It's the rematch everyone's been waiting for. Do the Wildcats exact their revenge? Lets find out what the spotrsbooks are offering us, and decide if NCAA Basketball bettors can look to profit off of another upset.
There probably wasn't a more exciting game all season than
December's meeting between these storied college basketball programs.
Indiana played exceptionally well on their own floor and
held a solid lead in the second half, only for Kentucky to fight back and take
the lead down the stretch. Down two with just over five seconds left, the
Hoosiers hurried down the court and Christian Watford was able to hit the
game-winning three as time expired.
It was Kentucky's only loss of the regular season and I'm
sure they've been waiting patiently for their chance at payback. Well, here it
is. NCAA Basketball odds makers think the Wildcats will stroll in this Sweet 16 matchup,
favoring John Calipari's boys by nine points. Most college basketball betting shops are offering a total of 144.5.
The stage is set
Kentucky sure has responded well since losing in the SEC
tournament title game, winning both of their NCAA tournament matchups by
Marquis Teague put up a game-high 24 points and added seven
assists and four rebounds, while Darius Miller, Anthony Davis and Doron Lamb
all scored in double figures too. The Wildcats dominated the glass and shot
55.4 percent from the floor.
Indiana's had to work a little harder, getting past New
Mexico State 79-66 in the first round before taking on VCU in the second.
The Rams gave Tom Crean's team everything they had and
looked to have booked their spot in the Sweet 16. However, the Hoosiers stuck
with it and rallied from nine points down, before winning the game on Will
Sheehey's jumper with just under 13 seconds remaining.
So here we go. The basketball gods have given us round two
and it's coming on the biggest possible stage.
Calipari may say publicly that revenge is not a factor this
coming Friday, but let's get real here. The Wildcats have already gone out and
said they've seen that ESPN replay of the buzzer-beater countless times
throughout the season and there's no way they won't be extra motivated for this
Time to get even
Both teams will utilize tight-knit rotations, but it'd be
fair to admit Kentucky has the edge there in overall talent.
Even after "The Upset", I am still willing to give the Wildcats the benefit of the doubt, as I am adding a -9 cover to my NCAA Basketball picks.
Any of the Wildcats' six main contributors can lead the team
in scoring, and even if one or two are having off days others can fill the void
and keep Kentucky in it.
Kentucky's length was able to keep Cody Zeller in check in
the first meeting this season and I see no reason why the same won't be the
Gone will be Indiana's crazy fan support too. The Hoosiers
now have to play the best team in college basketball in Atlanta, not too far
from Lexington. You better believe they'll be a heavy dosage of blue throughout
the crowd in this region semi-final.
With Kendall Marshall's wrist concerns plaguing UNC, there's
no better time for the Wildcats to give their coach his first ever NCAA
championship title. Calipari has the perfect mix of talent and I think his crew
may very well run Indiana out of the gym in Friday's matchup.
FREE Pick: Kentucky Wildcats -9
Hoosiers are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games overall
Wildcats are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall
UNDER is 7-2 in Indiana's last 9 games overall
UNDER is 8-3 in the last 11 head-to-head meetings
Favorite in series is 11-2 ATS in the last 13 head-to-head