No. 3 Oregon vs. No. 14 Iona Preview
Where: Golden 1 Center, Sacramento
When: Friday, March 17, 2:00 PM ET
Line: Oregon Ducks (-15) vs. Iona Gaels (+15); total: 152.0 – view all NCAAB lines
TV Broadcast: TBS
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Betting on the Oregon Ducks (-15)
One of Oregon’s strengths is now a big question mark. That’s after learning that Chris Boucher will be out for the tournament because of a torn ACL.
Boucher is the lead anchor of Oregon’s imposing rim protection, as he averaged 2.5 blocks per game. Oregon finished the regular season second in the nation with 6.5 BPG, but Boucher’s absence leaves plenty of work inside for Jordan Bell, who enters the national tournament second on the team with 72 blocks.
The Ducks, who lost to Arizona 83-80 in the Pac-12 Tournament finals, will nevertheless see Dillon Brooks take on an even increased role for Pac-12 Player of the Year winner, Dillon Brooks. Brooks leads the team with 16.3 PPG with 2.7 APG, and 2.9 RPG. He’ll get help from Tyler Dorsey (13.3 PPG), who waxed hot in the loss to the Wildcats, scoring 23 points with three three-pointers.
Oregon’s ability to take away its opponents’ outside shot will be tested against the hot-shooting Gaels. The Ducks are allowing just 6.8 threes per game with opponents shooting a mere 31.1% from deep.
Oregon is 8-2 SU in its last 10 games as a favorite by at least eight points.
Betting on the Iona Gaels (+15)
There is only one player to watch out for Iona: Jordan Washington. Washington influences the Gaels play more than anyone else on the team does, as he tops Iona in points (17.9 PPG) and rebounds (7.4 RPG).
But more than that, Washington dominates the ball when he’s on the floor, leading all Gaels in shot attempts by 86 shots on the season. As much as he thinks he could, Washington will likely have a hard time racking gaudy numbers with Oregon’s elite defense keying on him. That said, the Gaels are a great three-point shooting team that could spread the floor and pave the way for Washington to lay waste on Oregon’s stripped down interior defense.
The Gaels are sinking 9.8 threes per game on 39.7% clip—16th in the nation. Sam Cassell Jr. and Jon Severe are the Gaels’ top two outside snipers with 76 and 61 three-pointers on the season, respectively. They will have to recover their shooting touches, though, after combining 0-for-12 from downtown in the 87-86 overtime win against Siena in the MAAC Tournament finals.
Iona, which puts up 80.5 PPG, is 5-5 ATS in its last 1-0 games as the underdog.
Iona (+15) upsets Oregon, 84-83.
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