No. 6 Cincinnati vs. No. 11 Kansas State Preview
Where: Golden 1 Center— Sacramento, California
When: Friday, March 17, 2017, 7:27 PM ET
TV Broadcast: truTV
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Betting on the Cincinnati Bearcats (-3.5)
Cincy is a very balanced team—one that gives headaches to opponents on either ends of the court. The Bearcats are particularly more lethal on the defensive side this season, ranking fourth overall in the nation in points allowed (60.5) while also among the best in forcing turnovers (13.7 per game).
On offense, they have four players scoring in double digits, with Jacob Evans and Kyle Washington leading the way. Both average at least 13 points per game and are very capable shooters, especially from deep.
Moreover, the Bearcats are actually very unselfish—15.8 assists per game. They rotate the ball well until they find the open man, which makes them such an efficient group. Cincinnati also carries one of the country’s top assist-turnover ratios.
The Bearcats are priced at +8,000 to win the national championship.
Betting on the Kansas State Wildcats (+3.5)
Kansas State (+25,000) will be bringing in some momentum heading into this contest. As of the moment, this program is displaying its best basketball after punching four wins in the last five games, including a pair of wins over Baylor and, more recently, against Wake Forest in the First Four.
The Wildcats have enough talent to light up the scoreboard, as shown in their 95-88 win over the aforementioned Demon Deacons. Four Kansas State players scored in double figures there, led by Wesley Iwundu’s 24 points. He also added six rebounds and seven assists and went 11-for-13 from the charity stripe.
However, it’s hard to see this team having its way against Cincinnati’s suffocating defense. Iwundo and co. will likely have come up with something new and play better defense to avoid another first-round exit. They were eliminated by Kentucky in 2014 in the opening round.
Cincinnati (-3.5) wins and barely covers.
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