Rick Pitino is back in the March Madness picture, but can the controversial college basketball figure help the Iona Gaels pull off a shocker in the first round against the SEC champions, Alabama Crimson Tide? Check out our preview of this game along with our pick to win this matchup and the final score.
Betting Preview for the Iona Gaels vs Alabama Crimson Tide NCAA College Basketball Game on March 20 2021
Where: Hinkle Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
When: Saturday, March 20, 2021, 4:00 PM ET
TV Broadcast: TBS
Betting on the Iona Gaels (+17)
Record: 12-5 Overall / 6-3 Conference
Say what you want to say about Rick Pitino, but the man can really coach, especially at a college level. Pitino has proven that once again by steering Iona into the March Madness via an automatic-bid, with the Gaels winning the Metro Atlantic Conference tournament. Iona paced its conference in offensive efficiency with 104.4 points per 100 possessions. The Gaels can get hot from deep, which they will look to establish early against Alabama. Iona shot 37.2 percent on their threes in conference play, while allowing MAAC rivals to shoot just 28.3 percent from downtown. Isaiah Ross is Iona’s go-to-guy, as he is scoring 18.4 points with 2.5 threes per game, so far this season.
Iona is 4-0-1 against the spread in its last five games overall.
Betting on the Alabama Crimson Tide (-17)
Record: 24-6 Overall / 16-2 Conference
Alabama is slowly catching up to the dominance of its football team in the SEC, as the Crimson Tide just won the league’s tournament by beating the LSU Tigers in the finals. Alabama will not be short in artillery if the Crimson Tide decide to go in a shootout with the Gaels. Alabama averaged 81.9 points per game in conference play and shot 11.4 threes per contest. The Crimson Tide’s outside shooting is simply on a different level. They are fourth in the nation with 10.7 threes per game on 35.1 percent shooting. Alabama’s defense limits opponents to below 1.0 point per efficiency and lets teams shoot just 28.8 percent from deep against it. The Crimson Tide’s top-10 tempo should rattle Iona, which will have to contend with Alabama’s combination of speed and rebounding mastery.
Alabama is 4-1 against the spread in its last five games overall.
Alabama wins, 85-69.
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