Baylor Giving Up 4 1/2 to Old Dominion
March 19th, 2010- By Bryan Cross
An intriguing second round match up in the the South region matches No.11 seed Old Dominion against No.3 seed Baylor.
Old Dominion pulled off the upset over Notre Dame in the opening round, 51-50. After trailing for most of the game, the Monarchs climbed their way back into the contest, and took the lead with just minutes remaining.
“I think it reflects the magic of March, the way the two teams battled,” Old Dominion head coach Blaine Taylor remarked after the game. “One of the officials turns to me at the two-minute mark and said, ‘It’s been a heck of a game,’ and I really think it was.”
It what was a low-scoring, defensive affair as most predicted it would be, Old Dominion took advantage of holes in the Irish defense in the second half, and behind Frank Hassell’s 15 points and nine rebounds, sprung the first upset of the tournament.
Many believed Notre Dame to be a contender in the tournament, following a win over then top-ranked Syracuse in the Big East conference tournament. Not so fast however.
The Monarchs now have an entirely new challenge ahead of them, in a Baylor team out of the Big 12 conference fresh off of their first NCAA tournament victory in 60 seasons.
The Bears defeated No.14 seed Sam Houston State 68-59 en route to a second round appearance.
“Oh, man, just joy in my heart, man,” Baylor Bear Ekpe Udoh said after the game. “But, whew, that was close. Sam Houston, that’s a great team. It’s tourney time. You’ve just got to be ready.”
Udoh led Baylor in every major statistical category, including 20 points and 13 rebounds, to go along with his stout defensive play. He will present a very difficult challenge for Old Dominion in Saturday’s match up, and the Monarchs will have to go to the drawing board to game-plan on how to stop him.
The Bears play aggressive defense and will try and swarm the ball when Old Dominion is on offense. They shut down Sam Houston State, limiting them to their lowest offensive output in three months.
Baylor has been installed as a 4 1/2-point favorite according to Online Sportsbooks to get by Old Dominion in the second round, and advance to the Sweet-16. The over/under for the game has been set at 128 1/2 points.
The Bears are 6-1 ATS during their last seven match ups outside of the Big 12.
The game can be seen on Saturday at 5:45 pm Est.