Vaughn Dalzell breaks down the Final Four field between UConn versus Alabama and NC State against Purdue.

Alabama vs UConn (-11.5): O/U 161.5

The UConn Huskies have beaten its opponents by 25, 30, 23, and 39 points over four NCAA Tournament games this season. Dating back to last year, the Huskies have won 10 straight NCAA Tournament games by 13 or more points — covering all 10 games.

Of those 10 games, nine straight opponents have scored 32 or fewer points in the first half against UConn. The Huskies defense held its four opponents in this tournament to 19, 18, 31, and 23 points to Stetson, Northwestern, San Diego State, and Illinois.

Alabama leads the country in possessions per game, ninth in overall tempo, third in offensive tempo, and ranks third in adjusted offensive efficiency and 4-0 ATS and on the ML in this tourney. The Tide is all about offense with the 104th-ranked defensive efficiency, the 291st turnover percentage, and 272nd defensive rebounding ranks.

UConn should be able to slow this game down and control the tempo as they did versus Illinois and San Diego State. Bama scored 35, 46, 38, and 51 first-half points in this NCAA Tournament, but UConn should keep them to their lowest total, if you ask me.

Give me the Huskies -11.5 at -110 odds and the Alabama First Half Team Total Under 35.5 at -120 odds on DraftKings. I’d go down to -12.5 for UConn and Under 34.5 on Bama.

Pick: UConn -11.5 (1u), Alabama 1H Team Total Under 35.5 (1u)

NC State vs Purdue (-9.5): O/U 146.0

No one expected NC State to make the Final Four, but here we are against a Purdue team that has made substantial strides since the beginning of last season.

Opponents scored 34, 36, 33, and 27 first-half points in the four tournament games this season against the Purdue Boilermakers, and NC State’s first-half team total is set at 31.5, which is what I target in this meeting.

NC State is on a 9-0 streak since the ACC Tournament began and scored at least 32 first-half points in seven of nine games. The Wolfpack’s duo of DJ’s, Burns and Horne, has been nothing short of impressive. While Zach Edey vs Burns will be the matchup to watch, as both bigs have dominated the tournament, there is another angle of attack.

NC State’s three-point defense will be a factor in this outing to cover/win. The Wolfpack held Marquette and Duke to 9-of-51 from three (17.6%) in the last two games, while Purdue combined for 12-of-35 (34.2%) against Tennessee (3/15) and Gonzaga (9/20).

Purdue allowed Tennessee to hit 11-of-26 triples (42.3%) and Gonzaga to go 23-of-40 from two (57.5%). The Boilermakers’ defense combined for two blocks and eight steals over the last two games, while the Wolfpack has a total of 19 blocks/steals in that span.

I will take NC State to get off to a quick start, and stay competitive against Purdue, and go Over the first-half team total of 31.5 at -122 odds. I would opt for NC State 1H +5.5 if this moves past 32.5.

Pick: NC State 1H Team Total Over 31.5 (1u)

Season Record: 93-97 (48.9%) -8.81u

CBB Futures In My Pocket:

2u: UConn to win the National Championship (-105)

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