March Madness predictions: How to play total in FAU vs. Kansas State

In the last week, I’ve given out Final Four futures on Florida Atlantic (+500) and Kansas State (+320) in The Post, so I’m sitting in a good position with the two teams meeting in the Elite Eight.

In this matchup, however, I give a slight edge to the surprising Owls.

Kansas State likes to play fast and force turnovers.

The one issue with that strategy is the Wildcats can be forced into making mistakes as well.

KSU ranks 263rd in turnover percentage and will now face an FAU team that plays a similar style and likes to pressure the basketball.

Kansas State vs. FAU pick

(6:09 p.m. Eastern)

More big edges for FAU are offensive rebounding and second-chance opportunities.

The Owls rank 95th in offensive rebounding percentage (KenPom) and 38th in second-chance conversion percentage (Haslametrics).

FAU’s advantage on the offensive boards against a Kansas State team that struggles with defensive rebounding (248th) should lead to easy buckets for the Owls.

Bryan Greenlee
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Florida Atlantic is also the deeper team. The Owls rank 14th in bench minutes, while Kansas State ranks a distant 325th.

Depth should play a factor in the second half and that could impact fouling.

The Wildcats rank bottom 60 in opponent’s foul shots per game, so I expect FAU to get plenty of opportunities at the free throw line.

Betting on College Basketball?

Kansas State plays at a frenetic pace and FAU will be more than happy to run with the Wildcats.

I lean FAU in a tight game, but the play I like the most is the Owls’ team total over 71.5.

Win or lose, points off turnovers, second-chance buckets and opportunities at the foul line should get FAU over this total.

Kansas State vs. FAU prediction

FAU team total over 71.5 points (-120, FanDuel)

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