You gotta love any day that you can go undefeated on your bets, but yesterday’s winners were a bit more satisfying than usual, as we were on the other side of most of the betting public in both games. So, when we won, everyone else lost, and that just makes me feel all warm and tingly inside! The win I was most proud of yesterday was our play on the Villanova Wildcats in their Elite Eight game against Houston.
For whatever reason, everyone and their mother was on Houston, which made absolutely zero sense, as at the start of this tournament all you heard from the public was how the Cougars hadn’t beaten anybody all year, and that the algorithms that had them ranked in the top-5 couldn’t possibly be correct. And then 2 weeks later those same people were all acting like this was 1990 UNLV? The public hammered on this line so hard that they went from -1.5-point favorites to -3.5-point favorites by tipoff.
Some of these logos are legendary ?
Which Elite Eight team has the best throwback logo? ? pic.twitter.com/jXWbYncBG7
— FOX College Hoops (@CBBonFOX) March 26, 2022
I didn’t just like a play on the Wildcats, I loved it, as Villanova had everything you would ever want out of a Final Four team. They had an experienced senior leader at point guard in Collin Gillespie, an elite head coach in Jay Wright, that already has 2 national title trophies in his office, and they led the nation in free-throw shooting on the year. In a game that was sure to be closely contested, I felt that their excellence from the line would be the difference, as Houston was an awful free-throw shooting team on the year. And it turns out, I was right.
The Wildcats went a perfect 15/15 from the line, including nailing some big ones down the stretch, and as expected, the Cougars shot just 64% from the charity stripe, and coupled with their atrocious 1-20 shooting from beyond the arc, the Cougars just couldn’t score the basketball. For my pick yesterday I snatched up the points as I felt like that was a bet that couldn’t lose, but I also suggested a money line play on Villanova as well, as I fully expected them to win the game outright and advance to their 3rd Final Four since 2016.
— Villanova MBB (@NovaMBB) March 27, 2022
Today, we have the other side of the Elite Eight bracket, as we have games on the schedule between St. Peter’s and North Carolina and Miami and Kansas, with the teams battling it out to decide who gets to head to New Orleans next weekend for the Final Four to play for the national title!
Will we see more upsets and have the highest combined seed Final Four ever, with Miami and St. Peter’s? Or will the chalk walk and we end up with an all-blue blood Final Four of Duke, North Carolina, Villanova, and Kansas? With that, let’s jump right into it, as we head to the Midwest Region, for the game between the Miami Hurricanes and the Kansas Jayhawks.
Miami Hurricanes (26-10)
What are the Miami Hurricanes doing in the Elite Eight right now? As Unlikely as St. Peter’s is to still be dancing, Miami is nearly as unlikely, as the Hurricanes almost didn’t even make it into this tournament. Unlike the Peacocks, who finished second in their league, and had a real shot at winning their conference tournament to get an auto-bid into the Big Dance, which they did, Miami was never winning the ACC tournament, and their only path to the madness was an at-large bid, and those can be tough to get.
Miami’s at-large bid chances came down to a 5-minute overtime period in their opening game of the ACC tournament against 114th ranked Boston College. Miami had to win at least 1 game in the ACC tournament to have a real shot at hearing their names called on Selection Sunday, and when they couldn’t finish off the Eagles in regulation, their season came down to overtime. The Hurricanes gutted out the victory in the extra period, lost their next game to Duke, and snuck into the NCAA tournament as one of the final at-large bid teams in the field of 68.
It’s GAMEDAY baby! ?
No. 10 Miami vs. No. 1 Kansas
2:20 PM EST on CBS pic.twitter.com/ygEpj3t2Mk
— Canes Hoops (@CanesHoops) March 27, 2022
You could have made a compelling case that Miami didn’t even deserve to get into the tournament, but that is all in the past now, as the Hurricanes have done an amazing job of taking advantage of that opportunity, as they are now just a game away from the Final Four! Miami barely snuck past USC in their opening round game, but they hammered Auburn in the round of 32, and in their last game, they blew out Iowa State in the Sweet 16.
Now Miami will face their biggest test, as they have to face the top-seeded Kansas Jayhawks here in the Elite Eight. Miami has been getting the job done by playing fast and scoring efficiently. Isiah Wong and Kameron McGusty have both stepped up in a huge way and as much as I see Miami as a mediocre at-best team, they aren’t fluking their ways to these wins. They are getting up early and pulling away late, and with as wild as this tournament has been, they have looked very much the part of a national title contender.
Kansas Jayhawks (31-6)
In my 2022 NCAA Men’s Basketball preview coverage, before the games started, I mentioned that the Kansas Jayhawks were flying under most people’s radars, and I just didn’t understand why. I guess since we always see Kansas go deep in March, that maybe there was some Jayhawk fatigue? It is always about the next big thing these days, and despite Kansas absolutely dominating the Big 12 for decades, people were looking at Baylor and Texas Tech as the teams to beat in the Big 12.
But, here we are in late-March, and once again it is the Jayhawks that are holding the mantle for the Big 12, as the league’s final remaining team. And when I look back on the full body of work for KU, this wasn’t very hard to see coming, as this has been an elite team all season long. Kansas played the 4th toughest schedule in the nation this year, which makes their 31 wins absurdly impressive.
Just load the wagon.
? Kansas vs Miami
? United Center
⏰ 1:20 pm CT
? CBS pic.twitter.com/sD7AFRVTK6
— Kansas Men’s Basketball (@KUHoops) March 27, 2022
The Jayhawks have wins over Michigan State, Iowa State, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Baylor, TCU, and Texas on their resume, with all of those teams playing in the NCAA tournament. Their only loss on the year that didn’t come to a team playing meaningful games in March came to Dayton, way back in November, and the Flyers were famously the first team out this year on Selection Sunday, so it’s not like they were a bad team by any stretch of the imagination.
In this tournament, the Jayhawks haven’t had all that tough of a path to the Elite Eight, as they played Texas Southern in the round of 64, Creighton in the round of 32, and Providence in the Sweet 16. The games against both Providence and Creighton were competitive ones, but the outcomes were never really in doubt in either game and beating Big East teams in March is never an easy thing to do. This team has taken on all comers this year, and shockingly, they get one of the weaker matchups they have played in a month with a trip to the Final Four hanging in the balance.
Miami Hurricanes vs Kansas Jayhawks Betting Odds And Team Statistics
The following odds are courtesy of BetOnline:
|Miami Hurricanes||+5.5 (-110)||+220||Over 145 (-110)|
|Kansas Jayhawks||-5.5 (-110)||-270||Under 145 (-110)|
|Team Data||Miami Hurricanes||Kansas Jayhawks|
|Points Per Game||74.6||78.4|
|Points Against Per Game||70.1||67.7|
|Field Goal %||47.7%||47.7%|
|Three Point %||34.4%||35.5%|
Miami Hurricanes vs Kansas Jayhawks Prediction:
I don’t think this game is going to be very competitive. The ACC has shown up in this tournament, to prove to all of the haters that the league was nowhere near as bad as everyone thought it was this year, but this is the Elite Eight, and Kansas just doesn’t lose games like this very often. Kenpom has Kansas winning this game by 7 points, which makes the opening line of KU -6 already seem a bit light, but the public hasn’t seen it that way, as they have mostly been on Miami, moving the number a half of a point towards the Hurricanes.
Yesterday in my pick on Villanova, I talked about how we have gotten paid all season long fading the public, and that now is not the time to change that strategy. I will use an if it ain’t broken don’t fix it mentality in this game, and ride with the rock chalk Jayhawks. The question is, will they be able to cover that spread? I think so, and I am going to tell you why!
Miami Hurricanes vs Kansas Jayhawks Betting Trends:
- Miami is 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games
- The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Miami’s last 6 games
- Miami is 6-1 SU in their last 7 games
- Miami is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games this season
- Miami is 6-1 SU in their last 7 games played in March
- Kansas is 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games
- The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Kansas’ last 9 games
- Kansas is 8-0 SU in their last 8 games
- Kansas is 5-0 SU in their last 5 games this season
- Kansas is 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games when playing as the favorite
As well as Miami has played on offense this season, and they have scored the ball very efficiently, they aren’t great on D. In terms of defensive efficiency, the Hurricanes are 114th in the country. That is going to be their undoing in this game, as Kansas has one of the best offensive units in the country, ranked 6th nationally. For Miami to keep this game close, they are going to have to score at a rate that they just aren’t capable of doing against a defense as good as Kansas.
That makes us the All-Time Winningest Program in NCAA men’s basketball history.
Doesn’t happen overnight. Thanks to incredible players, coaches, and fans.
Rock Chalk Forever. pic.twitter.com/TAAkpYQTn8
— Kansas Men’s Basketball (@KUHoops) March 26, 2022
Oh, and did I mention that Kansas is one of the most balanced teams in the land as well? Yeah, the Jayhawks are nearly as good on the defensive side of the floor as they are on offense, as they are 23rd on D. Miami got hot, and I won’t take any credit away from them, but this just isn’t a very good team.
When you look at the teams that have already made the Final Four this year, it is Duke and Villanova. And when you look at the favorites today, it is North Carolina and Kansas. That is a field made up of college basketball royalty, and Miami doesn’t fit. Expect Kansas to pull away in the 2nd half, and win this one by double digits, as they win, cover, and advance to yet another Final Four!