Kansas Jayhawks vs. Richmond Spiders
The Kansas Jayhawks are 10-point favorites over the Richmond Spiders in this Sweet 16 Southwest matchup. It is the largest spread of any games in the round of 16.Â The over/under total for the game is listed at 136.Â Things could have not fallen better for the Kansas Jayhawks in the Southwest Region.Â Gone from the region are second-seeded Notre Dame, third-seeded Purdue,Â fourth-seeded Louisville, fifth-seeded Vanderbilt and sixth-seeded Georgetown.
All this attrition leaves the top-seeded Jayhawks a clear path to the Final Four. Kansas, winners of 34 of 36 games, captured the Big 12 regular-season and won the conference tournament. So far the Jayhawks havent shown they are vulnerable to an upset, something that happened to them last year in the NCAA Tournament when Northern Iowa defeated them, 69-67, as 11-point underdogs in the second-round. That defeat ranks as one of the more disappointing in Kansas long-storied history. The Jayhawks have been all business in their first two games this year beating Boston University, 72-53, as 23-point favorites and knocking out Illinois, 73-59, covering as eight-point favorites. The combined 125 points in Kansas victory against Boston University went der the 137-point total. The combined 132 points in the Jayhawks defeat of Illinois also went der the 143-point total. The der has won in 12 of Kansas past 15 NCAA Tournament games.
The Richmond Spiders are one of the hottest teams in the country having won and covered their last nine games, including capturing the Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament. The Spiders are 29-7 overall.Â Richmond hopes to slow down Kansas high-potent offense with a matchup zone defense and a methodical, slow-down, Princeton style of offense. The Spiders, who start four seniors, held foes to 60.8 points per game, 18th-best in the nation. They are 7-0 against the spread in their last seven games at neutral sites when taking points. The Spiders strength is in the inside-outside combination of senior guard Kevin Anderson, the Atlantic 10 Conference Player of the Year for the second straight season, and 6-foot-10 senior Justin Harper, another all-league selection. Harper leads the Spiders in scoring at 17.8 points per game. Anderson sparked Richmonds 69-66 opening-round win against Vanderbilt with 25 points. The Spiders were three-point underdogs versus the Commodores with the combined 135 points pushing on the 135-point total. Richmond then defeated Morehead State, 65-48, as 4-point favorites. The combined 113 points went der the 123-point total. Morehead State had upset Louisville in an opening round game.
Richmond beat Kansas, 69-68, when the teams last met in January of 2004.Â Today, I dont see Richmond pulling off the upset.Â Kansas is too tough and has too much depth.Â I believe Kansas will dominate inside with the Morris twins.Â Ill take Kansas minus the 10-points in this spot.
Kansas Jayhawks -10 Richmond Spiders