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Bevy Of Kentucky NCAA Tournament Props On Bovada
It's nice and all that Duke (despite not winning the ACC regular-season or tournament titles), Villanova (Big East regular-season and tournament champion) and Wisconsin (Big Ten regular-season and tournament champion) are No. 1 seeds in the NCAA Tournament. But this year's Big Dance is only about one team: unbeaten Kentucky and it's chase for history.
40-0 Sounds Nice!
No team has finished unbeaten since Bobby Knight's Indiana team in 1975-76. The Wildcats (34-0) are trying to become the first 40-0 team. They have more size by far than any team in the field (more than some NBA teams) and are having a historic defensive season. Kentucky has had seven games where it won by single digits: 72-64 at Georgia (March 3), 71-69 at LSU (Feb. 10), 68-61 at Florida (Feb. 7), 65-57 vs. Vanderbilt (Jan. 20), 70-64 in double OT at Texas A&M (Jan. 10), 89-86 in OT against Ole Miss (Jan. 6) and 58-50 at Louisville (Dec. 27).
The draw appears very kind to Kentucky in terms of where the Wildcats will play. They open on Thursday night against No. 16 Hampton as a whopping 33-point favorite, which will easily be the biggest spread of the tournament. That game is in Louisville, as would the Round of 32 matchup against either Cincinnati or Purdue. UK likely would meet No. 4 Maryland or No. 5 Valparaiso in the Sweet 16 in Cleveland, then perhaps Kansas in the Elite Eight game also in Cleveland. The Final Four is in Indianapolis. So, yeah, Big Blue Nation will be out in droves as all the sites are within driving range.
UK Wagering Heaven
Bovada offers some interesting props just on Kentucky. It's the first time in recent memory you can bet the field (-140) over one team, with the Cats at +110 to cut down the nets. UK is -150 to reach the championship game and +120 to come up short. For the Final Four? Cats are -300 and +240 to lose before the semifinals. You can ever wager Kentucky winning the title and the Democrats winning the election. That's priced at +200 with both not happening at -300. For the Republicans, it's +500 and -800.
Perhaps the two most unusual are will Kentucky trail at halftime of any game: Yes is -150 and no +120. UK's biggest second-half deficit of the season was nine points at Georgia on March 3. The Cats would then go on a 14-0 run and win 72-64, their last single-digit victory.
Could Kentucky win all six games by 10 or more points? That would be quite the stamp on the season. No is a heavy -800 favorite with yes at +500.
Kentucky is making its 12th appearance as a No. 1 seed. The Cats were a No. 1 seed in the 2012 tournament en route to its eighth national championship. UK is 18-3 (.857) in tournament games under the direction of John Calipari. Calipari is 43-14 (.754) as a head coach in NCAA Tournament games. That winning percentage ranks second among active coaches.
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