Connecticut vs. SMU - 3/8/18 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Southern Methodist Mustangs (16-15) at Connecticut Huskies (14-17)
College Basketball: Thursday, March 8, 2018 at 12:00 pm (Amway Center)
The Line: Connecticut Huskies +2 -- Over/Under: 131 See the Latest Odds
We have some AAC tournament first round action on Thursday as the #9 seed SMU Mustangs take on the #8 seed UCONN Huskies in a college basketball matchup.
The SMU Mustangs finished with the #9 seed in the conference tournament after ending conference play with a 6-12 AAC mark as part of their 16-15 overall record this season. SMU raced out to a strong 10-3 start to the season, including wins over Boise State, USC and a neutral site win over Arizona, with their 3 losses coming to TCU and a pair of losses by a basket to Western Kentucky and Northern Iowa. The Mustangs started off AAC play with a pair of back-to-back wins, but quickly found themselves back at .500 before ending the year with losses in 8 of their last 9 games to finish the season. Jimmy Whitt led SMU with 10.8 points and 3.5 assists per game while Ben Emelogu II led the Mustangs on the glass with 5.3 rebounds per game this season. As a team, SMU is scoring 69.7 points per game on 44.5% shooting from the field, 38.4% from behind the arc and 68% from the foul line this season.
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The UCONN Huskies come into the conference tournament as the #8 seed with a 7-11 conference mark as part of their 14-17 overall record this season. UCONN opened the year strong at 4-0 with a win over Oregon, but back-to-back losses and defeats in 5 of 8 sent UCONN to 7-5 entering conference play. Granted all of those losses came to some solid competition like Michigan State, Arkansas, Syracuse, Arizona and Auburn. Things didn’t get easier for the Huskies as they fell back to .500 by opening conference play with losses to Wichita State and Tulsa. 3 straight wins got UCONN back to a game above .500 but that’s as good as it would get as UCONN then lost 5 of 6, 7 of 9 and 9 of 12 down the stretch. Jalen Adams leads UCONN with an average of 18.4 points and 4.7 assists per game while Christian Vital leads the Huskies on the glass with 5.3 rebounds per game this season. As a team, UCONN is scoring 68 points per game on 41.4% shooting from the field, 32.8% from behind the arc and 74.7% from the foul line this season.
SMU is 2-6-1 ATS in their last 9 games overall and 16-37-1 ATS in their last 54 neutral site games while the under is 4-0 in their last 4 games following a loss. UCONN is 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games overall and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 neutral site games while the over is 6-2 in their last 8 conference matchups. SMU is 7-3 ATS in the last 10 meetings between these two teams.
Neither of these two are teams I feel like backing given our history together this season. With that said, while UCONN has struggled at times, they’ve proved me wrong here and there as of late. SMU’s roster is clearly missing something without the likes of Shake Milton and Jarrey Foster as the Mustangs have looked inept offensively from time to time as of late. This game is best left alone but if forced to pick, I’d take the free bucket with the slightly better team in UCONN.