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March Madness 2021: Virginia opens as 10.5-point favorites over Ohio

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Big double-digit favorites...will that bode well for the Hoos?

NCAA Basketball: Virginia at Louisville Courier Journal-USA TODAY NETWORK

Your No. 4 Virginia Cavaliers will be taking on the No. 13 Ohio Bobcats next Saturday to begin their title defense in the 2021 NCAA Tournament.

Though there are still lots of unknowns, Virginia is opening as a 10.5-point favorite over the Bobcats, according to Circa Sports.

Most critically among the unknowns is which Virginia players will be available come Saturday. NCAA protocols require seven consecutive days of negative Covid-testing, and there’s no confirmation on who and how many players had tested positive at the end of last week.

Virginia is only 3-7 against the spread over the last 10 games. Ohio, meanwhile, is 9-1 against the spread over the last 10, and, for that matter, 9-1 straight up during the same period.

The only other time Ohio was this big an underdog was against 1-seed Illinois, when the Bobcats were a 15.5-point dog, losing only by two. Virginia has been a double-digit nine times this season but has only covered on three occasions. In fact, the Hoos have lost two of the nine (against San Francisco and NC State).

Tipoff is some time on Saturday. Stay tuned for more!