Virginia Cavaliers slumping against the spread heading into date with Oklahoma

Frank Doyle | Updated Mar 23, 2019

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The advanced to the Round of 32, but the Cavaliers are 0-5 against the spread in their last five NCAA Tournament games and 1-3 ATS in their last four games overall.

Virginia used a 25-5 second-half run to avoid a second straight first round exit in the NCAA Tournament. The Cavaliers enter their Round of 32 matchup against Oklahoma with a deep sigh of relief. Their first-round nightmares are over, but they still have work to do to make it to the Sweet 16.

Oklahoma hit its highest point total of the season in its opening tourney game against Ole Miss. The Sooners scored more than 90 points just twice before notching 95 against the Runnin’ Rebels. Lon Kruger’s team improved to 12-1-1 against the spread versus teams outside the Big 12 this season.

Oklahoma built its identity at the defensive side of the floor this year, but the team played like an unstoppable offensive juggernaut against Ole Miss. The Sooners made 34 of their 59 attempts from the field.

Virginia won, but the rotten run continues for the team’s spread backers. The Cavaliers are 0-5 against the spread in their last five NCAA Tournament games and 1-3 ATS in their last four games overall.

Tony Bennett’s squad has played under the total in five of its last six non-conference contests and the under is a combined 38-28 in Virginia and Oklahoma’s games this season.

Oklahoma Sooners starters carrying the load

The Sooners jumped out to a 12-0 lead in the first three minutes against Ole Miss, and their only miss in their first nine possessions was off an alley-oop attempt. Things shouldn’t be as straightforward against Virginia. The Cavaliers have owned the stingiest defence in college basketball for years, and this season was no different.

Oklahoma’s starting five accounted for 79 of the 95 points scored in the Round of 64 game. The key player to watch for OU is Christian James – the team’s lead guard. James scored 20 points on 4-for-7 shooting from distance against Ole Miss.

Virginia Cavaliers get over last year’s March Madness nightmare

There was a feeling history might repeat itself when Virginia feel behind by 14 points in the first half to No. 16 seed Gardner-Webb. UVA became the first No. 1 seed to lose to a No. 16 seed a year ago when UMBC pulled off one of the greatest upsets in sports history.

The Cavaliers avoided a second NCAA Tournament disaster by outscoring Gardner-Webb 41-20 in the second half. All ACC first-teamer De’Andre Hunter led all scorers with 23 points in the game.

Oklahoma vs. Virginia Prediction

Virginia 65-Oklahoma 59