA Tournament saw NC Central get upset by UC Davis 67-63, and later on that evening USC was able to overcome Providence 75-71. Thursday will bring with it a handful of contests for the NCAA Tournament, and with so many different seeds facing off there’s bound to be a contest that sparks player’s interest.
Most contests will be under wrap before the sun sets on the east coast so players won’t have to wait long to find out if their predictions came to fruition. Let’s take a look at one matchup the sportsbooks are predicting will turn into a blowout; the contest between Bucknell and West Virginia.
Bucknell vs. West Virginia – Thursday, March 16, 2017
When: 2:45 pm ET
Where: First Niagara Center
TV: NCAA Live Stream
NCAA Basketball Tournament Line:
Bucknell Bison +13 ½ (-110) 148 (-110) +800
West Virginia Mountaineers -13 ½ (-110) 148 (-110) -1250
Coming off a 17-14 season, the Bison were hopeful that they would be able to find more success in the 2016-17 season. Since Bucknell is sitting on a 26-8 record, it’s safe to say that the Bison were able to accomplish their goal.
In addition, Bucknell was able to post a 15-3 record in Patriot League play, which ended up ranking them first in the conference. Once in the Patriot League tournament, the Bison didn’t miss a beat and steamrolled all their competition all the way to the championship game where they were able to overcome Lehigh 81-65.
The NCAA basketball tournament lines are ruling out Bucknell Thursday afternoon but the Bison are hopeful that Zach Thomas will be able to prove the bookies wrong. Thomas is leading the program in points with his average of 16.0 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game. Second in points for the Bison is Nana Foulland who is netting 14.9 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 1.2 assists per outing.
West Virginia Mountaineers
The Mountaineers were able to qualify for last year’s March Madness betting tournament, but were unable to advance past the First Round. Needless to say, West Virginia is hoping for a better performance this time around.
The Mountaineers ride into this matchup sporting a 26-8 record that includes a 12-6 record in Big 12 play. After the regular season concluded, West Virginia was able to tie for a 2nd place finish in the conference. In the Big 12 tournament, the Mountaineers made it all the way to the championship match where they lost to Iowa State 74-80.
West Virginia will turn to leading point-scorer Jevon Carter to lead them in Thursday’s contest. Carter is currently putting up 13.1 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 3.9 assists per contest. Second in points for the Mountaineers is Esa Ahmad who is draining 11.2 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 1.7 assists per game.