Southwest Region 2nd Round Tourney Picks: Boston U. vs. Kansas

2011 NCAA Tournament Second Round – Southwest Region
#1 Kansas Jayhawks vs. #16 Boston University Terriers, Bank of Oklahoma Center, Tulsa, OK
Friday, March 18, 2011, 6:50 pm Eastern, TV: TBS
Opening Line: Kansas -22.5
Current Line: Kansas -22.5
Opening Total: 136
Current Total: 136.5
Money Line: Kansas -18500 / Boston U. +7000

Kansas Boston University NCAA Tournament Preview
Marcus Morris and the Kansas Jayhawks are big favorites at -22.5 against #16 seed Boston U.

This is not the traditional second round we are accustomed to due to the new format of the NCAA tournament featuring the addition of the First Four, but the top-seeded Kansas Jayhawks (32-2) are still thinking about last year’s second-round upset loss to #9 seed Northern Iowa. The Jayhawks (-22.5) will try to redeem themselves by taking their frustrations out on the 16th-seeded Boston University Terriers (21-13) on Friday in this Southwest Region matchup at Tulsa’s Bank of Oklahoma Center.

Kansas is trying to move on and will look to put replays of Northern Iowa guard Ali Farokhmanesh sinking 3-pointers out of sight and out of mind in hopes of making a deep run in this year’s Big Dance. That devastating loss is all the motivation the team needed this season en route to winning the Big 12 Conference regular-season and tournament titles.

The Jayhawks suffered just two losses in conference play, falling at home to Texas (74-63) back on January 22 and on the road at Kansas State (84-68) on February 14. The loss to the second-seeded Longhorns that ended their 69-game home winning streak was paid back in the Big 12 championship game as Kansas dominated in an 85-73 victory. The team enters the NCAA tournament on an eight-game winning streak but has gone just 3-4-1 against the spread over that span.

Boston University is riding an 11-game winning streak into the Big Dance with a 5-1 spread record in lined games during that stretch. The Terriers won the America East Conference tournament after finishing second during the regular season behind Vermont. BU did not have to face the top-seeded Catamounts in the conference tournament after they were upset by #5 Stony Brook in the semifinals but won at Vermont 66-64 in overtime in the regular-season finale.

The Terriers were 10-13 at one point during the season before going on their winning streak and consider themselves very fortunate to be in this position right now. Leading scorer John Holland is a senior who has averaged 19.2 points per game so far. Holland is excited to be playing Kansas and said he and his teammates are confident heading into the school’s first NCAA tournament appearance in nine years.

“If you’re going to beat anybody, it takes belief,” Holland said. “I feel like we believe in each other. I think if you’re going to do anything, even winning a game in this tournament, you have to have that belief in one another that you can win.”

Our college basketball handicappers are red hot heading into the NCAA tournament. Don’t miss out on any more basketball betting winners this season.

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