NCAA March Madness: Kansas State vs. Florida Atlantic Elite Eight betting preview, odds and predictions

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NCAA March Madness: Kansas State Wildcats vs. Florida Atlantic Owls betting preview, odds and predictions

In a 3 vs. 9 matchup in the East region of the NCAA Tournament, the Kansas State Wildcats take on the Florida Atlantic Owls with a spot in the Final Four on the line. All tournament long, VSiN will be providing you with March Madness betting odds, in-depth team analysis and expert college basketball picks. Make us your one-stop shop for all of your betting needs. 

 

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How to watch Kansas State vs. Florida Atlantic

When: Saturday (Time: TBD)

Where: Madison Square Garden – New York, New York

Watch: TBS

Odds for Kansas State vs. Florida Atlantic

Spread: Kansas State -2

Total: 144.5

(Odds accurate as of Thursday, March 23rd at 11:50 p.m. ET)

Real-time betting splits at DraftKings Sportsbook

East Region No. 3 Seed Kansas State Wildcats

This Kansas State team is elite on the defensive end, but it can also be tricky to stop on offense. The Wildcats play at a relatively fast pace and have two really impressive offensive players in Keyontae Johnson and Markquis Nowell. Nowell is one of the best point guards in the nation, and he gives his team a chance to win any close game. He stole a win against Kentucky in the second round, and he followed it up by turning in a masterful 20-point, 19-assist performance against Michigan State in the Sweet 16. Now, Kansas State looks like the team that everybody is rooting for, and this is easily the most battle-tested group in the field. The Wildcats have won back-to-back nail biters and they’ll be comfortable in uncomfortable situations moving forward. 

East Region No. 9 Seed FAU Owls

Florida Atlantic barely survived a meeting with Memphis in the first round, and a lot of people will argue that a blown call is the reason the Owls are still alive. But Dusty May’s team followed up that iffy performance by eliminating the Fairleigh Dickinson Knights, who were the story of the tournament to that point. Then, the Owls went out and beat a Tennessee team that had just blown out a red-hot Duke squad. This team has now won 34 games this season, and this is a top-30 group when it comes to KenPom’s adjusted offensive and defensive efficiency. So, there’s no more questioning whether or not this team is legit. These Owls can play. 

Kansas State vs. Florida Atlantic matchup analysis

Kansas State has been the underdog in each of its previous two games, but there will be a role reversal now. The Wildcats now have to navigate the tricky waters of being expected to win a game, and that could mean that the team will play with a little less edge. But it’s hard to expect that from this group, as these players have displayed some serious passion over the last few weeks. And head coach Jerome Tang, who was an assistant for the Baylor team that won this tournament a few years ago, knows how to reach his players. He’ll do everything in his power to get them motivated for this one. If he can do that, then the Owls are going to be in trouble. 

This Florida Atlantic team is one that is fueled by a very good backcourt. Johnell Davis and Alijah Martin combine to average 27.0 points per game for this Owls team, and FAU has another three guards that average at least 7.0 points per game. The problem for the Owls is that the Wildcats have the 20th-best 3P% defense in the nation, according to Bart Torvik. That spells trouble for an FAU team that will need to win the battle from the 3-point line in order to have a chance in this one. Kansas State isn’t exactly great when it comes to 2P% defense, but it’s highly unlikely that Vladislav Goldin wins this game around the basket. It will need to be perimeter play for the Owls, and it’s fair to have doubts there. 

The Wildcats simply have the better guards in this one. Markquis Nowell has been the best player in the entire tournament through three games, and he’s operating on a whole different level right now. Nowell has been picking teams apart with his ability to penetrate off the dribble. Meanwhile, Keyontae Johnson has somehow flown under the radar for Kansas State, even though he was the team’s best player all year. Johnson had 22 points in the win over the Spartans and he’s going to be a matchup nightmare for this Florida Atlantic team. 

This game has a very small spread, so perhaps the oddsmakers see something that makes them believe the Owls can pull this off. But there isn’t much working in Florida Atlantic’s favor, on paper. We should, however, mention that this seems like a game that could be on the high-scoring side. Kansas State likes to play at a very fast pace, and both teams have firepower on the perimeter. With that said, you could opt to take the over if you don’t feel good about either side. 

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