Norfolk State vs Florida Picks, Spread, and Review

Norfolk State pulled the epic upset on Friday as they knocked off Missouri 86-84 as +21½ point underdogs in its NCAA Tournament debut. Kyle O’Quinn had 26 points and 14 rebounds as the Spartans stunned the second-seeded Missouri Tigers for an historic upset. Norfolk State, champion of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, became only the fifth No. 15 seed to knock off a No. 2 in tournament history and the first since Hampton topped Iowa State 11 years ago. Three of the upsets have been recorded by MEAC programs. In addition to Norfolk State and Hampton, Coppin State beat South Carolina in 1997. O’Quinn, a senior center, had a chance to seal the win at the foul line, but the MEAC overall and defensive player of the year missed both attempts with 3.8 seconds remaining. Missouri was outrebounded 37-25, including 14-7 on the offensive glass. The Spartans qualified for their first NCAA Tournament after 15 years at the Division I level. Norfolk State shot 61.5 percent in the second half, including 5-of-6 from three-point range. Missouri became the first team in NCAA tournament history to make at least 10 3-pointers, shoot at least 50 percent from the field, commit fewer than 10 turnovers and lose the game.  

Florida looked good in its 71-45 rout of Virginia as -3½ point favorites. Bradley Beal posted a double-double of 14 points and 11 rebounds, and the Florida Gators overpowered Cavaliers in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Casey Prather also scored 14 points for the Gators, who are seeded seventh in the West Region. Patric Young contributed 13 points and seven boards for a Florida squad that entered the tourney having dropped four of its last five games. Kenny Boynton, Florida’s leading scorer (16.3 ppg), recorded eight points, five rebounds and two steals. The Gators improved to 6-1 this season while playing on a neutral court. Florida also notched its seventh straight win over an ACC opponent. The Gators made just 4-of-23 three-pointers, well below its nation-leading average of 9.9 three-pointers per game made, but they made up for it on the glass, where they held a 39-23 edge in rebounding.

Norfolk State is 6-1 ATS in its last seven lined games and 11-4 ATS in all tournament games, however, #13-seeds or higher are 4-28 SU and 8-23-1 ATS in this round over the years. Florida, of course, has excelled in tournament games, going 57-32 ATS, including 22-12 ATS in NCAA Tourney games; and they’re 13-4 ATS as a favorite in the Big Dance. However, take note the Gators are just 2-10-1 ATS in its last 13 games when favored by -13 or more points. We’ll grab the points here.

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