Providence vs. Texas A&M - NCAA First Round - 3/16/18 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Providence Friars (21-13) at Texas A&M Aggies (20-12)
College Basketball: Friday, March 16, 2018 at 12:15 pm (Spectrum Center)
The Line: Texas A&M Aggies -3.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
We have some NCAA tournament first round action out of the West region as the #10 seed Providence Friars take on the #7 seed Texas A&M Aggies in a college basketball matchup from the Spectrum Center on Friday afternoon.
The Providence Friars come into this matchup as the #10 seed of the region after a 21-13 overall record this season, including a 10-8 conference record, good enough for the #5 seed in the conference tournament, where all 3 of Providence’s games went to overtime. Including a quarterfinal win over Creighton and a semifinal win over top-seeded and West region #1 seed Xavier before falling to eventual tournament champion Villanova in the title game. The Friars took on some tough opposition in their non-conference portion of the schedule, notching wins over Belmont, Boston College, Saint Louis and Washington. The Friars also competed with Minnesota (before their team fell apart after their scandal) and tournament teams Rhode Island and Houston. Rodney Bullock leads Providence in scoring with 14 points per game while Alpha Diallo leads the Friars in rebounding with 6.6 rebounds per game and Kyron Cartwright leads Providence in assists with 5.7 assists per game this season. As a team, Providence is scoring 73.7 points per game on 44.2% shooting from the field, 33.3% from behind the arc and 70.3% from the foul line this season.
USA TODAY Sports
The Texas A&M Aggies reached the big dance as a #7 seed after their 20-12 overall record this season, including a 9-9 mark in SEC play that gave the Aggies the #8 seed in the conference tournament where the Aggies didn’t have a very long stay, falling to eventual semifinalist Alabama in the second round on a last second buzzer beating layup from Bama’s Collin Sexton. A big part of why Texas A&M made the tournament was their play out of conference, taking down teams like USC, Penn State, Oklahoma State and West Virginia in addition to a narrow 3 point loss to Pac-12 champion Arizona as well. Tyler Davis leads the Aggies with an average of 14.5 points and 8.8 rebounds per game while DJ Hogg leads the Aggies in assists with 2.6 assists per game this season. As a team, Texas A&M is scoring 75 points per game on 45.7% shooting from the field, 32.7% from behind the arc and 66.7% from the foul line this season.
Providence is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall and 5-12 ATS in their last 17 games against the SEC while the over is 13-3-1 in their last 17 non-conference games. Texas A&M is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 NCAA Tournament games and 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games overall while the over is 4-1 in their last 5 games following a loss.
I’ve gone back and forth on this game, as I honestly think it could go either way. However, if we go back to their respective conference tournaments, the Friars took down some of the best in the Big East and went down to the wire with Villanova before running out of gas in the title game, while Texas A&M had to scratch and dig just to get back into the game against Alabama which they still ended up losing. I think the Friars have enough to match up with the Aggies and keep this close if not take the game outright, so I’ll take Providence and the points here.