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Arizona State vs. St. John's - 3/20/19 NCAA Tournament First Four Pick, Odds, and Prediction

St. John's at Arizona State
Date & Time Wednesday March 20, 2019, 11:10 PM (EDT)
UD Arena
Dayton, OH
The Line
Arizona State Sun Devils -1 -- O/U: 152.5
TV Channel
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Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The St. John’s Red Storm and the Arizona State Sun Devils meet in an NCAA Tournament first four matchup in college basketball action from the UD Arena on Wednesday night.

The St. John’s Red Storm come into this tournament as a #11 seed, representing the Big East conference, finishing the year with a 21-12 overall record, including non-conference wins over VCU, Georgia Tech, Cal and Rutgers. The Red Storm finished the season with an 8-10 mark in Big East conference play, good enough for the 7th spot in the conference tournament, defeating DePaul in the opening round before bowing out to Marquette in the quarterfinals. Shamorie Ponds led the Red Storm in scoring and assists with 19.5 points and 5.2 assists per game while Mustapha Heron came 2nd in scoring with 14.9 points per game and LJ Figueroa had 14.3 points along with a team-high 6.2 rebounds per game. Marvin Clark II had 10.8 points per game and Justin Simon chipped in 10.4 points per game as St. John’s 5th double-digit scorer on the year. As a team, St. John’s is averaging 77.5 points per game on 45.4% shooting from the field, 36.1% from behind the arc and 72.5% from the foul line this season.

The Arizona State Sun Devils come into the tournament as a #11 seed, finishing the year with a 22-10 overall record, including non-conference wins over Kansas, Utah State and Mississippi State as well as losses to Nevada, Vanderbilt and Princeton. The Sun Devils finished conference play at 12-6, good enough for the 2nd seed in the conference tournament where the Sun Devils took down UCLA before falling to eventual tournament champion Oregon in overtime. Luguentz Dort led the Sun Devils in scoring with 16.1 points per game while Remy Martin came 2nd in scoring while leading the Sun Devils in assists with 13.4 points and 5.1 assists per game. Zylan Cheatham came 3rd in scoring while averaging a double-double per game with 11.8 points and a team-high 10.4 rebounds per game. Rob Edwards averaged 11.3 points per game. As a team, Arizona State is averaging 77.8 points per game on 44.7% shooting from the field, 34.1% from behind the arc and 67.1% from the foul line this season.

St. John’s is 0-5 ATS in their last 5 NCAA tournament games and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall while the over is 4-1 in their last 5 games following a loss. Arizona State is 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 neutral site games and 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 non-conference games while the under is 5-2 in their last 7 games overall.

You can make a case for either side being favored, however Arizona State did have a better showing in conference play this season. With that said, the Pac-12 wasn’t as strong as it has normally been in years past, and while St. John’s faltered a bit, the Red Storm did have some tough opposition in the likes of Marquette, Xavier and Villanova on their side. These first round games will be tight as neither side will want to make a mistake that could end their tournament run early, and in those tight types of games, I tend to try to be on the side that’s the better side from the foul line. Both sides have scoring depth, but the Red Storm have an experienced group that can handle these pressure situations late. I’ll take the free point with St. John’s in this one.

St. John's +1

Chris has been a sports fan from when he was old enough to pick up a basketball and was a standout offensive lineman throughout high school and college. Chris uses that same instinct, determination and drive to analyze trends and statistics to find and produce winners on a consistent basis. Chris has been writing for Sports Chat Place since 2016 and covers a wide array of sports from college and pro football, college basketball, hockey and baseball.

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