Previewing Sunday’s action of the Elite Eight

  • by Andrew Scofield
  • March 27th, 2016
  • Category:

Easter Sunday will see some of the most interesting match ups in the NCAA tournament, as the Cinderella and the perennial underdogs in most of the top sportsbooks see action and try to continue to write in their history pages. #10 Syracuse will face the #1 Virginia Cavaliers, while the #6 Notre Dame Fighting Irish will face #1 North Carolina Tar Heels, both underdogs will want to extend their storybook journey all the way to the Final Four, but the question remains if they have real fighting chances to pull upsets in their respective games?

Virginia vs. Syracuse

The Cavaliers almost became strong candidates to reach the Final Four by most of the top sportsbooks and online sports betting sites once Michigan State was knocked out in the first round. But, as the tournament progressed, things stopped looking so easy for Virginia, not because of their performance, but mainly due to Syracuse’s never-say-die, tough-as-leather style of play. Granted, their side of the bracket was the most benefited of the Spartans absence in the later rounds, but in the pecking order in the tournament, they were not considered to make it this far during March Madness. But does Syracuse truly pose a threat to the Cavs? The answer is: not really.

The Cavaliers, have been coasting through the tournament facing some tough opposition. Their level of play seems far superior to anything that has been displayed by Syracuse all tournament long. While the Orange might be able to suffocate the Cavaliers defensively for periods of the game, but in the end they might not be able to sustain the rhythm that Virginia has. Currently, the line in most of the top sportsbooks online has the Cavaliers as -8 favorites, however this game could end up being a blowout.

North Carolina vs. Notre Dame

The dream National Championship game is Kansas vs North Carolina. The Tar Heels have played some fantastic basketball and have not shown any signs of stopping. They reach the Elite Eight with a strong team and convincing path. The Fighting Irish are their rivals and their final stop before they reach Houston. However, since Villanova stunned the Jayhawks, the dream match is no longer possible. North Carolina will come into this game trying to take care of business from very early on. Hence, that’s why most of the top sportsbooks have them as strong favorites to win this game (average line is currently at -10).

Notre Dame is not a product of chance or a fluke that they reached the Elite Eight, even though their sweet sixteen game versus Winsconsin was decided in the final seconds and with a bit of bad luck on the Badgers, and some impressive hustle by the Fighting Irish’s defense. They displayed that they are relentless and they do not quit. But if Notre Dame wants to upset North Carolina they are going to need to keep a flawless performance on the boards and force the Tar Heels to make some mistakes. It would be a real shocker if they manage to reach the Final Four, North Carolina is a bit too much for them to handle. Top Sportsbooks pundits all agree, North Carolina will coast on this game.