#14 Eastern Washington vs #3 Kansas – March Madness Round One Free Pick

The Jayhawks will be without a few starters for their opening game against Eastern Washington, which is the Big Sky Tournament champion. Kansas has the longest active streak of consecutive tourney appearances and is still favored to win despite this setback.

How to Bet Eastern Washington vs. Kansas NCAA Basketball Odds & TV Info

  • When: Saturday, 1:15 PM ET
  • Where: Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Indianapolis
  • TV: TBS
  • Stream: https://www.ncaa.com/march-madness-live
  • Opening NCAAB Lines: Kansas -10.5 (total 146.5)

Jayhawks vs Eastern Washington Last Matchup

Eastern has played Kansas before, in an 85-47 Jayhawk victory on December 5th 2007. The final score was 37-3. In the following season, Kansas went on to win the NCAA Tournament championship. Eastern is 0-9 against teams from the Big 12 conference thus far in their history and they are 14-0 when facing off with a member of the Big Sky Conference.

Why Bet on Eastern Washington? March Madness 2021 Analysis

The Eastern Washington Eagles have seen a lot of success this season, from rolling through the Big Sky Conference Tournament to their third NCAA Tournament appearance. The Eagles first NCAA Tournament appearance came in 2004 under head coach Ray Giacoletti on March 19th and they won three championships at the tournament.

Eastern Washington University seniors Jack Perry and Jacob Davison were redshirt freshmen on EWU’s last team to advance to a national postseason tournament in 2018. Juniors Tanner Groves and Kim Aiken Jr. redshirted that season. Davison had seven points, four steals, three rebounds in EWU’s loss to Utah Valley in the CBI. Perry scored four points in 26 minutes of action for this squad in that contest.

The Eagles play fast, often playing 73- or 74-possession games. They score, too, as six players have an offensive rating of 110.0 or greater at KenPom. The team grades out as the No. 86 offense in the nation (adjusted offensive efficiency) and plays at one of the fastest tempos in basketball while Kansas ranks 186th among all teams for pace and is ranked 186th nationally with an adjusted offensive efficiency rating of 106.8 points per 100 possessions according to KenPom’s rankings system which can be seen here

The Eagles are a force on offense ranking near the top 6th in adjusted offensive efficiencies and guard Grayson Allen has emerged as a leader scoring more than 20 ppg on 47%.

Eastern Washington hung tough in three straight losses against Pac-12 teams to begin the season. In fact, Eastern Washington led Washington State and Arizona at halftime and only trailed Oregon by four. This team has only improved since those respectable losses, too.

Why Bet on Kansas? March Madness 2021 Analysis

Kansas’ winning streak is no small feat for a team that lost to Oklahoma State at home in the regular season finale. The Jayhawks have shown they can stand up to the competition, but their performance has also been erratic through much of the season. This inconsistency will be put to the test on one of college basketball’s most historic stages when Kansas faces off against North Carolina in San Antonio during round one and Texas Tech in round two next week with an NCAA Championship berth on the line.

Kansas is making its 49th NCAA Tournament appearance and has a 108-47 record in the event. The Jayhawks have advanced to 31 Sweet 16 contests, 15 Final Fours and three of their five national championships have been in NCAA Championship format (1952, 1988, 2008). KU’s 31-consecutive NCAA Championship appearances, beginning in 1990, is the longest active streak and the longest consecutive in NCAA tourney appearances history.

Since seeding in the NCAA Tournament began in 1979, this is the fifth time Kansas entered the event a No. 3 seed. KU was also a No. 3 seed in 1985, 1991, 2005 and 2009. The Jayhawks are 8-4 all-time as a No. 3 seed.

Game Trends

  • Eagles are 20-7-1 ATS in their last 28 Saturday games.
  • Eagles are 22-8 ATS in their last 30 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
  • Eagles are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games following a ATS win.
  • Eagles are 19-9 ATS in their last 28 neutral site games.
  • Jayhawks are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 neutral site games as a favorite.
  • Jayhawks are 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
  • Jayhawks are 9-4 ATS in their last 13 NCAA Tournament games as a favorite.

Expert Prediction

  • Kansas 78, Eastern Washington 72
  • Eastern Washington is going to stay in the fight. They’ll cover +11.5 points, I’d suggest 4 units.

What do you think?

Written by Reggie Breese