When you sign-up through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more >
The dominant No. 4 UConn Huskies ran will tangle with the dangerous No. 5 Miami Hurricanes in the Final Four Saturday evening for a spot in the NCAA Tournament Championship Game.
FanDuel sportsbook is offering a $1,000 “no-sweat first bet” to all first-time sports bettors ahead of the NCAA Tournament Final Four matchup between No. 4 UConn and No. 5 Miami. A no-sweat first bet allows bettors to win back the value of missed first bets (up to $1,000) in the form of bonus bets.
For example, a bettor that risks $300 that UConn will win with their first wager will be refunded $300 worth of bonus bets in the event that Miami wins.
Miami was a streaky team when it made the Elite Eight season last year and still has similar inconsistencies, though not to the same degree. They look like arguably the nation’s best team, specifically on offense, when they are firing on all cylinders but average when they are not.
Luckily for south Florida’s finest, they have been on their game in the tournament, scoring at least 85 points in their last three games. That includes a win against a defensive juggernaut in No. 1 Houston and a physical No. 2 Texas squad.
Miami can make lots of difficult shots and is never out of a game as a result. Their streaky nature means that they will give up and go on runs, so just the same way that they are never truly without hope, they can dig themselves into holes they shouldn’t be in.
6-foot-7 guard Jordan Miller went 7-7 from the field and 13-13 from the free-throw line en route to scoring a perfect 27 points in the Elite Eight against Texas. His defensive versatility and ability to drive the ball will be key against UConn.
Isaiah Wong and Nijel Pack will also need to have strong outings for the underdogs to steal a win. UConn loves to slow the game down when it’s on defense, which will put pressure on the Miami guards to score in the half-court and largely out of isolation. Both have outstanding skill sets and are capable of doing just that but are also prone to taking ill-advised shots.
The Hurricanes don’t play many bench minutes at all. They will have to be very careful not to burn all of their energy before the dire moments.
Miami beat No. 12 Drake (63-56) and No. 4 Indiana (85-69) during the opening weekend. They then blitzed past No. 1 Houston 89-75 in the Sweet 16 and mounted a 13-point comeback against No. 2 Texas in the Elite Eight to book their ticket into the Final Four for the first time in school history.
Connecticut is the betting favorite to win the national title and the lowest seed remaining. Interestingly, this is the first time in the history of March Madness that there are no top-three seeds still competing for the championship.
The Huskies rank well in all sorts of categories, including free-throw percentage, assist-to-turnover ratio, and offensive rebounding. They are also the number-one overall team on the popular basketball statistics website KenPom.
UConn loves to play fast on offense and hit the brakes on defense. They are a long, rangy team that has quality bench players and incredible versatility. They also execute at a high level on both ends and have shown little-to-no blemishes in the tournament.
UConn is led by a star pairing of Adama Sanogo and Jordan Hawkins. Sanogo averages 17.1 points and 7.5 rebounds and shoots 60.4% from the field. Hawkins is a 16.3-point-per-night scorer that also pitches in with 3.8 rebounds while shooting 38.5% from deep territory.
Sanogo, at 6-foot-9, 245 pounds, will be extremely hard to account for by a smaller Miami team. Even worse for the Hurricanes, UConn has willing and capable wings that take advantage of the extra attention paid to their big man and constantly crash the glass, which is why they had the best offensive rebounding rate away from home this year.
As deep and talented as UConn is, this game will rest heavily on the shoulders of Jordan Hawkins. He needs to win the battle of the “second option” against Jordan Miller by getting his three-point shot to fall and providing momentum-churning buckets. If he has a quiet night, he will leave his team at risk of being upset.
UConn has dominated everyone it has faced in March Madness. It beat No. 13 Iona, No. 5 Saint Mary’s, and No. 8 Arkansas in the first three rounds by an average of 20.7 points and then annihilated No. 3 Gonzaga 82-54 in the Elite Eight. It is now searching for its fifth national championship and first since 2014.
Check Out The Best NCAA Tournament Betting Promos: WSN NCAA Tournament March Madness Promos & Bonuses
UConn is a much better overall team according to common metrics. The most glaring advantage is in defensive rating, where UConn ranks 12th to Miami’s 198th—however, the Hurricanes are allowing opponents to shoot just 42.1% from the field and 32.7% from beyond the arc during its tournament run.
Miami will have to be especially ready to hustle in transition. UConn loves to push the ball and will find great success if the Hurricanes aren’t completely locked in.
The individual matchup between Hawkins and Miller should go a long way to deciding the final score. Miller is an excellent defender that likely will not start on Hawkins by way of matchups but could get switched onto him if the latter heats up. He is also not as prolific of a shooter as his counterpart but can provide a steady dose of interior scoring with his nifty footwork and combination of strength and length.
Despite Connecticut’s team advantages, the individual skills of the Miami players can’t be overlooked. Be ready for a barnstormer that comes down to the final moments.
No. 4 UConn ATS Record: 25-11-1
No. 5 Miami ATS Record: 22-14
*Odds from FanDuel sportsbook*
No. 4 UConn
Over 149.5 (-110)
No. 5 Miami
Under 149.5 (-110)
No. 4 UConn vs No. 5 Miami pick and prediction: Over 149.5 (-110)
Location: NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas
Game Time & Date: 8:49 p.m. ET, Saturday, April 1,
TV Network: CBS
Streaming: YouTube TV, Hulu, Fubo, etc.
Grant is a sports and sports betting journalist who prides himself on delivering breaking news and insightful analyses of the industry. Grant graduated from Virginia Tech in 2021 and is feverishly pursuing his ambitions in the sports betting field.
In his free time, Grant can be found passionately watching sports, doing a workout, or searching for adventure with his friends.More info on Grant Mitchell
© Rebel Penguin ApS 2024 (a subsidiary of Gaming Innovation Group Inc.)
We support responsible gambling. 21+ Only. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-Gambler.
WSN.com is run by iGaming Cloud Inc (a Gaming Innovation Group Subsidiary) and is registered with the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) under affiliate vendor ID 89744, with the Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) under certificate of registration number SWR-000148, approved by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board as a gaming service provider, under certificate registration number 117656-1, possesses a Vendor Minor sports betting license from the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission (account number 94414163), granted a vendor registration number VR007603-20-001 by the Michigan Gaming Control Board, an interim Sports Wagering Supplier license, under license number SWS 066, issued by the West Virginia Lottery Commission, a sports betting vendor registration, under registration number #100400, issued by the Director of Gaming Licensing and Investigations of the Virginia Lottery to operate in the State of Virginia, and a Vendor Registration issued by the Sports Wagering Committee of the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation.
Advertising disclosure: WSN contains links to online retailers on its website. When people click on our affiliate links and make purchases, WSN earns a commission from our partners, including ESPN and various sportsbooks.