Sunday’s NCAA Tournament betting preview: Midwest Region

The second round of the NCAA Tournament continues Sunday with three matchups in the Midwest Region featuring some of the hottest teams in the country, including Rhode Island, Michigan and No. 1 seed Kansas.

(7) Michigan Wolverines vs. (2) Louisville Cardinals (-3, 142)

Game to be played at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana

Second-seeded Louisville and No. 7 seed Michigan will renew their NCAA Tournament hostilities when they meet in the second round of the Midwest regional in Indianapolis, IN on Sunday. The Cardinals downed Jacksonville State 78-63 in the first round while Michigan held on to beat Oklahoma State 92-91 on Friday to set up a rematch of the classic 2013 National Championship game, which Louisville won 82-76.

“It will be the toughest second round matchup I’ve had since I’ve been in the business,” Louisville coach Rick Pitino told reporters. “Michigan is on a great run right now and I think it will be a heck of a game.” The Cardinals won the battle of the boards 36-23 and forced 14 turnovers to finally pull away from the Gamecocks to earn their fifth consecutive opening round victory in the NCAA Tournament. Michigan has won six consecutive games, including five in a row since its charter plane skidded off the runway en route to the Big Ten Tournament in Washington D.C. The Wolverines set an NCAA Tournament program record with 16 3-pointers, including 11 from beyond the arc in the second half, to vanquish the Cowboys and hope to continue their hot shooting by beating Louisville for the first time in program history.

TV: 12:10 p.m. ET, CBS

LINE HISTORY: Louisville hit the board as slight 1-point faves against red-hot Michigan, but bettors are like the Cardinals here, moving the line to -3. The total opened at 140 and has been bet up slightly to 140.5. Check out the complete line history here.


ABOUT MICHIGAN: Senior point guard Derrick Walton Jr. led the way with 26 points, 11 assists and five rebounds in the win against Oklahoma State to notch his fifth double double of the season, and became the first player since Dwyane Wade in 2003 to register at least 25 points, 10 assists and five rebounds in an NCAA Tournament game. D.J. Wilson added 19 points, five rebounds and four blocked shots while Muhammad-Ali Abdur Rahkman and Zak Irvin each scored 16 points. “I think the Big Ten Tournament really got us ready for this,” Wilson told reporters. “I didn’t feel any pressure at all and it felt like a normal game for me.”

ABOUT LOUISVILLE: Senior power forward Mangok Mathiang matched his career high with 18 points to go along with five rebounds in the win against Jacksonville State. Sophomore forward Deng Adel scored 16 points in his first NCAA Tournament appearance after the Cardinals missed last season’s tournament due to a postseason ban while Quentin Snider added 16 points and five assists against the Gamecocks. Donovan Mitchell shrugged off a 3-for-15 performance from the field in his first tournament appearance by grabbing a career-high 10 rebounds as Louisville finished with 16 offensive boards.



* Michigan is 6-1 ATS in its last seven neutral site games.
* Louisville is 7-1-1 ATS in its last nine games vs. Big Ten opponents.
* Over is 5-0 in Michigan’s last five non-conference games.
* Under is 6-1-1 in Louisville’s last eight non-conference games.

Click here for a complete list of hot and cold trends here.

(9) Michigan State Spartans vs. (1) Kansas Jayhawks (-8, 148)

Game to be played at BOK Center, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Two of the most successful programs in college basketball meet Sunday when top-seeded Kansas takes on ninth seed Michigan State in the second round of the Midwest Regional in Tulsa, Ok. Kansas can reach the Sweet Sixteen for the 30th time in its history after rolling past UC Davis 100-62 in the first round while the freshman-heavy Spartans produced one of their best efforts in a 78-58 win over Miami (Fla.) on Friday.

Michigan State, hampered by injuries much of the season, shot 56.6 percent from the field and rallied from an early double-digit deficit to give itself a chance at a 20th trip to the Sweet Sixteen and fifth in six years. “The only thing I’m happy about is I get to work another night,” Spartans coach Tom Izzo, who is 47-18 in the NCAA Tournament, told reporters. “. … And I wanted a shot at Kansas.” The Jayhawks washed away the memory of a disappointing performance in a loss to TCU at the Big 12 quarterfinals by getting back to basics on the defensive end of the floor Friday. “We locked in as a team,” Kansas senior guard Frank Mason III told reporters. “We talked about it up to (Friday) that we have to guard like it’s the last possession in a tie game. We did a good job of defending.”

TV: 5:15 p.m. ET, CBS

LINE HISTORY: Oddsmakers opened the No. 1 seed Jayhawks as 8.5-point chalk, but after the Spartans big game in the first round, bettors have brought the line down to Kansas -8. The total hit the board at 147.5 and has been bet up a half-point to the current number of 148. Check out the complete line history here.


ABOUT MICHIGAN STATE: It’s been a building process for the young Spartans and Izzo told reporters he hopes their performance Friday will lead to more: “Do they have a benchmark now to say ‘hey we did this, we did that?’ I think the answer was, yes. I can’t think of anybody who didn’t play well.” Freshman swingman Miles Bridges (16.7 points, 8.3 rebounds) and freshman forward Nick Ward (13.9, 6.6) combined for 37 points and 16 boards in the win over Miami. Joshua Langford also scored 13 and fellow freshman guard Cassius Winston had seven points and five assists Friday.

Second-leading scorer Josh Jackson showed no ill-effects after returning from a one-game team suspension for off-court issues, as the freshman scored 17 on 8-of-12 shooting with seven rebounds Friday. Mason leads the team overall (20.8 points, 5.2 assists) while Jackson (13.2 points, 7.2 boards) and junior guard Devonte’ Graham (13.2) are the other double-figure scorers for the productive Jayhawks offense. Senior forward Landen Lucas produced a double-double (13 points, 11 rebounds) in the opening round and 6-8 junior Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (9.8 points) scored 16 against UC Davis.



* Michigan State is 5-2 ATS in its last seven NCAA Tournament games.
* Kansas is 4-1 ATS in its last five NCAA Tournament games.
* Over is 4-0 in Michigan State’s last four NCAA Tournament games.
* Under is 4-0 in Kansas’ last four games versus a team with a winning SU record.

Click here for a complete list of hot and cold trends.

(11) Rhode Island Rams vs. (3) Oregon Ducks (-5, 139.5)

Game to be played at Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, California

Oregon’s imposing frontline figured to take a step back without injured forward Chris Boucher, but the Ducks’ first-round win over Iona may have eased some of those fears. The third-seeded Ducks look to build on the impressive victory Sunday in a second-round Midwest Region matchup against No. 11 seed Rhode Island in Sacramento.

Several players have stepped up in Boucher’s absence, including sophomore guard Tyler Dorsey, who scored a season-high 24 points on 9-of-13 shooting in Friday’s 93-77 win over No. 14 seed Iona. Dorsey is averaging 22.8 points on 60 percent shooting over his last four games for the Ducks, who will be without Boucher for the rest of the season after the 6-11 senior suffered a torn ACL in last week’s Pac-12 tournament. Oregon dominated the paint against the smaller Gaels but face a tougher test against Rhode Island, which led from start to finish in Friday’s 84-72 upset of No. 6 seed Creighton. “Rhode Island is a very good basketball team,” Creighton coach Greg McDermott told reporters. “That’s a top-25 basketball team that on the right night can beat anybody in this tournament.”

TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, TBS

The Ducks hit the board as 4.5-point favorites and they have been bet up slightly to the current number of -5. The total opened at 138.5 and has moved up one point to sit at the current number of 139.5. Check out the complete line history here.


ABOUT RHODE ISLAND: Freshman guard Jeff Dowtin scored a career-high 23 points against Creighton and senior forward Kuran Iverson added 17 as the Rams recorded their ninth straight victory and first in the NCAA Tournament since 1998. Forward Hassan Martin registered a double-double and helped limit Creighton big man Justin Patton to eight points on 3-of-12 shooting. Junior guard E.C. Matthews averages 14.9 points to lead the Rams, who finished tied for third in the Atlantic 10 Conference regular season but earned an automatic bid after winning three games in three days in Pittsburgh.

ABOUT OREGON: Junior forward Kavell Bigby-Williams is filling Boucher’s role off the bench and had six rebounds in 15 minutes against Iona, but even more encouraging was the play of guards Payton Pritchard and Casey Benson, who combined for 25 points after struggling in the Pac-12 tournament. Forward Dillon Brooks, the Pac-12 player of the year, scored 18 points in the first round and is shooting 48.3 percent over his last two games. Boucher’s absence has placed a greater burden on forward Jordan Bell, who was named the Pac-12 defensive player of the year after leading the league with 72 blocks and will need to avoid foul trouble against the Rams.



* Rhode Island is 4-0 ATS in its last four games overall.
* Oregon is 9-3 ATS in its last 12 NCAA Tournament games.
* Over is 4-1 in Rhode Island’s last five games overall.
* Over is 5-1 in Oregon’s last six games overall.

Click here for a complete list of hot and cold trends.


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