Providence Friars (27-5) vs. Kansas Jayhawks (30-6)
March 25, 2022 7:29 pm EDT
The Line: Kansas Jayhawks -7.5 / Providence Friars +7.5; Over/Under: 141.5
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The Kansas Jayhawks and Providence Friars clash at the United Center this Friday in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament – Midwest Division.
The 4-seed Providence Friars improved to 27-5 on the season after defeating the 12-seed Richmond Spiders, 76-51, this past Saturday. Providence was lights out on both ends of the court against Richmond and had no trouble pulling away for the victory after taking a 57-30 lead with 14:30 left in regulation. Providence shot 51.9% from the field & 54.5% from beyond the arc while holding Richmond to just 39.6% from the field & 4.5% from beyond the arc. Leading the way for the Friars was Noah Horchler who had a double-double with 16 points, 14 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block, & 1 steal.
On the season, Providence is averaging 71.8 ppg on 43.8% shooting from the field. The Friars are averaging 7.5 three-pointers per game on 35.0% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Providence has been led by Nate Watson (13.5 ppg, 5.3 rpg), Al Durham (13.3 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 3.4 apg), Jared Bynum (12.6 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 4.1 apg, 1.0 spg), A.J. Reeves (9.9 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 2.0 apg), & Noah Horchler (9.9 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 1.6 apg).
Defensively, Providence is holding their opponents to an average of 66.2 ppg on 41.0% shooting from the field. The Friars have a rebound margin of 3.4 and a turnover margin of -1.1.
The 1-seed Kansas Jayhawks improved to 30-6 on the season after defeating the 9-seed Creighton Bluejays, 79-72, this past Saturday. Kansas led by just a 39-38 margin at halftime, however, the Jayhawks were solid offensively in the 2nd half and was able to pull away late for the victory after closing out the final 1:47 of regulation on a 6-0 run. Kansas shot 40.9% from the field & 37.5% from beyond the arc while holding Creighton to just 35.6% shooting from the field & 42.9% from beyond the arc. Leading the way for the Jayhawks was Ochai Agbaji who had 15 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 block, & 2 steals.
On the season, Kansas is averaging 78.7 ppg on 47.9% shooting from the field. The Jayhawks are averaging 7.2 three-pointers per game on 36.0% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Kansas has been led by Ochai Agbaji (19.3 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 1.6 apg), Christian Braun (14.6 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 2.7 apg, 1.1 spg), Jalen Wilson (11.0 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 1.7 apg), David McCormack (10.0 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 1.0 apg), & Remy Martin (8.1 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 2.6 apg).
Defensively, Kansas is allowing their opponents to average 67.9 ppg on 41.4% shooting from the field. The Jayhawks have a rebound margin of 5.2 and a turnover margin of 0.5.
The Friars are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win & 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games overall. The Jayhawks are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall & 5-1-1 ATS in their last 7 Friday games.
Providence has been led by their defense which ranks 84th in scoring defense, 47th in defensive FG%, & 79th in rebound margin, while the offense has been average, ranking 151st in scoring offense. Kansas has been solid on both sides of the court as the Jayhawks come into this game ranked 23rd in scoring offense, 17th in FG%, 136th in scoring defense, & 70th in defensive FG%.
Kansas is a great team, however, we have seen the Jayhawks struggle at times against solid defensive team in Texas Tech, Texas, Baylor, & TCU. Providence has the size to matchup with Kansas and as I think the Friars defense keeps this a competitive game, I think the play here is to take Providence to cover with the points. Good Luck!