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Best Bets: The Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament

The top two seeds of the entire tournament - UCONN and Purdue - remain on a collision course to meet for the National Championship as the Elite Eight gets set to tip-off this weekend.

Let's find some plays from each of the four games.

3-Illinois (+340) vs. 1-UCONN (-440)

Spread: Huskies -8.5 | O/U: 155.5

Fun Fact: Eight times in Big East Conference play this season, the Huskies won games by single digits. That has happened one time in the last two seasons when the Huskies have taken the court against non-conference opponents. Illinois does bring an elite offense into this game headlined by maybe the tournament’s most dynamic player in Terrence Shannon, Jr. That said, we have ridden Clingan rebounds and Newton assists (OVER 5.5 / -145) and points (OVER 16.5 / +100) every game of the tournament to date. Let’s mount up and ride that 3-leg parlay again. Let's add plays on the Huskies 1H laying five points (-110) and full game laying 8.5 (-110).

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6-Clemson (+136) vs. 4-Alabama (-162)

Spread: Crimson Tide -3.5 | O/U: 164.5

Surprise! Raise your hand if you had the Tigers AND the Tide in the Elite 8. Money is coming in on the Tide following their impressive win against top seed North Carolina. Meanwhile, Clemson steps on the court familiar with the role of the underdog having been just that in each their first three games of the tournament. This is a high total in a game involving the Tigers as they like to control pace and pack it in defensively. No matter the side you prefer, consider taking Alabama UNDER 83.5 Total Points (-110) primarily due to an expected slower pace. If you are riding with Clemson, you’d be wise to grab the Tigers’ Chase Hunter OVER 3.5 assists (-140) as he has hit the over in each of Clemson’s tournament games.

2-Tennessee (+140) vs. 1-Purdue (-166)

Spread: Boilermakers -3 | O/U: 148

If you still argue Purdue is overrated, take a step back. You do not deserve a front row seat to watch their matchup with Tennessee. Edey and co. wear opponents out and have proven they can knock shots down from deep or feed the big fella down low. Next up: Jonas Aidoo and the Volunteers. Tennessee is relentless on defense all over the court, but the key ultimately will be Aidoo’s results against Edey under the basket. It is a 40-minute mountain of an ask of the 6’11” junior. As of the time of publication, there are no player props posted, but Edey rebounds OVER 12.5 has cashed each game of the tournament. Also, consider taking the OVER Assists for either or both point guards, Braden Smith and Zakai Zeigler. Finally, the 1H Under Game Total of 69.5 as there will undoubtedly be nerves early with a ticket to the Final Four on the line.

11-NC State (+215) vs. 4-Duke (-265)

Spread: Blue Devils -6 | O/U: 143

This is a rematch of the ACC semifinal. Conference and in-state bragging rights are again on the line Sunday. The Wolfpack are certainly the public play here. DJ Burns Jr. is fast becoming a fan favorite across the country. He will need to stay out of foul trouble if State is to reach the Final Four. Duke is coming together at the right time with a different player stepping up nightly. With no player props posted it is difficult to offer a play or two especially for a Duke team that has had a different player step up nightly through the tournament’s first three games. However, consider Kyle Filipowski’s point or rebound total as he was dominant in their last meeting with State scoring 28 points and pulling down 14 rebounds. For the Wolfpack, take a look at the rebound total offered for Mohamed Diarra who has pulled down 12 or more in each of his last seven games.

The Elite Eight: Let's cash some tickets.