NCAA basketball on Sunday afternoon and we will see the SMU Mustangs travel to the Northeast to take on the Connecticut Huskies. The game has a start time of 2:00 pm (Eastern) and will be televised on CBSSN. Vegas odds have the Huskies listed as 6.5 point favorites, while the total sits at 134.
Analysis: The SMU Mustangs are enjoying quite a turnaround under head coach Larry Brown, as they come in 21-6 overall and 10-4 within the AAC. This is a big game for both teams as the Mustangs are just a half a game ahead of UConn in the conference standing. A big part of the outstanding year for the Mustangs has been their defense. The Mustangs come into this game allowing just 61.6 ppg, which is 19th in the nation and they have done so allowing just 37.1% shooting, which is 2nd in the nation. On offense, the Mustangs don't score a ton (72.4 ppg), but they do shoot the ball very well, hitting 49.3% of their shots to rank 13th in the nation. Nic Moore leads the offense with 14.1 ppg. He is deadly from deep, hitting 45.3% of his threes, and he is also money at the charity stripe, hitting 84.4% of his free throws. Markus Kennedy leads the team in rebounding (7.0 rpg) and is the only other player averaging in double figures or the Mustangs.
The UConn Huskies come in at 21-5 overall and 9-4 within the AAC. The Huskies are rolling a bit as they have won 4 in a row and 7 of their last 8. The Huskies are very solid on offense as they come in averaging 75.7 ppg (69th) on 46.2% shooting overall (80th) and 29.5% from beyond the arc (21st). Oh yeah they are also 4th in the nation in FT shooting, hitting 77.4% of their freebies. Shabazz napier leads the offense with 17.9 ppg, while also leading the team in rebounding at 6.1 rpg. DeAndre Daniels (13.2 ppg) and Ryan Boatight (12.5 ppg) round out the double digit scorers on the team. The Huskies are not as stout on defense as the Mustangs are, but they are not far behind. The Huskies come in ranked 36th in points allowed (63.7 ppg) and 12th in defensive FG% (38.9%). This is a complete team at both ends of the floor.
Pick: I will be going with the under here. These two teams are pretty efficient on the offensive end but neither team plays up and down the court basketball. They won't be able to in this game either as both defenses get back very well. The SMU Defense is ranked 2nd in the nation in defensive FG% (37.1%), while UConn comes in at 12th in that category (38.9%). SMU has allowed just 6.1 ppg verall, including 61.4 ppg in their last 5 games and 67.1 ppg on the road. For Uconn they have allowed just 63.7 ppg overall, including 58.8 ppg in their last 5 games and 60.7 ppg at home. This is a huge game for both teams and I expect tightness and conservative play especially early and down the stretch. I look for this game in the 120's.
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College Basketball Free Picks: SMU vs Connecticut BettingWhat college Basketball bettors need to know about SMU Mustangs vs Connecticut Huskies on Sunday (2/2314) - a free pick from Pregame.com's Ken Thomson with Bryan Leonard and host Marco D'Angelo.