Last Updated Mar 21, 2023, 2:58 PM
Saint Mary's vs. UConn Picks, Predictions, Odds
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2023 NCAA Tournament Picks
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Although the Saint Mary's Gaels have been a virtual mainstay in the NCAA Tournament over the last two decades, they have only made it past the first weekend of March Madness one time. However, this is the second straight season in which Saint Mary's is a No. 5 seed, so the Gaels are hoping they can get to the Sweet 16 for the second time under Randy Bennett.
The UConn Huskies present an extremely tough test though as the Huskies are rated the fourth-best team in the country according to Ken Pomeroy's metrics. On Sunday, March 19, 2023, the Saint Mary's Gaels will face the UConn Huskies for the right to face Arkansas in the Sweet 16. This game will tip off at 6:10 p.m. ET on TNT from MVP Arena in Albany, New York.
Saint Mary's Gaels vs. UConn Huskies Betting Prediction
It's never easy to play Saint Mary's considering the strength of the defense and the slow tempo they play at on offense. The Gaels rank in the bottom five nationally in tempo, and they have the eighth best defense in the country per Pomeroy. They have a very good interior defense with Mitchell Saxen and Kyle Bowen in the paint, but UConn has the shot makers to beat this D and advance to the Sweet 16 next weekend.
Best Bet: UConn -3.5 (-110)
Score Prediction: UConn 68, Saint Mary's 62
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Saint Mary's Gaels vs. UConn Huskies Betting Odds
Saint Mary's Gaels vs. UConn Huskies Betting Resources
Date: Sunday, Mar. 19, 2023
TV-Time: TNT, 6:10 p.m. ET
Venue: MVP Arena
Location: Albany, New York
Saint Mary's Gaels vs. UConn Huskies Betting Stats
Saint Mary's Gaels
Straight Up (SU), Against the Spread (ATS), Over-Under (O/U)
Points Per Game (PPG), Opponents Points Per Game (OPPG)
Saint Mary's Gaels Betting Analysis
Logan Johnson leads Saint Mary's in points (14.6 PPG), assists (3.6 APG), and steals (1.5 APG). Johnson is making 45.9% of his field goals, but he isn't a great three-point shooter. He is making just 31% of his threes, so it's fortunate that the Gaels have two other guards that can drain their threes in Aidan Mahaney and Alex Ducas. Mahaney is hitting 40.6% of his triples and is averaging 14.1 PPG, while Ducas is making 41.1% of his threes and is averaging 12.6 PPG.
Mitchell Saxen and Kyle Bowen are good rebounders, and they are combining to average 14.9 RPG for the Gaels. Saxen is making 55.3% of his field goals, but Bowen is more of a perimeter shooter and is only hitting 41.7% of his shots. However, the good news with Bowen is that he is making 38.1% of his threes.
One of the big concerns with Saint Mary's coming into this game is fatigue. The Gaels don't have much of a bench, and all five of their starters are averaging at least 30 MPG. That will make the second game over weekends difficult in March Madness, and they played four of their starters for 38 minutes or more against VCU. The only exception was Aidan Mahaney who only played 18 minutes, as he really struggled during his time on the court. Mahaney failed to score a point and registered four fouls.
UConn Huskies Betting Prediction
Adama Sanogo was fantastic in UConn's big win over Iona on Friday. Sanogo had 28 points and 13 rebounds against those Gaels, as he continues to pace the Huskies in both points and rebounds. He is averaging 17.1 PPG and 7.4 RPG, and he is making 60.4% of his field goals.
UConn has a fantastic shotmaker in Jordan Hawkins. He is the second-leading scorer on the Huskies, averaging 16.0 PPG, and he is expected to be a first round pick in the 2023 NBA Draft. Hawkins' numbers aren't great if you look at them, but he is a player that you need to see in person to understand his impact. That is a big part of why UConn ranks fourth in offensive efficiency by Pomeroy. Additionally, the Huskies are the best offensive rebounding team in the nation, as Donovan Clingan is a phenomenal rebounder when he is on the court.
The Huskies rank 11th in defensive field goal efficiency. They are holding opponents to 30.4% shooting from beyond the arc and 45.5% from inside the perimeter, and both those numbers rank in the top 20. The only thing that UConn really has issues with on defense is its propensity to send opponents to the free throw line too often. The good news there is that Saint Mary's isn't a good free throw shooting team, so the Gaels won't make them pay like other teams would be able to in this situation.