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Harvard vs. Penn - 3/16/19 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Game
Penn at Harvard
Date & Time Saturday March 16, 2019, 12:30 PM (EDT)
Location
John J. Lee Amphitheater
New Haven, CT
The Line
Harvard Crimson -1 -- O/U: 136
TV Channel
ESPNU
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Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Penn Quakers and the Harvard Crimson meet in an Ivy League tournament semifinal in college basketball action from the John J. Lee Amphitheater on Saturday afternoon.

The Penn Quakers enter the conference tournament as the 4th seed, finishing the year with a 19-11 overall record, including a 7-7 mark in conference play to finish in a 3-way tie for the final playoff spot, making the conference tournament thanks to a head-to-head tiebreaker with Brown and Cornell. Penn faced some tough non-conference opposition with wins over George Mason, Miami, Villanova and Temple while taking losses to Oregon State, Kansas State and Toledo. The Quakers started conference play rough at 0-3 but battled back to 4-7 before winning 3 straight to finish the season, including a 58-51 victory over Brown in the regular season finale that punched Penn’s ticket to the Ivy League tournament. AJ Brodeur led the Quakers with an average of 17.4 points, 8.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game this season. Devon Goodman came 2nd in scoring with 14 points per game and Antonio Woods came 3rd with 10.2 points per game this season. As a team, Penn is averaging 73.1 points per game on 45.4% shooting from the field, 35.1% from behind the arc and 63.9% from the foul line this season.

The Harvard Crimson come into the conference tournament as the top seed, finishing with a 17-10 overall record, including 10-4 in conference play, winning out on the top seed by virtue of a tiebreaker with Yale. Harvard had some tough tests of their own in non-conference play, with losses to Rhode Island, San Francisco and North Carolina as well as picking up a win over WCC champion Saint Mary’s. Harvard dropped their conference opener but won their next 4 to get ahead of the game. The Crimson finished the year by winning 6 of 9 down the stretch to lock up the top seed, including a pair of wins over Yale. Bryce Aiken leads Harvard with an average of 21.9 points per game while Chris Lewis is averaging 10.7 points per game and Noah Kirkwood is averaging 10.4 points per game. Justin Bassey leads the Crimson in rebounding with 6.8 rebounds per game and Christian Juzang leads the Crimson in assists with 2.7 assists per game this season. As a team, Harvard is averaging 71.2 points per game on 45.9% shooting from the field, 37.3% from behind the arc and 70.7% from the foul line this season.

Penn is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall while the under is 5-0 in their last 5 conference games. Harvard is 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall and 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games against a team with a winning record while the over is 6-1 in their last 7 neutral site games. Penn is 1-4 ATS in the last 5 meetings between these two teams.

Penn has the better overall record of the two here, but the fact is that Harvard played better basketball over the course of conference play and already picked up the season sweep of the Quakers this year. This game could go either way, which is why the line is as low as it is, but I just have more trust in Harvard given their success in this matchup, so I’ll lay the point with the Crimson in this one.

Pick:
Harvard -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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