Two NCAA Tournament long shots, Ohio and South Florida, will mix it up this evening in a third round battle at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee. Tonight game between the 13 seed and 12 seed is scheduled to get underway at 7:10pm ET on TBS. The latest NCAA Tournament Odds have the Bulls listed as a -3 against the spread favorite and the game total set at 115 points.
Few expected South Florida to get past its opening round meeting with California, but the Bulls did that with relative ease, knocking off the Golden Bears 65-54. The odds were, once again, stacked against USF when it faced the Midwest Region’s fifth seed, Temple, on Friday night. South Florida, a 2.5 point underdog, defied expectations by stomping the Owls 58-44.
If their regular season performance did not provide enough evidence, the Bulls first two NCAA Tournament games are proof positive that no team in the country, with the exception of maybe Wisconsin, can muck things up like USF.
South Florida’s suffocating defense, which ranked seventh in the nation in points per game allowed, more than makes up for its offensive weaknesses, and it is certain to keep the team in today’s game against an undervalued Ohio team.
The Bobcats, like many higher seeds, are viewed as nothing more than fodder for teams like North Carolina, Kansas, and Michigan. The Wolverines, if they ever held that view, see Ohio as much more than that after Friday’s second round meeting between the two teams. The Bobcats upset Michigan 65-60 for their ninth win in 10 games.
Ohio held the Wolverines to 40.7 percent from the field while knocking down 22 of its own 43 shot attempts. Four Bobcats scored in double figures, but the speedy D.J. Cooper led the way with 21 points.
Ohio can rest assured that points in today’s game will be more difficult to come by, but its own defensive pressure may be enough to turn the final score in its favor.
Ohio vs South Florida 2012 NCAA Tournament Odds: Provided by Bovada.lv
Ohio Bobcats +3 (-110), Over 115 (-105)
South Florida Bulls -3 (-110), Under 115 (-115)