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NCAA First Round Connecticut Huskies vs. Saint Joseph's Hawks Pick-Odds-Prediction - 3/20/14

Saint Joseph's Hawks (23-9) at Connecticut Huskies (26-8)

College Basketball: Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 6:55 pm (First Niagara Center)

The Line: Connecticut Huskies -5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds


The Saint Joseph's Hawks take the hardwood with the Connecticut Huskies in an NCAA first round match up.

Saint Joseph's might have finished third in very tough Atlantic Ten but they knew how to get a basket when needed and even more important they got plenty of defensive stops. After dropping back to back contests to end the regular season the Hawks reeled off three consecutive victories capped off by a 65-61 decision over Virginia Commonwealth to win the conference crown. The Hawks could score and defend which was an impressive feat given their sturdy #50 SOS. The Hawks outscored opponents 71-67 but generally played above their defensive numbers which is always a good thing in the Big Dance. If the D holds up Langston Galloway (17 ppg) and three other DD scorers makes this team dangerous.

NCAA First Round Connecticut Huskies vs. Saint Joseph's Hawks Pick-Odds-Prediction - 3/20/14

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Connecticut was on the outside looking in at the top spot in the AAC for the entire season but nearly exacted some revenge when they knocked off Cincinnati in the conference semifinals before falling by ten to Louisville in the title game. The Huskies possessed plenty of balance by outscoring teams 72-63 on a not too shabby #39 strength of schedule which enabled them to win in just about any manner. That might be true but it was still defense that drove this team and a stingy defense combined with the scoring of Shabazz Napier is a great combination to have on your side.

Both teams are more similar then different with the ability to score and defend so I have a hard time giving up points although my gut says watch out for Connecticut...

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Saint Joseph's +5// up to +5.5/+6

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