Top March Madness Predictions for Elite 8: Tuesday, March 30th, 2021

Top March Madness Predictions for Elite 8: Tuesday, March 30th, 2021
Mon 29th March 2021

It is Tuesday, the 30th of March, which means the second day of the Elite Eight is upon us! This is our betting analysis and March Madness predictions for both games as we have four teams from the East and West brackets playing off to reach the Final Four!

(1) Gonzaga vs (6) USC – 7:15pm ET

The Gonzaga Bulldogs (29-0) continue their quest for an undefeated season. Gonzaga defeated Creighton 83-65 on Sunday, their 26th straight win by double digits. The Bulldogs were led by Drew Timme with 22 points, who hit 10 of 14 shots and added six rebounds and four assists. Three other Bulldogs scored in double digits, including Andrew Nembhard with 17. Nembhard hit seven of nine shots, including three of five from three-point range, whilst adding a team high eight assists. Joel Ayayi led the team with eight rebounds along with 13 points. Gonzaga shot 59.6% from the field overall.

The Bulldogs are first in the country in scoring at 92.9 ppg and is allowing just 69.3 points per game on average, giving them a +23.6 point differential, the best in the nation. Gonzaga is shooting 55.3% from the field, first overall, and 36.1% from three-point range, 69th in the nation. 

Timme has been the leading scorer in the postseason, averaging 18.8 ppg through the first five games. He is second on the team in rebounds at 8.0 per game and is shooting an impressive 69.2% from the field. Ayayi is averaging 14.8 points and 8.4 rebounds per game.

On the other side of the ball, USC (25-7) is coming off an impressive 82-68 victory over Pac-12 rival Oregon. The Trojans took a 15-point lead into the break and scored 41 points in each half. USC shot 57.4% from the field, including an incredible 58.8% from three-point range. Isaiah White hit eight of 10 shots, including four of five from three-point range for a team high 22 total points, also adding five rebounds. Tahj Eaddy went 7/11 for his 20 points while Evan Mobley had a down game with just 10 points, but contributed in other ways with eight boards and six assists. 

USC is averaging 74.3 ppg, 102nd in the country, while allowing 64.1 points per contest, 46th overall. They are shooting 46.5% from the field, 62nd in the nation, and 34.3% from three-point range. The Trojans had struggled from the free-throw line this season, connecting on 64.4% of their attempts, 325th overall. However, they hit 10 of 12 in the victory over Oregon. The 

USC is led by Evan Mobley at 16.1 points and 8.6 rebounds per game. Mobley is averaging 58.2% from the field, but is shooting just 69.9% from the free-throw line. Brother Isaiah is averaging 9.0 points in 7.5 rebounds per game. He has been far worse at the free-throw line, hitting 49.5% of his shots. 

If Mobley can get back to his high scoring ways in this contest, the Trojans may make this interesting. However the Zags are undefeated and have been the number one team all season for a reason. They have scoring at every level and control the tempo every night.

March Madness Pick – Gonzaga (-450)
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(1) Michigan vs (11) UCLA – 9:57pm ET

The Michigan Wolverines (23-4) enter this game coming off a dominating 76-58 victory over Florida State. The Wolverines held the Seminoles to just 21 points in the first half, taking an 11-point lead into the break. Michigan shot 49.2% from the field but did not do very well from three-point range (27.3%) or from the foul line (65.2%). Hunter Dickinson and Brandon Johns, Jr. each scored 14 points for Michigan. Both were five of 10 from the field and both players hit four free throws. Dickinson added eight rebounds while Johns added six.

Michigan is averaging 76.6 ppg, 62nd in the country. They are allowing 65.2 points per game, also 62nd. The Wolverines are shooting 48.8% from the field, 19th overall, and 38.6% from three-point range, 12th in the nation. Despite their poor performance at the free-throw line against Florida State, Michigan is still 30th in the nation in free-throw percentage at 76.5%. 

Dickinson leads the team in scoring at 14.3 ppg. He is also the leading rebounder at 7.7 per contest. Dickinson is shooting an impressive 59.6% from the field and is a 75.0% free-throw shooter. Franz Wagner is averaging 12.9 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. He is shooting 50.2% from the field.

The UCLA Bruins (21-9) enter this contest following a thrilling overtime victory where they upset the two seed, Alabama, 88-78. UCLA took an 11-point lead into the half, only to watch Alabama battle back to tie the score, forcing overtime. However, the Bruins dominated the extra session, outscoring Alabama 23-13. Six players for UCLA scored in double digits, including Jules Bernard and Jamie Jaquez, Jr., who each scored 17 to lead the Bruins. Jaquez had a great game all around, recording eight rebounds, three assists, and three steals. David Singleton came off the bench to score 15.

UCLA is averaging 72.6 ppg while allowing 67.9 per contest. They are shooting 46.3% from the field, 67th in the country, and 37.3% from three-point range, 41st overall. 

Johnny Juzang leads the team in scoring at 14.2 ppg, hitting 41.0% of his shots, including 93.3% from the free-throw line. Jaquez is third in scoring at 11.8 ppg, and he is averaging 6.0 rebounds per contest, the team leader since Chris Smith went down. The Bruins have a deep team, as five different players are averaging in double digits.

UCLA has made history by becoming just the second First Four team to make it to the Elite Eight stage and have caused upsets every step of the way. They now come up against a finely tuned Michigan team that has made it look pretty easy so far and proving they were a worth one seed. Will the extra basketball UCLA played in overtime against a tough Alabama side cause them to come in tired or give them momentum? Michigan should be too good either way.

March Madness Pick – Michigan (-310)
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel

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