VCU vs. Kansas -11 O/U 146
Top seed Kansas Jayhawks take on the No. 11 seed Virginia Commonwealth Sunday at the Alamo Dome in San Antonio. The winner advances to the Final Four in Houston, and I expect VCU’s Cinderella tournament run is about to end in convincing fashion. VCU has beaten some strong defensive teams during their magical run using a 94-foot game to pressure opponents. The Rams’ four outright underdog wins have been impressive while covering the point spread by a combined 70+ points.
But the Jayhawks have seen this type of pressure and full court game before while dismantling Missouri twice during Big Xll play. VCU’s pressure and transition will not frustrate Kansas, and the Jayhawks can thrive in a full court game if VCU wants to push the pace and pressure.
VCU is hitting 43% from the arch in NCAA Tournament while Kansas nailing 33% from long range. The Jayhawks rank fourth in the nation in adjusted offensive efficiency and first in effective field goal percentage. Kansas made 51 percent of their shots in Big Xll play including a league-best 40 percent from the three-point line.
VCU finished fourth in the Colonial Athletic Conference and this game will be no contest in the paint, where Kansas will control the boards and limit VCU’s second chance points with just one forward to contend with KU’s Morris twins. The Jayhawks hold a net +11 rebounding margin over VCU in this Elite Eight contest and that alone translates to a margin win.
We’ve seen many tournament games not go according to plan or profiles. But you can’t deny the less than impressive stat profile of VCU, as they ranked 227th in the nation in opponent two-point shooting and the Rams don’t’ match up well with Kansas on the interior. KU’s strong shooting and powerful players inside combined with its perimeter strength that led the Big Xll in assist-to-turnover ratio will be too much for VCU in another convincing win.