Here's the daily post for discussing tonight's games. It would be hard for tonight's games to live up to last night's games, but you never know. My thoughts on all of these games are here. Join me tonight in the comments to this post.
While I'm making this post, here are my thoughts on tomorrow's gambling lines:
Day 5 against the spread: 2-1-1
Total ATS through Day 5: 28-21-3
Butler (+4) over Kansas State: Kansas State has been on quite a run, but it's important that people realize this is a hot streak. They don't normally play this way. They would have lost either of their last two games if Jacob Pullen hadn't played out of his mind, and as I pointed out in the comments to the Day 5 Discussion post: "They'd have lost to both Xavier and BYU if those shots weren't falling. He's had two great performances in a row, but he also shot 30.4% behind the arc for the entire month of February, and has been so up and down all season. It's a lot to ask for three straight games like this." Butler was able to hold Syracuse off of the offensive boards, so they should be able to hold Kansas State. And the Wildcats have a bad habit of putting opponents to the foul line, while Butler is excellent at drawing fouls and they shoot 74% when they get there. Finally, teams tend to struggle in the NCAA Tournament after only one day off following an overtime game. I like Butler to win this game straight up.
West Virginia (+4) over Kentucky: Kentucky was very unimpressive against Cornell. The Big Red had their worst shooting day in a very long time (33% from the field, 24% behind the arc, 62% at the line), yet they were only six points down with five minutes to go. I had assumed that Cornell would have to repeat their shooting performance from Temple and Wisconsin to beat Kentucky, but it turned out that a season average shooting percentage would have been enough. The worry for West Virginia is ball handling without Truck Bryant, but they improved dramatically from the first half to the second half against Washington, and Kentucky actually isn't that great at forcing turnovers (8th best in the SEC). You can't discount the John Wall show, but I'm still leaning toward West Virginia. I just think they're the better team, and after watching enough Da'Sean Butler and John Wall this season, I can say that despite Wall being a much better NBA prospect, Butler is the one I'd rather have taking that last shot in any game this season.