It’s a special day, Canes fam. Today will mark the first time in program history that Miami will play in a basketball game where confetti will fall from the ceiling and the winners will be wearing Regional Champions hats. Will Miami be that team? The oddsmakers and media pundits think not.
The Miami Hurricanes and the Kansas Jayhawks will tip at 2:20 pm ET today at the United Center. As of now, Kansas is listed as a 6-point favorite. Miami is +215 on the money line. The over/under is set at 147.
Given the matchup and the line, what are the media pundits predicting for this afternoon’s regional final?
DraftKings Nation calls for Miami to cover the six points. They are one of few who like the point total to eclipse the number, but predict a close Kansas win in large part due to Kansas’ length and superior rebounding.
USA Today is bullish on Kansas, calling for a comfortable 78-65 Jayhawk win. They feel more comfortable in Kansas covering the point spread than hitting what they feel is a high point total, citing Kansas’ “far superior” starting five and Miami’s thin bench.
The Athletic staff is leaning heavily Kansas straight up, with 10 out of 12 writers taking the Jayhawks straight up. The author also like Kansas on the point spread and the under, noting that Kansas is better in every area, and especially the bench. Ok then...
Athlon Sports credits the Canes’ defense and sees the Canes battling, but falling 67-62. Yet another under prediction.
Yahoo! Sports also sees a close Kansas victory 73-69. They favor Kansas’ significant rebounding edge and strong free throw shooting to slip by.
Fox Sports likes Kansas to lay the six points and cover, noting that the KU defense near the rim - specifically Christian Braun and Ochai Agbaji - will give Miami’s guards more trouble than usual finishing at the rim.
So the Canes are what they normally are: fodder for the doubters. And in that role they’ve thrived. One more spectacular, critic-silencing performance would realize a dream everyone outside of that locker room thought was ridiculous in November: a trip to the Final Four.