The 8th-seed Cincinnati Bearcats managed to outlast the 8th-seed seed Boilermakers in OT on Thursday and now for their trouble they face the undefeated, the top-seeded, the undisputed best hoops team in the nation.
John Calipari’s Kentucky Wildcats who are favored by 16.5 points to beat Cinci.
We all know the story with Kentucky: It has yet to lose a game, has talent, talent and more talent and is basically everyone’s pick to bet on to win this March Madness.
America loves a underdog, but do the Bearcats have the intestinal fortitude to upset UK? Perhaps not, but they can win you an ATS bet. Let’s find out how…
A Closer look at the Kentucky Wildcats Vs Cincinnati Bearcats NCAA Tournamnet Odds, Final Score Prediction & How To Watch
Matchup: (8) Cincinnati Bearcats vs (1) Kentucky Wildcats
Date: Mar. 21, 2015
Start Time: 2:40 p.m. ET
Location: Louisville, Kentucky
Stadium: KFC Yum! Center
TV Info: CBS
Radio: Cincinnati Vs Kentucky
Point Spread: Wildcats -16.5
Game Total: 119
Kentucky Will Cover the 16.5-point Spread If
The Wildcats play fast on offense and lock down on defense.
The problem with being undefeated and a -300 favorite to win the NCAA Tournament is that the betting lines are enormous. Kentucky is only 18-15-2 against the spread even though they are now 35 and 0 this season after destroying Hampton 79 to 56. During Kentucky games, it gets to the point where the Wildcats lay off of the gas pedal or they just get tired of beating up on inferior opponents.
Calipari says he knows Cincinnati will be thinking "We've got a chance to beat the No. 1 team in the country."
— John Clay (@johnclayiv) March 20, 2015
Cal to his team: "Prepare to be great." pic.twitter.com/bhIhKIodb7
— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) March 20, 2015
Really, the issue is that Kentucky just doesn’t score as many points as the betting line implies. For example, Kentucky scored 79 points against Hampton in a 79 to 56 win. 79 is a lot of points and any other team in college basketball would have covered the spread, but Kentucky lost ATS because they were favored to beat Hampton by 34 points. The problem with Kentucky covering the spread is that the team just wants to win games. They don’t care about the spread and, therefore, they don’t often push the pace and look to beat teams by 40. If Kentucky plays a half court offensive game, it may not cover the spread versus Cincinnati.
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)
Cincinnati Will Cover the 16.5-point Spread If
If the Bearcats slow the game down when the Wildcats are on offense & Octavius Ellis doesn’t do anything stupid.
Octavius Ellis got himself kicked out of the game versus Purdue because he elbowed Purdue center A.J. Hammons in the throat. Luckily for Ellis, the Bearcats beat Purdue in overtime. Ellis can’t do anything stupid. It’s really important that he doesn’t do anything stupid because Kentucky’s front line is gigantic and Ellis is Cincinnati’s best rebounder. Without him, Cincy is toast.
— Bearcats TV (@BearcatsTV) March 20, 2015
With him on the court, the Bearcats have a decent shot at covering the spread in this game. Cincinnati may not beat Kentucky, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility because the Bearcats play a style that could really influence Kentucky’s shot selection. On average, teams score 55.6 points per game versus Cincinnati. By keeping the game low-scoring, Cincinnati should not only cover the spread but give itself a shot at upsetting the mighty Wildcats in the last two minutes of the game.
Cincinnati Bearcats March Madness Starting Lineup
- G Farad Cobb, 6-0, Jr., 8.6 ppg, 2.4 rpg
- G Troy Caupain, 6-3, So., 9.4 ppg, 3.6 rpg
- F Gary Clark, 6-7, Fr., 7.9 ppg, 6.9 apg
- F Shaquille Thomas, 6-7, Jr., 6.3 ppg, 2.8 rpg
- F Octavius Ellis, 6-10, Jr., 10.0 ppg, 7.3 rpg
- Coach: Mick Cronin (ninth season)