The round of 32 will bring us an unexpected matchup between No. 7 Florida and No. 15 Oral Roberts. The Gators were favored in the first round and took down the ACC’s Virginia Tech by five points, thanks to some excellent rebounding. The Golden Eagles benefited from spectacular shooting performances from their two best players to knock off No. 2 Ohio State in a thriller. Will the Cinderella story continue, or will Florida crush Oral Roberts’ hopes of advancing?
The game tips off from Indiana Farmers Coliseum at 7:45 p.m., and will be broadcast on truTV.
No. 7 Florida: 15-9 (9-7 SEC):
First round result: 75-70 win over No. 10 Virginia Tech
KenPom rating: 37 Overall, 42 Offense, 37 Defense
NET ranking: 31, (6-5 VS Quad 1)
Leading scorer: Tre Mann (16 ppg)
Key stat: Outrebounded Virginia Tech by 13
The Gators’ well-rounded offense ended Friday’s win with four double-digit scorers. Colin Castleton led the way with 19 points, and he was trailed by Scottie Lewis (15), Tre Mann (14), and Noah Locke (10). Virginia Tech’s Naheim Alleyne poured in a game-high 28 points and was a driving force behind the Hokies’ first-half lead, but Florida found its resolve down the home stretch. Look for the Gators to utilize their size advantage on the boards in this one, with the rim protection of Castleton a big factor.
No. 15 Oral Roberts: 17-10 (10-5 Summit):
First round result: 75-72 win over No. 2 Ohio State
KenPom rating: 150th Overall, 72nd Offense, 283rd Defense
NET ranking: 158 (1-5 VS Quad 1)
Leading scorer: Max Abmas (24.2 ppg)
Key stat: Oral Roberts shoots 39% from three as a team.
Oral Roberts took down Ohio State with thanks to an offensive onslaught from Abmas and Kevin Obanor, as the duo combined to score 59 points against the Buckeyes. Abmas is usually an electric scorer and the sophomore will have to be at his best to take down another regular in the NCAA tournament. Three of the Golden Eagles’ starters shoot better than 42% from deep, so perimeter shooting will be big in this game for the underdog, but they’ll need to make the first one as you can expect Florida to win the matchup on the glass.
March Madness Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook
Point spread: Florida -8
Point total: 148.5
Moneyline: Florida -385, Oral Roberts +300
Against The Spread Pick: Oral Roberts -7.5
Point total pick: Over 148.5
Pick to Win: Florida -385
Florida has only won six games by eight or more points this year, and Oral Roberts is 12th in the country in points per game with 81.8 points per game. I like the sharpshooters to keep up with the favorite here and push past the over on a neutral court with no crowd noise. The Golden Eagles were competitive against an Ohio State team that was better than Florida all year on Friday. But Oral Roberts’ luck will likely run out in the end however.
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