UCLA BRUINS (28-8)
vs. FLORIDA GATORS (34-2)
NCAA Tournament - Sweet 16
FedEx Forum - Memphis, TN
Tip-off: Thursday, 9:45 p.m. ET
Line: Florida -4.5, Total: 137.5
UCLA will look to create matchup problems as it seeks to take down No. 1 overall seed Florida in Thursday's South Region semifinal game.
Here is the Bet DSI breakdown on the entire Sweet 16:
The Bruins beat Tulsa in the Round of 64 then Stephen F. Austin to reach the Sweet 16, covering in both games to extend their ATS winning streak to five. Overall, fourth-seeded UCLA is a fantastic 23-12 ATS this season, including 9-5 ATS against non-conference opponents. They are now 7-1 SU and ATS at neutral sites. Florida struggled a bit in the first round against Albany and failed to cover a big 22-point spread, but shut down Pittsburgh 61-45 in the Round of 32 to make the club 6-2 ATS in its past eight contests. The Gators are 16-14-2 ATS overall, including 5-4-2 ATS against non-conference foes. They are 7-0 SU and 3-3-1 ATS on neutral courts this season. These two powerhouse programs have met three times in recent NCAA Tournament memory, in 2006, 2007 and 2011. The Gators won and covered in all three meetings. Both teams have positive betting trends for this marquee matchup as UCLA is 19-6 ATS after playing a game as a favorite this season, while Florida is 10-3 ATS versus excellent teams (8+ PPG margin) this season.
Can UCLA pull off the upset on Thurdsay night? For the latest college basketball picks, check out The Platinum Sheet for all the StatFox Experts selections every week throughout the entire 2013-14 season. The StatFox Experts opened the NCAA Tournament with a sizzling 62% ATS mark (46-28-1) through the Round of 32, making them a stellar 60% ATS (322-218-17) in college basketball Best Bets this season. StatFox Brian is on an amazing Best Bets run of 33-9-2 (79% ATS) since Feb. 6 and 42-12-3 (78% ATS) since Jan. 17, to give him a robust 69% ATS (74-33-4) record in Best Bets for the season. StatFox Dave is a phenomenal 80% ATS (12-3) in Best Bets for the NCAA Tournament, making him 66% ATS (51-26-1) in Best Bets since Dec. 18 and 62% ATS (68-41-2) this season. StatFox Scott is a strong 64% ATS (9-5-1) in Best Bets for the NCAA Tournament, 66% ATS (23-12-3) since Feb. 16 and 59% ATS (63-44-5) for the season. StatFox Gary is 59% ATS (58-40) on Best Bets since Nov. 22 and 56% ATS (62-48-2) for the season.
UCLAís fast-paced offense averages 81.8 PPG (12th in Div. I) on 49.0% shooting (10th in nation), led by an unselfish 17.2 APG (5th in Div. I). The Bruins give some of that back on the defensive end though, yielding 70.4 PPG on 42.7% shooting. They held the Lumberjacks to 35.1% shooting to reach the Sweet 16, overcoming a minus-6 rebounding margin. Overall, the Bruins average 35.6 RPG (129th in Div. I), outrebounding their opponents by +2.2 RPG. Swingman Kyle Anderson (14.7 PPG, 8.8 RPG, 6.6 APG) has the ability to create significant matchup problems against any opponent. At 6-foot-9, he has the body of a forward and the skills of a guard, pacing the Bruins in both assists and rebounds. Sophomore SG Jordan Adams (17.4 PPG, 5.4 RPG) leads the team in scoring, averaging 20.0 PPG on 63% shooting so far in the NCAA Tournament. SG Norman Powell (11.4 PPG) rounds out the backcourt, averaging 17.0 PPG over the teamís past four contests. However, the team will need more from freshman SG Zach LaVine (9.8 PPG), who was incredibly hot to start the season, but is averaging 1.5 PPG over the teamís past four games, as he has seen his minutes dwindle. Down low, Anderson does a lot of the dirty work but PF Travis Wear (7.1 PPG, 3.2 RPG), C Tony Parker (6.9 PPG, 4.5 RPG) and PF David Wear (6.6 PPG, 3.8 RPG) also contribute.
The Gators are arguably the best defensive team in the nation, giving up only 57.5 PPG (3rd in Div. I) on 39.8% shooting (23rd in nation) while outrebounding their opponents by +4.8 RPG. Offensively, they tally 71.0 PPG (181st in Div. I) on 46.3% shooting (74th in Div. I). Their star is SEC Player of the Year PG Scottie Wilbekin (13.1 PPG, 3.7 APG, 1.6 SPG), who wasnít on the court during Floridaís only two losses: He was suspended for the defeat against Wisconsin and missed the final three minutes of a one-point loss to Connecticut. Wilbekin is one of many tenacious defenders for Billy Donovan's squad, joined by C Patric Young (10.9 PPG, 6.3 RPG), PF Dorian Finney-Smith (9.0 PPG, 6.7 RPG) and SF Will Yeguete (4.9 PPG, 5.1 RPG), who all have shut-down defensive capabilities. SF Casey Prather (14.1 PPG, 4.9 RPG) is the teamís top scorer while SG Michael Frazier II (12.5 PPG) is an incredible shooter, making 44.4% of his threes this year and 3.1 per game. PG Kasey Hill (5.6 PPG, 3.0 APG) also plays important minutes in the backcourt, helping spell Wilbekin from the ball-handling duties.