While one half of Saturday night's NCAA Tournament Final Four features two mid-major programs in Florida Atlantic and San Diego State, the other half features power conference schools in No. 5 seed Miami of the ACC and No. 4 UConn of the Big East. The Huskies are -5.5 at BetMGM and taking solid action there, but the Hurricanes are taking a sizable chunk of action on the moneyline, and the total is rising. Click here for expert picks.
As of this writing, UConn is taking 63% of the bets on the spread and 51% of the money, but both percentages are dropping. The total has risen from 148.5 to 149.5 and might keep going with 61% of the bets and 79% of the money on the Over. Miami is now +200 on the moneyline and is taking 63% of the bets and 57% of the money. The second-most popular Final Four ticket overall (spreads, totals, etc.) is the Miami moneyline, behind only the Florida Atlantic moneyline (+130) in the first game.
This is the first-ever Final Four appearance for Miami, which was the ACC regular-season champion. That didn't mean what it used to this year as the Hurricanes were underdogs in three of their four Big Dance games (vs. No. 4 Indiana, No. 1 Houston and No. 2 Texas) and only a slight favorite in Round 1 vs. No. 12 Drake. Miami's combined opponent seed total through four rounds of 19 is the lowest of any ACC team to make the Final Four since the field expanded to 64 teams in 1985.
Coach Jim Larrañaga, who might punch his ticket to the Hall of Fame eventually with a national title, is just the second coach in history to lead two different schools to the Final Four while seeded fifth or lower. In 2006, he was at George Mason and the No. 11 Patriots upset No. 1 overall seed UConn to reach the Final Four before losing in the semifinals. Miami's victory over Texas last Sunday came on the 17-year anniversary of Larrañaga's first Elite Eight win. Miami looks to become the first No. 5 seed to win the Dance – as does San Diego State in the other half.
Only 13 of 95 teams have won the national championship in their first-ever Final Four and most of those titles came in the 1940s. The only school to accomplish it in the past 56 years was Connecticut in 1999.
UConn didn't win either the Big East regular-season or conference tournament title this year, but has just one loss in its past 11 games. That defeat came at the hands of Big East double-champion Marquette by two points on March 10. The Huskies have won each of their four NCAA Tournament games by at least 15 points and by an average of 22.5. They have trailed for a total of 18 second-half seconds.
Connecticut is one of a handful of states, including New York and New Jersey, that don't allow betting on in-state college teams (Florida has no betting). Connecticut law does allow an exception for multi-team tournaments in which bets are placed on how local college teams would finish – thus, wagering on the Huskies to win the Dance before it started was allowed. They were +1600 but are now -125. Just once has a No. 4 seed like the Huskies won it all: Arizona in 1997.
NCAA Title Game Lookahead Lines
- UConn -7 FAU
- UConn -4.5 San Diego State
- Miami -1.5 FAU
- Miami pick'em San Diego State
Get more out of your SportsLine subscription!
- Picks: NFL | NBA | CFB | CBB
- DFS: Lineup Optimizer | Picks
- Early Edge: YouTube | Apple Podcasts
- Newsletters: SportsLine Daily | Fantasy
Qualifying SportsLine members receive a 30-day free trial of Paramount+ premium. Sync your account right here.
Share This Story