Lehigh vs Kansas – Mid West Bracket - Thursday, March 18, 9:40 PM ET
NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament- First Round
Gambling Odds - Lehigh +25 (-110), KU -25 (-110), Over/Under 146
NCAA basketball betting players have yet to see a No.1 seed fall to a No.16 seed in the Tournament, which starts on Thursday, so the matter will be when it comes to Kansas against Lehigh in the Midwest, can the Jayhawks cover the massive spread being offered?
The Mountain Hawks won the Patriot League regular-season and tournament titles to win this “prize”, and they’re powered by C.J. McCollum, who is being touted as one of the best freshmen in the nation. Lehigh is a good shooting team, hitting 45.6% of their shots, and they’re especially good from beyond the arc, ranking tenth in the country in that category. However, they don’t shoot that many three-pointers, and they may need to hoist a couple more to keep up with Kansas.
Defensively, the Mountain Hawks aren’t a big team, which could hurt them on the boards and in the pain, and they wouldn’t be a solid bet to change these March Madness trends, either.
Al-Farouq Aminu is being tipped a lottery pick in this year’s NBA draft if he decides to declare, but he had 11 points and seven boards, and he lost his starting job, which he’ll probably get back for this game.
The Jayhawks head into the dance as the No.1 overall seed after winning the Big East regular-season and tournament titles, and there may not be a deeper team in the country. Kansas can go eight or nine deep in the rotation, and they have an inside-outside duo in senior guard Sherron Collins and junior center Cole Aldrich who were around for the Jayhawks’ national championship in 2008.
Freshman Xavier Henry has picked up his game after hitting the rookie around midseason, but the Jayhawks are the definition of a team and you’d be hard-pressed to find a weak spot.
Sportsbook odds have the Jayhawks as a 25.5-point favorite in this contest, and last year’s No.1 seeds won by an average of 32.2 points. Usually, there is one No.16 seed that puts up a fight for about 25 minutes before the top seed pulls away.
This is Lehigh’s first time in the dance since 2004, but they’ll be aiming to draw off of history: in the 2005 Tournament, Bucknell, another Patriot League team, upset a third-seeded Kansas team. The Jayhawks have covered just three of their last games as a favorite of 20 or more points, but this Kansas team is different, and they’re deeper than the 2005 group.
The Jayhawks can build up a big lead with the likes Collins and Aldrich, especially Aldrich in the post, and the production won’t drop off much when they get the second unit in the game, because Kansas is that good.
They’re also focused, and Bill Self won’t allow them to take their foot off the gas.
Jayhawks are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 NCAA Tournament games as a favorite
Jayhawks are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games as a favorite
Jayhawks are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 NCAA Tournament games
Jayhawks are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning SU record
Mountain Hawks are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games
Mountain Hawks are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 neutral site games
Under is 10-1 in Jayhawks last 11 NCAA Tournament games
Under is 7-1 in Jayhawks last 8 NCAA Tournament games as a favorite
Under is 5-1 in Jayhawks last 6 non-conference games
Mountain Hawks vs. Jayhawks Free Pick:
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