The Saint Mary’s Gaels survived VCU and now take on the No. 4 UConn Huskies, who defeated Iona in the first round. This second round matchup will take place at in Albany, New York on Sunday, March 19.
Game time: 6:10 p.m. ET
TV channel: TNT
Location: Albany, NY
Spread: UConn -3.5
Moneyline: UConn -170, Saint Mary’s +145
No. 5 Saint Mary’s (25-7, 14-2 WCC)
First Round: Defeated No. 12 VCU 63-51
KenPom rating: 11 Overall, 40 Offense, 9 Defense
Leading scorer: Logan Johnson
Key stat of tournament: Held VCU to 36.7% shooting from field
Saint Mary’s was not a favorite to win this one. Sure, the odds had them favored, but betting splits showed that the public was riding hard with VCU. The Gaels proved everyone wrong, letting the Rams stay close but avoiding the upset. They out-rebounded the Rams by 11 boards and held VCU to 36.7% from the field. The Gaels were led in scoring by Alex Ducas.
No. 4 UConn 26-8 (13-7 Big East)
First Round: Defeated No. 13 Iona 83-67
KenPom rating: 4 Overall, 6 Offense, 19 Defense
Leading scorer: Adama Sanogo
Key stat of tournament: Outscored Iona 54-20 in second half
The Huskies got a bit of a fight from Iona, who actually had a 2-point lead over UConn at halftime. Dan Hurley’s guys showed up in the second half though, using a series of commanding runs to open up a big advantage and punch a ticket to the second round.