4* NCAA Championship SMASH
Kansas vs. Kentucky,
04/02/2012 21:20 EDT,
Score: 59 - 67
Point Spread: +7/-110 Kansas
4* NCAA Championship SMASH on Kansas +7
Kentucky has won each of its NCAA Tournament games by at least 8 points and defeated the Jayhawks by 10 points as a 6.5-point favorite earlier this season. Yet, the Wildcats are just laying 6.5 points here. The books clearly want the Kentucky-loving public laying those points because they believe Kansas can take the Wildcats right down to the wire. I agree entirely.
First of all, the Jayhawks shot just 33.9% from the field in the first meeting. They won't shoot that poorly here. They aren't supposed to win. All the pressure is on Kentucky, and that allows Kansas to play free and easy.
The Kansas defense has been unbelievable in this tournament. It has held its five foes to 59.2 points on just 35.5% shooting. Kentucky's "D" hasn't been nearly that good. Its foes have scored 71.6 points on 41.5% shooting in the dance.
Kentucky has been explosive offensively, averaging 84.2 points in the tourney. So the fact odds makers have set a total of 138, 9.5 points less than the number set for the first meeting, tells us they are expecting Kansas' defense to slow down the Wildcats.
The total is significant because Kansas is 11-4 ATS when the total is 130 to 139.5 this season. Kentucky is 6-13 ATS when the total is 130 to 139.5 this season.
It is also significant that Kansas is coming off an upset win because coach Self's teams are 14-4 ATS off an upset win since 1997. His teams have won by an average score of 77.9 to 65.4 in this situation.
It is also worth noting that the Wildcats are only 3-12-1 ATS in their last 16 non-conference games. Take the points.