Two Conference Champions meet tonight as the #2 seed Ohio State Buckeyes are set to take on the #15 seed UCSB Gauchos. Tip off for this game is scheduled for 9:35 PM ET, from the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. As mentioned, this will be two hot teams coming into this tournament as Ohio State who shared the Big Ten Conference regular season title with 2 other teams, were the team who prevailed in the Conference Tournament, to earn themselves a #2 seed in this tournament. The Buckeyes have won its last 7 games straight, and also 15 of their last 16 games overall on their way to a season record of 27-7 overall. The UCSB Gauchos are Big West Conference Tournament Champions, and are currently riding a 3-game winning streak on their way to a 20-9 record overall on the season. However, the Gauchos were 0-2 this year against top 25-ranked teams, which includes a 21-point loss to the California Golden bears, a team who Ohio State beat handily this season. The key for the Gauchos in this one is to stop Ohio State phenom Evan Turner, who has been the best player in the nation down the stretch, leading into the Conference Tournaments and this NCAA Tournament. The Gauchos don’t start a single player over 6’7″, and match up pretty evenly size-wise against the Buckeyes. This will be the best team that UCSB has seen all year, and it will likely be the last team they see in their 2009/2010 season.
UCSB vs. Ohio State Spread, Line, and Betting Odds:
UCSB +17.5 (-110)
vs. Ohio State -17.5 (-110)
Over 131 (-110)
Under 131 (-110)
UCSB vs. Ohio State Betting Predictions:
Spread/Line Predictions – Take Ohio State to cover the large spread in tonight’s game. As mentioned, UCSB was beat by 21 points earlier this year by California, a team who Ohio State beat handily this season. Ohio State arguably has the best player in this tournament, and should be able to run all over the defense of the UCSB Gauchos. The Buckeyes play well against above .500 teams, as they are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games vs. a team with a straight up winning record, while the Gauchos are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 non-Conference games as many Conferences are better than the Big West. Take OSU to cover the 17.5 point spread.
Over/Under Prediction – Take the OVER 131 total points in tonight’s game. With a very explosive offense, the Buckeyes have gone OVER in 5 of their last 6 neutral site games, as well as 6 out of their last 7 NCAA Tournament games. OVER is also 5-2 in Ohio State’s last 7 games overall, and 10-1 in their last 11 games as a neutral site favorite. Look for Ohio State to do a lot of the scoring in this one, pushing the total OVER 131.