Villanova is a money-burning 1-5 ATS in its last six NCAA Tournament games as a favorite of less than five points, while head coach Jay Wright is just 2-4 SU and 1-5 ATS versus ACC opposition since losing to the Tar Heels in the 2013 NCAA Tournament. Villanova inexplicably relies upon three-pointers despite shooting just 35.1% from long distance (147th in the nation).
The Wildcats will have a difficult time finding open looks against a very good Miami defense that is allowing just 66.7 points per game to teams that would combine to average 74.0 points per game. More important;y, the Hurricanes are 12-6 SU on the road where they are limiting opponents to just 70.1 points per game.
Head coach Jim Larrinaga’s squad is ranked 51st in scoring defense and 25th in personal fouls per game (16.6) so the Hurricanes are more than capable of slowing down a Villanova attack that is subject to variance based upon its obsession with shooting three-pointers (44% of Villanova’s shot attempts are from beyond the arc).
Miami is also efficient at the offensive end of the floor, averaging 75.4 points per game on 47.7% shooting from the field. The Hurricanes’ attack is just as effective on foreign soil, averaging 75.2 points per game on 47.2% shooting from the floor on the road this season.
Overall, Miami’s offense is ranked 27th nationally in field goal percentage, 39th in scoring margin (+8.7), 22nd in free-throw percentage (.750) and 32nd in turnovers per game (10.9). Miami possesses two important characteristics of teams capable of making a run in the NCAA Tournament: (1) the Hurricanes take excellent care of the ball; and (2) the Hurricanes do not attempt a lot of three-pointers.
From a technical standpoint, Miami Florida is 21-8-1 ATS in its last thirty games off a win and 13-4 ATS in its last seventeen non-conference tilts, whereas the Wildcats are 2-6 ATS in their last eight games off a win and 1-5 ATS in their last six ACC affairs. The Hurricanes are also one of six ACC squads to reach the second week of the NCAA Tournament.
In last year’s NCAA Tournament, six ACC squads combined for seventeen wins so there is post-season pedigree favoring the Hurricanes as well. Finally, my math model only favors Villanova by 3.5-points so we are getting line value as well. Grab the points with the Hurricanes in this NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 affair and invest with confidence.
Oskeim Sports’ NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 Sports Pick: Miami Florida (+5) (-122)