Kentucky Wildcats vs. Connecticut Huskies
The Kentucky Wildcats and UConn Huskies will square off Monday night in the NCAA tournament championship. It’ll be a battle between two historic programs looking to add another championship to the trophy case. The Wildcats are -3 point favorites over the Huskies with an over/under point total set at 135.
The Kentucky Wildcats received some more late magic to top the Wisconsin Badgers in the Final Four. Kentucky has now beaten Kansas State, Wichita State, Louisville, Michigan and Wisconsin to make it to the final. On the season, Kentucky averages 75.3 points on 45.5 percent shooting and allows 66.8 points on 41.1 percent shooting. Kentucky loves to crash the glass, averaging 41.3 rebounds per game, while Julius Randle leads the team with 15.1 points and 10.5 rebounds. The weakness for Kentucky may be its 68.2 percent free throw shooting. The Kentucky Wildcats are 19-15-3 ATS overall.
Connecticut is another team that very few expected to make it this far, but wins over St. Joseph’s, Villanova, Iowa State, Michigan State and Florida have put UConn in this position. On the season, the Huskies average 72.1 points on 45 percent shooting and allows 63.5 points on 39.2 percent shooting. UConn is a smaller team that averages just 35.4 rebounds, but the Huskies do shoot 77.4 percent from the free throw line and average seven steals per game defensively. Of course, UConn is led by senior guard Shabazz Napier, who averages 17.9 points, 5.8 rebounds and 4.9 assists.
The Wildcats are 7-0-1 ATS in their last 8 games overall and 8-1-2 ATS in their last 11 neutral site games. The Huskies are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 non-conference games and 14-3 ATS in their last 17 NCAA Tournament games. The underdog is 4-0 ATS in the last 4 meetings.
You’re going to hear all about Kentucky’s size and how the Wildcats are a mismatch for the smaller Huskies. Haven’t we heard this before? Iowa State, Michigan State and Florida were supposed to provide mismatches for UConn, and all of those teams are now watching the games from the couch.
Bottom line is Kentucky has needed several miracles to make it this far, while UConn has played tremendous basketball at both ends of the floor. Not to mention I don’t see Napier allowing his team to lose this matchup. Forget the points, I’m very confident in taking UConn to win this game.
Connecticut Huskies +3 Kentucky Wildcats