If you like cheering for the underdog, or betting on them, March Madness should have been pretty exciting and profitable for you so far. Both semi-finals went that way as Kentucky beat Wisconsin 74-73 and Connecticut beat Florida 63-53. Let’s see if we can find an edge when Kentucky matches up against Uconn on Monday night in the final.
So you like the underdog? Well, now you have two to choose from in this game. It was highly improbable that these two would meet in the final. How improbable you say? This is the first time since 1966 that both schools in the final didn’t make the tournament field the year before. Adding to how bizarre this match-up is, tournament directors started putting numbers(rankings) beside the name of each school in 1979, this is the highest combined total for a final since. Both teams have had to endure quality opponents to get this far, and this is the first game since round one that they face a seed higher than #4.
So where’s the edge? It’s really hard to find, but everything is telling me that Kentucky has what it takes to cover the spread(-2.5).
The Connecticut Huskies have played great defense in this tournament, but it also has been a tale of other teams playing poorly against them and abandoning their offensive game plan. Ryan Boatright and Shabazz Napier have done a nice job containing the perimeter as UConn usually tries to force everything outside. Florida(19-49), Michigan State(18-46) and Villanova(18-51), all shot poorly from the field against the Huskies. While some of that can be credited to good defense, some of it also has to be assigned to bad play. Florida looked awful against the Huskies and not at all like the team that had won 30 contests in a row. UConn might have also benefited in that game from their win earlier in the season over Florida.
The Kentucky Wildcats are an offensive-oriented team that can score in bunches. They have stars in Julius Randle and the Harrison twins, Aaron and Andrew. They offer a number of different looks on offense and can score inside, outside and in transition. For a defense, that makes a number of things you have to take away and adjust to. The Huskies are facing another tough test on defense and if they can survive again, I’ll be surprised to say the least.
I expect a higher scoring game then the Huskies are accustomed to and for that reason I’m taking Kentucky to win this game and cover the spread. Enjoy the game and good luck if you ride along.