Wednesday, December 13th, 2017

NCAA After Dinner Day 1 Games

Published on March 17, 2011 by   ·   1 Comment

2 Florida vs 15 UC Santa Barbara

florida-vs-uc-santa-barbaraThe Florida Gators (26-7) are playing the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos (18-13) in a first round matchup of 2 vs 15. Many people complained about Florida getting the 2 seed while Kentucky received a 4 seed after the Wildcats thrashed the Gators in the SEC Finals. The Gauchos are just happy to be going to the NCAA tournament for the second straight year. UC Santa Barbara went through an improbable run to the Big West tournament as a 7 seed to claim the automatic bid.

UC Santa Barbara is 1-4 all time in the NCAA tournament. This is their third trip in the last 10 years. They were also a 15 seed last year when they lost to Ohio State 68-51.

Florida was the two-time NCAA champion in 2006 and 2007, but they have not won a game in the tournament since. Those two years are the only years since a finals appearance in 2000 that Florida has advanced past the second round. The 10 seed Gators lost to the 7 seed BYU in the first round of the tournament last year. This year seems to be the year that they are set up to get to the Elite 8 at the very least.

Florida is currently a 14 point favorite over UC Santa Barbara. I think that the Gators will be able to top that. The Gators will win the game 80-62.

3 Brigham Young vs 14 Wofford

byu-vs-wofford-2011-ncaa-tourneyThe BYU Cougars (30-4) are playing the Wofford Terriers (21-12) out of the Southern Conference. This conference is 1-10 in the past 10 NCAA tournaments. This is Wofford 2nd tournament appearance. The lost a close game to the 4th seed Wisconsin 53-49.

At one time not too long ago, the BYU Cougars were close to the top team in the country. They had just beaten the #4 ranked San Diego State to hand them their only two losses of the season. After that, Brandon Davies got kicked off of the team for violating BYU’s honor code and the team has slipped up a little bit to fall down to a 3 seed.

The good news for them is that they seem to be in the easiest bracket. The bad news is that they are part of the reason that the bracket seems easy. This game against Wofford will say a lot about how good BYU’s chances are. If they struggle, I don’t think that they will be going far in the tournament. The Cougars are currently a 9 point favorite to beat Wofford. I don’t think that they will win the spread. BYU wins 83-79.

3 Connecticut vs 14 Bucknell

uconn-vs-bucknellThe Connecticut Huskies (26-9) will face the winner of the Patriot League, 14 seed Bucknell (25-8). Bucknell has not been to the NCAA tournament since they won first round games in back-to-back years in 2005 and 2006. This included a win as a 14 seed over 3 seed Kansas in 2005. They again enter as a dangerous team, having thoroughly dominating their own conference.

The question for Connecticut is whether or not they have had enough time to recover after the marathon 5 wins in 5 days in the Big East tournament. They were the 9 seed entering the Big East tourney and had to play an extra game before most of the other top Big East teams. Uconn had lost 4 of 7 games right before the start of the conference tournament.

The current line at most of the sportsbooks is at 10 1/2 in favor of the Huskies. This is a game that I think Bucknell will put a scare into Connecticut, but in the end won’t win. The final score will be Uconn 68, Bucknell 65.

4 Wisconsin vs 13 Belmont

Here is everybody’s upset pick. Hey, that’s what you get when you only score 33 points in a conference tournament game. Wisconsin isn’t nearly as bad as they showed that game, but they are by no means unbeatable in this matchup.


The Wisconsin Badgers (23-8) will face the Belmont Bruins (30-4) in this upset special. Belmont looks great with that 30-4 record, but most of this is against the lower third of division 1 teams. They have only played three quality opponents this year, Tennessee twice and Vanderbilt. They lost all three games.

wisconsin-vs-belmontBut all Wisconsin has to remember is what happened the last time that Belmont made the NCAA tournament. They came very close to beating the 2 seed Duke 71-70 in 2008. The Bruins made the tournament three straight years from 2006 to 2008 and lost all three first round matchups. The Atlantic Sun conference is 0-9 in the NCAA tournament overall.

However, Wisconsin is a tournament mainstay and one of the Big Tens best teams. They are 8-2 in first round matchups in the last 10 years. Last year, they lost to upstart Cornell in the 2nd round of the tournament. In 2009 they won a game as a 12 seed and lost in the 2nd round. In 2008, they lost to a Stephen Curry led Davidson team in the Sweet 16 and also made it to the 2nd round the year before. I guess what I’m trying to say is that they don’t usually lose in the first round.

While there is always room for one major upset in the NCAA tournament, there usually isn’t two. Morehead State already provided the shocking upset over Louisville. That is why Wisconsin is going to win by the skin of their teeth. These two teams are polar opposites: Wisconsin wants to slow the game down and Belmont wants to speed the game up.

Wisconsin is installed as a 4 point favorite currently. I think that this is going to be very close to the margin of victory of the game. I’m going to say the the Badgers will win 67-64.

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  1. […] The games take about an hour break for the Evening News and then the games promptly start back up again. Here is the results of the evening games of day 1. […]

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