Oregon’s quest for a second national championship is still very much alive after trouncing Holy Cross by 39 points in the Round of 64 on Friday. The Ducks will look to build on the momentum of that huge win when they take on the Saint Joseph’s Hawks who are coming off a hard-fought victory over the Cincinnati Bearcats.
Who will grab the edge in this pivotal round-of-32 matchup? Read on below for a breakdown of this West Regional showdown and while you’re at it, you can check out our second-round previews of Oklahoma vs. VCU and Villanova vs. Iowa.
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March Madness No. 1 Oregon vs. No. 8 Saint Joseph’s Preview
Where: Spokane Arena, Spokane
When: Saturday, March 20, 9:40 PM ET
Line: Oregon Ducks (-7) vs. Saint Joseph’s Hawks (+7); total: 157.0 – view all March Madness lines
Betting on the Oregon Ducks
Top-seeded Oregon stormed into the second round of the NCAA tournament with an emphatic 91-52 win over Holy Cross on Friday. It was a dominating performance by the reigning Pac-12 champions who advanced to the round of 32 for the fourth straight season.
Make no mistake about it, though, the Ducks are not just a one-man team. Three other players are also averaging in double-figures for Oregon this season, namely Dillon Brooks (16.6 PPG), Elgin Cook (14.4 PPG) and Tyler Dorsey (13.7 PPG). In fact, the quartet combined for 51 points in the win against Holy Cross.
Thanks to their balanced attack, the Ducks have become the 48th-highest scoring team in the nation today, averaging a whopping 78.8 points per game. They will be licking their chops at the prospect of facing a Saint Joe’s defense that’s allowing 69.8 points per game this season, 125th in the entire nation. The Ducks are eighth in the nation in adjusted offensive efficiency, scoring 118.9 points per 100 possessions this season.
Oregon is 9-1 SU and 6-4 ATS in its last 10 games.
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Betting on the Saint Joseph’s Hawks
The Saint Joseph’s Hawks booked a ticket to the second round of the national tournament with a nerve-wracking 78-76 win over No. 9 Cincinnati on Friday. Isaiah Miles sank a 3-pointer with 9 seconds left to lift Saint Joseph’s to a dramatic victory over the hard-luck Bearcats who had a game-tying basket at the buzzer waved off.
Miles has been a revelation for the Hawks this season, scoring in double figures in every Saint Joseph’s game this campaign. He scored 19 points and grabbed seven boards in the win against Cincinnati. He leads the team not only in scoring (18.4 PPG) this season, but also in rebounding (8.1 RPG) and blocks (1.0 BPG) as well.
Next up for the Hawks is a Sunday night clash with no. 1 seed Oregon. This will be just the second meeting between the two storied programs in the national tournament. If they are to stand a chance against Oregon in the round of 32, they will need to be precise with their offensive execution once again. They dished out 13 assists and committed just six turnovers in the win against Cincinnati. That helped the Hawks shoot a solid 48.3 percent from the field in that victory.
The onus then is on DeAndre’ Bembry to facilitate the offense well for Saint Joseph’s. He scored a game-high 23 points and recorded five assists in the win against Cincinnati. He was the one who set up Miles’ game-winning 3-pointer in the dying seconds. It’s safe to say there has been no better player in the Atlantic 10 conference over the past three seasons than Bembry. The junior forward averaged 17.5 rebounds, 7.6 rebounds and a team-best 4.5 assists per game for the Hawks this campaign.
The Hawks are 7-3 SU and 6-4 ATS in their last 10 games.
Oregon (-7) eases past Saint Joseph’s, 78-68.