Midwest Bracket Busters Meet For Trip to Sweet 16: Ohio Bobcats vs South Florida Bulls

2012 NCAA Tournament Midwest Region Third Round
#13 Ohio Bobcats vs #12 South Florida Bulls
Bridgestone Arena – Nashville, Tennessee
Sunday, March 18, 2012, 7:10 pm Eastern, TV: TBS
Opening Line: South Florida -4
Current Line: South Florida -2 1/2
Opening Total: 114 1/2
Current Total: 114 1/2
Opening Money Line: USF -170 / Ohio +150
Current Money Line: USF -145 / Ohio +125

South Florida and Ohio meet Sunday in a battle of midwest Cinderellas. The winner will go to the Sweet 16 next week.

The 28-7 Ohio Bobcats have won 10 of their last 11 games and 5 in a row. The Bobcats won the MAC Championship game to get into the tournament. Ohio, coached by John Groce, took advantage of the opportunity by upsetting Midwest #4 seed Michigan 65-60 Friday in the second round.

Now the Bobcats will take on fellow Cinderella South Florida in Nashville Sunday with a trip to the Sweet 16 in St. Louis next week to play either North Carolina or Creighton on the line. The 22-13 Bulls coached by Stan Heath, beat California 65-54 in Wednesday’s first round game, and upset #5 seed Temple 58-44 Friday night. The Bulls won despite shooting 11% in the first half and scoring 19 points, thanks to their stifling defense. South Florida finished tied for fourth in the Big East.  Ohio won the only previous meeting between the schools in 1974.

Ohio has losses to Louisville, Robert Morris, Bowling Green, Akron, Toledo, Eastern Michigan, and Kent St. The Bobcats have wins over Lamar, Arkansas St, Marshall, Oakland, Portland, Wright St, Northern Iowa, Buffalo 3 times, Kent St, Miami-Ohio twice, Western Michigan, Ball St, Northern Illinois,  Central Michigan, Bowling Green, UNC-Asheville, Akron twice, and Toledo.

South Florida has wins over Vermont, Cleveland St, Rutgers, Villanova three times, Seton Hall, St. John’s, DePaul, Providence twice, Pitt twice, Cincinnati, and Louisville. South Florida has losses to Old Dominion, Penn St, VCU, Kansas, Auburn, Southern Miss, UConn, Notre Dame twice, Marquette, Georgetown, Syracuse, and West Virginia.

Ohio is outscoring opponents 71-62 this season. The Bobcats are shooting 42.9% from the field and 33.8% from 3 point range. Ohio makes 68.1% of their free throws. The Bobcats average 34.8 rebounds a game with a rebounding margin of +0.2. Ohio averages 13.2 assists, 13.2 turnovers, 9.4 steals, and 2.9 blocks a game. Bobcat opponents are shooting 41.2% from the field and 29.6% from 3 point range. Ohio is #14 in the country in 3 point defense.  The Bobcats force 17.7 turnovers a game on defense.

Ohio guard D.J. Cooper averages 14.6 points, 3.8 rebounds, 5.7 assists, and 2.4 steals a game. Cooper leads the Bobcats in scoring, assists, and steals. Walter Offutt averages 11.7 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and 1.5 steals a game. He makes 35.2% of his three point attempts. Reggie Keely averages 9.2 points, and 5.1 rebounds a game to tie for the team lead. Ivo Baltic averages 9 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 1.4 assists a game. Nick Kellogg averages 8.9 points, 1.9 rebounds, 1.1 assists, and 1.1 steals a game. Forward TyQuane Goard is academically ineligible, and forward Kenny Belton is out indefinitely with an illness.

South Florida is outscoring opponents 59-57 this season. The Bulls are #7 in points allowed in the country. USF opponents are shooting 38.8% from the field and 29.7% from 3 point range. The Bulls are in the top 14 nationally in both categories. USF is shooting 43.6% from the field and 31.6% from 3 point range. The Bulls make 70.5% of their free throws. South Florida averages 34.3 rebounds a game with a rebounding margin of +3.7. The Bulls average 11.8 assists, 13.7 turnovers, 5.5 steals, and 3.8 blocks a game. USF forces 11.2 turnovers a game.

USF forward Augustus Gilchrist averages 9.6 points to lead the team, 4.9 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks a game to lead the team Victor Rudd, Jr. averages 8.7 points, 4.6 rebounds,  and 1.3 assists a game. Guard Anthony Collins averages 8.5 points, 2 rebounds, 5.3 assists, and 1.7 steals a game. He leads the Bulls in assists and steals. He is probable with a finger injury. Jawanza Poland averages 8.5 points, and 3.5 rebounds a game.  Toarlyn Fitzpatrick averages 8 points, 6.6 rebounds to lead the team, and 1 block a game. Ron Anderson, Jr. and Hugh Robertson also contribute significantly both in scoring and rebounding. Anderson is probable with a knee injury.

South Florida is 18-14 ATS and the total is 9-23 this season. Ohio is 14-13 ATS and the total is 11-16 this season. The Bobcats are 8-0 ATS in non-conference games, 13-3-1 as an underdog of 6.5 points or less, 19-6-1 as an underdog, 1-4 after a straight up win, against teams with winning records, overall and in neutral site games. The Bulls are 4-0 ATS in non-conference games, 5-1 after  allowing 50 points or less, 6-2 after a straight up win, 9-3 overall, 7-3 against teams with winning records, and 2-5 against MAC teams.

South Florida games can be brutal to watch if you like lots of offense. Ohio is pretty good on defense also, especially against the three. Ohio’s offense is much better, but South Florida has shut down 3 good offenses in a row. I think the Bulls win a another game in the 50’s.

Our college basketball handicappers are red hot this NCAA tournament. Don’t miss out on any more winners from now until they cut down the nets in New Orleans next month.

 

 

 

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