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South Florida vs. Connecticut - 3/14/19 AAC Tournament First Round College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Connecticut at South Florida
Date & Time Thursday March 14, 2019, 1:00 PM (EDT)
Memphis, TN
The Line
UConn Huskies -1 -- O/U: 133
TV Channel
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The UConn Huskies and the South Florida Bulls meet in an AAC tournament first round matchup in college basketball action from the FedExForum on Thursday afternoon.

The UConn Huskies enter the tournament as the #9 seed after finishing the year with a 15-16 overall record, including 6-12 in AAC play to finish in a tie for 9th, winning out on the higher seed because of a tiebreaker with SMU. UConn scheduled some tough non-conference opposition, picking up a win over Syracuse as well as losses to Iowa, Arizona, Florida state and Villanova. Conference play was a bumpy road for the Huskies as UConn started 1-4 and got as high as 4-5 before a 6-game losing streak late in the season. The Huskies saved some face with wins in two of their final three games, but the damage had already been done. Jalen Adams leads UConn in scoring with 16.9 points per game while Christian Vital is 2nd in team scoring with 14.1 points per game. Josh Carlton is averaging 9.1 points and a team-high 6 rebounds per game this season. As a team, UConn is averaging 74.5 points per game on 44.9% shooting from the field, 34.6% from behind the arc and 68.6% from the foul line this season.

The South Florida Bulls come into the tournament as the #8 seed, finishing the year with a 19-12 overall record, including 8-10 in AAC play to finish in a tie for the #7 seed, but losing out to Tulsa due to a tiebreaker. South Florida didn’t have the toughest non-conference schedule, with their most nameworthy game being a 3-point overtime loss to Georgetown. USF started conference play by alternating wins and losses in each of their first 4 games and falling to 2-4 before rattling off 5 straight wins to get as high as 7-4. The wheels would fall off down the stretch however, as USF would lose 6 of their final 7 conference games to finish below .500 in AAC play. David Collins led USF in scoring with 15.3 points per game while Laquincy Rideau came 2nd with 12.9 points along with a team-high 5.5 assists per game. Alexis Yetna came in as South Florida’s 3rd leading scorer with 12.1 points and a team-high 9.6 rebounds per game this season. As a team, USF is averaging 72.2 points per game on 42.9% shooting from the field, 32.8% from behind the 3-point line and 64.1% from the foul line this season.

UConn is 9-4 ATS in their last 13 games overall and 1-7 ATS in their last 8 neutral site games while the under is 8-2 in their last 10 conference games. South Florida is 1-7 ATS in their last 8 games overall and 4-0 ATS in their last 4 neutral site games while the over is 4-1 in their last 5 games against a team with a losing record. UConn is 0-4 ATS in the last 4 meetings between these two teams.

UConn has been better ATS as of late and did just beat the Bulls at home just over a week ago. However, in non-home games this year, UConn is just 2-10 SU, while South Florida has been solid on a neutral floor ATS. There’s also the fact that UConn has also struggled to cover the number against the Bulls for the last couple of years, so in a near pick ‘em scenario, I have to take the free point with USF here.

USF +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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