One of the great stories of this NCAA Tournament has been the Oregon Ducks, who looked very much like a team that would be lucky to get to the NIT or CBI in the latter stages of the Pac-12 season, but now look like a very viable contender to make it to the Final Four, as they did in 2017. Because they’ve done that before, no one should discount that possibility. But they have a tremendous roadblock ahead of them as they square off against the Virginia Cavaliers in the Sweet Sixteen. This is part of the South regional, taking place at the KFC-Yum! Center in Louisville, and when you are a BetAnySports customer, you can enjoy NCAAB Tournament Betting and place wagers even after the game has started as you access what is available through Live Betting Ultra.
2019 NCAAB Tournament Betting – Oregon Ducks vs Virginia Cavaliers
In the 2019 NCAAB Tournament Betting odds that have been posted on this game by the folks at BetAnySports, Oregon is catching a lot of points:
Virginia Cavaliers -8.5
Oregon Ducks +8.5
Over 119.5 points -110
Under 119.5 points -110
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2019 NCAAB Tournament Betting Preview – Oregon vs Virginia
Oregon started the season with an awful lot of optimism because of the arrival of Bol Bol, the 7-2 center who is the son of former NBA player Manute Bol. And Bol Bol has an amazing skill set that allowed him to take control of a number of games, averaging 21 points and ten rebounds before going down with a foot injury. He perhaps could have come back, but he decided instead to enter the NBA Draft. He played a total of nine games.
That injury forced head coach Dana Altman to be more resourceful, and to make a long story shorter, he executed a couple of lineup tweaks that seemed to inject more life into the situation. And Kenny Wooten, a 6-9 forward, has become the stopper in the middle, as he is eighth in the nation in Blocked Shot Percentage. The Ducks are quacking big-time now, having won AND covered ten consecutive games, and they have surged in the second half against Wisconsin and UC-Irvine, in what has become something of a pattern for them.
When you talk about Virginia, it is not uncommon to focus not on their players, but on coach Tony Bennett, who very quickly made this team a contender in the ACC and indeed nationally by installing the notorious Pack Line Defense, which requires discipline but can make it difficult for opponents to get off shot attempts, no matter where they are on the floor. And the statistics bear that out; Virginia is second-best in the nation against three-point shooting (allowing just 27.8%) and they are 21st against two-point shots (yielding 45.3%). And there might be a little chip on their shoulder as well, because last season, as a #1 seed, they were upset by 16th seed UMBC (translated, that means Maryland-Baltimore County), the first time that’s ever happened in the NCAA Tournament.
The Cavaliers, led by 6-2 guard Kyle Guy, have gotten through their first two games in the Big Dance, although it’s been rather unceremonious, with them beating Gardner Webb and Oklahoma. In order to slow down Oregon, they’ll have to deal with the experience of point guard Peyton Pritchard, who was a raw freshman when the Ducks made their run to the Final Four in 2017. Oregon goes 6-9 in all three members of the frontline, and two of them are skilled in playing on the outside. Paul White is a transfer from Georgetown, while Louis King was a highly-touted freshman recruit, and both of them are hitting 38% from three-point range. Altman, who started really liking the level of his team’s effort toward the end of the season, and didn’t mind being vocal about it, is much more liberal bringing players off the bench then Bennett is, as the Ducks have allocated 34% of their available minutes to reserves.
The intriguing matchup here comes on the outside, but it’s Virginia that is going to be challenged by Oregon when they go to their familiar three-point attempts. The Cavaliers are sixth best in the nation with 40.1% triples, but Oregon has been a pretty good defense against long-range shooters all season long (allowing 29.1%). In any game where both of these teams are going to slow the pace and be deliberate, getting a lot of points might turn out to be a gift for the Pac-12 champs.
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By Charles Jay