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No. 5 Saint Mary’s vs. No. 12 Indiana: Preview, picks for first round of 2022 NCAA Tournament

The Gaels and Hoosiers meet in the first round of the 2022 NCAA Tournament. We’ve got everything you need on both teams ahead of the game here.

Saint Mary’s Gaels guard Tommy Kuhse (12) dribbles the basketball against Gonzaga Bulldogs forward Drew Timme (2) during the second half in the finals of the WCC Basketball Championships at Orleans Arena. Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The 2022 NCAA Tournament is finally here. On Thursday and Friday, we have a combined 32 games set to tip-off, and No. 5 Saint Mary’s will take on No. 12 Indiana Thursday at 7:20 PM EST on TBS. Below we take a look at the matchup and a pick for the winners.

No. 5 Saint Mary’s: 25-7 (12-3): At-large bid

KenPom rating: 16 Overall, 64 Offense, 9 Defense
NET ranking: 19, (4-7 VS Quad 1)
Leading scorer: Matthias Tass 12.6 PPG
Key stat: 13-3 in their final 16 games

Saint Mary’s looked stellar at the beginning and end of their season. They came up just short in the West Coast Conference Tournament to Gonzaga in the championship game. In non-conference play, they took down Oregon, Notre Dame, and Utah State which were crucial to getting them into the NCAA Tournament.

Watch for a low-scoring game looking at the defensive matchup.

No. 12 Indiana: 20-13 (9-11 Big Ten): At-large bid

KenPom rating: 17 Overall, 23 Offense, 31 Defense
NET ranking: 38 (4-8 VS Quad 1)
Leading scorer: Trayce Jackson-Davis (18.4 ppg)
Key stat: The Hoosiers won their First Four contest despite shooting 2-13 from behind the arc. They shot 33.9 percent from deep during the season as a team.

The Hoosiers played their way into the main bracket after defeating Michigan and Illinois in the Big Ten conference tournament before handling Wyoming in the First Four game. Trayce Jackson-Davis is playing his best basketball, averaging 26.3 points and 8.5 rebounds per game in the last four contests. If the Hoosiers can shoot better from deep, they’ll have a shot at knocking off the Gaels.

Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook

Point spread: Saint Mary’s -3
Point total: 126.5
Moneyline: Saint Mary’s -150, Indiana +130

The Pick

Against The Spread Pick: Indiana +3
Point total pick: Over 126.5
Pick to Win: Indiana

This is strength vs. strength when it comes to the efficiency numbers, but the Gaels have been decent enough offensively for the over to hit. Indiana is playing tremendous basketball right now and will have the best player on the floor in Jackson-Davis. The Hoosiers have been through the wringer more often this season and this is where it’ll pay off. Look for them to defeat Saint Mary’s and advance to the round of 32.

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