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Baylor vs UCSB Prediction, Game Preview, Live Stream, Odds and Picks

Baylor Firm Favorite in Opening Game

Underdog Gauchos a Threat in 3-14 Matchup

The NCAA Tournament has arrived and if you are looking for a 14 seed to beat a No. 3 seed, this could be the game you have in mind.

Is UC Santa Barbara-Baylor the game that will make the college basketball news headlines for a huge upset in the Round of 64? Let’s look at these two teams and see if there’s value with the dog here.

UC Santa Barbara vs Baylor Prediction, Game Preview, Live Stream, Odds and Picks
UC Santa Barbara vs Baylor Prediction, Game Preview, Live Stream, Odds and Picks

UC Santa Barbara Familiar With Madness

The UC Santa Barbara Gauchos made the NCAA Tournament two years ago in 2021 when they were a No. 12 seed. Back then, they played the No. 5 seed Creighton Bluejays in the first round and were right there with a chance to win at the end,

They couldn’t hit the final shot and Creighton survived 63-62. Could we see a similar result here? That’s something to ponder with your sports bets.

UCSB coach Joe Pasternack is viewed as one of the better mid-major coaches in college basketball. Industry insiders would not be shocked if he found a job at a Power 5 school before too long.

UCSB certainly has a quality coach and that will give the Gauchos confidence heading into this battle. They finished second behind Cal Irvine in the Big West Conference and had a terrific season with very few stumbles.

They defeated Cal Poly in the Big West Tournament quarterfinals, UC Riverside in a high-scoring semifinal and Cal State Fullerton in a tough, contentious final.

This team isn’t blowing opponents out, so be careful getting too confident in the sportsbook. The Gauchos tend to be winning the last five to 10 minutes of games, which in March is a great quality to have. This team doesn’t fold under pressure.

However, you might want to do some live betting online and watch to see if they struggle early. That’ll offer more value with a team that we know closes well late.

Baylor Gets Fresh Start

The Baylor Bears did not have a great regular season. A team that was a No. 1 seed in the 2021 and 2022 NCAA Tournaments is a No. 3 seed this year.

The Bears missed one of their core frontcourt players, Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua, for most of the season. He came back in the middle of winter during the Big 12 Conference season.

It was hoped that Tchamwa Tchatchoua would bolster the team’s defense and rebounding in February and early March, but those who bet online know that it hasn’t happened yet.

Baylor got outworked by Iowa State in two late losses to the Cyclones, one in the regular-season finale and one in the Big 12 Tournament. Baylor will try to reset the dial and play a level of defense it generally hasn’t been able to establish this season.

Baylor vs UCSB Game Injuries

Baylor vs UCSB Head-to-Head

These two schools last met in 1970. UC Santa Barbara won 95-68. The all-time series is tied, 1-1.

Baylor vs UCSB Game Information

  • Game: Baylor vs UCSB
  • Location: Ball Arena, Denver, CO
  • Day/Time: Friday, March 17, 1:30 p.m. ET
  • Baylor vs UCSB Live Stream: TBS.com

Baylor vs UCSB Betting Lines

Baylor vs UCSB Picks and Prediction

The game figures to be close – even if the March Madness betting odds show a big spread. UC Santa Barbara plays good defense and can dictate the tempo.

Baylor needs to prove it can play at a higher level before it receives the full benefit of the doubt. The Bears will probably win but it won’t be a romp. Take the points with your March Madness prediction.

Baylor is listed at -600 in our Vegas March Madness lines. So, if you wager $100 on the Bears, there’s a chance to win $17. UCSB is +450 with a chance to win $450 on a $100 wager. The implied probability attached to the betting lines gives the Gauchos an 18.18% chance to win, with the Bears at 85.71%.

Baylor vs UCSB Edge

Baylor vs UCSB Results

Baylor vs UCSB Game Summary

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