NCAA March Madness: Texas vs. Miami Elite Eight betting preview, odds and predictions


NCAA March Madness: Texas Longhorns vs. Miami Hurricanes betting preview, odds and predictions

In a 2 vs. 5 matchup in the Midwest region of the NCAA Tournament, the Texas Longhorns face the Miami Hurricanes for a spot in the Final Four. All tournament long, VSiN will be providing you with March Madness betting oddsin-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 Texas vs. Miami

When: Sunday (Time: TBD)

Where: T-Mobile Center – Kansas City, Missouri

Watch: CBS

Odds for Texas vs. Miami

Spread: Texas -3.5

Total: 150.5

(Odds accurate as of Friday, March 24th at 12:00 a.m. ET)

Real-time betting splits at DraftKings Sportsbook

Midwest Region No. 2 Seed Texas Longhorns

Texas battled through adversity early in the season, with head coach Chris Beard’s off-court issues leading to his firing. Rodney Terry has done a remarkable job filling in for the Longhorns, who have been one of the hottest teams in basketball in the second half of the season. The Longhorns have legitimate firepower in the backcourt in guards Marcus Carr, Sir’Jabari Rice and Tyrese Hunter. The team is also deep with contributors, and the group can defend, too. Their victory over the Kansas Jayhawks in the Big 12 Tournament proved they have what it takes to win it all. And they have looked good in March Madness thus far, earning wins over Colgate, Penn State and Xavier. The only question mark for this team is whether Dylan Disu will return to action. He had been Texas’ best player in the tournament before getting hurt against Xavier. 

Midwest Region No. 5 Seed Miami Hurricanes

With this Miami team, everything runs through the three guards, as Isaiah Wong, Jordan Miller and Nijel Pack are all dangerous offensive players. Those three have made Miami one of the best offensive teams in the country this season, but can Jim Larranaga’s squad continue to hold up defensively? The Hurricanes’ effort on that end of the floor will determine how much longer this run lasts. Miami put on a shot-making clinic in an upset over Houston in the Sweet 16, but the Hurricanes will have a poor shooting night eventually. That’ll be when they’ll need to dig down and defend like their lives depend on it. They also happen to be facing a Longhorns team that can match their perimeter firepower. Perhaps that means that Norchad Omier will have to play a heck of a game for Miami, as he offers something a little different for this team.

Texas vs. Miami matchup analysis

Dylan Disu had 28 points and 10 rebounds in Texas’ win over Penn State, but the forward instantly got hurt when the team faced Xavier in the Sweet 16. It would be a bummer if Disu ends up missing this game for the Longhorns — which seems like a real possibility considering he was wearing a boot immediately after going down. However, Texas does have the depth to make up for it and the Longhorns proved that in a blowout win over the Musketeers. Timmy Allen and Christian Bishop can both produce at a high level, if needed. With that said, this is far from a death blow for the Longhorns. 

Texas is going to feel good about its chances in this one because of its backcourt. While Isaiah Wong, Jordan Miller and Nijel Pack make up a tremendous trio for the Hurricanes, the Longhorns boast a backcourt that includes Marcus Carr, Sir’Jabari Rice and Tyrese Hunter. An argument can be made that Texas wins out when comparing the two groups, which has to be somewhat scary for Miami. This Hurricanes team is completely dependent on the play of those three guards, and it’ll be very difficult for Miami to win this one without them winning that matchup. 

The Longhorns are already going to be making life on the Hurricanes somewhat tough. Texas is ninth in the nation in adjusted defensive efficiency, and the team has what it takes to put the clamps on inside and outside the 3-point line. That means the Hurricanes will be forced into a lot of tough shots in this one. However, we all know that these Miami guards can score with the best of them. Good defense isn’t enough to put the Hurricanes away completely. They just lit up a Cougars defense that is also top-five in the nation. 

Offensively, Texas is going to need to get it going from behind the 3-point line itself here. The Longhorns shot just 34.1% from 3 this season, but they’ll have trouble winning this game if they get destroyed in the battle from behind the arc — no matter how many good looks they get inside the 3-point line against a mediocre Hurricanes defense. It does, however, benefit Texas that Miami isn’t a top-100 team when it comes to 3P% defense. The Longhorns might not shoot it all that well, but they’re plenty capable of burying open looks. 

Don’t be surprised if rebounding ends up being a huge factor in this game. Miami is a strong team when it comes to offensive rebound rate, while Texas has a lousy defensive rebound rate — with the team’s percentage being just slightly above average. If the Longhorns aren’t focused on securing rebounds here, the Hurricanes will make them pay. And Miami’s offense is way too good to be getting second chances regularly. 

One last thing we have to mention is that Jim Larranaga’s presence is massive in this game. Rodney Terry has been tremendous for Texas this season, but he is largely unproven in March Madness. Meanwhile, Larranaga once dragged George Mason all the way to the Final Four of this tournament. And now he has one of his most talented teams ever. Larranaga is always a threat to significantly out-coach an opponent, and that’s just not something you can take lightly this late in the year. 

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