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Top-Seeded Jayhawks Brace For Sweet 16 Date With Wolverines

Posted by Washington Tucker on 3/26/2013 6:44:22 PM

This year’s top-seeded Kansas Jayhawks can add resilience to their tournament resume after a hard-fought win over North Carolina in the third round. They will need it against the fourth-seeded Michigan Wolverines in the Sweet 16. Kansas survived a tough challenge from the Tar Heels with a dominant second half, storming back from down nine at the break to win the sports betting contest by 12. The Jayhawks won’t be able to afford going down a similar margin versus a very talented Wolverines’ team, but the comeback win should give them a confidence boost as they make their way to Arlington.

South Region – Sweet 16
#4 Michigan Wolverines vs. #1 Kansas Jayhawks
Friday March 29, 2013 – 7:37 PM ET
Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, Texas
March Madness Sportsbook Line: Michigan - 2

Michigan doesn’t have a dramatic comeback on its resume through its first two tournament wins, but that’s only because Trey Burke and company have dominated. The Wolverines are a combined plus-40 through wins over San Diego State and VCU, and are playing their best basketball of the season.

March Madness Betting Preview: Michigan

There weren’t many online betting experts that expected Michigan to dominate VCU the way they did, but the Wolverines’ tough defense held the Rams to 3-for-16 from beyond the arc and just 2-for-10 on shots in transition. That the Wolverines were able to not only keep up with VCU but outplay them is testament to both their skill and stamina, and you better believe they will look to push the tempo versus Kansas. The one supposed weakness that Michigan has was a strength against the Rams, as big man Mitch McGary put up a game-high 21 points on 10-for-11 shooting, and grabbed 14 rebounds in the win.

March Madness Betting Preview: Kansas

Kansas will have an answer for McGary with Jeff Withey, who held Tar Heels’ forward James Michael McAdoo to 5-for-19 from the field and took it to him on the offensive end of the floor with 16 points. Withey also grabbed 16 rebounds and finished with five blocks, while Travis Releford stepped up in a big way for 22 points and eight rebounds off the bench. The way in which the Jayhawks came back will lend them even more confidence heading in to the Sweet 16, but the focus going forward to to be on starting stronger and not allowing the Wolverines to establish a dominant first-half lead.

March Madness Betting Preview: Outlook & Pick

Kansas needed a full half and some excellent play from Releford off the bench just to get settled against UNC, and if that happens again versus Michigan this game will be out of their reach in a hurry. The Wolverines have some of the best guards in the country, and as long as McGary can at least slow Withey down, Michigan should find a way in to the Elite Eight by eliminating the top seed in the South region.

March Madness Betting Pick: Michigan Wolverines

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