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Home / Articles / Mike Handzelek's Elite 8 Analysis/Review + NCAA Men's Hockey Playoffs

Mike Handzelek's Elite 8 Analysis/Review + NCAA Men's Hockey Playoffs

By: Point Shaver Handzelek     Date: Mar 27, 2023
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Sunday, March 26, 2023 Miami Florida vs. Texas (NCAAB) - 5:05 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: +4/-110 Miami Florida Rating: 9* Mike's Old School Final 4 Ticket-Puncher/2 Teamer (WIN) When we talk "old school", that means we're talking about Miami, Florida (28-7) HC Jim Larranaga whose in his 12th season in Coral Gables & 39th overall. He's coaching @ a program that's made it to at least the Sweet 16 four times after not even having a basketball program between 1972 to 1985. They're a hot team right now with Isaiah Wong pumping in 47 over his last 2 & Mr. Downtown Nijel Pack who netted 26 points including a brilliant 7-for-10 from long distance versus a top rated "D" like Houston's. They'll take on a Texas Longhorns' squad (29-8) who has a key player injured (foot injury) in F Dylan Disu (13.4 PPG his last 10 & 45 points & 20 rebounds over the last 2. Remember, we'll have a great edge in the coaching matchup here with Larranaga (11 career tournament appearances) playing chess with the Longhorns' interim HC Rodney Terry who took over for Chris Beard earlier in the season. Numbers support the canes' as their 6-1 ATS their last 7 tournament games. They travel well going 12-6 SU combined in true away & neutral site games. They've risen to the occasion versus +.600 winning teams posting a 37-16 spread mark. Hook'em Horns have been the opposite in tourney games being 3-11-1 ATS their last 15 with going a no-show 5-16 versus the number on Sundays. The Elite 8 round has seen #5 seeds go 8-1 ATS while # 2 seeds are an Antarctic-like 3-12 spreadwise versus #4 seeds or lower. #2 seeds have also won only @ a 28.6% clip SU versus #5 seeds. We're taking the MIAMI FLORIDA HURRICANES (buying to + 8) as my 9 Star Old School Final 4 Ticket-Puncher! Play 2 looks @ the Quinnipiac Bobcats (31-4-3, 20-2 ECAC) versus Big Ten power the Ohio State Buckeyes (21-15-3, 11-10-2 Big Ten). Even though Stephen Halliday has had a hot hand of late, this squad hasn't looked good versus Minnesota (lost 2 games by a combined 9-2 count) as well as Michigan 2 weeks ago dropping a 7-3 decision. They come in after beating a challenged Harvard team 8-1 (The Q's beat the Crimson twice by 3 goals) on Friday but now step up against Quinnipiac who dismantled Merrimack 5-0 just 2 days ago. The Bobcats have stronger depth including 5 double-digit scorers. We have to give the nod to the shooting of Collin Graf (2nd in the nation in scoring) & the nifty goaltending of Yaniv Perets. For the 2nd play today we'll go to the Total Mortgage Arena in Bridgeport, CT to play the QUINNIPIAC BOBCATS for 9 Stars! (WIN) Saturday, March 25, 2023 Connecticut vs. Gonzaga (NCAAB) - 8:49 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: +2.5/-105 Gonzaga Rating: 9* Mike's Under The Radar Final 4 Qualifier/Double Pick (LOSS) Not too many top prognosticators are talking about the Zags! They weren't a popular pick @ the start after taking into account their past shortcomings as the # 1 seed especially. The Bulldogs are now 31-5 SU & sneaked into the Elite 8 as a # 3 seed out of the West Regional. Read my earlier picks on this team for a major in-depth feel. I love this team because HC Mark Few has the experience & has a strong nucleus that includes the window-cleaning Drew Timme & the nifty ball-handling & shooting of X-Factor Julian Strawther. Yes, they'll face a stiff test with HC Dan Hurley & his UConn Huskies who have an excellent trio with Adama Sanogo (17.3 PPG), Jordan Hawkins (16.1 PPG) & Andre Jackson, Jr. (6.8 PPG). However, that's trumped by a very focused Timme whose 1 win away from going to Houston which is just South of Richardson, TX where he grew up. Crunching the numbers show # 3 seeds have beaten # 4 seeds @ a 62.5 clip & the higher seed in the Elite 8 round (Gonzaga here) has won 22 out of the last 24 times SU. The Zags' showed resilience versus UCLA out-rebounding them 50-26 including 16 on the offensive end. The last 3 of this series have been decided by 5 or less gives us an added edge to this already even matchup. The 1st Play/2 Leg Parlay & individually is to play 9 Stars on the Under The Radar Final 4 Qualifier GONZAGA BULLDOGS (but buying to + 7) @ T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV! Play 2 looks @ Men's Ice Hockey scheduled for SNHU Arena in Manchester, NH. It looks @ another Elite 8 matchup that pits the 5th-ranked Boston University Terriers (28-10-0, 18-6-0 in Hockey East) versus the 12th-ranked Cornell Big Red (21-10-2, 15-6-1 in ECAC). BU is back for their 4th appearance in a regional final in the last 6 years. This venue has been solid for the Terriers who've gone 5-0 combined in other regional games played. I liked what I saw from them last time out in a 5-1 win over Western Michigan just 2 days ago where RW Ethan Phillips dished out 2 assists (3 points total) & RQ Quinn Hutson score gave him his 7th game-winning goal of the season. They'll catch a Big Red squad that's sky high & cocky after upsetting last year's Frozen Four & defensing national champ, the Denver Pioneers by a 2-0 score. However, I'm glad to back the Terriers with the hot goaltender in junior Drew Commesso who owns an excellent 1.67 goals-against average & a .936 save percentage during the postseason. The also have offensive balance as 11 Terriers have recorded 20 points this season. That's the most by any of the Sweet 16 teams who made the tournament. This team has their X-Factor in defensiveman Lane Hutson whose the highest scoring freshman defensiveman in Hockey East Conference history. His 48th point on Thursday broke Brian Leetch's record that stood since the 1986-87 season. We're off to New Hampshire with a trip to the Frozen Four on the line to take on the top-ranked Minnesota -St. Cloud State winner @ Amalie Arena in Tampa. My 2nd Leg/Parlay play as well as SU is on the BOSTON U. TERRIERS to complete the double pick on Saturday! (WIN) Mike Handzelek's 2022-23 CBB Overall Record: 39-6 for a surreal 87% Mike Handzelek's 2022-23 NCAA Men's Ice Hockey Overall Record: 2-0 for 100%

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