Cokin’s Corner, Friday 3/24/17

  • March 23, 2017

The final two 2017 MLB Divisional previews will be posted over the weekend. Today’s blog will focus on one of the NCAA Tournament Friday battles.

My Thursday was not good, as I dropped both NHL underdog plays and was only able to split my Big Dance calls. Purdue was a big wrong side as the Boilermakers were totally outclassed by Kansas after the first 15 or so minutes. Fortunately, I was on Xavier and the Musketeers prevented the evening from being a disaster. Bounce back time today with two tournament plays, with one of those being the daily free play. So let’s get right to it!

873 SOUTH CAROLINA vs. 874 BAYLOR

Take: BAYLOR -3.5

I’m looking at this game from a matchup perspective and the more I break it down, the more I see advantages for Baylor.

South Carolina is a great defensive team, but it’s not like they have an enormous edge on that side of the court. Baylor is clearly superior offensively, and it’s not close on that count.

The Gamecocks played out of their heads last round in the second half of their game with Duke. But the Blue Devils were also horrid on defense after halftime in that game and the number of wide open looks South Carolina got was kind of ridiculous. I do not see that happening here and feel as though the Baylor length will create problems for the underdogs.

It’s certainly possible that there could be a carryover from the Duke game and that the Gamecocks will light it up again. But based on their full season shooting stats, that’s just not likely. Thornwell is going to have to put together a huge game for the Gamecocks to score this upset.

Meanwhile, in spite of how tough South Carolina is on defense, I can see Motley being a very difficult matchup for them. I see the Baylor star getting to 20 in this game, and the Bears lost just once all season when Motley hit that plateau.

I’m expecting this to be competitive but I also see Baylor having a good chance to eventually pull away. I’m willing to spot the points here with the Bears.