Line: Villanova -16.5

Milwaukee is a tough team to figure out. The only consistent thing they have shown so far this season is to either win or lose in streaks. Starting on January 18th they lost three straight games to Valpo, Wright State, and Detroit. They then proceeded to win 3 straight against Wright State, Oakland, and Green Bay. After that they started a four game losing streak against Valpo, Youngstown State, Cleveland State, and Illinois Chicago. They won their very next game against Detroit and have not lost since by beating Valpo, Green Bay, and Wright State to win the Horizon league championship and gain an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. They are hot at the right time and can be dangerous if they keep playing as well as they have. Villanova was on fire in the second half of the season and went 17-2 down the stretch of the regular season with both of those losses coming to Creighton. They were poised to get a number 1 seed in the tournament until a bad loss to a weak Seton Hall team in the first round of the Big East tournament. They will now have to settle for their 2 seed although it has given them this favorable matchup in the opening round.

In any other year Villanova would have been a number 1 seed but the Big East is not as strong as it was since the league had many members leave. Senior guard James Bell is a great all around player with averages of 14.5 points per game as well as 6.1 rebounds per game. He is the type of guard you need to win games in this tournament as he is well rounded. He is just as effective driving to the hoop as he is at shooting the outside shot. He does all of this while being one of the clutch players in the country. JayVaughn Pinkston is a versatile forward who averages 14.2 points per game and 6.1 rebounds per game. He is a tough interior presence and works well playing the two man game with Bell. Darrun Hillard is an all around threat who averages 14.3 points per game and is a strong 3 point shooter at over 42%. He will be needed to make some outside shots and open up the interior for Pinkston.

The Panthers have four players who average over 10 points per game. They are led by Jordan Aaron who averages 15 points per game. They have 2 big bodies in Kyle Kelm who averages 12.6 points per game and Matt Tiby who averages 12.1. Austin Arians is another big body that rounds out the double figure scorers at 10.9 points per game. They have two things going for them. The first is size, they are bigger that Villanova at most positions. The other is momentum, at this time of year that is the best attribute a team could have.

Pick: Milwaukee +16.5

Check out 2014 March Madness Odds updated daily.

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