What a difference having the best player in the country on the floor makes. And apparently the down time helped Zion Williamson, who had a perfect return to Duke’s lineup in a takedown of Syracuse in the ACC quarterfinals, setting up another tilt with North Carolina. The Heels won both regular season meetings, but they will have to contend with the future No. 1 NBA draft pick for the first time, and we’ll see just how good they are.
The top-four seeds in the ACC advanced to the semifinals. That wasn’t the case in the Big 12, though. If you thought Texas Tech was the best bet against West Virginia, well, you were wrong. The Mountaineers won four league games this season to finish at the bottom of the standings. They have half that many over the past two nights and will face Kansas, one of the teams they knocked off in the regular season. WVU became the first No. 10 seed to reach the Big 12 semifinals, can they keep it going? Let the Madness continue.
BookMaker.eu will have college basketball odds and live betting options for every game on the Friday schedule.
College Basketball Schedule for Friday, March 15, 2019
UConn vs. No. 11 Houston, 12 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
Ohio State vs. No. 6 Michigan State, 12:30 p.m. ET (BTN)
Florida vs. No. 9 LSU, 1 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Nebraska vs. No. 19 Wisconsin, 2:55 p.m. ET (BTN)
No. 22 Auburn vs. South Carolina, 3 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Central Michigan vs. No. 18 Buffalo, 6:30 p.m. ET (CBSSN)
Xavier vs. No. 25 Villanova, 6:30 p.m. ET (FS1)
No. 12 Florida State vs. No. 2 Virginia, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Alabama vs. No. 4 Kentucky, 7 p.m. ET (SECN)
Minnesota vs. No. 13 Purdue, 7 p.m. ET (BTN)
Iowa State vs. No. 15 Kansas State, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
SMU vs. No. 24 Cincinnati, 7 p.m. ET (ESPNU)
No. 5 Duke vs. No. 3 North Carolina, 9 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Mississippi State vs. No. 8 Tennessee, 9 p.m. ET (SECN)
San Diego State vs. No. 14 Nevada, 9 p.m. ET (CBSSN)
West Virginia vs. No. 17 Kansas, 9 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
Seton Hall vs. No. 23 Marquette, 9 p.m. ET (FS1)
Wichita State vs. Temple, 9 p.m. ET (ESPNU)
Colorado vs. Washington, 9 p.m. ET (PAC12)
Iowa vs. No. 10 Michigan, 9:25 p.m. ET (BTN)
Oregon vs. Arizona State, 11:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Fresno State vs. Utah State, 11:30 p.m. ET (CBSSN)
CSU Fullerton vs. UC Santa Barbara, 11:59 p.m. ET (ESPNU)
Friday Best Bets
Alabama vs. Kentucky, 7 p.m. ET (SECN)
The SEC tournament has been Kentucky’s playground over the years, and the Wildcats are looking to gather some momentum for what is expected to be a national championship run. First things first, though. The Wildcats get a hot Alabama team in their opener and there’s always a concern that some extra down time can be a hindrance. Bama went just 8-10 during the conference season, but one of those victories was over Kentucky in the opener back in January. The Tide overcame a 14-point halftime deficit to take down Auburn on Thursday.
It’s a quick turnaround against one of the most athletic teams in the country, but the Tide is a confident group entering the matchup. That confidence will be shattered by a rested and anxious group of Cats, who are expected to have Reid Travis back in the lineup. UK lost two games down the stretch without their grad transfer and I believe his return is the spark that gets the Cats past Bama.
Duke vs. North Carolina, 9 p.m. ET (ESPN)
After last week’s loss to the Heels, Williamson informed his teammates that they will see UNC again in a week. He was right about that, and he also has something to prove after missing the first two meetings. He didn’t actually miss the first game, but he may as well have leaving in the first minute with an obliterated shoe and a sprained knee. Anxious to get on the court, Williamson looked as spry as ever making all 13 shots and scoring 29 points against Syracuse.
Both teams are in the Dance and the conference tournament can be a nuisance. But this game is different. The Dookies think they are a better team they just didn’t have the chance to prove it during the regular season without Z. He’s back, and he showed no signs of being bothered by the injured knee, and that’s bad news for the Heels. Take Duke as a Friday best bet.
West Virginia vs. Kansas, 9 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
The Mountaineers are no longer sneaking up on anyone. And they certainly aren’t going to catch the Jayhawks by surprise. Kansas knows how harmful underestimating your opponent can be, losing to four-win WVU during the regular year.
It’s easy to play when there is nothing on the line, and WVU showed that by upsetting Oklahoma and No. 2 seed Texas Tech. Now with a Big 12 championship and a trip to the Dance in sight, the stakes are higher. And with a pair of tight games in the last two days, the shorthanded Mountaineers will feel the effect. WVU’s run is what makes March exciting, but they don’t have the ammunition to take out the Jayhawks, making KU a Friday best bet.
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