Cincinnati vs Ohio State Picks, Spread, and Review

Cincinnati (26-10 SU/17-13 ATS) is coming off a 62-56 win over Florida State on Sunday as +2½ point dogs. Sean Kilpatrick made four three-pointers en route to a game-high 18 points to lead Cincinnati over Florida State in the third round of the NCAA Tournament’s East Region. Dion Dixon chipped in 15 points and Yancy Gates added 10 for the sixth-seeded Bearcats, who return to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2001. Both teams finished the game 19-of-50 (38 percent) from the field and each team had 22 points in the paint. The lead changed hands 19 times in the game was tied 11 different times. The six-point differential at the final buzzer was the largest lead by either team in the game. Cincinnati became the fourth team from the state of Ohio to reach the Sweet 16, joining Ohio State, Xavier and Ohio University to mark the first time in NCAA history that a state sent four teams to the round of 16.

Ohio State (29-7 SU/18-13 ATS) is off a 73-66 win over Gonzaga as -8 point favorites. Jared Sullinger scored 18 points, including six down the stretch, as Ohio State earned a trip to the Sweet 16 for a third consecutive year. After posting a career-high 31 points against Loyola (MD) in the second round, Deshaun Thomas followed that performance with 18 points and seven rebounds for the second-seeded Buckeyes, who haven’t advanced past the Sweet 16 since 2007 when they advanced to the national title game before falling to Florida. Aaron Craft added 17 points and 10 assists. Ohio State was out rebounded 34-31, including 13-9 on the offensive glass, but the Buckeyes hit 9-of-24 three-pointers and connected on 14-of-18 free throws. The Buckeyes scored 27 of their 73 points (37 percent) on 3s, their highest percentage of points from behind the 3-point line in a game this season. Entering Saturday, Ohio State ranked last in the Big Ten in percentage of points from 3-point field goals (19.5 percent). Ohio State lost to Tennessee in the Sweet 16 in 2010 and fell to Kentucky last March in a regional semifinal.

Cincinnati is 8-1 ATS in its last nine games overall and 8-4 ATS as an underdog, as well as 4-1 ATS in neutral site games and 12-7 ATS in March games. Ohio State comes is 16-12 ATS as a favorite overall, but the Buckeyes have traditionally struggled as a chalk in the NCAA Tournament, going 6-13 ATS. In the last meeting between the two schools, Ohio State crushed downtrodden Cincinnati 72-50 in the 2006 season. The second-seeded Buckeyes are seeking to get over the hump after losing in the regional semifinals in each of the last two seasons, but they will have their hands full here against a gritty Cincy squad. Take the points.

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