The Detroit Titans (22-13) and Kansas Jayhawks (27-6) will meet up in the Midwest Region Friday night inside the CenturyLink Center Omaha
Detroit Titans vs. Kansas Jayhawks
Detroit makes its sixth all-time appearance in the NCAA Tournament and first since 1999 after capturing the Horizon League Championship. The Titans have won five games in a row and have gone “over” the total in five of their last seven contests. The program will be shooting for its first win over a ranked opponent since handing No. 23 Butler a 63-54 loss at Calihan Hall on Jan. 10, 2012. Detroit is 7-6 ATS as an underdog and the “under” is 7-6 in those contests.
The Titans could be a dangerous team due to the Horizon League winning at least one game in the NCAA Tournament the past seven years. Detroit is led offensively by the play of Ray McCallum Jr., who was honored as the Preseason Horizon League Player of the Year. He scored a game-high 21 points in beating the Valparaiso Crusaders to earn a spot in the Big Dance.
Kansas is making its 41st NCAA Tournament appearance and leads the entire field in playing in this event for the 23rd year in a row. The Jayhawks averaged 75.0 points per game and surrendered just 61.9 for a +13.1 scoring margin. “We’re Kansas. People are going to talk about us regardless,” commented Jayhawks guard Elijah Johnson about the amount of attention the team receives. The program has proven victorious in the first round in 26 of the past 28 years. Kansas is 7-0 ATS after allowing 80 points or more the last two-plus years.
The Jayhawks are led by Big 12 Player of the Year Thomas Robinson, who was the only player in the conference to average a double-double this season with 17.9 points and 11.8 rebounds per game. Kansas really gets after it on the defensive end, pacing the entire Big 12 in holding opponents to 38.3 percent shooting. The team has also out-rebounded 26 of 33 opponents. Senior guard Tyshawn Taylor is also a player to watch on the perimeter, scoring 20 or more points in four of the last five games.
Bettors will likely back the Jayhawks due to their 4-0 ATS mark after a straight-up loss, while the Titans are 2-6 ATS on a neutral court as an underdog.
Recommendation: Kansas Jayhawks -14
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