Villanova vs. Alabama - 3/17/18 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Villanova vs. Alabama - 3/17/18 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction Photo by USA TODAY Sports

Alabama Crimson Tide (20-15) at Villanova Wildcats (31-4)

College Basketball: Saturday, March 17, 2018 at 12:00 pm (PPG Paints Arena)

The Line: Villanova Wildcats -11 -- Over/Under:148 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds

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The Alabama Crimson Tide and Villanova Wildcats will square off at PPG Paints Arena this Saturday afternoon in the 2nd round of the NCAA Tournament.

The 9-seed Alabama Crimson Tide pulled away late and advanced to the 2nd round after defeating the Virginia Tech Hokies, 86-83, this past Thursday night. In a tight back and forth game, Alabama used a 7-0 run late in the 2nd half to take a 70-64 lead and held on late for the victory. Alabama shot 60.0% from the field and 44.4% (8-18) from beyond the arc in the win. Leading the way for the Crimson Tide was Collin Sexton who had 25 points, 3 rebounds, and 6 assists. On the season, Alabama is averaging 72.7 ppg on 46.2% shooting from the field. The Crimson Tide are averaging 6.4 three-pointers per game on 32.8% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Alabama has been led by Collin Sexton (19.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 3.6 apg), Donta Hall (10.9 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 2.1 bpg), John Petty (10.4 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 1.9 apg), and Dazon Ingram (9.9 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 2.6 apg). Defensively, Alabama is allowing their opponents to average 70.3 ppg on 41.7% shooting from the field. The Crimson Tide have a rebound margin of 0.3 and a turnover margin of -1.0.

The 1-seed Villanova Wildcats improved to 31-4 on the season and had no trouble advancing to the 2nd round of the NCAA Tournament after easily defeating the 16-seed Radford Highlanders, 87-61, this past Thursday night. Villanova dominated on both ends of the court throughout the game and had no trouble pulling away after a 22-2 run gave Villanova a 31-8 lead with 8:56 left in regulation. Villanova shot 59.6% from the field and 51.9% (14-27) from beyond the arc while holding Radford to just 33.9% shooting from the field. Leading the way for the Wildcats was Jalen Brunson who had 16 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, and a steal. On the season, Villanova is averaging 87.1 ppg on 50.7% shooting from the field. The Wildcats are averaging 11.5 three-pointers per game on 40.1% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Villanova has been led by Jalen Brunson (19.3 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 4.7 apg), Mikal Bridges (17.9 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 2.1 apg, 1.6 spg), Donte DiVincenzo (13.0 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 3.6 apg, 1.2 spg), and Omari Spellman (10.7 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 1.4 bpg). Defensively, Villanova is allowing their opponents to average 70.6 ppg on 43.2% shooting from the field. The Wildcats have a rebound margin of 2.9 and a turnover margin of 2.7.

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The Crimson Tide are 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 NCAA Tournament games however, are 0-4 ATS in thier last 4 mathcups against Big East opponents. The Wildcats are 7-1 ATS in thier last 8 neutral site games and 7-2 ATS in thier last 9 NCAA Tournament games.  

Alabama has one of the more dynamic players in College Basketball in Collin Sexton and has been led by their defense this season which ranks 123rd in scoring defense, 54th in defensive FG%, and 12th in blocks per game. Villanova did everything that was expected from them in their 1st round matchup as the Wildcats came out firing on all cylinders and will be a tough team to beat in the NCAA Tournament as the Wildcats have an explosive offense that ranks 1st in scoring offense, 3rd in FG%, and 3rd in three-pointers made per game.  Alabama has a decent defense however, I don’t think they’ll be able to handle the various weapons that the Wildcats bring to the table let alone keep up with Villanova on the offensive end, I'm taking Villanova to cover this double-digit spread. 

See Who The Experts Picked To Win This One

Brett’s Pick Villanova Wildcats -11

The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a Sports Chat Place site consensus.

Mitch's Take...

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