Kansas Jayhawks vs. Kentucky Wildcats

It’s KU versus UK In the NCAA Tournament Final as the Kansas Jayhawks and the Kentucky Wildcats meet in the final game on Monday Night in New Orleans in the Super Dome.  The Wildcats are -6.5 point favorites over the Jayhawks with an over/under point total set at 139.5.

It’s tough to overstate the resiliency of the Kansas Jayhawks as Bill Self’s team was down by 13 points several times against Ohio State in their Final Four match up but rallied in the second half to get the win. Kansas missed plenty of easy shots and failed to get to the line against Ohio State in the first half but in the second half they made the most of their chances to get the game close and to eventually get the win in the end. Thomas Robinson shook off a bad first half to finish with 19 points and eight rebounds, Travis Releford had 15 points and six rebounds, Elijah Johnson had 13 points and 10 rebounds, and Tyshawn Taylor had 10 points and nine assists. Jeff Withy came up huge against the Buckeyes while he scored just four points he had eight rebounds and seven blocks and he disrupted the OSU offense all night long. Kansas shot 44.6 percent for the night, 27.3 percent from beyond the three point arc, and 78.6 percent from the free throw line.  While Kansas has had their share of ups and downs all season long none of it matters except for the 40 minutes of basketball they have left.

The Kentucky Wildcats have been near or at the top of the national rankings all season long and John Calipari’s team showed on Saturday Night that they can beat a very good team without playing their very best. Kentucky was up by seven at the half and eventually won by eight but not before Louisville at least put a scare in them by mounting a comeback. Anthony Davis had 18 points, 14 rebounds, and seven blocks, Darius Miller had 13 points, and Doron Lamb had 10 points. Terrance Jones had six points and seven rebounds but he came up with some very big plays and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist spent a lot of time on the bench after getting in early foul trouble. As a team UK shot 57.1 percent from the floor, 28.6 percent from beyond the three point arc, and 55 percent from the free throw line. Kentucky beat Kansas earlier this season by 10 but that game was over four and half months ago.

Kansas is 7-2 against the spread in their last nine games against SEC teams, 1-4 against the spread following a cover, and 19-7 against the spread in their last 26 Monday games. Kentucky is 3-1-1 against the spread against the Big 12, 5-15-1 against the spread following a game which they didn’t cover, and 3-12-1 against the spread in their last 16 non-conference games.

The total in this one is at 139.5 and the way these two teams play defense more than offsets the offensive star power and I have this one coming in under.

Pick

Under 139.5

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