Texas vs. Abilene Christian Odds For NCAA Tournament First Round
John E. Moore III/Getty Images. Pictured: Matt Coleman (left) and Greg Brown (right).
#3 Texas vs. #14 Abilene Christian Odds
|Ab Christian Odds||+9|
|Moneyline||+350 / -455|
|Time||Saturday, 9:50 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Sunday and via DraftKings|
How Texas & Abilene Christian Match Up
|All stats via KenPom.|
Texas vs. Abilene Christian Instant Analysis
Are you looking for a big first-round upset?
Look no further than Abilene Christian and its incredible defense. The Wildcats finished first in their conference and 30th in the country in defensive efficiency, while finishing 12th in the country in defensive eFG%.
Their perimeter defense is super active and especially effective. The Wildcats finished first in the nation in turnover percentage, forcing 9.9 steals and more than 20 total turnovers per game. They also held opponents to below 30% shooting from 3-point range.
While Texas, with a considerable bit of luck, won the Big 12 Tournament, I’m not really high on this team. Plus, with a turnover rate of over 20%, the Texas offense falls right into the Abilene Christian defense’s hands.
Abilene Christian went 7-1 SU and ATS in its last eight games, and I believe they can be active enough on the perimeter to really mess with the Longhorns’ guard play. Jericho Sims is going to be a big issue, but let’s see if 7-foot senior Kolton Kohl can contain him to some degree. — Tanner McGrath
What To Know About Texas
Shaka Smart looked like he was on the hot seat and needed to show signs of progress in Austin, and boy, did the Longhorns do just that this season.
Texas ranks in the top 30 of KenPom’s adjusted offensive and defensive efficiency. It receives the majority of its offense from three upperclassmen in Andrew Jones (14.7 points), Courtney Ramey (13) and Matt Coleman III (12.7). The Longhorns are a very streaky team that’s capable of putting up points with anyone in the country, which makes them a dangerous team in March.
With its high-intensity defense — which is typical of a Smart-coached team, and experience — Texas will be a tough out for any team in March. This team has all of the pieces to make a deep run in a one-and-done format. They have shooters, experience, elite length and crazy athleticism that enables them to defend almost any type of offense.
As long as they are locked in on the defensive end (and Greg Brown is fully engaged), this team has Final Four potential, especially if they can just cut down a bit on the turnovers — Matt Trebby
What To Know About Abilene Christian
What Abilene Christian could pull off is the tried-and-true Southland Conference formula in the Big Dance. That, of course, is suffocating opponents with a style of pressure defense that has all but vanished from college basketball.
Before Abilene got on its recent run, it was the SLC’s flagbearer, Stephen F. Austin, causing havoc in March with a full-court press defense.
The Lumberjacks made the NCAA Tournament four times between 2014 and 2018, collecting a pair of shocking upsets and falling a single basket short of the Sweet 16 in 2016.
ACU has embraced the SLC top-dog persona and is turning teams at the highest rate in the nation.
It’s all about the defense, which ranks in the 100th percentile in points per possession in the half court per Synergy. ACU will press at times, but its bread-and-butter is a no-middle scheme that puts an extreme emphasis on taking away paint touches. It also helps to have a 7-footer protecting the rim in Kolton Kohl, along with a few other very effective interior defenders.
On the other end, it’s the fifth-most post-centric offense in the country. The goal is to get to the rim (which they do at a top-25 rate) or kick it out to a plehtora of capable shooters for a team that ranks in the top-50 nationally in 3-point%.
The Wildcats are an extremely effective passing team that rarely settles for 2-point jump shots. Ideally, they’d want to face a team that allows them to run their post-oriented offense and avoid a scheme that would take that completely away like Virginia’s pack-line or another no-middle scheme. — Stuckey
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