Let’s face it the 16th-ranked Hampton Pirates have about as much of a chance of upsetting the top-ranked and numero uno seed Kentucky Wildcats as Justin Bieber does and it should be okay for the Pirates just to be happy to still be playing.
Hampton’s upset of Manhattan in the First Four was unexpected and caught Kentucky off-guard leaving the Wildcats with some homework to do.
Wildcat freshman guard Tyler Ulis said Wednesday, "We actually have not watched them yet."
Analyzing The Hampton Vs Kentucky Odds, My Free Pick & TV Schedule
Matchup: (16) Hampton Pirates vs (1) Kentucky Wildcats
Date: Mar. 19, 2015
Start Time: 9:40 p.m. ET
Location: Louisville, Kentucky
Stadium: KFC Yum! Center
TV Info: CBS
Radio: Hampton Vs Kentucky
Point Spread: Wildcats -32.5
Game Total: 134.5
Hampton Will Cover the 32.5-point Spread If
The Pirates create a hectic, crazy atmosphere.
Hampton beat Manhattan as a +9 point underdog on Tuesday night after creating a wild atmosphere in Dayton Arena. At one a time a low-scoring team that averaged 67 points per game, Hampton has exploded into a run and gun squad without any fear.
Hampton went after Manhattan from the start. The Pirates shot 49% from the field when draining 26 of 53 shots. They were good on 3 out of 7 three-point shots. If Hampton hopes to have any chance at covering the huge spread versus Kentucky, they’re going to have to create havoc, run and gun, and try to push Kentucky into a wild affair on Thursday. Hampton can’t hope to break down the best defense in college basketball. They have to street ball their way to a cover against the spread.
Hampton Pirates March Madness Starting Lineup
- G Quinton Chievous, 6-6, Sr., 10.3 ppg, 6.3 rpg
- G Brian Darden, 6-2 Jr., 9.4 ppg, 1.6 rpg
- G Reginald Johnson, 6-2, Jr., 11.6 ppg, 3.3 rpg
- G Deron Powers, 5-11, Jr., 10.3 ppg, 3.8 apg
- F Jervon Pressley, 6-8, Jr., 6.1 ppg, 4.9 rpg
- Coach: Edward Joyner (sixth year)
— KYwildcatsTV (@KYwildcatsTV) March 19, 2015
Kentucky Will Cover the 32.5-point Spread If
Kentucky pushes the pace on every possession.
Kentucky should easily beat Hampton on Thursday night. It shouldn’t be an issue, but if they play their usual methodical, tough, brand of basketball, the Wildcats could end up on the losing end of an against the spread cover.
Kentucky has the best defense in college hoops. It’s ranked first in field goal percentage allowed at 35.4%. Its ranked third in three-point field goal allowed at a shade above 27%. The Wildcats can shut down shooters in the half-court and they’ve done it in every game this season. That’s why they’re 34 and 0 and the odds on favorite to win the NCAA Tournament. But, they face a close to -35 point spread versus Hampton in Thursday’s game. Kentucky can cover a spread like that, but in order to do so, they’re going to have to push the pace. It becomes a question of simply scoring enough points to cover the spread. The Wildcats might have trouble doing that because John Calipari could take his foot off the pedal and save something for Saturday’s game if the Wildcats are up by 26.
Kentucky Wildcats March Madness Starting Lineup
- G Aaron Harrison, 6-6, So., 11.3 ppg, 2.4 rpg
- G Andrew Harrison, 6-6, So., 9.2 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 3.7 apg
- F Trey Lyles, 6-10, Fr., 8.4 ppg, 5.1 rpg
- F Karl-Anthony Towns, 6-11, Fr., 9.7 ppg, 6.7 rpg
- C Willie Cauley-Stein, 7-0, Jr., 9.3 ppg, 6.4 rpg
- Coach: John Calipari (sixth season)