Notre Dame vs West Virginia Second Round Odds, Free Pick & TV Info

Posted by Kenny Bell on Friday,March 17, 2017 10:37, EDT in

It’s a chalk Round of 32 matchup in the West Region of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday when No. 5 Notre Dame of the ACC takes on No. 4 West Virginia of the Big 12 in Buffalo – they used to be Big East rivals. The winner punches a ticket to the Sweet 16 and a date with either No. 1 Gonzaga or No. 8 Northwestern. WVU opened as a slight betting favorite in the March Madness odds.

Notre Dame vs West Virginia Second Round Odds, Free Pick & TV Info

When: Saturday, March 18, time TBA
Where: KeyBank Center, Buffalo
TV: CBS
StreamMarch Madness Live
RadioNotre Dame / WVU
Opening NCAAB Lines: WVU -3

Why Bet On Notre Dame?

The Irish were pushed to the limit by Ivy League champion Princeton – one of just two schools in the country without a conference loss this season – but escaped 60-58. After Notre Dame’s Matt Farrell missed the front end of a one-and- one with a 59-58 lead, Princeton had a chance to win on its final possession. Devin Cannady missed an open 3-pointer, and Notre Dame’s Steve Vasturia pulled down the rebound and was fouled.

The Fighting Irish (26-9) nearly squandered an 11-point second half lead. The Irish are one of the nation’s best free-throw shooting teams but had some crucial late misses and finished just 14-for- 21 from the line.

Three Notre Dame players finished in double figures in the points column. Junior forward Bonzie Colson led the way with 18 points and seven rebounds. Farrell, a junior guard, poured in 16 points and senior guard Steve Vasturia added 10. Farrell also added four assists, four rebounds and two steals. The Irish did a great job of minimizing mistakes on the offensive end, as Notre Dame finished with just six turnovers. The team has recorded fewer than 10 turnovers in nine consecutive games and 23 times this season. Notre Dame was among the nation’s leaders in fewest turnovers.

In the victory, the 2016-17 senior class of Vasturia, V.J. Beachem and Torres posted its 97th career win, which is tied for the most in Notre Dame history over a four-year period (set by the 2012-13 senior class).

Notre Dame improved its record to 5-1 in games decided by five points or fewer in the last 3 NCAA Tournaments. Princeton point-spread backers did cover as 6.5-point underdogs and the game stayed under the betting total of 134. The Fighting Irish have also won seven of nine tournament games over the past three years, and they are the only team to reach the Elite Eight in each of the past two seasons.

Why Bet On West Virginia?

The Mountaineers were in a tight game with No. 13 Bucknell but prevailed 86-80. After squandering double-digit leads in both the first and second half, the Mountaineers finally pulled away in the final two minutes. A year after he went scoreless in West Virginia’s first-round loss to Stephen F. Austin, Nate Adrian made sure the Mountaineers advanced. The senior scored 12, pulled down 10 rebounds and added two assists.

WVU’s press wasn’t nearly as effective as usual, with the Bison able to score easily in transition. West Virginia led the nation in turnovers forced but Bucknell had only 15 (the Irish average only nine turnovers per game). The Mountaineers entered the game 7-9 when allowing 70 or more points.

“We weren’t very good in pressure,” West Virginia coach Bob Huggins said. “(Nathan Adrian and Jevon Carter) were pretty good but the rest of the guys called it off way too early.”

Offensive rebounding made the difference for the Mountaineers in their win over the Bison. Nine different WVU players recorded at least one offensive board, as Huggins’ team pulled down 42 percent of its misses. West Virginia grabbed 17 offensive rebounds and had a 10-board advantage on the glass, attempted seven more shots than Bucknell and outscored the Bison 37-5 off the bench.

WVU’s 86 points were the team’s most in the NCAA Tournament since a 102-72 victory against North Carolina A&T in the 1982 first round. West Virginia’s 27 victories match 1982 and 2008 for the third-most wins in school history. The 2010 team won a record 31 games on the way to the Final Four.

Huggins is now 3-0 in his NCAA Tournament career in games played in Buffalo.

Notre Dame vs West Virginia Free Pick: WVU

When you have time to prepare for WVU’s pressure, you have a better chance. In quick turnaround games like this, West Virginia has the advantage. Go Mountaineers as Huggins stays perfect in Buffalo.