It was a tale of two different stories for how Miami Vs. UConn came to be. The Huskies controlled the game from start to finish against the Gonzaga Bulldogs in what ended up being a blowout while Miami scraped together a late run to shock the Longhorns. UConn now finds themselves as a comfortable -5.5 favorite as this is their tournament to lose. Miami will have upset on their mind yet may be outmatched in this one. My prediction is that UConn dominates once again by comfortably covering the spread.
Miami Vs. UConn Prediction
It can’t be overstated enough how superior the Huskies are to the rest of the competition as Kenpom has them power rated eight points over the next best team in SDSU. That number takes a dip more towards their favor against their actual opponent in this one as Miami is a +10 underdog per projections. Miami’s identity will mirror that of UConn’s last opponent in Gonzaga as both field a high-powered offense while their defense is average at best.
The Miami defense is actually in a worse state in this contest in comparison to Gonzaga as they rank 104th in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency while the Bulldogs clocked in at 73rd. A brunt of Miami’s defensive struggles comes from their inability to cover the open man, allowing an Opposing Effective Field Goal Percentage of 51%. A percentage that has them ranked 201st in eFG% and they now have to deal with the ultra-efficient UConn offense who excel in creating space for open looks at the rim.
Those open looks have resulted in points as UConn has been capitalizing on their hyper efficient offense all tournament long. Ranked third in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency, the Huskies are capable of burning opposing defenses in the interior or on the perimeter with their inside-out approach. Shifting defenses to their liking to create gaps in various areas of the court, the Huskies burn the lack of coverage with an Effective Field Goal Percentage of 54%. That number has increased since tournament play, climbing up to an incredible 58.5%.
They should be able to maintain that high level of offensive play against a very weak Miami defense with Jordan Hawkins running the show. He has been the Huskies best player since the start of the tournament, recently turning in a performance against Gonzaga that featured 20 points and six rebounds. Hawkins ability to command defensive attention at the perimeter will open up the interior for Adama Sanogo, getting much needed space to score around the Hurricanes big man Norchad Omier.
Miami Vs. UConn Prediction: UConn -5.5
Miami Vs. UConn Odds
Even with Kenpom having UConn projected at -10 against the Hurricanes, and Bart Torvik having them at -8.5, oddsmakers have tempered their expectations of a blowout and opened the Huskies as a -5 favorite. Bettors were quick to back UConn, taking the number up to -5.5 as of writing. This comes as no surprise due to recency bias, coming off of a blowout win while also being more efficient on both ends of the court.
As for the total, points are expected to be scored at a quick pace as oddsmakers opened the number at 149.5. Bettors have yet to take a firm stand on either side of the total, keeping the number the same since the opener. This is in line with projections, having little to no value on either side of the total. The over does bring some slight intrigue as Miami’s offense can give any defense trouble with Wong and Miller leading the charge.
Miami Vs. UConn Key Matchups
Isaiah Wong and Jordan Miller vs UConn defense
Miami is all gas and no brakes as their offense can put up points in a hurry. This is in large part of their formidable duo of Isaiah Wong and Jordan Miller, Miami’s two stud guards who average a combined 31.6 points per game.
Jordan Miller was perfect against Texas to send Miami to the Final Four for the first time ever:
– 27 PTS
– 7-7 FG
– 13-13 FT pic.twitter.com/TtEo7mwj4S
— B/R Hoops (@brhoops) March 26, 2023
They bring a dual threat style approach, both capable of burning you from either the perimeter or with their slashing abilities. The issue for them is that they now have to deal with the Huskies length and size as they can shift over help side in an instant and negate looks at the rim.
UConn holds opposing offenses to an Effective Field Goal Percentage of 44.8%, good for eighth in the nation. That number has drastically improved since tournament play, crashing down to an incredible 37.5%. UConn’s ability to limit Miami’s high quality looks at the rim is a key reason why I believe they cover the spread with ease in my Miami Vs. UConn prediction.
Back the Huskies at no higher than -7.5 as they should have little to no issue in limiting the Hurricanes duo while also consistently scoring against their weak defense.