No one saw this one coming. The UConn Huskies were seconds away from losing to St. Joe’s in their first game of the NCAA Tournament, but now they are in the Final Four. Kevin Ollie has this team playing tremendous basketball. Can they continue their underdog run through this tournament? Or will it be the top overall seeded Florida Gators who keep rolling?
#7-UConn Huskies vs. #1- Florida Gators Free Pick & Preview
Final Four Preview
Date/Time: April 5, 6:09 pm EST on TBS
College Basketball Betting Odds from WagerWeb
College Basketball Betting Favorite: Florida -6
UConn is 6-1 in the Final Four in their program history. That is the single best winning percentage in the Final Four of any program in the nation. The Huskies may be the underdog here, but it couldn’t be considered a total shocker if they pull off the upset and get to the title game. This is March Madness, and we’ve learned long ago that anything can happen this time of the year. Shabazz Napier’s leadership has meant a ton to this Huskies team this year. Michigan State players remarked after last week’s game that he had a remarkable will to win and it seemed he wasn’t going to let his team lose. Napier is the guy who has hit tons of clutch shots and is the heart and soul of this team.
Connecticut doesn’t have much of an inside presence, and that will be their problem area against Florida this weekend. The Huskies are likely to lose the battle on the boards, but they need to keep that to a minimum in order to win. DeAndre Daniels is the key to this game for the Huskies. When Daniels struggles, this team isn’t very good, but when he is scoring and being a play maker the Huskies have been excellent.
Florida knows that UConn can beat them, and I actually think that works to their advantage. The Gators lost 65-64 back in December at UConn. That was Florida’s last loss before their amazing current winning streak. The Gators turned the ball over 16 times in that game, so the key for them here is taking care of the basketball. Billy Donovan’s team has looked like the best team in the nation for quite a while now, and they are considered the strong favorite to win the national title for a reason. Florida has tremendous overall team balance, and there really is no clear weakness on this team.
Scottie Wilbekin is a great point guard for this team, and seeing him matchup against Napier should be a lot of fun for fans. Florida has four guys who average double figures in scoring. Casey Prather leads the team in scoring at 13.8 points per game, but the most impressive statistic on him is that he shoots the ball at an amazing clip of 60.3 percent from the floor. Patric Young is going to have an advantage down low against UConn’s big men, and the Gators are likely to get the ball to him early and often. The Gators are number one in the nation in defensive efficiency, and it is their defense that has gotten them here.
Free Pick: Under 127
A game of this magnitude being played at a football stadium on a neutral floor should be relatively low scoring. Both of these teams are great defensively. Expect a real battle here, and the offenses are going to have to work hard to find any open shots. I like the under.
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