2014 NCAA Tournament South Region Preview: (1) Florida Gators vs. (9) Pittsburgh Panthers
Betting odds courtesy of Bovada
The Florida Gators won its first matchup 67-55 over Albany, and the team has not lost since Dec 2. It enters third round play against the Pittsburgh Panthers in a game college basketball oddsmakers are favoring the Gators by six points.
In the victory over Albany, six Gators scored in double figures led by Casey Prather and Dorian Finney-Smith, who each scored 16. Florida hit just 3-of-12 from three-point range in the game, which helped Albany keep it closer than the college basketball odds predicted. Patric Young had a nice game inside for Florida with 10 points and 10 rebounds (4 offensive).
Florida finished 18-0 in the SEC against relatively strong competition, and looks to be a heavy favorite for most selections’ final fours. The Gators were 8-2 against NCAA Tournament teams this season, with the two losses coming to Wisconsin and Connecticut.
Pittsburgh dominated Colorado in its second round matchup on Thursday night, winning 77-48 to advance to this matchup against a top seeded Gators team. Pitt finished 26-9 on the season with an 11-7 record in the ACC, and it is well tested. The Panthers finished 5-8 against NCAA Tournament teams and we able to record some wins over good programs this season.
Pitt is led by Lamar Patterson, a 6’5″ senior forward, who posted 17.4 points, 4.8 rebound and 4.3 assists per game. Patterson had 10 points, four assists and four rebounds in the win over Colorado, and he’s had several big games this season. In the victory over Clemson on Mar 8, he scored 30 points, seven rebounds and two assists.
PITT Trends: OVER 6-2 in last 8 non-conference games; OVER 35-15-1 in last 51 Saturday games.
FLA Trends: UNDER 10-1 in last 11 vs ACC; 7-1 ATS in last 8 vs ACC; OVER 15-6 in last 21 NCAA Tournament games.