Sports Betting Picks 03-26-2017 South Carolina Vs. Florida
Sports Betting Picks 03-26-2017 ESPN Breakdown Below
NEW YORK — After his team knocked off Baylor in the first game of the East Regional semifinals on Friday, South Carolina coach Frank Martin was extremely complimentary of his Southeastern Conference rivals.
“I want to credit the teams in our league in the SEC for preparing us for the kind of games that you have to play at this time of year,” Martin said. “Those coaches, those players that we fought against every single day got these guys prepared to harden, to understand how hard and how disciplined you have to play to have a chance to win at this time of year.”
On Sunday, his seventh-seeded Gamecocks (25-10) will face one of them for the third time this season when they meet fourth-seeded Florida (27-8) at Madison Square Garden with a trip to the Final Four on the line. It’s the first time since Kentucky and LSU in 1986 that two SEC teams will meet in a regional final.
The Gamecocks advanced with a strong defensive performance in a 70-50 victory over the Bears. The Gators won an 84-83 overtime thriller over Wisconsin on a 3-point buzzer-beater from Chris Chiozza.
Florida and South Carolina split its two regular-season meetings, with the Gamecocks taking a 57-53 decision on Jan. 18 in Columbia and the Gators paying them back with an 81-66 win on Feb. 21 in Gainesville.
South Carolina went 12-6 in the conference. Florida was 14-4.
Many predicted the East Regional final would be a Duke-Villanova classic; in their place will be two schools from a conference mostly known for high-caliber football.
“As a Florida Gator, sitting here as a proud Gator, it is a football conference,” admitted Florida coach Mike White. “And it’s a basketball conference, and it’s a gymnastics conference, and a softball conference, and no one is more aware of that than the Florida Gators. There’s excellence throughout the conference in every sport. Men’s and women’s.
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