College Basketball: Men’s Championship South Region
1st Round KENT vs. UCLA
#14 Kent State Golden Flashes (22-13) at #3 UCLA Bruins (29-4)
March 17, 2017- 9:57 PM ET (TruTV) Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, CA
With betting already in full swing in the sportsbooks throughout the day, the final game of the opening-round will pit a huge underdog in the No. 14 Kent State Golden Flashes seeking to slay the dragon in No. 3 seed UCLA Bruins when both teams take to the floor at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento as the betting lines for US sports bettors are as follow;
Best Golden Flashes Lines: BetOnline Spread (+18.5) ML “See Live Odds”
Best Bruins Flashes Lines: MyBookie Spread (-18.5) ML “See Live Odds”
Over/Under: 5Dimes 161.5
In what is expected to be a huge pro-Bruin crowd in Sacramento on Friday, all eyes will be on a UCLA squad looking to avoid a massive upset against a Kent State team that enters as (+18.5) point underdogs according to our sportsbetting sites.
Pegged by many (myself included) to make a trip to the Final Four, can the Bruins (29-4) avoid some recent outside distraction centered around freshman sensation PG Lonzo Ball and focus on the task at hand?
Lead by a trio of freshman talent, the Bruins lead the nation in shooting, scoring and assists and pack plenty of firepower to contend with any of the top teams in the tournament. But if UCLA is expected to cut down the nets come April, they will have to earn it through a gauntlet of talent with wins over Kentucky, North Carolina and Kansas; assuming of course those three teams hold court and win their games as well?
For Kent State (22-13), they have rattled off nine of 10 wins, including capturing the Mid-American Conference to get the automated-bid for the Big Dance. And for the Golden Flashes, they will now be back in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2008.
Primed and ready with a mix of veteran experience along with freshman talent, the Bruins enter with six players scoring in double figures. Star power up and down the Bruin lineup, it all begins and ends with projected top 3 NBA pick in Ball, who is averaging 14.6 points, 7.7 assists and 6.1 boards per game.
The winner of this contest will face a potential matchup against sixth-seeded Cincinnati on Sunday.
With plenty of expectation put on this UCLA team, can they shake off any distractions and focus on a team they should run out the building? For betting purposes from our U.S sportsbooks, MyBookie is favoring UCLA (-18.5) points over KENT with an over/under of 161.5 total game points scored from 5Dimes.
In a game that could get ugly in a hurry, I will favor the Bruins MINUS the points (-18.5) over Kent State for the win as my betting pick.