Elite 8 Odds & Score Predictions: Butler vs. Florida & UConn vs. Arizona
#8 Butler Bulldogs (+3) vs. #2 Florida Gators (132)
Is it just us, or are the Gators really doing nothing but living their past in this NCAA Tournament? They have already taken out the UCLA Bruins, a team that they played in the National Championship Game a few years ago, and now they avenged the loss from last year’s title game against the BYU Cougars. Up next is Butler, a team that it has played in two occasions in March Madness betting action.
These two teams play a very similar style of ball, as both have a few bona fide stars, and both look to slow down the game just a bit, but not quite to a snail’s pace. The Bulldogs are once against the real Cinderellas of this tournament, and save for the winner of the VCU/Florida State game, they will likely be the highest seed left in the dance when it is said and done coming into the weekend.
Butler has a great chance to beat the NCAA Tournament betting lines in this one, if for no other reason that it is just full of mojo right now. Florida just doesn’t feel like a team that is full of magic, and though there are a number of potential threats on this team, we just prefer the way that Matt Howard and Shelvin Mack are playing right now.
Prediction: Butler 67 – Florida 63
#5 Arizona Wildcats (+2.5) vs. #3 Connecticut Huskies (144.5)
This is a game for all of the doubters out there. Arizona is a team that no one really saw coming out of the West Region, but it definitely has a true home court advantage here in Anaheim that was on display in the big time upset of the Duke Blue Devils on Thursday night. UConn was the No. 9 seed in the Big East Tournament, and it was probably looking at a No. 7 seed or so before that run all the way through the tourney at Madison Square Garden. One of these two will find the end of the road here in Anaheim, but when push comes to shove, one will be a very scary contender for all of the marbles.
Derrick Williams was never supposed to be able to match the Dookies eye to eye, but he continues to prove that he is one of the best big men in the entire country, both on the inside and on the outside. Kemba Walker was good enough to go on a 14-1 run on his own against the San Diego State Aztecs that swayed the tide of that game as well in the Elite 8.
Still, we just don’t know how much longer Connecticut can keep this up for. The Huskies just have to fall eventually, and home court advantage could finally make the difference once and for all in their magical run. Back the Cats to continue to roll and punch their ticket to the Final 4.
Prediction: Arizona 80 – Connecticut 73