West Region NCAA Tournament Picks: Kansas vs. Wichita State

Darin Zank

Sunday, March 22, 2015 5:41 PM UTC

Sunday, Mar. 22, 2015 5:41 PM UTC

Find out how we will place our NCAA Tournament Pick as Wichita State has been itching for a shot at in-state snob Kansas & finally gets it in a West Regional battle Sunday afternoon in Omaha. 

Wichita State Shockers vs. Kansas Jayhawks 
Most of the NCAA Tournament betting odds market opened Kansas at -1.5 or -2 for this game, with a total of 130.5. In the early betting some books moved Wichita State to a one-point favorite, and as of early Sunday morning many others were lining this game as a pick 'em.

Also, the total jumped to as high as 134 at some shops.

According to Sagarin's PREDICTOR ratings at USAToday.com the Jayhawks should be favored by 1.5 points.


Jayhawks-Shockers: Finalle
Seventh-seeded Wichita State opened this NCAA Tournament with a 81-76 victory over 10th-seeded Indiana Friday. The Shockers trailed most of the game against the Hoosiers, by four points with about 12 minutes to go, then went on a 15-3 run to take control. But Indiana hung tough, and in the end Wichita State came up a bucket short of covering the spread as a six-point favorite.

The Shockers only shot 41 percent from the floor Friday, and made just two of 13 shots from 3-point land, but hit 29 of 34 free-throws and committed just seven turnovers, while the Hoosiers committed 13.

Also, that game cruised OVER its total of 140.

So Wichita State is now 10-1 SU, 6-4-1 ATS over its last 11 games. The Shockers are also now 3-2 SU, 2-2 ATS this season against teams that made the NCAA tournament.

Second-seeded Kansas advanced to Sunday's play by beating 15th-seeded New Mexico State Friday 75-56. The Jayhawks led by 13 at the break and never allowed the Aggies back in the game, easily covering as nine-point favorites.

Kansas shot a hot 54 percent from the floor Friday, and hit nine of 13 shots from beyond the arc.

That game just stayed UNDER its total of 133, thanks largely to a 59-point first half.

The Jayhawks are now 5-2 SU over their last seven games, but still only 3-7 ATS over their last 10. Also, Kansas is now 14-6 SU, 11-8 ATS this season against teams that made the Big Dance.

These teams have played two common opponents this season, New Mexico State and Utah. The Jayhawks just beat the Aggies by 19 points Friday, while the Shockers defeated NM State way back in November by 17. Kansas also defeated the Utes 63-60 on a “neutral” court in Kansas City, while Wichita State lost at Utah in overtime 69-68.


Jayhawks-Shockers Betting Trends
Kansas has played four UNDERS in a row, mainly because it's held three of its last four opponents to 59 points or less.

Wichita State has played eight OVERS in its last 12 games, mainly because Shockers games have been tagged with some very low totals.


Shockers-Jayhawks Free Pick
Kansas has seemed a bit vulnerable over recent weeks, but we still give them a short edge in this match-up, in part because they're just more battle-tested than Wichita State. The Jayhawks have played 20 games this season against teams that made the tournament, while the Shockers have played five. The Big 12 has had a terrible tournament so far, but place your NCAA Tournament picks knowing KU should hold up its end of the bargain Sunday.

Free NCAA Tournament Pick: Kansas +1 at Pinnacle

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