Washington vs. Utah State - 3/21/19 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Washington at Utah State
Friday, March 22, 2019 at 5:50 PM (Nationwide Arena)
Utah State Aggies -2.5 -- Over/Under: 133
The 9-seed Washington Huskies and 8-seed Utah State Aggies will square off this Friday at Nationwide Arena in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
The 9-seed Washington Huskies wasn’t able to take care of business in the Pac-12 Men’s Championship as they Huskies fell by a 68-48 margin to the Oregon Ducks this past Saturday, however, the Huskies were able to do enough in the regular season to still receive an at-large bid for the NCAA Tournament. Washington went into halftime against the Ducks trailing by just a 28-26 margin, however, struggled offensively in the 2nd half and couldn’t fight back after a 14-0 Oregon run gave the Ducks a 44-28 lead with just 10:40 left in regulation. Washington allowed Oregon to shoot 52.5% from the field while the Huskies shot just 33.3% from the field and 21.7% from beyond the arc in the loss. Leading the way for the Huskies was Jaylen Nowell who had 8 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals.
On the season, Washington is averaging 69.8 ppg on 45.3% shooting from the field. The Huskies are averaging 7.5 three-pointers per game on 34.6% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Washington has been led by Jaylen Nowell (16.2 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 3.1 apg, 1.3 spg), David Crisp (12.5 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 2.8 apg, 1.0 spg), Noah Dickerson (12.2 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 1.0 spg), and Matisse Thybulle (9.3 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.1 apg, 3.4 spg, 2.3 bpg).
Defensively, Washington is holding their opponents to an average of 64.4 ppg on 41.4% shooting from the field. The Huskies have a rebound margin of -2.6 and a turnover margin of 2.9.
The Utah State Aggies reached their first NCAA Tournament since 2011 after defeating the San Diego State Aztecs, 64-57, in the Mountain West Championship this past Saturday. Utah State was outstanding on the defensive end agianst San Diego State and was able to pull away early in the 2nd half after a 13-0 run to start the 2nd half gave the Aggies a 47-32 lead with 15:27 left in regulation. Utah State shot 40.4% from the field while holding San Diego State to just 33.3% shooting from the field and 25.0% shooting from beyond the arc. Leading the way for the Aggies was Sam Merrill who had 24 points, 6 rebounds, and 1 assist.
On the season, Utah State is averaging 79.1 ppg on 47.4% shooting from the field. The Aggies are averaging 7.9 three-pointers per game on 35.5% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Utah State has been led by Sam Merrill (21.2 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 4.2 apg, 1.1 spg), Neemias Queta (11.9 ppg, 8.9 rpg, 1.7 apg, 2.4 bpg), Diogo Brito (8.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 2.2 apg, 1.1 spg), and Quinn Taylor (8.0 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 2.2 apg).
Defensively, Utah State is holding their opponents to an average of 66.8 ppg on 39.1% shooting from the field. The Aggies have a rebound margin of 8.9 and a turnover margin of -0.1.
The Huskies are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 NCAA Tournament games, however, are just 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games overall. The Aggies are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record and 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games overall.
Washington had a very successful season as they were able to pile up wins in the Pac-12 and although their offense can struggle to score the basketball, their defense has been solid as they come into this game ranked 30th in scoring defense, 61st in defensive FG%, 2nd in blocks per game, and 9th in steals per game.
Utah State comes into the NCAA Tournament riding a 10-game winning streak and has been solid on both ends of the court as they enter the NCAA Tournament ranked T-39th in scoring offense, 56th in scoring defense, and 9th in defensive FG%.
Utah State in my opinion is a bad match-up for the Huskies as the Aggies have enough offensive firepower to put up some points agianst their tough defense and have the defensive that can certainly limit Washington’s production on the offensive end. Washington is a solid team, however, I just can’t trust a Pac-12 team and I think the Aggies will do plenty to cover this small spread. Good Luck!