The final matchup of the 2023 NCAA Tournament Elite 8 features the two-seed Texas Longhorns (29-8) against the five-seed Miami Hurricanes (28-7). The winner of the Midwest Region will punch their ticket to the Final Four and face the UConn Huskies in Houston.
Sunday’s contest tips off at 5:05 p.m. EST inside T-Mobile Center in Kansas City, Missouri. Texas is a 3.5-point favorite, while the over/under total is 149 points.
What to Know – #2 Texas Longhorns
The Longhorns are playing in the school’s eighth Elite 8 contest, hoping to advance to the Final Four for the first time since 2003. Texas has knocked off Colgate, Penn State, and Xavier to get to this point. The Longhorns finished the regular season second in the Big 12 Conference and won the conference tournament.
Texas led the Big 12 offensively, scoring 77.9 points per game while hitting 47.2% of its shots from the field and 34.5% of its attempts from the 3-point line. On defense, the Longhorns were third in the conference, limiting opposing teams to 67.3 ppg, 42.1% shooting from the floor, and 32.5% from deep.
During the season, the scoring of Marcus Carr (15.8 ppg) and Sir’Jabari Rice (12.9 ppg) guided the Longhorns offense. Those two need to step up on Sunday, as Texas could be without Dylan Disu, who has recently emerged as one of UT’s top-scoring options in the tournament.
Texas owns a 19-17-1 record against the spread and a 5-3-1 mark ATS in contests played on a neutral floor. The Longhorns are 1-7 ATS over their last eight games played on Sundays.
What to Know – #5 Miami Hurricanes
Miami advanced to the school’s first Elite 8 last season and is back for the second season in a row. The Hurricanes got here with victories over Drake, Indiana, and top-seeded Houston. Miami tied with Virginia for the ACC regular season title.
Like the Longhorns, the Hurricanes led the conference in scoring, pouring in 79.4 ppg behind a 48.2% shooting clip from the floor and a 37.0% effort beyond the arc. Defensively, Miami was tenth in the ACC, surrendering 71.7 ppg, 44.5% shooting from the field, and 33.2% from three.
Four players average in double figures for the Hurricanes, but Nijel Pack and Isaiah Wong have carried Miami through the tournament. Pack is averaging 19.7 ppg through the tournament, and Wong is adding 17.3 ppg.
This season, the Hurricanes are 20-14-1 ATS and sport a 4-3 record ATS in neutral site contests. Miami is 8-1 ATS over its previous nine games when playing as the underdog.
The Pick is In
Sunday’s nightcap shouldn’t lack offense, with both teams equipped to fill up the basket. The potential absence of Disu is a concern, but this Longhorns team is deep and talented enough to make up for his absence. Texas gets it done and will be the home favorite in Houston.
The Pick: Texas Longhorns -3.5