The newly-crowned winningest program in NCAA history takes on a first-timer to the Elite 8. It’s Kansas against Miami in the Midwest Regional final in Chicago for a spot in the Final Four.
Sunday’s Elite 8 action kicks off with the last remaining No. 1 seed in the tournament, the Kansas Jayhawks, taking on a school making their first appearance in the Elite 8, the Miami Hurricanes.
No. 1 Kansas (31-6 overall, 18-18-1 ATS) became the winningest program in NCAA basketball history with their 66-61 win over No. 4 Providence in the Sweet 16. The Jayhawks are in their 23rd Elite 8 and fourth since 2018, which is also the last time they reached the Final Four. It’s their ninth trip under coach Bill Self.
For No. 10 Miami, this is foreign territory. This year marked only the fourth time the Hurricanes reached the Sweet 16, bowing out in that round each of the previous three times. They finally broke through the door this season after taking care of No. 11 Iowa State. Of course, this is not the first Elite 8 trip for head coach Jim Larranaga, who guided No. 11 George Mason to the Final Four in 2006 after knocking off No. 1 UConn in the regional final. Can he knock off another No. 1 seed in the Elite 8 as a double-digit seed?
Here are my picks and predictions for Friday’s NCAAB matchup between the Hurricane and the Jayhawks. (Odds via BetMGM)
Miami vs. Kansas Game Info
Date/Time: 03/27/2022, 2:20 EDT
Location: United Center – Chicago, IL
Miami vs. Kansas Odds Analysis
A couple of books opened the line at Kansas -6.5 but most have settled on Kansas -6 (BetMGM is currently still at Kansas -6.5). Bet365 has a -105 moneyline on Kansas -6.5 and a -115 on Miami +6.5. Just about everywhere else, it’s a -110 moneyline both ways.
As for the over/under, they range from 146.5 to 147.5 across the books. FanDuel has a -110 moneyline on u147.5 while BetMGM has a -120 moneyline on o146.5 and even money on u146.5.
Miami vs. Kansas Picks
Miami +6.5 (+110)
Under 146.5 (+100)
Miami vs. Kansas Predictions
Miami +6.5 (-110)
Miami didn’t luck their way into the Elite 8. They got here by playing good defense through three tournament games against USC, Auburn and Iowa State, especially against Auburn. They also take care of the basketball very well, posting a turnover differential of +28 in their three tournament wins. Miami has the personnel and the coaching to hang with Kansas and perhaps even straight up pull off the upset. With a nice cushion of 6.5 points, we’ll take the Hurricanes to cover.
Under 147.5 (-110)
Because of that Miami defense (and Kansas, too, they play pretty good defense), this could be a low-scoring game. Certainly not as low as we saw between Villanova and Houston but still fairly low, think mid to low 60s. Interesting note from Covers.com, the Under is 9-3 in Miami’s last 12 games and 6-2 in Kansas’ last eight. This will be a knock-down, drag-out fight for the right to face Villanova in the Final Four. We’ll take the under here.