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Home / Articles / Mike Handzelek's Sweet 16/Elite 8 Analysis/Review

Mike Handzelek's Sweet 16/Elite 8 Analysis/Review

By: Point Shaver Handzelek     Date: Mar 28, 2022
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Sunday, March 27, 2022 Miami Florida vs. Kansas (NCAAB) - 2:20 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: -5.5/-110 Kansas Rating: 9* Final Four Ticket Puncher (WIN) HC Bill Self is coaching with laser focus as he's trying to win one for his dad who recently passed away in January. He's using star G Ochai Agbaji to perfection. Agbaji (19.7 PPG) has vastly improved his senior season & has surpassed Wilt Chamberlain on the all-time Kansas scoring list. I feel Agbaji & fellow G Christian Braun (14.6 PPG). Miami (Fla.) is a gutsy team under HC JIm Larranaga (took George Mason to a Final 4). However, I don't feel the Hurricanes can keep up hot shooting percentages for 40 minutes to reach the "Big Easy". Season stats show too many turnovers & lack of rebounding against Self's pressure "D". Let's go to the United Center in Chicago to play the KANSAS JAYHAWKS (buying to - 3 1/2) as my Final Four Ticket Puncher! St. Peter's vs. North Carolina (NCAAB) - 5:05 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread -9/-110 North Carolina Rating 9* Mike's Very Late Steam Mushes' Missed Perception Play (WIN) Yes, kudos goes to HC Shaheen Holloway for reaching this far. However, I feel Purdue HC Matt Painter failed in getting his team (with a tremendous height advantage) to exploit the Peacocks' weaknesses. The middle & low posts is were St. Peter's struggle & the Boilers' tried to attack from the perimeter too many times. Don't think North Carolina's HC Hubert Davis will make that same mistake when his team enjoys that same height advantage. The Peacocks will live & die from the perimeter. That's not the place where "Cinderellas usually survive. Dealing with 6'10" F Armando Bacot (16.5 PPG) down low & G Caleb Love (15.4 PPG) from the perimeter should create enough of a problem to vault into the Final 4 with a chance of meeting fellow ACC'er Duke one more time. Let's go to the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia to play the NORTH CAROLINA TAR HEELS (buying to - 3 1/2) as my Very Late Steam Mushes' Missed Perception Play! Saturday, March 26, 2022 Houston vs. Villanova (NCAAB) - 6:09 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Money Line: -155 Houston Rating: 10* Mike's Elite 8 Bookie Analytic Nightmare (LOSS) Yes, HC Jay Wright has been here multiple times before. Yes, his #2-seeded Wildcats (29-7 SU) have a good backcourt in guards Collin Gillespie (15.9 PPG) & Justin Moore (15 PPG). However, they are NOW taking on a (32-5 SU) 5th-seeded Houston squad that remains the only Elite 8 entry that remains in the Top 10 in both categories of adjusted offensive (ranks 9th) & defensive ranks 7th) efficiency. Viillanova ranks 7th but its defense is a distant 25th in those same respective categories. The Cats' don't have much depth as they rank a distant 320th (of 358) in bench minutes. On the flip side, HC Calvin Sampson's team has improved as witnessed by a American Athletic Conference Championship 71-53 dominance of the Memphis Tigers, a team they lost to twice by a 69-59 score in Houston & a 75-61 count in Memphis. They've lost Marcus Sasser & Tramon Mark for the season yet overcame the odds by the by-committee approach, being unselfish & also leading the Elite 8 in scoring defense @ 59 PPG. My bottom line says it's hard to ignore the way the #5 seeds (Houston here) have performed covering @ an 8-0 ATS pace their last 8 appearances. The Cougars (now playing just 3 hours away from their campus) played a solid game their last trip to the Elite 8 last season when they defeated the Oregon State Beavers 67-61. In addition, the Cougs' out-rank Nova' in KenPom ratings coming in 2nd to their 10th. There have 4 regional finals (Elite 8) between #2 & #5 seeds since 1996. In 96', #5 Mississippi State (+ 4 1/2) beat Cincinnati 73-63. 2005 saw #5 Michigan State (+1) outlast Kentucky 94-8 in 2 OT's. The 2010 regional final witnessed #5 Butler (+4) take out Kansas State 63-56. Most recently in 2019, #5 Auburn (+ 4 1/2) upset Kentucky 77-71. It's also hard to ignore the perfect 4-0 SU & ATS edge the #5 seed has over the #2. I feel siding with a team that's 12-1 SU their last 13, 8-1 ATS in all tournament games this season & one that rebounds 37.7% of their misses gives up a tremendous shot @ advancing to the Final 4. Let's take advantage of this sleeper as we go to the AT&T Center (Alamadome) in San Antonio to play the HOUSTON COUGARS on the ML as my 10 Star Elite 8 Bookie Analytical Nightmare! Arkansas vs. Duke (NCAAB) - 8:49 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: 4/-105 Arkansas Rating: 8* Top Line Value Play Of The Week (LOSS) The 31-6 SU Blue Devils continue to make their historic run on the road to New Orleans in HC Mike Krzyzewski swan song & 47th season as a collegiate coach. Krzyzewski is looking for his 6th national championship which will be still 2nd compared to U.C.L.A.'s John "Wizard of Westwood" Wooden who leads with 10. However, Mike is searching to become #1 in Final Four appearances with 13 which breaks his current tie with Wooden. While Coach K's brilliant 1-2 punch of Paolo Banchero & Wendell Moore seem to be getting the majority of press clippings for players, its the 28-8 SU Hogs' triple dose of JD Notae, Stanley Amude & the frontcourt-igniting Jaylin Williams who continue to be slighted. Arkansas HC Eric Musselman's squad has showed some resiliency throughout the late season with wins over Auburn, Tennessee & Kentucky. They've also shown they can get the "W" outside the SEC going 14-2 SU in non-conference games. My bottom line zeroes in on the Razorbacks' defense who have forced turnovers @ a 20.5% rate. In addition, #4 seeds have more than held their own (from Sweet 16 forward) against #2 seeds going a respectful 4-2 SU. Here's the kicker. It says to PLAY ON any NCAA tournament team in the Elite 8 IF they're directly off an upset a #1 seed. These teams are a PERFECT 14-0 ATS the past 36 seasons! Let's draw the line & dominate the rest of the way by taking the ARKANSAS RAZORBACKS (buying to +8) as my Top Line Value Play Of The Week! Friday, March 25, 2022 St. Peter's vs. Purdue (NCAAB) - 7:09 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: -12/-110 Purdue Rating: 9* Mike's CBB Friday Phil-A (LOSS) We're down to 12 teams left in March Madness as we edge 1 day closer to the Elite 8. This game features the "Cinderella" of the tourney in the St. Peter's Peacocks. They've stunned the 7th-seeded Murray State Racers 80-70 in round 2 while pulling a 85-79 major upset over the 2nd-seeded Kentucky Wildcats in the opening round. HC Shaheen Holloway has done it with a pressure-man defense that forces turnovers & limits shots. Holloway has also been named in the discussion for the new Seton Hall HC after Kevin Willard left for the Maryland job. Ironically, the Hall was the last New Jersey team to reach the Sweet 16 in 2000 with a PG by the name of Shaheen Holloway. My bottom line says while St' Peter's 6'7" G KC Ndefo is their defensive standout, he & the Peacocks will have their hands full with containing 7'4" C Zach Edey inside & the quick penetrations of explosive G Jaden Ivey who leads the team in scoring. The Boilers enter this game with 13-0 SU non-conference & 8-1 neutral floor records. I feel Purdue won't take the Peacocks lightly & will exploit mismatches in the later stages of the game. They enter the game with perfect 4-0 ATS & SU records versus 14 or lower seeds. Let's go to Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia to play the PURDUE BOILERMAKERS (playing them in parlays mainly) as my 9* CBB Friday Phila-A! North Carolina vs. UCLA (NCAAB) - 9:39 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: -2/-105 UCLA Rating: 9* Mike's Friday Elite 8 Ticket Puncher (LOSS) HC Mick Cronin (lost to Gonzaga 93-90 in LY's Final 4) returns his 4th-seeded East Regional Bruins for another Sweet 16 visit (beat Alabama there 88-78 last year) with his super talented & 2 double-J backcourt aces in their 6'6" leading scorer & Kentucky transfer Johnny Juzang (16 PPG) & an excellent defender who should create a matchup nightmare for UNC in 6'6" Jaime Jaquez (14 PPG). They face a Carolina team that's been notorious under-achievers that's gone a ticket-ripping 4-8 ATS the last 31 years as an underdog in the Big Dance. This game is going to come down to coaching. I'm trusting in the 19-year vet Cronin who sport a 7-1 SU & ATS record while manning U.C.L.A.. UNC's skipper (1st season) Hubert Davis did an excellent job in upsetting #1 seed & defending national champion Baylor 93-86 in the round of 32. However, the Tar Heels still remain a lacking 3-8 versus the number in non-conference play & take on a representative of the PAC-12 conference. They had 3 winners in this round last season (U.C.L.A., U.S.C. & Oregon State). I'm rolling with "Westwood's Finest" the U.C.L.A. BRUINS (buying to +4) as my 9* Friday Elite 8 Ticket Puncher! Thursday, March 24, 2022 Houston vs. Arizona (NCAAB) - 9:59 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: 1.5/-110 Houston Rating: 10* Mike's Strongest Play On The Board (WIN) Make no mistake about it! This Kelvin Sampson (33-year vet. HC) 31-5 SU Houston squad is a bunch of SEASONED veterans. In fact, their top 5 scorers all average in double-digits. Guard Marcus Sasser (a junior) led the way with 17.7 PPG (coming into the tournament) but has been lost for the season. I feel 4 super seniors with G Kyler Edwards, F Fabian White, F Josh Carlton & F Taz Moore are capable of picking up the slack. They're an adequate 7 deep in scoring with Sophomore G Jamal Shead averaging 9.4 PPG with playing slightly over 30 minutes a game. Their opponent is the 33-3 SU Arizona Wildcats of 1st-year HC Tommy Lloyd. They're making their 1st trip to the Sweet 16 since losing to 11th-seeded Xavier 73-71 (as a 2nd-seed) in 2017 & have made it to the Elite 8 twice in the past 12 seasons. The Cats' are paced by Sophomore Guard Bennedict Mathurin (17.4 PPG) & 6'11" Forward Azuolas Tubelis (14.5 PPG). Arizona was a team that wasn't predicted to be in the Top 25 as put out by the CBB Blue Ribbon Yearbook (a must for a handicapper). My bottom line says we have to question what is left in the tank after TCU gave Arizona all it could handle before losing to them in OT 85-80. The Cougars are also NO STRANGER to the Sweet 16 (3rd straight appearance) or the NCAA Tournament where they're 19-5 SU & 16-8 ATS their last 24. Houston got hot @ the right time winning their last 11 of 12 SU while covering 10 of those. When you get this far in the playoffs, it's usually because of defense. Houston happens to carry the BEST scoring defense (59.0 PPG) out of the remaining 16 teams. They're still playing with a crutch since this Top 10 team drew a very low 5-seeding by the committee. That's alright by us! Let's travel south to AT&T Center in San Antonio to play the HOUSTON COUGARS (but let's buy to +5) as my 10 Star Strongest Play On The Board! Arkansas vs. Gonzaga (NCAAB) - 7:09 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: -9.5/-105 Gonzaga Rating: 9* Mike's ML Chalk-Talker Play (LOSS) Don't think Gonzaga HC Mark Few (658-128 & in his 23rd year with the Zags') has forgotten about that bitter 86-70 loss to Baylor in the NCAA National Championship when HC Scott Drew took him to school on the chalkboard. I feel they'll be going right back there again this season with 6'10" Power Forward Drew Timme & 7'0" Center Chet Holmgren leading the charges. Do I feel HC Eric Musselman (returns back to SF here where he coached the Golden State Warriors) & his Cardinal & White Hogs' can pull an outright upset? Yes, there's a chance Arkansas may hang for the majority. However, the Dogs' have more than enough firepower & motivation to get the job done SU. The reasons for this SU play are two-folded. First, Musselman (72-27 SU @ Arky) is 133-98-7ATS (57.3%) in his collegiate coaching career. Second, the analytics show that #1 seeds (Gonzaga) coming off back-to-back ATS losses are just 1-6-2 ATS when taking on .750 or greater opponents (Arkansas) coming into the Sweet 16. The good news states these same teams are a solid 13-5 SU in this same situation. The Zags' have performed well that last 2 tournaments in this round beating Creighton 83-65 last year while beating Florida State 72-58 the tournament before. The Razorbacks can play defense but they won't be shooting FG percentages as high as they shoot @ Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville. We're set as we roll into the Chase Center in San Francisco to play the GONZAGA BULLDOGS on the ML (play in multi-team parlays) as my 9 Star ML Chalk-Talker Play! Texas Tech vs. Duke (NCAAB) - 9:39 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: 0/-110 Duke Rating: 8* Mike's Thursday Night Quick Pick (WIN) I feel the Red Raiders & 1st-year HC Mark Adams will get schooled here by Duke HC Mike Krzyzewski (47th & last season). I feel 6'10" freshman phenom & G Paolo Ranchero trumps over Red Raiders' F Bryson Williams when we get down to crunch time. We'll be taking the points off the buy knowing Coach K is a unmatched 74-17 SU in the tournament. Since 1985, no conference has enjoyed more success in this tourney than the ACC who rank #1 in wins with 318. I feel getting a few buckets in a nip & tuck kind of game carries an extreme advantage if you take a team who already averages OVER 80 PPG. That's exactly where we are going! Let's go back to the Chase Center in San Francisco to hop all over the DUKE BLUE DEVILS (buying to + 4) as my 8* Thursday Night Quick Pick! Updated records to follow.
 


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