NCAA Tournament Picks: Wichita State vs. Kansas

Ross Benjamin

Sunday, March 22, 2015 12:14 PM GMT

We’re going to examine the NCAA Tournament game between in-state rivals Wichita State & Kansas. Take the time to read this revealing betting preview article to learn where the best value is.

Battle for State Supremacy on a Grand Stage
The #2 seed in the Midwest Region Kansas squares off with #7 seed Wichita State on Sunday at 5:15 PM ET. This third round Midwest Region game will be played in Omaha, Nebraska. According the NCAA Tournament betting odds at 5Dimes, Kansas is a 1.5 point favorite, and the posted total is 134.0.

 

Second Round Results
Wichita State was an 81-76 winner over #10 seed Indiana on Friday. The Shockers failed to cover as a 6.5 point favorite, and the contest sailed over the total of 140.0.

Kansas advanced with a dominating 75-56 win over #15 seed New Mexico State on Friday. The Jayhawks covered with ease as a 9.5 point favorite, and the game narrowly went under the total of 132.0. Kansas shot a sizzling 54% from the field, and held New Mexico State to a paltry 35.7%.

 

Dream Game for Wichita State
What more can Wichita State ask for? They get to play one of the most storied college basketball programs in the nation, and one in which they’ve played second fiddle to in their own state. This is a vastly underrated lower seed which was undefeated a season ago until suffering a loss in the third round of the NCAA Tournament against Kentucky. The Shockers also reached the 2013 “Final Four”, and the moment won’t be too big for them on Sunday. The tournament committee obviously wasn’t overly impressed with the Shockers resume this season. After all, this is a club which finished 29-4, and ended up being a #7 seed. The major sportsbooks seem to agree with my stance, since the Shockers are just a 1.5 point underdog against a #2 seed playing in a third round game.

 

Not a Typical Dominating Kansas Team
Although the Jayhawks enter Sunday’s game with a stellar 27-8 record, and finished first in the Big 12 regular season standings, this isn’t considered to be a vintage Kansas team. The Jayhawks have gone just 8-5 in their last thirteen games. Kansas suffered losses to Kentucky by 32, at Temple by 25, and dropped two of three versus Iowa State. On a positive note, they won non-conference games at Georgetown, on a neutral court versus Michigan State and Utah. The Jayhawks have seen each of their previous four games go under the total.

 

Final Analysis
This is a fundamentally sound Wichita State team that doesn’t beat themselves. The Shockers have committed just 10-turnovers or less in each of their last seven games, and forced 12-turnovers or more in eight of the last ten. Contrarily, the Jayhawks are averaging 13.2 turnovers per game during their last five, and they’ve committed 13-turnovers or more in eleven of the last fourteen. This is an opportunity of lifetime for the kids from Wichita State, and they’re primed to seize the opportunity. I’m going with the Shockers for one of my NCAA Tournament picks on Sunday.

NCAA Tournament Picks: Play on Wichita State +1.5 at 5Dimes