College Basketball South Region Sweet 16 Betting Picks: #5 Maryland Terrapins vs #1 Kansas Jayhawks

2016 NCAA Tournament
South Region – Regional Semifinal
#5 Maryland Terrapins vs #1 Kansas Jayhawks
Thursday, March 24, 2016, 9:40 pm Eastern, TV: CBS
KFC Yum! Center – Louisville, Kentucky
Opening Line: Kansas -6 1/2
Current Line: Kansas -6 1/2
Opening Total: 146
Current Total: 144
Opening Money Line: Kansas -295 / Maryland +235
Current Money Line: Kansas -300 / Maryland +250

Kansas takes on Maryland in the Sweet 16 Thursday in Louisville.
Kansas takes on Maryland in the Sweet 16 Thursday in Louisville.

The Kansas Jayhawks have won 16 straight games and are the hottest team in college basketball. The 32-4 Jayhawks are the #1 seed in the South region as they take on the #5 seed Maryland Terrapins in the regional semifinal Thursday night in Louisville. The winner between Maryland and Kansas will face either #2 seed Villanova or #3 Miami-(FL) in the regional Final Saturday.

Kansas leads the series 3-2 against Maryland. The Terrapins won the last meeting in the 2002 Final Four, en route to the school’s only national title.

Maryland is coached by Mark Turgeon and is 27-8 overall. The Terrapins went 12-6 in the Big Ten and were part of a four way tie for third place. Maryland beat Nebraska in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis, but lost to Michigan State in the semifinals. Maryland beat #12 seed South Dakota State 79-74 in the first round and #13 seed Hawaii 73-60 in Spokane Sunday in the second round. Maryland returns to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2003 and is making their 26th trip overall to the tournament.

The Terrapins have road losses at North Carolina, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Purdue and Indiana, plus a home loss to Wisconsin. The Terrapins have home wins over Georgetown, Cleveland State, Princeton, Marshall, Penn State, Rutgers, Ohio State, Northwestern, Iowa, Purdue, Michigan and Illinois. Maryland has neutral site wins over Illinois State and Rhode Island in a tournament in Cancun, and Connecticut in New York City. The Terrapins have road wins over Northwestern, Wisconsin, Ohio State and Nebraska. Maryland is 16-17-1 ATS and the total is 13-20-1 this season. The Terrapins were 7.5 point favorites against Hawaii and the total was 144.

Kansas is coached by Bill Self. Kansas has gone to the NCAA Tournament every year since 1984 except for 1989. The Jayhawks have three national titles. The Jayhawks won the Big 12 regular season title for a 12th straight season. Kansas won the Big 12 tournament by beating Kansas State in the quarterfinals, Baylor in the semifinals and West Virginia 81-71 in the championship game. Kansas beat #16 seed Austin Peay 105-79 in the first round and #9 seed Connecticut 73-61 Saturday in the second round both in Des Moines.

The Jayhawks lost to Michigan State in Chicago early in the season, and has road losses at West Virginia, Oklahoma State and Iowa State. Kansas has wins over UCLA and Vanderbilt in the Maui Invitational, home wins over Harvard, Oregon State, Montana, Baylor, Oklahoma in triple overtime, TCU, Texas, Kentucky, Kansas State, West Virginia, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and Iowa State, plus road wins over San Diego State, Texas Tech, TCU, Oklahoma, Kansas State, Baylor, and Texas. Kansas is 22-11 ATS and the total is 12-20-1 this season. The Jayhawks were 7.5 point favorites against UConn and the total was 139.5.

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Maryland is outscoring teams 76-66 this season. The Terrapins are shooting 48.8% from the field and 36.7% from 3 point range. The Terps are #11 in field goal percentage. Maryland is #7 nationally in free throw shooting at 77% from the line. Opponents are shooting 40.6% from the field and 32% from three point range. The Terrapins are in the top 45 nationally in both categories. Maryland averages 36 rebounds a game and opponents average 29.2 per game. The Terps are #40 nationally in rebounds allowed. Maryland averages 13.8 assists, 12.8 turnovers, 5.8 steals and 5.4 blocks per game. Opponents average 11.3 assists, 11.1 turnovers, 6.1 steals and 2.8 blocks per game.

Guard Melo Trimble averages 14.8 points, 3.7 rebounds, 5 assists and 1.2 steals per game. Forward Robert Carter averages 12.4 points, 7 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1 steal and 1.3 blocks per game. Diamond Stone averages 12.7 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game. Jake Layman averages 11.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 1.1 steals and 1.1 blocks per game. Rasheed Sulaimon averages 11.1 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game. Jared Nickens, Damonte Dodd, Michal Cekovsky and Jaylen Brantley will also get minutes in the rotation. Guard Dion Wiley is out for the season with a knee injury.

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Kansas is out scoring teams 82-68 this season. The Jayhawks are #15 in scoring nationally. Kansas is shooting 49.6% from the field and 42.3% from 3 point range. The Jayhawks are #5 in field goal percentage and #3 in three point shooting nationally. Kansas makes 71% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 39.7% from the field and 32.8% from 3 point range. The Jayhawks are #21 in field goal defense nationally. Kansas averages 38 rebounds a game and opponents average 30 per game. The Jayhawks average 16.1 assists, 12.5 turnovers, 6.8 steals and 4.3 blocks per game. Opponents average 11 assists, 13.2 turnovers, 6.4 steals and 3.2 blocks per game.

Forward Perry Ellis averages 16.9 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game. Guard Wayne Selden, Jr. averages 13.6 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1 steal a game. Frank Mason III averages 12.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.3 steals per game. Devonte’ Graham averages 11.4 points, 3.3 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 1.4 steals per game. Brannen Greene averages 5.4 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.1 assists. Six other players get significant time in the rotation.

Maryland is 19-7 ATS in neutral site games, 2-5 after a cover, 2-6 in Thursday games, and 1-4 in NCAA Tournament games.

Kansas is 8-1 ATS in neutral site games, 13-3 overall, 4-1 in Thursday games and against teams with winning records, 15-5 after a cover, 18-6 in non-conference games, 20-8 after a straight up win, and 5-14 against Big Ten teams.

Maryland has a ton of talent but has underachieved somewhat this season. Kansas might not have as much talent top to bottom as Maryland, but the Jayhawks are a better team. Maryland can certainly pull off the upset, but I think Kansas wins for the 17th straight time.

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