Providence vs. Kansas Betting Line & Spread & O/U Prediction

Eddie Griffin

The last time that Providence reached the Sweet 16, they were in the same region as Kansas. That time, the two teams did not meet, however. Arizona upset the top-seeded Jayhawks in the Sweet 16 then followed that by eliminating the Friars in the Elite Eight on the way to winning the NCAA Tournament in 1997.

This time around, the two teams get the meeting they didn’t get 25 years ago. On Friday, the fourth-seeded Friars meet the top-seeded Jayhawks in the first Midwest Region semifinal.

While this is Providence’s first Sweet 16 appearance since Austin Croshere, Derrick Brown, Jamel Thomas, and God Shammgod led the Friars to tournament wins over Marquette, Duke, and Chattanooga, this is the 14th time Kansas has reached the Sweet 16 since then.

However, it is the first time since 2018 that the Jayhawks are playing in the second week. They lost in the second round to Auburn three years ago and at the same stage to USC last season.

Providence reached the second week by defeating #13 South Dakota State and #12 Richmond, defying pre-tournament expectations for the Big East’s regular season champion. Kansas, meanwhile, has already taken out one Big East team in the tournament. In the second round, they saw off Creighton’s challenge after routing Texas Southern in the first round.

The winner of this matchup will advance to face the winner of the Iowa State-Miami game in Sunday’s regional final. Who will it be?

Noah Horchler Providence 2022 NCAA Tournament
Providence forward Noah Horchler (9.9 PPG, 8.5 RPG) is averaging 14.5 points per game and 11.5 rebounds per game in the 2022 NCAA Tournament.

2022 NCAA Tournament Midwest Region Semifinal #1: #4 Providence Friars vs. #1 Kansas Jayhawks Sweet 16 Betting Odds and Matchup Information

Matchup Information

  • Game Matchup: #4 Providence Friars (27-5) vs. #1 Kansas Jayhawks (30-6)
  • Venue & Location: United Center (Chicago, Illinois)
  • Date: Friday, March 25, 2022
  • Time: 7:29 p.m. ET
  • TV: TBS

Providence vs. Kansas Sweet 16 Spread and Over/Under Betting Odds (as of Thursday, March 24)

  • Spread: Providence +7.5 (-110), Kansas -7.5 (-110)
  • Total: OVER 141.5 (-110), UNDER 141.5 (-110)
  • Moneyline: Providence +270, Kansas -340

Odds are via FanDuel Sportsbook.

Can the Friars Continue to Defy Expectations?

Providence has made the NCAA Tournament at least once in each of the last seven decades and went to the Final Four in 1973 and 1987. So, the program is definitely not devoid of success or history.

But after years of being solid but not spectacular at best under Ed Cooley, the Friars have finally had a major breakthrough this season.

This season, Providence, one of the founding members of the original Big East back in 1979, won its first regular season title in the history of the old and new Big East. And a win over Kansas would see the Friars tie the school record for wins, which was set in the 1973-74 season, the year after the program reached its first Final Four.

But that success has not exactly brought them a wealth of love, compared to other major conference champions. That includes yours truly, who saw them as a potential March Madness sleeper pick until the Midwest Region bracket was revealed.

But the Friars held South Dakota State, one of the nation’s leaders in scoring, shooting, and three-point shooting, to a season-low 57 points in a nine-point win.

In the second round, they faced Richmond, who produced a similarly excellent performance in shutting down a prolific Iowa team. The Spiders would not repeat that feat against Providence, as the Friars quickly jumped ahead 7-0 and dominated from there in a 79-51 win.

Providence doesn’t do one thing spectacularly well, other than win close games. Nor do they have a bunch of household names or All-Americans. But they are a lot more than just the luckiest team in college basketball.

2021-22 Efficiency Rankings for Providence

  • Adjusted Offensive Efficiency: 32nd
  • Adjusted Defensive Efficiency: 57th

There are only 27 other teams in both the top 60 in offensive efficiency and defensive efficiency. Villanova and UConn are the only other Big East teams in that group, which only 11 of the 16 Sweet 16 teams are part of.

Ultimately, you have to be pretty good to do what they have done this season and to reach this point. Other factors help as well.

The Friars are a very experienced team, ranking seventh in the country in that area. That makes them the most experienced team left in the NCAA Tournament, followed by Texas Tech (34th), Villanova (51st), and Arkansas (70th).

Of course, experience is only one of many helpful factors. But it is worth noting that last year’s national champion, Baylor, was also seventh in experience. And you have to go back to Duke in 2015 for the last national champion without a fairly experienced core.

That is positive news for Kansas as well. Among the Jayhawks’ top eight scorers, six are juniors or seniors eligibility-wise.

Also, Jalen Wilson, the team’s third-leading scorer, is a sophomore eligibility-wise, this is his third season with the program (he medically redshirted after breaking his ankle in the second game of the 2019-20 season), and he was a starter last season. And fellow sophomore DaJuan Harris Jr., who has started 35 of 36 games this season, averaged 16 minutes as a freshman last season.

And as has been the case for Providence, Kansas has gotten some pretty good results out of its experienced core this season as well.

2021-22 Efficiency Rankings for Kansas

  • Adjusted Offensive Efficiency: 6th
  • Adjusted Defensive Efficiency: 26th

One of the most experienced members of that group has come alive at the most important time of the season.

After four seasons at Arizona State, Remy Martin transferred to Kansas to use his extra year of eligibility and was expected to be a key piece for the Jayhawks this season. In each of his last two seasons at Arizona State, Martin averaged 19.1 PPG and scored 1754 points overall in his four seasons in Tempe.

However, after scoring in double figures in eight of his first ten games this season, he posted a dozen straight single-digit performances.

But in the Big 12 Tournament semifinal win against TCU, he broke that run with 10 points. Then in the championship game against Texas Tech, he chipped in with 12 to help Kansas win the title.

Martin has carried that form into the NCAA Tournament, leading the team in scoring in both wins. Against Texas Southern, he scored 15 points on 6 of 8 shooting and added four assists. And against Creighton, he produced a season-high 20 points on 7 of 14 shooting. He also had seven rebounds and four assists in the 79-72 win over the Bluejays.

If he can keep this up and Big 12 Player of the Year and consensus first-team All-American Ochai Agbaji, who did not shoot well Texas Southern and Creighton, can find his shot, the Jayhawks will have a good chance of cutting down the nets in Chicago and New Orleans.

Providence vs. Kansas Sweet 16 Spread & Over/Under Prediction and Picks

Kansas 75, Providence 66 (Kansas -7.5 & UNDER 141.5)

The Friars won at Wisconsin and beat Texas Tech at home this season, and though they were swept by Villanova in the regular season and were 8-4 in the regular season against teams that reached the NCAA Tournament. They belong here, and an upset would not be a surprise.

For all of Bill Self’s success at Kansas, March has mostly been a month of a disappointment. This is the 15th time in 18 NCAA Tournament appearances under Self that the Jayhawks have been a #1 (nine), #2 (three), or a #3 (three) seed. But the Jayhawks have exited the tournament in the first or second round seven times and made only three Final Four trips, cutting down the nets at the very end only in 2008.

But when Kansas reaches the second week, they have a pretty solid success rate in this round. This is their 11th Sweet 16 appearance under Self, and in the previous ten, the Jayhawks are 8-2 in Sweet 16 games. In 2009, they lost to Michigan State, and in 2013, they lost in overtime to Michigan.

Also, as mentioned in our look at the Midwest Region, Kansas has reached the Final Four each of the previous three times it has been in New Orleans. That includes title game appearances in 2003 and 2012. So, history is on their side here.

Were Providence to win, history would also be a good omen for the Friars. Michigan State’s 2009 team went all the way to the national championship game, and so did Michigan’s 2013 squad. But look for Kansas to continue its Sweet 16 success and move within a win of another end-of-season visit to New Orleans.

Other Sweet 16 Game Predictions and Picks

East Region

West Region

South Region

Midwest Region

Eddie Griffin

Eddie Griffin has been writing about and betting on sports for over a decade. He joined the ranks of Betting News as a content manager. For more of his thoughts on sports and sports betting, you can follow him on Twitter.

Eddie Griffin has been writing about and betting on sports for over a decade. He joined the ranks of Betting News as a content manager. For more of his thoughts on sports and sports betting, you can follow him on Twitter.