It’s that point of the 12 months when everybody in your Twitter timeline tries to be an knowledgeable on NCAA hoops with out haven’t watched many (if any!) video games all season. If that’s you, I’m right here that will help you out a bit in case you plan on filling out a bracket or placing down somewhat sprinkle on March Insanity.
Editor’s word: All betting traces are courtesy of Sports activities Interplay and are present as of the time of publication.
The favorite: The Gonzaga Bulldogs (+314 to win the event) are the No. 1 seed within the West area and are the highest total seed for the second straight 12 months. The Zags don’t must cope with the strain of maintaining their good season alive this time round and nonetheless have a pair of standouts from their 2021 crew led by main scorer Drew Timme (17.5 factors per recreation) and Canadian level guard Andrew Nembhard.
Gonzaga is the highest-scoring crew within the nation at 87.8 factors per recreation and the quickest crew at 73.8 possessions per recreation. The Bulldogs, although, have a troublesome highway to the Last 4 with groups like (8) Boise State, (9) Memphis and (4) Arkansas as potential roadblocks within the earlier rounds. Gonzaga can be gazing a regional closing matchup towards both Mike Krzyzewski’s (2) Duke or a really bodily (3) Texas Tech crew.
Choose: It gained’t be straightforward for Gonzaga, however they’ve already overwhelmed Texas Tech in December and misplaced a good one to the Blue Devils the day after U.S. Thanksgiving on a impartial courtroom. This looks like a redemption tour for the Zags. They’ve loads of firepower, highlighted by super-talented freshman Chet Holmgren. The Bulldogs are additionally rated No. 1 in Ken Pomeroy’s 2022 Faculty Basketball Rankings and are essentially the most environment friendly offence in school basketball per 100 possessions. Take Gonzaga to punch their ticket to the Last 4 and win the West area at -167.
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Darkish horses: UCLA Bruins (+1800 to win the event) are seeded fourth within the East area. The Bruins went 25-7 within the Pac-12 common season and misplaced 84-76 to Arizona within the convention event title recreation on Saturday. Should you’re into event expertise, UCLA is the crew for you! The Bruins are returning their total beginning 5 from final 12 months’s crew that made all of it the way in which to the Last 4 as a No. 11 seed.
The Bruins are eighth in KenPom’s rankings forward of conventional powerhouses like Duke and Villanova and one among simply 4 groups within the High 15 in each offence and defence. UCLA can be in the identical area because the Baylor Bears who really feel like essentially the most susceptible No. 1 seed due to accidents.
The Houston Cougars (+3000 to win the event) are the No. 5 seed within the South area. The Cougars had been 29-5 this season taking part in out of the American Athletic Convention and ended up 18th on the committee’s total seed record. The Cougars are ranked fourth on KenPom forward of No. 1 seeds Kansas and Baylor and are coming off a Last 4 look final 12 months. Texas Tech switch Kyler Edwards and large man Fabian White Jr. might be closely relied on for a Houston crew that’s going to play powerful defence and goes to crash the offensive glass.
Choose: It gained’t be straightforward for UCLA with Baylor and a really proficient (2) Kentucky crew standing of their method to attending to New Orleans for the Last 4. With Jaime Jaquez Jr. wholesome once more and Johnny Juzang’s means to hit clutch pictures, I believe there may be an excessive amount of worth right here within the tournament-tested Bruins. Take UCLA at +551 to win the East area.
The 5-vs-12 matchup: That is the a part of the bracket, the place numerous the informal followers will routinely gravitate to the underdog. Should you’ve guess the No. 12 seed blindly over the previous 10 tournaments, you’ve been within the black. The No. 12 seed is 24-15-1 towards the unfold in these first-round matchups towards the No. 5 seed.
Let’s return even additional, we could?
Since 1985, when the NCAA Match discipline expanded, the No. 12 seed is a rock stable 76-65-3 towards the unfold vs. No. 5s within the first spherical and 51-93 straight up.
Listed here are the 5-12 matchups for the 2022 NCAA Match:
East: No. 5 Saint Mary’s vs. No. 12 Indiana (Saint Mary’s Gaels -3.0)
Midwest: No. 5 Iowa vs. No. 12 Richmond (Iowa Hawkeyes -10.5)
South: No. 5 Houston vs. No. 12 UAB (Houston Cougars -8.5)
West: No. 5 UConn vs. No. 12 New Mexico State (Connecticut Huskies -6.5)
Choose: Saint Mary’s has a formidable victory over No. 1 total seed Gonzaga this season. The Gaels are additionally ranked seventeenth on KenPom and have a ton of dimension inside and do an incredible job of defending the three-pointer. Additionally they play sluggish, which may bode effectively on this matchup with Indiana. I’ll buck the No. 12 seed pattern and take the Gaels to cowl the -3.0 unfold right here at -110.