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No. 5 UConn vs. No. 12 New Mexico State: Preview, picks for first round of 2022 NCAA Tournament

The UConn Huskies and New Mexico State meet at KeyBank Center in the first round of the 2022 NCAA Tournament. We’ve got everything you need on both teams ahead of the game here.

No. 5 UConn is back in both the Big East and the NCAA Tournament, and they will face the No. 12 New Mexico State Aggies on Thursday at 6:50 PM ET in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

No. 5 UConn: 23-9 (13-6 Big East): At-Large

KenPom rating: 18 Overall, 21 Offense, 35 Defense
NET ranking: 17, (5-6 VS Quad 1)
Leading scorer: A.J. Cole 15.7 PPG
Key stat: UConn has three guys averaging 13+ PPG

UConn has been up and down this season, but at no point did we think they wouldn’t be in the NCAA Tournament. A.J. Cole has been a good leader, but Adama Sonogo is the most important piece to this Huskies team. If they want a shot at making a run in the NCAA Tournament, they will need Sonogo to play well.

No. 12 New Mexico State: 26-6 (14-4 WAC): Auto Bid

KenPom rating: 81 Overall, 87 Offense, 73 Defense
NET ranking: 79 (2-0 VS Quad 1)
Leading scorer: Teddy Allen 19.3 PPG
Key stat: 12-2 non-conference record including two quad 1 wins

Teddy Allen is the big story for this New Mexico State team. After a good year at Nebraska, Allen transferred to New Mexico State where he’s had a ton of success with 19.3 points and 6.8 rebounds per contest. When he’s quiet the Aggies struggle, and he’ll need a big day if we are to see another infamous 5-12 upset in the NCAA Tournament.

Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook

Point spread: UConn -6.5
Point total: 132
Moneyline: UConn -290, New Mexico State +230

The Pick

Against The Spread Pick: New Mexico State +6.5
Point total pick: Under 132
Pick to Win: UConn -290

In this game, UConn will likely win, but I expect the Aggies to keep it close. The big pick in this game for me is the under. I love under 133.5 because I don't see either team scoring a ton of points. UConn’s last four games have been under, so there is a trend here.

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