Our Houston vs Kentucky preview and pick has the Wildcats at –either -2.0 or -2.5. This Houston vs Kentucky Sweet 16 game will be played on Friday, March 29 at 9:59 pm ET. The two teams will meet in this Midwest Region game at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, MO. In the initial day of Sweet 16 play of the 2019 NCAA Tournament, which was yesterday, the Bulldogs of Gonzaga covered for the first time. They move onto the next round. Also, although Virginia did not cover against Oregon, they did beat the Ducks to earn an Elite Eight berth. Also going onto the Elite Eight are two underdogs, the Purdue Boilermakers, who beat the Tennessee Volunteers, and the Texas Tech Red Raiders, who were victorious over the Michigan Wolverines. Let’s see if today’s games will be as unpredictable.
The Cougars of Houston (33-3) have found March Madness to be pretty easy to navigate thus far. In the first round, Houston beat the 14th-seed Georgia State Panthers 84-55. The Cougars went ahead at the start of the game and never trailed. Their second-round contest was with 11th-seed Ohio State. With about five minutes left in the first half, Houston started to pull away from the Buckeyes. It was all over after that. The final score was Houston 74 and OSU 59. Houston has shot well from the floor, hitting 48% of their attempts. However, the team has been abysmal from downtown, converting just 27% of their shots. Free throws are being completed at a respectable rate of 72%. Rebounding has been strong (44 RPG), as has their passing (32 assists total). The team has posted a total of 11 blocks. Turnovers have been low, but the 34 personal fouls committed is too high.
Our Houston vs Kentucky preview observes that guard Corey Davis Jr. is a scoring machine. Davis is averaging 23.5 PPG. Senior guard Galen Robinson Jr. is a sound playmaker, averaging 5.5 APG. He also nailed 13 points in the OSU game. In the frontcourt for the Cougars, forward Fabian White has double-double potential. He’s hitting for 12.5 PPG while also taking down 8.0 RPG. Off the bench, forward Brisson Gresham has averaged 9.0 PPG. Two other players with scoring potential are forward Breaon Brady, who had 13 points against the Buckeyes, and guard Armoni Brooks, who scored 10 versus OSU.
In the first round of the Big Dance, the Kentucky Wildcats (29-6) had no problem beating the 15th-seed Abilene Christian Wildcats. Kentucky led at the half 39-13 and when all was said and done, the final was 79-44. However, the Cats had a tougher time in the second round when they met the seventh-seed Wofford Terriers. At the half, it was 28-26 in favor of the Wildcats. Then at 12:37 of the second half, Kentucky made their move and led for the rest of the game. The final score was the Cats 62 and Terriers 56. This Houston vs Kentucky preview notes that like today’s opponent, Kentucky has struggled from the arc and beyond. The team has completed merely 22.4% of their three-pointers. However, the Wildcats were sound from the floor, connecting on 45.5%, and, also, they were good on 82% of their free throws. The team averaged 40 RPG, 6.0 STPG, and 9.5 APG. Turnovers were kept to a minimum, while personal fouls total 31 over the two games.
For the Wildcats, the upfront play of Reid Travis cannot be underestimated. In the game against Abilene Christian, he posted 18 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Versus Wofford, Travis had a double-double, as he nailed 14 points and took in 11 rebounds. Freshman guard Keldon Johnson is averaging 17 PPG and five RPG, while guard Jamarl Baker Jr. is coming in off the bench and averaging 7.5 PPG. Finally, in the backcourt, Tyler Herro has been a consistent contributor. He has averaged 11.5 PPG and 5.5 RPG.
NCAAM Sweet 16 Houston vs Kentucky Preview – Our Pick
Our Houston vs Kentucky preview really does see this game as a tossup. What may determine the outcome of this final Sweet 16 games is if one team can start completing their threes or a they can utilize an imbalance in the number of fouls committed.
We think that Kentucky will take the low road, and try to dominate the paint, while Houston utilizes its outside shooting more. The outcome we predict is a close win for the Wildcats. However, we do think Kentucky beats the spread.