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Michigan Wolverines vs. Kentucky Wildcats NCAA Tournament Midwest Region Pick-Odds-Prediction 3/30/14

Kentucky Wildcats (27-10) at Michigan Wolverines (28-8)

College Basketball: Sunday, March 30, 2014 at 5:05 pm (Lucas Oil Stadium)

The Line: Michigan Wolverines +2.5 -- Over/Under: 137 See the Latest Odds

TV: CBS

The surging, 8th seed Kentucky Wildcats face off against the 2 seed Michigan Wolverines Sunday afternoon for the final spot in the final 4 at 5:05 PM on CBS.

Kentucky gained a place in the elite 8 with a thrilling rally and win over arch rival Louisville in the sweet 16 Friday night 74-69.  After falling behind by 13 early in the contest, the Wildcats used strong defense and foul shooting to claw their way back into the game. The Wildcats cut the halftime deficit to three and the two squads traded baskets almost the entire second half.  Julius Randle had 15 points and 12 rebounds and was crucial down the stretch with free throws, tough shots around the hoop and he also disrupted Louisville guard Russ Smith’s 3 ball to tie it as time expired.  Aaron Harrison had 15 as well and knocked down a huge three late.  Harrison’s brother, Andrew, continued his surge in the post-season with 14 points, 5 boards and 7 assists.  The Wildcats have matured significantly over the past few weeks and their pre season expectations are starting to look more and more warranted as they find themselves one win away from the final 4.

Michigan Wolverines vs. Kentucky Wildcats NCAA Tournament Midwest Region Pick-Odds-Prediction 3/30/14

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan enters Sundays contest in slightly different fashion after they did almost all they could to give the game away to Tennessee on Friday night.  The Wolverines led the entire contest and found themselves up by 12-15 points for a good majority of the second half before going ice cold, dribbling balls out of bounds and making key turnovers that allowed the Volunteers to close the gap.  A desperation three by McRae of Tennessee soared over the hoop as time expired and Michigan was able to escape with the win.  Four Michigan starters reached double figures with Jordan Morgan’s 15 and 7 leading the way.  Nick Stauskas struggled in the second half but hit some big free throws late and finished with 14 points -- the Wolverines will need a better showing from their dynamic guard if they want to get past Kentucky Sunday evening.

This game should be a barn burner as well.  Michigan is skilled on the wings but Kentucky has the advantage down low.  I think the post will be the difference in this one as Kentucky continues to ride high and Julius Randle goes for 20 and 10+ as the Wildcats get the cover and advance on to the final 4.

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Kentucky -2.5

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