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Saint Mary’s vs UConn Prediction, Game Preview, Live Stream, Odds and Picks

Teams Find Different Ways to Win

UConn Survives Close Call

The 4- and 5-seeded teams of the NCAA West Region will go head-to-head Sunday when the Saint Mary’s Gaels and UConn Huskies each try to reach the Sweet 16.

Saint Mary’s used its classic top-10 defense to advance past the VCU Rams while UConn had to sweat through the first half against Iona. The Huskies went into halftime down two, but their offense helped them pull away after the break.

Saint Mary’s vs UConn Prediction, Game Preview, Live Stream, Odds and Picks
Saint Mary’s vs UConn Prediction, Game Preview, Live Stream, Odds and Picks

UConn has already surpassed past teams’ achievements with its win in the first round, as the Huskies were knocked out in the first round in the last two tournaments. Saint Mary’s will be trying to do the same after the Gaels were eliminated in the Round of 32 last season.

According to college basketball lines, UConn is a 3.5-point favorite in the matchup.

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Saint Mary’s Wins Its Way

The defense has been the name of the game for the Gaels, and it was no different in Friday night’s round-one win.

The Gaels didn’t have a great shooting night, finishing 40.8% from the field and 17.6% from beyond the arc, but their defense stepped up once again.

Saint Mary’s held VCU to its second lowest point total of the season, with the Rams scoring 51 points on 36.7% shooting.

After taking a one-point lead into halftime, the Gaels held VCU to 23 points on 22.2% shooting in the second half. Saint Mary’s also had six blocks and forced 14 turnovers, leading to 12 points in the win.

The Gaels’ strong defense will be crucial to slowing a top UConn offense on Sunday.

According to NCAA basketball odds, Saint Mary’s has +4500 odds to win the championship.

UConn Kicks It Up

Another Gaels team was putting the pressure on the Huskies in the first round of the tournament, as Iona had a two-point lead over UConn at halftime.

UConn turned it around in the second half, however, on both the offensive and defensive ends.

Iona shot 48.5% in the first half to hang with the Huskies and their 38.9% shooting, but the two switched in the second half. The Huskies got hot after the break, shooting 60% from the field, while they held the Gaels to 25% shooting to slip away.

UConn’s second-half burst was led by Adama Sanogo and Jordan Hawkins, who combined for 35 of the Huskies’ 50 second-half points. Sanogo scored 22 of his 28 points after the break, while all of Hawkins’ 13 points came in the second.

The Huskies will need to get back to its balanced scoring to continue advancing in the tournament.

According to NCAA basketball lines, UConn has +1500 odds to win March Madness.

Saint Mary’s vs UConn Game Injuries

Saint Mary’s vs UConn Head-to-Head

This will be the first meeting between the two teams.

According to college basketball odds, Saint Mary’s has +1000 odds to make the Final Four while the sportsbook gives UConn +550 odds to do so.

Saint Mary’s vs UConn Game Information

  • Game: Saint Mary’s (27-7, 14-2 West Coast) vs UConn (26-8, 13-7 Big East)
  • Location: MVP Arena, Albany, NY
  • Day/Time: Sunday, March 19, 6:10 p.m. ET
  • Saint Mary’s vs UConn Live Stream: TBS.com

Saint Mary’s vs UConn Betting Lines

Saint Mary’s vs UConn Picks and Prediction

Both teams had big second halves to pull away from their opponents and earn their way into the Round of 32.

Though Saint Mary’s mostly used its defense to grab the win, the Gaels also shot well in the second half, shooting 47.4% after the break to aid in the win. UConn largely relied on Sanogo in its win, but the Huskies also outrebounded Iona 45-29 to keep the Gaels off the glass and from getting second-chance opportunities. The Gaels did enough to win their first-round matchup, however, the Huskies’ offense may be too much for Saint Mary’s to overcome in round two. UConn should advance to the Sweet 16 after a tight game.

The UConn Huskies are listed at -165 in our Vegas lines. This means that if you wager $100 on the Huskies, you have a chance to win $61. The Saint Mary’s Gaels are +145, offering a chance to win $145 on a $100 wager.

The implied probability attached to the betting lines gives the UConn Huskies a 62.26% chance to win, with the Saint Mary’s Gaels at 40.82%.

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