NCAA Tournament Picks: Oregon Ducks vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys

No. 12 Oregon Ducks vs. No. 5 Oklahoma State Cowboys
Thursday, 3/21/13, 4:40 PM EST, TV:  TNT
Opening Point Spread:  Oklahoma State -3.5
Current Betting Line:  Oklahoma State -3
Opening Total:  135
Current Total:  135
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Oklahoma State Cowboys are 17-6 ATS in first round tournament games
The Oklahoma State Cowboys are 17-6 ATS in first round tournament games

Oregon captured the Pac-12 tournament championship last Saturday, as it picked up a 78-69 victory over the UCLA Bruins as 1.5-point neutral-site favorites, while going OVER the total for the third time in four contests.  The Ducks were definitely disappointed about the No. 12 seed it received in the 2013 NCAA Tournament, which could provide proper motivation in making a run, which can’t be ignored when making your NCAA tournament picks Thursday.  Oregon is 4-3-1 ATS on a neutral floor the last two-plus seasons.

The Ducks have five starters that average 8.5 points or more per game, with senior forward E.J. Singler leading the way in scoring 11.6.  Oregon is now focused on trying to earn its first win in the Big Dance since 2007, while the Pac-12 claimed five spots in the field of 68.  A No. 12 seed has failed to defeat a No. 5 seed in the first games of the NCAA Tournament just three times since 1985.

Oklahoma State will travel to San Jose, CA, and represent the Big 12 Conference, as it compiled a 7-3 record in its last 10 games, but suffered a 68-57 setback to the Kansas State Wildcats as 1.5-point underdogs last time out.  The Cowboys are back in the tournament a year after suffering their first losing record in 24 years, while no player on the roster has ever played in the NCAAs.  Oklahoma State is 17-6 ATS in first round tournament games in its last 23 opportunities, which is important to consider when looking over the college basketball odds page.

The Cowboys are 12-3 in first-round contests since the field was expanded to 64 teams in 1985 for this event, while posting a 6-6 mark in second-round affairs in that span.  Oklahoma State’s defense allowed just 62.8 points per game this season, which would be the second-lowest mark in program history since the shot clock was introduced in 1985-86.

Sports bettors will likely back the Cowboys due to their 4-0 ATS mark after a SU loss, while the Ducks are 2-6 ATS in their last NCAA Tournament games.

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