Larry Ness - Ohio State vs Florida

Larry's CBB Tourney Takedown (3 in a row?)

Handicapper
Larry Ness
League
NCAAB
Competition
Ohio State vs Florida
Time
11/24/2021 08:30 PM
Bet Type
Point Spread
Pick
Ohio State +2 (-109) (BetRivers)
Outcome
Loss
Analysis
My 9* Tourney Takedown is on Ohio St at 8:30 ET. Ohio St head coach Chris Holtmann has won 25, 20, 21 and 21 games in his first four seasons in Columbus and it's hard to believe that a fifth straight 20-win season isn't in the cards this season. Ohio State responded to a loss the way Holtmann wanted his team to, and the result is a matchup against No. 23 Florida in the championship game of the Beach Division at the Fort Myers Tip-Off on Wednesday in Florida. The Buckeyes (4-1) used a last-second three-pointer by Meechie Johnson to down No. 21 Seton Hall 79-76 on Monday, after Holtmann questioned the team's toughness in a hostile environment during a 71-65 loss at Xavier on Friday. Mike White has led the Gators to four NCAA berths in the last five seasons (would have been five, except for COVID cancellation) but he really needed to get a win over FSU in the Nov 14 "Florida Cup" game with FSU (Seminoles had won SEVEN straight) and his team delivered (Gators won 71-55!). The 4-0 Gators had an easier time in a 80-60 rout of California in their first game of the tourney The score was tied at 17 with eight minutes left in the first before the Gators outscored the Golden Bears 29-10 for a 46-27 halftime lead and were not threatened in the second half of an 80-60 win. "It was a heavyweight bout," Holtmann said in his postgame radio interview Monday. "Seton Hall is really good and we kept slugging each other, really. A lot of body blows delivered and finally Meechie made a heck of a play there at the end. Our guys didn't flinch, and they made some really tough shots." The team's top player is the 6-7 Liddell (22.4 & 6.4) and he's joined up front by the 6-8 Key (9.8 & 5.0 / up from 5.2 & 3.4 LY) and the 6-6 Ahrens (8.8). The starting backcourt is freshman Branham (9.6) and PG Wheeler (4.6 & 4.2 APG), who is a transfer from Penn St. The 6-8 Young comes off the bench to chip in 3.3 & 6.5, as does guard Johnson (9.2). Liddell scored 28 points in the win over Seton Hall, while Ahrens, the three-point specialist, made 5 of 8 beyond the arc. Mike White's Gators return six seniors or graduate transfers. The 6-11 Castleton leads in scoring (17.0) and rebounding (9.8. The other four starters are guards, Penn St transfer Myreon Jones (12.5 & 4.3), Appleby (12.0-3.5-4.0) and McKissic (6.5) plus the 6-7 Duriji (11.0 & 6.0). The team's 6th-man is guard Fleming (9.0). Castleton led the Gators with 16 points, followed by Tyree Appleby (15) and Jones (13) vs Cal. "The way we finished the first half was obviously the difference in the game," White said during a postgame radio interview. "Our pressure intensified a little bit. We created some turnovers in our press. Florida and Ohio State have met 13 times, with the Buckeyes leading the series 8-5. However, I'm not sure any of that matters here. The winner of this get will get a huge boost of confidence, The Buckeyes would have back-to-back wins over Seton Hall and Florida, while the Gators will have a win over Ohio St to add to a resume that already includes a dominant win over Florida St. Which team will enjoy its Thanksgiving Day meal more? My bet says Ohio St, which learned much about themselves after that loss at Xavier. Good luck...Larry

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