NCAA Tournament BettingBelieve it or not the first round matchup between the Princeton Tigers and Kentucky Wildcats will feature two of the most storied teams in the history of the NCAA national title tournament. The Wildcats are seven-time winners but haven’t clinched the title since 1998, while Princeton will be making it’s 23rd appearance in the March Madness betting, having only a single Final Four finish to boast about heading into the 2011 tournament.

Princeton Tigers @ Kentucky Wildcats

Thursday March 17, 2011 – 2:45 PM ET


St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa Bay, Florida


Online Sports Betting Odds: Kentucky – 13

The Wildcats enter the second round contest as 13-point favorites after knocking off the Florida Gators 70-54 in the SEC Championship game. Kentucky will ride a six-game win streak into the St. Pete Times Forum, and will look to flex their muscle against a Princeton team that upset the Harvard Crimson in the final seconds of their Ivy League championship game to earn an automatic bid.

March Madness Betting Preview: Princeton

The Tigers imposed their will for most of the Ivy League season, with losses at Brown and Harvard the only stains on an otherwise perfect season. Princeton won their regular season finale over the Pennsylvania Quakers to earn home court advantage for the conference championship game, and made it count with a buzzer-beating win. Despite the talent gap between the Ivy League and other conferences, the Tigers still earned respect in shooting 46-percent from the field, which ranks 41st in the nation. Princeton will need the combo of Kareem Maddox and Ian Hummer to bring their best game after that tandem led the team in both scoring and rebounding. Their play will be the biggest factor in whether Princeton can keep this game respectable.

March Madness Betting Preview: Kentucky

The Big Blue battled all year to catch the Gators, but after finishing the year three games back in the SEC East, Kentucky finally flexed its muscle in the conference title game for the second straight year. The tandem of Terrence Jones and Brandon Knight has been as good as any in the country, and they proved they can perform on the biggest stage after leading four Gators that finished in double-figures against Florida. The Wildcats will need Darius Miller to step up and complete the trifecta as the tournament progresses, but shouldn’t have a problem against the Tigers in the opening sportsbook promo round.

March Madness Betting: Outlook & Pick

While the Wildcats are projected by many to be a lock to advance, their ability to cover the spread will be determined by just how focused this team is. John Calipari will need to keep his team motivated in order to build on the momentum from the SEC title win, and that shouldn’t be a problem for a team that is stacked with star potential eager to show off under the brightest spotlight of them all. The Kentucky Wildcats will make a pay per head statement and blow away a Princeton team that is happy just to be there.

BSNblog Pick: Kentucky Wildcats - 13

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