Kentucky vs. Wisconsin - NCAA Tournament - 4/4/15 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Wisconsin Badgers (35-3) at Kentucky Wildcats (38-0)
College Basketball: Saturday, April 4, 2015 at 8:49 pm (Lucas Oil Stadium)
The Line: Kentucky Wildcats -5 -- Over/Under: 130 See the Latest Odds
TV: TBS HD
The Wisconsin Badgers and Kentucky Wildcats will face off at Lucas Oil Stadium in NCAA Final Four this Saturday night.
The (1) Wisconsin Badgers (35-3, 16-2 Big Ten) used a big 55 point second half behind 10 three-pointers to pull off the 85-78 victory against the (2) Arizona Wildcats this past Saturday. The Badgers shot 55.6% from the field and 66.7% (12-18) from beyond the arc in the victory. Leading the way for Wisconsin was Frank Kaminsky and Sam Dekker who combined for 56 points and 11 rebounds. The Badgers finished the season ranked 2nd in the RPI Standings, 2nd in the BPI Standings, and played the 16th ranked SOS. On the season, Wisconsin has been led by Frank Kaminsky (18.7 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 2.7 apg, 1.5 bpg) and Sam Dekker (13.9 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.2 apg). Wisconsin is averaging 72.8 ppg (ranked 49th) on 48.2% shooting (ranked 17th). The Badgers average 7.2 three-pointers per game (ranked 85th) and commit just 7.4 turnovers per game (ranked 1st). Defensively, Wisconsin is holding their opponents to an average of 57.8 ppg (ranked 12th) on 42.6% shooting (ranked 153rd). The Badgers commit only 12.4 personal fouls per game (ranked 1st) and have a turnover margin of 2.3 (ranked 37th).
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The (1) Kentucky Wildcats (38-0m 18-0 SEC) used some clutch shooting at the end game, making their last 9 shots of the contest, to defeat the (3) Notre Dame Fighting Irish, 68-66, and remain undefeated on the season. Kentucky shot 53.2% from the field and held Notre Dame to just 28.6% (4-14) from beyond the arc in the victory. Leading the way for the Wildcats was Karl-Anthony Towns who had 25 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists. Kentucky finished ranked 1st in both the RPI and BPI Standings and played the 45th ranked SOS. On the season, the Wildcats have been led by Willie Cauley-Stein (9.1 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 1.2 spg, 1.7 bpg) and Karl-Anthony Towns (10.1 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 2.3 bpg). Kentucky is averaging 74.6 ppg (ranked 28th) on 46.8% shooting (ranked 38th). The Wildcats average 5.3 three-pointers per game (ranked 277th) and have an assist/turnover ratio of 1.36 (ranked 21st). Defensively, Kentucky is holding their opponents to just 53.9 ppg (ranked 3rd) on 35.2% shooting (ranked 1st). The Wildcats average 6.9 bpg (ranked 2nd) and are holding teams to just 26.7% from beyond the arc (ranked 2nd).
The Badgers are 9-3-1 ATS in their last 13 NCAA Tournament Games and 14-5-1 ATS in their last 20 neutral site games. The Wildcats are 2-0-2 in their last 4 vs. the Big Ten however, just 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 NCAA Tournament games.
Wisconsin is one of the most fundamentally sound teams that College Basketball has seen over the past few years, as they just seem to excel in all aspects of the game. Kentucky is a team loaded with future NBA talent and almost everyone on the roster that receives playing time could be a star on any other college team in the land. Wisconsin will try to control the tempo of this game, similar to what Notre Dame did, and hope that the supporting cast around Kaminsky and Dekker will be able to step up on both ends of the floor in this one. I imagine that Kentucky will try to prevent Wisconsin from getting into any rhythm from beyond on the arc, and force the Badgers to try and score inside where they will have Cauley-Stein and Towns waiting. I think this going to be another close game similar to the Kentucky/Norte Dame game, and think that as long as Wisconsin keeps to their game plan a limit their turnovers and fouls, that they are going to win this game. I see a close game to the end, however, the pressure between the perfect season for Kentucky and getting to the NCAA Championship will be too much for the Wildcats and that Wisconsin will win this game. I’m taking Wisconsin and the points, and will probably put something small on the Wisconsin ML.