NCAA Basketball Pick: Michigan, Kansas ‘under’ 137

LT Profits Sports Group

Friday, March 29, 2013 4:00 AM GMT

Kansas has one of the best defenses in the country and, perhaps contrary to popular belief, Michigan does not play at an especially fast pace so go ‘under’ in Arlington on Friday.

It may be a lower scoring game than many people expect in the South Region of the NCAA Tournament on Friday night when the top seeded Kansas Jayhawks (31-5, 7-3 away) take on the fourth seeded Michigan Wolverines (28-7, 5-5 away) at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, TX at 7:37 ET in a game televised nationally on TBS.

The posted total at Bookmaker Sportsbook is 137 for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -110.

These two teams are a combined 4-0 for the ‘under’ in this NCAA Tournament so far, perhaps due to their offensive reputations resulting in padded totals, and we look for a continuation of that pattern in Arlington this evening.

Kansas is a well balanced team, but its defense has been ahead of the offense for most of this season. That is not to say that there is anything wrong with the offense, as it is ranked 31st in the country in efficiency and 25th in effective field goal percentage, but the Jayhawks’ defense has been one of the best in the country.

After having more trouble than expected in a 64-57 second round win over 16th seeded Western Kentucky and trailing North Carolina 30-21 at halftime in the third round Sunday, the Jayhawks dominated the game on both ends of the floor in the second half en route to the 70-58 victory that still stayed well below the posted total of 145.

Kansas ended up holding what had been a hot shooting Tar Heels team to just 30.1 percent from the field for the entire game, and that is only par for the course for what the Kansas defense has been doing all year! You see, the Jayhawks are ranked fifth in the country in defensive efficiency and they lead the land in effective field goal percentage allowed at an insanely low 41.1 percent, as they lead in two-point defense at an obscene 38.7 percent and rank 26th in three-point defense.

Just about the only weakness of the Kansas defense is that it does not force turnovers, ranking only 253rd in defensive turnover percentage, but even that helps the ‘under’ in this spot because Michigan does not play at a fast pace and there is no reason for the Wolverines to speed up with the Jayhawks now applying that much pressure.

Yes, Michigan ranks second in the country in offensive efficiency and 11th in effective field goal percentage, and that great shooting is the reason why the Wolverines average 75.1 points per game, but they do not play very fast at all. In fact, Michigan ranks just 224th in the country with a tempo rating of 64.8 possessions per game.

The Wolverines have played at their own pace in this tournament while beating South Dakota State 71-56 in the second round and then VCU 78-53 in the third round Saturday, and not only did both games stay safely ‘under’ their respective totals but both point outputs would be good enough to go ‘under’ tonight.

Furthermore, the Wolverines may not get out of the 60s in what is a normal paced game for them tonight because they do not figure to reach their normal shooting percentages against the stiff Kansas defense.

With all that in mind, let’s go ‘under’ the 137 in Cowboys Stadium on Friday.

[gameodds]14/225542/93-238-19-92-1096/us[/gameodds]

NCAA Basketball Pick: Michigan, Kansas ‘under’ 137 (-110)