Davidson Wildcats (29-6), +9, O/U 144.5 vs. Kansas Jayhawks (34-3),
-9, O/U 144.5, Ford Field, Detroit, Mich., 5:05 PM EST, Sunday March
by Badger of Predictem.com
The Midwest Regions final game at Ford Field in Detroit on Sunday
will feature everyones remaining Cinderella story, the Davidson
Wildcats, versus the No. 1-seeded Kansas Jayhawks in a battle for the
fourth and final spot in the NCAA Tournaments Final Four.
Whats not to like about the underdog Davidson Wildcats? At this
stage of the tourney it is actually unfair to label the Wildcats a
Cinderella story, since they are legitimately just one game away from
a Final Four appearance.
Tenth-seeded Davidson and its baby-faced marksman Stephan Curry made
Wisconsin their latest victim in the Sweet 16 round, blowing the
doors off the Badgers in the second half in a 73-56 victory. Now that
the Wildcats have sent Gonzaga, Georgetown and Wisconsin packing, is
an encore versus the top-seeded Jayhawks the final act of a great
Kansas is writing their own Final Four story, and its a story of
domination. The Jayhawks beat Villanova by 15 points in the Sweet 16
round, their closest game in the tourney to this point. In fact, you
would have to go back to the semifinal round of the Big 12 Tournament
to find the last time the Jayhawks were challenged, in a 77-71
victory over Texas A&M.
College Basketball Sportsbooks opened Sundays Elite Eight game with Kansas as 9.5-point favorites, with a total of 144.5. The early money on this game was on
Davidson, so most bookies have dropped the line to -9. The moneyline lists Kansas at -525, while Davidson is listed at +410.
If Davidsons super sophomore guard Curry hasnt changed your mind
about the Wildcats legit run at a Final Four, boy are you a tough
critic. Currys 103 points through three tourney games ranks right up
there with the all-time greats (Glen Robinson 109, Bo Kimble 101,
Glen Rice 93), and he showed yet again against Wisconsin that you can
try but you likely wont stop him.
Davidsons other guard, Jason Richards, is averaging a near double-
double through three tourney games (15.3 ppg, 9.0 apg), and the rest
of the Wildcats roster plays their respective roles perfectly.
By now its well documented that Kansas has a deep and talented team
on offense, led by guards Brandon Rush and Mario Chalmers. The
Jayhawks can also go inside with forwards Darrell Arthur and Darnell
Jackson, and they bring very capable players off the bench as well
(forward Sasha Kaun and guard Sherron Collins). There really are no
But its been the Kansas defense that has stolen the spotlight during
the tourney. They held UNLV to 26.7 percent shooting in round two,
then limited Villanova to 35 percent (just 17 % from 3-point land)
and 57 points in the Sweet 16 round. Look for the Jayhawks to rotate
all four of their guards on Curry, using all 20 of their fouls to
push the slim offguard in and out of screens.
One thing is for sure, something is going to give in this game as far
as betting is concerned, as both teams have treated faithful bettors
to some big time profits.
Davidson is 22-11 ATS for the year, has covered all three games of
the tourney (all three have gone over too), is 5-1 ATS in post-season
play including the Southern League tourney, and is also 8-1 ATS in
their last nine neutral-site games.
Kansas ended the year 21-14 ATS, has covered four straight and seven
of their last nine games, all three in the tourney, and has been the
lone No. 1 seed that has met most oddsmakers high expectations.
The other betting trend of note is the under. Kansas has come in
under the total in all three tourney games and in seven of their last
nine neutral-site games. Although Davidson has come in over the total
in all three thus far, the under is 9-4-1 in the Wildcats last 14
games as the underdog.
There are no previous meetings between the two schools to give
historical perspective either.
Badgers Pick: Davidson has gotten this far by pushing the ball up
the floor against primarily slow-down type of teams (Gtown and
Wisky), but that approach wont work versus the faster, deeper and
more athletic Jayhawks. Davidson has yet to get blown out yet all
season, so Ill take them plus the points to cover one more time. The
slipper may break, but the Cats will cover. Take Davidson plus the