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VCU vs. UCF - 3/22/19 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Game
UCF vs. VCU
Date & Time Friday March 22, 2019, 9:40 PM (EDT)
Location
Colonial Life Arena
Columbia, South Carolina
The Line
The Line: VCU -1.5 -- Over/Under:
TV Channel
CBS
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Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

The UCF Knights and VCU Rams meet Friday in the first round of the college basketball NCAA Tournament at the Colonial Life Arena.

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The UCF Knights enter this tournament winning seven of their last 10 games. The UCF Knights are averaging 72.1 points on 46.3 percent shooting and allowing 64.3 points on 39.5 percent shooting. B.J. Taylor is averaging 16 points and 3.3 assists while Aubrey Dawkins is averaging 15.2 points and five rebounds. Tacko Fall is the third double-digit scorer and Collin Smith is grabbing 5.2 rebounds. The UCF Knights are shooting 35.4 percent from beyond the arc and 64.5 percent from the free throw line. The UCF Knights are allowing 31.3 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 32.7 rebounds per game. The UCF Knights have split their last eight non-home games.

The VCU Rams enter this tournament winning 12 of their last 13 games. The VCU Rams are averaging 71.4 points on 44.2 percent shooting and allowing 61.6 points on 38.4 percent shooting. Marcus Evans is averaging 13.8 points and three rebounds while De'Riante Jenkins is averaging 11.4 points and 2.1 assists. Issac Vann is the third double-digit scorer and Marcus Santos-Silva is grabbing 7.4 rebounds. The VCU Rams are shooting 30.7 percent from beyond the arc and 69.8 percent from the free throw line. The VCU Rams are allowing 27.6 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 34.1 rebounds per game. The VCU Rams have won six of their last seven non-home games.

The Knights are 11-4 ATS in their last 15 non-conference games, 5-2 ATS in their last 7 neutral site games and 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games overall. The Rams are 15-4 ATS in their last 19 NCAA Tournament games, 1-6-1 ATS in their last 8 Friday games and 10-3 ATS in their last 13 games overall. The under is 10-3 in Rams last 13 non-conference games. The under is 15-7 in Knights last 22 non-conference games.

This is going to be an absolute bloodbath with points hard to come by, as VCU is 10th in points allowed per game and sixth in field goal percentage allowed. The UCF Knights are 28th in points allowed per game and 13th in field goal percentage allowed. It's a complete toss-up and it simply comes down to whichever teams top player can create just enough offense to squeeze out a victory. You could argue either side, but I give the slight edge to the UCF Knights because of the size advantage in the post and the fact VCU doesn't have anybody or the depth to counter Fall. The UCF Knights should feed the big man and do just enough to advantage to the second round in this tight defensive battle. 

Pick:
UCF +1.5

Randy Chambers has been with Sports Chat Place since 2014 and covers everything from the NFL to WNBA and tennis. Nobody works harder in this business in terms of content produced and amount of sports covered. Formerly a lead college football writer with Bleacher Report and has had his work featured at Fox Sports, CBS Sports and various other outlets.

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