Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Villanova Wildcats Odds, March Madness Betting Pick
17 March, 2018, 02:07 | Author: Sergio Cook
Here's what it comes down to for Virginia Tech: move the ball around, use the variety of weapons to create and make shots and tire Alabama out so the Crimson Tide can't go on the extended scoring runs. Alabama is led by a shining talent in point guard Collin Sextonwho put the team on his back in the SEC Tournament to notch a couple of key wins to secure a tourney berth. Sexton was in foul trouble the first half but scored 21 of his 25 points after intermission (the other four starters combined for 25 points).
The Crimson Tide (20-15) got 25 points and six assists from Sexton, who shot 10-of-14 from the free throw line.
No. 9 seed Alabama will face No. 1 seed Villanova, which defeated No. 16 Radford, in the East Region's second round at 11:20 a.m. Saturday (WCBI). There were a few moments when Alabama could have pulled away late in the second half against the Hokies, but turnovers helped keep Virginia Tech in the game.
Both these teams have shown a capability to beat good teams during the season, and that experience will be needed in this opening-round matchup.
The Crimson Tide opened the game by knocking down eight of its first 10 field goals, but the Hokies' 4-of-5 shooting from the three-point line gave them the 22-20 edge at the 10:43 mark.
With 48 seconds to go in the game, Robinson was called for a questionable charge, that many people thought should've been a block on Alabama.
Alabama is hot with freshman Collin Sexton leading the way, but Villanova is just a class above, talented and battle-tested.
The Crimson Tide are going to have to win this game on the boards. It came in the second half, when he launched a shot well behind the arc at the end of the shot clock with a defender right in front of him.
But in the second half, Tech shot 44.8 percent from the field. Guard Justin Robinson paces the high-powered Hokies attack, averaging 13.8 points and 5.6 assists, both team-highs.
Hokies senior guard, Devin Wilson is a Pittsburgh product, who was one of the most decorated high school athletes to come out of the Steel City. He shot 6-for-10 after the break, including 10-for-14 at the free throw line. The college basketball odds for the game have the Hokies favored to pick up the victory.
Alabamaranks 10th in blocks per game (5.5) while Virginia Tech ranks 221st (2.3).
Virginia Tech has already faced many top National Basketball Association prospects this season. Youth leadership is the story with this team, as four freshmen and one sophomore started in Alabama's SEC Tournament loss to Kentucky.
Coach Buzz Williams is hoping his team got their postseason stinker out of its system at the ACC tournament, when the Hokies led Notre Dame by 21 with just over 15 minutes to play and lost.
Yet Alabama hung around even with Sexton limited to a single bucket. In 2015, top-seeded Villanova was knocked off by No. 8 NC State 71-68.
Buffalo's Jeremy Harris drives around Arizona's Deandre Ayton during the first half.
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