Wisconsin survived Arizona in the Elite 8, partially thanks to a horrible blown call in the final seconds, but mostly because of Frank the Tank Kaminsky’s amazing 28-point effort. The Badgers, who haven’t been to the Final 4 since 2000, will play mighty Kentucky, which outlasted Michigan Sunday evening in one of the best games of the tournament. It’ll be the late game Saturday night on TBS (yes, TBS) at 8:49 pm.
Las Vegas initially made Kentucky a 2-point favorite, and the line is 2.5 or still two most places 12 hours later. And here’s where it gets interesting: After much number-crunching and statistical analysis, Ken Pomery’s site has Wisconsin winning 70-69. Nate Silver’s website has Wisconsin with a 31% chance of winning the tournament (2nd to Florida’s 38 percent) and Kentucky with only a 19% chance.
Silver’s statistical method gives Wisconsin a 58% chance to beat Kentucky.
Kentucky, which underachieved during the regular season after being the preseason No. 1 team – some fool thought they’d go undefeated – has toyed with the advanced statistics crowd for three rounds now. Ken Pom’s site had Wichita State beating Kentucky, Louisville beating Kentucky, and Michigan beating Kentucky. The Wildcats, by dominating the last five minutes of each game, won all of them.
If you’ve been picking against or betting against Kentucky based on advanced statistics in this tournament, you’re not doing well. If you used the eye-test and noticed the Harrison Twins are suddenly clutch and Julius Randle is everywhere and Alex Poythress has accepted his spot as an invaluable role player off the bench, you’re loading up on Kentucky to beat Wisconsin.
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