The Kansas Jayhawks have a long history of struggling to get past the Elite 8 under head coach Bill Self, having lost in this round five times in eight tries since 2004. Kansas has won two national titles during Self’s tenure, but a 3-5 record in the Elite 8 is a concerning trend for the Jayhawks.
They get a No. 10 seed in the Miami Hurricanes, making their first Elite 8 appearance, but Canes coach Jim Larrañaga won his only previous appearance in the round when he led George Mason to the 2006 Final Four.
Despite this being a No. 1 seed versus a 10, the line of 5.5 says this game will be a close one. One reason why is because Kansas has had a lot of trouble with turnovers this season. And against guard-heavy Miami, the Jayhawks’ ball-handlers could be in for a rough time as the Hurricanes average 8.9 steals per game. If the turnover battle becomes a storyline in this contest, this game is there for the Hurricanes to win outright.
Miami Hurricanes vs. Kansas Jayhawks Odds, Trends, and Picks
March Madness NCAA Tournament Elite 8 Betting Odds and Lines
|Miami Hurricanes||vs.||Kansas Jayhawks|
|Over 145||Total||Under 145|
|(26-10 SU, 21-14-1 ATS)||Betting Trends||(31-6 SU, 18-18-1 ATS)|
When: Sunday, March 27 at 2:20 p.m.
Where: United Center, Chicago, IL
Miami Hurricanes vs. Kansas Jayhawks Spread Pick
Kansas seemed to have the cover (-7) well in hand in the Sweet 16 against Providence, taking a nine-point lead into the half. But a careless second half by the Jayhawks against a feisty Friars team led to a 66-61 victory for KU. With Miami showing no signs of weakness, and Kansas having trouble covering the spread all season — 18-18-1 ATS — the 5.5 points seem like a few too many given how well the Hurricanes match up with the Jayhawks.
The biggest red flag with Kansas right now is that Ochai Agbaji and David McCormack were non-factors against Providence, and if that happens again, the Jayhawks are likely in trouble. KU’s Remy Martin has been a fine lead scoring option in the NCAA Tournament, but Miami should have enough fire power (averaging 74.6 points per game) to at least keep this one close. I see them as a live dog here, but I’m more than happy to take the 5.5 points.
Miami Hurricanes vs. Kansas Jayhawks Spread Pick: Miami +5.5
Miami Hurricanes vs. Kansas Jayhawks Total Pick
The Hurricanes have played to the under in three straight NCAA Tournament games. Although there’s nothing special about holding offensively-challenged Iowa State in the 50s, the Hurricanes also put the clamps on Auburn, a team that averages 78.2 points per game, to 61 points in the second round. Kansas has scored when it has to, but their team totals are trending down each round, going from 83 to 79 to 66 in the Sweet 16.
The Miami defense remains stout, holding all of its March Madness opponents under 70 points. Not only that, but the Hurricanes have been drawing out possessions in the tournament, using their quality ballhandlers and guard play to their advantage. A slower pace and some nerves could help keep this one under the total.
Miami Hurricanes vs. Kansas Jayhawks Total Pick: Under 145 points
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