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NCAA Tournament 2021 – #14 Eastern Washington Eagles (16-7) vs #3 Kansas Jayhawks (20-8)

Can Eagles Soar Past Jayhawks?

Our Eastern Washington vs Kansas pick comes with a point spread of over 10. This 2021 NCAA Tournament Round One West Region game offers the Kansas Jayhawks at -10.5 (-103). The best spread for the Eastern Washington Eagles is +11.0 (-115). Eastern Washington finished tied for second in the Big Sky Conference, a half-game out of first place. The Eagles beat the Montana State Bobcats 65-55 in the conference final to take the tourney crown. Over their last five games, they’ve gone 4-1. Eastern Washington has won its last four games.

The Kansas Jayhawks, who’ve gone 4-1 for their last five contests, finished second in the Big 12. They ended the season three games away from first-place Baylor. In the Big 12 Tournament Quarterfinal, the Jayhawks beat the Oklahoma Sooners 69-62. The Jayhawks were scheduled to play Texas in the semifinals, but had to bow out due to COVID. The Eagles and Jayhawks will meet on Saturday, March 20 at 1:15 pm ET. The game will take place at Indiana Farmers Coliseum in Indianapolis, IN. Check out all of our free picks, including our preview of the UC Santa Barbara vs Creighton contest.

Eastern Washington vs Kansas Pick – Stats

Here’s a game where stats are less relevant than they might be in other instances. The issue is Eastern Washington, in the Big Sky, plays a much easier schedule than the Jayhawks, who are in one of the toughest conferences in the men’s basketball. Statistically, it looks like the Eagles can keep up with the Jayhawks. EWU is averaging 78.0 PPG, while KU is putting up 73.1 PPG. They are also better on assists (15.1 to 13.7), free throws (78.7% to 71.2%), and field goals (46.7% to 44.0%). On the other hand, Kansas is better on rebounds (38.0 to 35.4), steals (6.9 to 4.9), and blocks (4.1 to 2.9). When it comes to threes, Kansas is within one percentage point of Eastern Washington.

Key Players

Five EWU players come to this game as double-digit shooters. Forward Tanner Groves tops the team with a field-goal mark of 55.7% and 16.4 PPG. He’s also grabbing 8.1 RPG. In the backcourt, Kim Aiken Jr. is recording 11.7 PPG and 8.5 RPG. Additionally, guards Tyler Robertson, Michael Meadows, and Jacob Davison are recording 11.3, 11.4, and 10,0 PPG respectively. Robertson and Meadows are both hitting threes at the rate of 37.8%.

Kansas also has five impressive scorers who are led by Ochai Agbaji in the backcourt and
David McCormack in front. Agbaji is scoring 14.2 PPG, while McCormack is averaging 13.4 PPG and 6.1 RPG. He’s a 51.1% shooter. Forward Jalen Wilson is grabbing 8.2 RPG while scoring 12.1 PPG and guard Marcus Garret, who can hit from outside and drive inside, is averaging 10.4 PPG, 4.4 RPG, and 3.7 APG. Christian Braun is scoring a solid 9.8 PPG while taking down 5.3 RPG.

Eastern Washington vs Kansas Pick – Final Thoughts

Our Eastern Washington vs Kansas pick notes that both teams can score. However, we think that the Kansas rebounding and D will serve them well. Look for Kansas to take down EWU easily. Our pick for this contest is the Kansas Jayhawks at -10.5 (-103).

#14 Eastern Washington Eagles vs #3 Kansas Jayhawks

Kansas Jayhawks at -10.5 (-103)

pmroczka

Paul has been writing about sports betting and sports for more than a decade, offering picks on the NFL, MLB, NHL, and NBA, as well as on college sports and European football. He's written thousands of season and post-season previews, innumerable articles on sports betting strategies, and various books on sports and sports betting.

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