The Jayhawks have a chance to be part of history heading into the Providence vs Kansas betting matchup in the Sweet 16, but it’s one KU would rather avoid. With fellow #1 seeds Baylor, Gonzaga, and Arizona all already bowing out of the tournament, a Kansas loss would make it the first time since the tournament started in 1939 that no #1 seeds would make it to the Elite 8.
While Kansas has learned that being a #1 seed doesn’t guarantee you anything in March Madness, the recent rash of top seeds falling has to give Providence that much more solace in knowing they can win Friday night’s meeting (7:29 PM ET, CBS). Not that the Friars need any comforting as they Big East regular season champs and bringing a 27-5 record into this matchup at the United Center in Chicago, IL.
Friars With Something to Prove
Providence got a #4 seed so they shouldn’t feel too disrespected this tournament, but an 85-58 loss to Creighton in the Big East Tournament weighed on a lot of people’s minds when #13 South Dakota State was a popular upset pick vs. the Friars in the 1st round. Providence dispersed of the #1 shooting team in the country 66-57 as just -3 point favorites, and then put #12 seed Richmond (coming off a win over Iowa) in their place with a 79-51 win as -3.5 favorites last Saturday.
Now the Friars set their sites on #1 Kansas, trying to follow in the footsteps of #4 Arkansas and #5 Houston who knocked out the respective top seeds in their region on Thursday night. The only thing is the Razorbacks and Cougars are possibly way better teams than Providence. Houston is #2 in the nation in KenPom rankings, and Arkansas has the #11 defensive efficiency in the nation – the Friars are 32nd and 57th respectively.
Kansas Carrying the Torch
Kansas has been put on alert as the last #1 team left in the 2022 Tournament, but this is far from a time to panic for Bill Self and Company. In fact, we may even see the Jayhawks a little bit angry considering Houston (+350) and Duke (+375) are the favorites to win the National Championship. Part of that has to do with those teams already advancing to the Elite 8, but Kansas (+400) can still use it as motivation.
Another reason for Self not to be too worried about Providence vs Kansas betting is because at the end of the day KU is playing a team that has beaten a #13 and a #12 seed to get to the Sweet 16. The Jayhawks rolled through Texas Southern (83-56) as expected in the 1st round, but also just eliminated the Creighton team (79-72) that handed Providence the 27-point beatdown in the Big East Tournament.
Providence vs Kansas Betting Info
The Jayhawks are -7.5 favorites in Friday night’s matchup, but strangely enough 72% of the public bettors are taking the points – likely with the #1 seeds dropping like flies on Thursday night and bettors identifying that as a trend.
Providence vs Kansas Betting Pick
The Friars have had a solid year, but they are also the #1 team in the KenPom “Luck” rating. Having to beat a #13 and a #12 seed to reach the Sweet 16 definitely continues that trend. KU-with the chance to be the last #1 seed left in the tourney – roll in this one.
Pick: Kansas -7.5