UCF Knights vs. SMU Mustangs Betting Preview
Where: XL Center— Hartford, Connecticut
When: Saturday, March 11, 2017, 3:00 PM ET
Line: UCF Knights vs. SMU Mustangs – view all NCAA Basketball lines
TV Broadcast: ESPN
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Betting on the UCF Knights (21-10, 11-7 AAC)
The fifth-seeded Knights pounded No. 4 seed Memphis on Friday, 84-54, to book a semifinals showdown with top-seeded and 12th-ranked SMU in the American Athletic Conference tournament.
UCF had its shot going from almost every spot of the court, shooting 54.4 percent as a team and knocking down more than 50 percent of their three-point tries (14-of-26). Their defense was solid, too, as the Tigers were held to a miserable 31.7 field goal percentage, including a much-worse 23.5 percent shooting rate from down town.
The Knights’ attack was spearheaded by the pair of B.J. Taylor and in senior Matt Williams, who were both one of four double-digit scorers for the team. Taylor racked up 14 points and five assists, while Williams delivered a game-high 19 points and had five treys.
The win over Memphis marked the sixth-straight win for the Knights, who lost their only regular-season meeting with the Mustangs on Jan. 25. It was a close game from start to finish, as SMU ended up winning by just five points, 65-60. Another thrilling finish should be in store for us when these two defensive-minded sides collide once more.
Betting on the SMU Mustangs (28-4, 17-1 AAC)
SMU survived an early test in Friday’s 81-77 win over ninth-seeded East Carolina. The Mustangs, who have made blowout victories look normal this season, squandered a 22-point lead before eventually fighting back in the last minute to avoid in what could have been one of the biggest upsets in college basketball history.
They can thank Semi Ojeleye, the AAC’s Player of the Year, for saving them from that. He had a game to remember for the rest of his life, finishing with a career-high 36 points on 12-of-19 shooting to go along with 12 rebound—his fifth double-double of the season.
As mentioned earlier, the Mustangs had a hard time putting away the Knights in their lone meeting this season. But SMU should manage to win again, considering it has more weapons at its command. Aside from Ojeleye, there’s Shake Milton (13.3), Sterling Brown (12.8) and Ben Moore (11.8) contributing at least 11 points per contest each.
Brown, in particular, was crucial in the quarterfinals win over East Carolina, pitching in 16 points and a pair of three-pointers for the Mustangs.
SMU wins another nail-biter, 72-70.
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